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.
When writing a cause and effect essay which generally requires the writer to illustrate a scenario in which one or more actions or events ultimately cause or caused certain effects to occur, the student should create and follow an outline.
To illustrate an essay of this sort, below is an outline for a cause and effect essay for a fairly simple topic that pertains to a general writing composition course – "Success":
Causes of Success: Diligence; talent or intelligence; high level of education; networking and making good, intelligent choices in life.
Effects of Success: Wealth and a potential increase in one’s quality of life; happiness and fulfillment.
The writer can focus on just one cause and one effect, or a combination of the two.
The writer can focus on just one cause and one effect, or a combination of the two. Every cause and effect essay should consist of no less than five paragraphs:
- Introduction paragraph
- At least three body paragraphs
- Conclusion paragraph
Outline: Cause and Effect Essay on the Topic "Success"
The first paragraph of the essay introducing the subject and informing the reader what the paper is essentially about (5-7 sentences):
- Topic Sentence – the purpose of the topic sentence is to simply introduce the topic or subject being examined.
- Thesis Statement – the main idea or purpose of the essay.
Your first paragraph may sound like this:
Although it is a rather ambiguous term, “Success” has specific causes and effects. For one, it is caused by one’s persistent diligence on a project or occupation, etc. In turn, success has certain effects, or consequences, as well: one is financial wealth.
3 BODY PARAGRAPHS
Illustration of causes and effects. In this section of the essay, the student will show how diligence causes success and illustrate the effects of success on the individual – ultimately explaining at length their Thesis Statement from the first paragraph.
- To better convey the argument, the student may begin with explaining the topic being examined – perhaps including a definition, a source providing additional perspectives, etc. In this case:
What is the success? What does it look like? How is it identified? What does it mean? What are its social, emotion and spiritual implications?
- Next, once the reader understands the context in which the term is being examined, the student should transition to a paragraph showing how diligence causes success. Perhaps a famous example (like a self-made millionaire) would suffice, or even some other scenario. But the writer should explain how a person could work hard to achieve personal success.
- This part is for demonstrating and explaining the effects of success – like it leads to financial wealth, or it leads to a better quality of life because a person is fulfilled in their accomplishment and is happy.
In this section, the student not only summarizes the essay – its topic’s causes and effects – but can also help the reader better understand the context of a term, an event in history, etc., by providing a few other examples of the term’s causes and effects.
If you are looking for cause and effect essay examples here is a great one
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