Essay writing can be fun especially if you are tasked to write on something you are most familiar about or fond of, something that you find interesting or amazing. However, different types of essays provide different uses to the readers. Some of the most common essays are descriptive, definition, compare/contrast, narrative, process, argumentative, critical and cause and effect. While all these are very helpful, one that is very educational and provides the answer to why and what happened is the cause and effect essay.
What is the definition of a cause and effect essay?
A cause and effect essay is an essay that discusses reason (cause) behind every result (effect) or as stated above, answers the why (cause) and what happened (effect) questions.
How to write a cause and effect essay?
Composing a cause and effect essay can be very easy. Basic sentence patterns are cause then effect or effect then cause. The following is an example of cause then effect pattern:
“She loves him too (cause/reason), so she accepted his marriage proposal (effect/result).”
It is very important to note that in this pattern, the conjunctive so is used to separate the cause from the effect. However, if we reverse the sentence and put effect before cause we use the word because instead of so. Therefore, it would read as,
“She accepted his marriage proposal (effect/result) because she loves him too (cause/reason).”
Based on the above example, you can also start with the sentence with the cause then the effect and it would read as,
“Because she loves him too, she accepted his marriage proposal.”
In addition, you may begin the sentence with the conjunctions since and as but not with so.
You can also use transitions like consequently, therefore and as a result to introduce an effect or follow the cause then effect pattern.
“She loves him too; therefore, she accepted his marriage proposal.”
“She loves him too. Consequently, she accepted his marriage proposal.”
“She loves him too and as a result she accepted his marriage proposal.”
You can also use prepositions like due to and because of to introduce a result or follow the effect then cause pattern.
“She accepted his marriage proposal due to her love for him.”
“She accepted his marriage proposal because of her love for him.”
Cause answers the question “why.” Why did she accept his marriage proposal? She accepted his marriage proposal because she loves her too. And the effect answers the question” what happened.” What happened when she realized she loves him too? After she realized that she loves him too, she accepted his marriage proposal.
Cause and Effect Essay Outline
In creating a cause and effect essay, simply follow the outline below:
1. Define your topic, know the cause and effect and limit it. You can find one cause with several effects or various causes leading to one effect. However, your essay should not be too broad that it becomes boring nor too limited that it loses value.
2. Know your purpose for writing the essay. Understanding your reason for writing whether to inform, persuade or analyze will help you determine your next course of action.
3. Develop your thesis statement. What do you want the readers to know? What do you want to focus on or discuss, would it be more on causes or effects or both?
4. Research your topic. It is not enough that you have an idea but it’s always worth reading when you also have the facts especially that it is a cause and effect essay. Statistics, numbers, an expert’s advice and comments are important and such information adds value to the essay.
5. Personalize your conclusion. Give the readers something to think about. Give them a piece of your soul that calls the attention of their humanity.
In most cases, cause and effect essays are a call to action masterpieces subtly touching the human spirit driving us to do something for the good of mankind. Oftentimes, it touches the human heart making it understand humanity better breaking barriers of racial, ethnic, religious, political, and social prejudice.