What is a cause-effect essay? It is an essay that analyses the causes and/or the effects of something There is usually an emphasis on one or the other (causes or effects) The cause-effect relationship to be analysed should be logical, but not necessarily chronological
How can we organise a cause-effect essay? There are four ways of organising a cause-effect essay: Cause multiple effects Effect multiple causes Causal Chain Multiple causes multiple effects Note: the general structure of the essay is still the same, i.e., Introduction – Body – Conclusion
Types of causes and effects When analysing multiple causes and effects, you can arrange them according to different principles: order of familiarity order of interest order of importance chronological order (if possible) immediacy or remoteness
The introduction of the cause-effect essay It should contain general information and a thesis statement. It is often suggested that if you focus on causes, you can start by mentioning the effect, whereas if you focus on effects, you can start by mentioning the cause. Remember you can also include a hook, which can be the description of an unusual or a striking scene or a relevant quotation.
The thesis statement of the cause-effect essay It does not have to be persuasive It should simply state briefly or in detail the causes or effects of the phenomenon to be analysed
The body of the cause-effect essay If you focus on causes or effects, it is better to devote one paragraph to each cause or effect. If you focus on both, i.e., causes and effects, one paragraph (or two) should be devoted to causes and another paragraph (or two) to effects. Do not forget to use transitions both between and within paragraphs.
The conclusion of the cause-effect essay As usual, you should bring your discussion to an end. You can summarise the information in the essay –e.g., enumerating the causes and/or effects analysed; you can restate the thesis statement; or, in case you are discussing a problem, you can suggest a solution. Remember the techniques previously studied to improve conclusions: using quotations, asking questions, leaving the reader with something to think about.