Cause and effect essay writing gives reasons and explanations for events, conditions, or behavior.
Cause and effect essay is a type of essays that centers on why things occur (causes) and the outcomes of the happenings (effects). Cause-and-effect writing gives reasons and explanations for events, conditions, or behavior. It answers the need most of us have to understand the world around us.
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Cause and effect essays are popular ways of helping students understand the relationship between various events. They’re extremely popular in history classes, although students are certainly going to encounter them in English and writing classes as well. English and writing classes are often geared towards helping students be better at critical thinking in general, and cause and effect essays can serve as excellent critical thinking exercises in general.
Cause and effect essays are starting to become more popular than the five-paragraph essays that many people have had to learn over the years, for various reasons. The traditional five paragraph essay format is highly formulaic. It doesn’t truly prepare students for the sort of advanced writing skills that they are really going to need. It encourages people to write in a manner that is highly artificial. In many cases, students do not provide enough evidence for their points. The cause and effect essay is much better when it comes to promoting critical thinking skills in the minds of students, which has helped make it the new star of academic writing today.
Writing a Cause and Effect Essay
Often times, a cause and effect essay is going to involve people selecting an event that had a given list of defined consequences. Certain events are going to make for richer essays than others. The cause and effect relationship between the events and the consequences needs to be strong enough, or the essay is going to feel unfocused and vague.
One popular example of an event to write about in a cause and effect essay in classrooms in the United States is the American Civil War. Students will then list the causes of the American Civil War when they are in the planning stages of the cause and effect essay. From there, they will formulate thesis statements and build the rest of their essays.
Another popular essay topic for students who can write about more recent history might be the crime wave that lasted between 1975 and 1995. Students might look at what caused this crime wave. They also might look at what eventually led to the end of the crime wave. This sort of cause and effect relationship is ripe for analysis, especially since there are a lot of specific trends that have helped mark the beginning and end of the infamous period in late-twentieth-century American history.
A student might say: the late-twentieth century crime wave ended as a result of improved forensic techniques, improved social welfare programs, increases in surveillance, and increased awareness. With regards to the Civil War, and student might say: the Civil War was caused by increasing tensions between the Northern and Southern regions of the United States and the South’s desire to expand slavery throughout the country, as well as the South’s fear that slavery would eventually be eliminated if the spread was curtailed.
Compose a thesis statement that clearly states your topic. Because cause-and-effect essays need a readily identifiable structure, you will almost always write the essay in chronological order. Sometimes, however, you will use reverse chronological order. For example, you might begin with an effect or a series of effects and trace them back to their original cause. Whatever organization you use, write paragraphs with strong, clear topic sentences and relevant supporting details. The thesis statement for an essay that was about the American Civil War could be more general, with something along the lines of two halves of a nation that have very different economies and ideas of how to run a society are going to face strong conflicts with one another. A student would then go into detail about how the conflicts between the North and the South had been brewing for a long time before the Civil War finally erupted, and the Civil War was the culmination of all of those tensions. Different pieces of evidence are going to belong in the cause section, and different pieces of evidence are going to belong in the effects section.
Naturally, it is also important to illustrate the effects in question. The American Civil War was so substantial in terms of its consequences for the American people that some of the effects are still being felt today since the South never truly reconstructed and both halves of the United States still face political conflicts with one another to this day. The reader should walk away with that impression, at least after reading the effects section and the section of the essay that describes the cause and effect relationship.
Cause and Effect Essay Writing Tips
TIP 1. People who are having a hard time identifying a clear consequence of the given events should choose a new topic, if possible. There are lots of examples out there, and no one needs to waste any time trying to argue in favor of a point that is going to be too difficult to properly state in an essay that is really about logical understanding more than anything else.
TIP 2. It is a good idea to have at least two or three pieces of evidence in support of why a given effect logically followed from the cause in question. The entire essay should not hinge on a few data points.
TIP 3. Smooth transitions between paragraphs are just as important in cause and effect essays as they are in five paragraph essays, even though the ideas between them are not going to be anywhere near as clear cut.
TIP 4. There are no hard and solid rules on the length of cause and effect essays, which is not the case with the five-paragraph essays that people will either love or loathe. Those essays will usually have to be one page long. Unless there are any specific requirements, cause and effect essays can be a couple of pages long or longer than that, and they are still going to be just as good.
TIP 5. It is important not to include a lot of meandering details in cause and effect essays that do not specifically relate to the point or reinforce the point. Cause and effect essays can be longer than five-paragraph essays, but they are not the sorts of essays that are going to need filler content. Being clear and straightforward is going to matter more. The details are going to need to relate to reinforcing the cause and effect relationship that is at the heart of the cause and effect essay.
Signal Words in Cause-and-Effect Writing
|Cause and Effect||as a result||because||consequently||due to||if…then||leads to||therefore||thus|
|Degrees of Certainty||certainly||may||necessarily||perhaps||possibly||probably||undoubtedly||unquestionably|
|Levels of Importance||above all||equally important||finally||first||initially||last||primarily||second|
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