Cause and Effect Essay Sample: Its Topics, Structure, College Example


How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: Clear Guide

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What are some examples of cause and effect?

If you are here, it probably means that you are assigned to create a cause and effect essay, right? Or maybe you are interested in what it is and how to do it properly. In this post, we want to make it clear, to explain in more detail what this type of essay is, what structure it has, and what logic of writing you need to follow to do a great paper. So if you wonder what some good topics for cause and effect essays are, our specialists will be happy to answer this question for you. However, first and foremost, it is important to know what this paper type is and what its main features are.

Cause and effect relationship in essay: who is to blame and what to do?

What does cause and effect relationship exactly mean? Cause and effect relationship is a kind of relation between some events, processes, phenomena (often of historic nature) when one event / process / phenomenon, which is called cause, provokes another event / process / phenomenon, which is called effect, in case when some particular conditions are present.

Usually, when a cause and effect essay is assigned, a teacher wants to see that a student is able to show the connection between two events. There should be demonstrated the relation between an event-cause and an event-effect. Of course, it is important that an event-effect should be within the same time-frames, to which an event-cause is related. An event-effect should not be outside the time period of an event-cause, it should belong to the same period.

We need to select the events (processes or phenomena) that caused some event (process or phenomenon) within the time-frames that a text relates to.

What are the demands to an event-cause?

  1. An event-cause can be within the same time-frame or beyond its lower border. It is impossible to be beyond the upper border because the causes can be only in the past, not in the future.
  2. When we mention cause and effect relationship, we can present not only the causes but also preconditions of the events, processes, and phenomena. A precondition is a condition that has influenced the beginning of a particular event. For example, the influence of ideas of Enlightenment was not the direct reason for the rebellion, but it was its precondition. Pay attention that you can write not only about some events but also historic phenomena and processes.

There is no need to try to convince or try to adapt your opinion to the opinions of others, even if they are experts. It is always okay to have your own view on some things. The most important is to be able to present it clearly and support it with strong facts. You need to have your own reasoned position. In this case, a good grade for your work is guaranteed.

Mysterious meaningful connections… what do we know for sure?

Everyone can understand what connection between sentences means. There are special words that serve as links to unite the sentences grammatically and logically. We understand that the sentences in a text should be connected in their meaning. For example, the words and phrases “masterpiece”, “I like cakes”, “the penguins sit on an iceberg” cannot be considered as a text because there is no logic connection.

However, even this “meaningless something” can be turned into a text if we use our imagination. For example: “I like cakes. Whipped cream on them reminds me the icebergs, on which the penguins sit”. Now we have a connection at both levels, meaningful (whipped cream reminds the icebergs) and grammatical (words that connect the sentences – “cakes – them”).

There is nothing new about this. We always speak about the connection between the sentences. However, what does meaningful (or logic) connection between the parts of a text mean? We do not speak about it purposely because it is obvious that different micro topics of a single text are logically connected. It goes without saying, and we take it for granted.

However, now it is necessary to speak separately about this obvious matter. If it is missed, a student risks getting a lower grade. In other words, it would be logic to say that a special explanation of connection between the sentences of a text is assessed as one point.

Let’s define the structure of a statement

The students are often assigned to do a cause and effect essay. Usually, it is expected that a student will comment on some issue based on some source (a book, for example). A student needs to present at least two examples-illustrations from a read book that are important for the understanding of a problem. It is also necessary to present explanations to the given examples. A student needs to demonstrate a logic connection between them as well. In the comments, there should be no factual mistakes related to the understanding of a problem presented in the book.

By the way, the best book reviews are only here:

In order to write about the connection between micro topics (a statement about the first example is the first micro topic, and a statement about the second example is the second micro topic), it is important to know what types of connection exist.

Logic relationship between micro topics – cause and effect relationship

  1. When we speak about a cause, the following words are often used: since, because (of), (and) as much as, so, as and others.
  2. When we speak about an effect, we usually use: that is why, hence, as a result, it means, consequently / as a consequence, in this respect, in this connection, in this context, thus, thanks to that, thereby, etc.

Now let’s look closer at this type of relationship at the level of sentences. “It is raining today, consequently, it is necessary to take an umbrella.” – here we can see the relation of effect (previously we have presented the words that help express this relationship). However, if we change the parts of the sentence, the relationship of effect turns into a cause relationship – “I took an umbrella because…”

How is cause and effect relationship presented at the level of micro topics?

Let’s start with an example at once: “The family of a boy told everyone in the town about what Peter did” – the effect of this action is that the attitude of everyone in the town to Peter has changed. The attitude changed (because) the family of a boy told everyone in the town about what Peter did.

So how to work with what we have here? If we can see cause and effect relationship in a text, then, we can understand what exactly we can use as examples. In this case, the first example that is necessary to take from the text is an antithesis that shows how exactly the attitude of everyone has changed. The second example can be the author’s story about the actions of a family. After that, we need to demonstrate a logic relationship between them using an obvious cause and effect relationship – “If it was not for…, then…”.

There are many students who do not understand why it is necessary to create this type of essay, and why it is necessary to comment on something in this particular way. However, as professionals, we can assure that there is sense, and this format of writing helps students greatly if they do it regularly. Understanding the relationship between the examples makes us select these very examples not randomly but really thoughtfully and logically.

We have seen hundreds of student papers, and we must admit that thinking based on the presented plan (example #1 + example #2 + presentation of relationship) does not always lead to the wanted result. Sometimes the students come to the dead-end after giving examples and do not know what to write about the relationship between them.

We think that it happens because the students often give the examples from text as if they do a stock-take and put the signs on the shelves in a store: here is metaphor, here is epithet, here is antithesis, here evaluation vocabulary goes that shows the attitude of the author to the main character… Such an approach leads to a dead-end. Of course, they all are the examples from the same text, nevertheless, not any two examples have an obviously seen cause and effect relationship and “work for” the same problem.

Any example + any example do not always guarantee connection between them. Do not try to create the relationship out of thin air. Do not present far-fetched relationship!

We can suggest another model of thinking: How do I write a cause and effect essay?

  1. I define the type of relationship. I understand that there is an obvious cause and effect relationship in a text. The actions of a family led to the change of the attitude of people (based on the example we gave previously).
  2. What examples prove the presence of this relationship? I give the first and the second examples. Consequently, the first example is antithesis that tells about how the attitude has changed. The second example is the story about the actions of a family.

If we see cause and effect relationship in a text, as a rule, it means that something has changed. It means that there is antithesis (i.e. the first example) and the author’s story about someone’s actions that have led to some particular changes (i.e. the second example). In general, cause and effect essay is not too difficult to create, but it always requires to be more attentive, careful and to think well about all the relationships between the sentences and micro topics within a text. Anyway, if you feel like you cannot (or maybe do not want to) do it, we will be happy to assist you.

If you need some more specific information, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will tell you everything you might need or want to learn about cause and effect essay writing help, ideas, topics, examples. Also, our specialists can do an outstanding literature review for you:

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