One of the most common tasks on important tests is writing cause and effect essays or paragraphs. Here are some tips to help you write a cause and effect essay.
- Remember that causes come first, effects follow.
- Learn multiple forms (also known as equivalencies) so that you can vary your writing style.
- Use an effective hook to catch the reader's attention.
- Always use examples to provide evidence.
- Use linking language such as conjunctive adverbs, or listing words to organize your paragraphs.
- Use a hamburger essay form (introduction, three body paragraphs, conclusion) for cause and effect essays.
- Begin by brainstorming (example below). Next, write a quick outline using ideas created by brainstorming.
- Use your outline as a map to writing your essay. It may take a few minutes to develop an outline, but having an outline results in a much clearer essay.
Step 1: Brainstorming
Brainstorm your essay. Brainstorming is used to create as many ideas as possible. Don't worry whether your ideas are good or bad, just come up with as many as possible. Here is some brainstorming for essays on four different topics:
|Students speak their own language at school
|Many students have the same language in class
Don’t care to learn a language
Afraid of making mistakes
It’s easier to understand each other
It happens automatically
|Other people can’t understand me
Waste of money
Waste of time
You make closer friends
|People have fewer babies
|Cost of education
Lack of time
Don’t like children
Babies cost a lot of money
People don’t want body changes
People are having children older
|Old people can’t be helped
|People eat too much fast food
Not interested in cooking
Not share with other people
More free time for fun
Cinema / Entertainment
Countries opening borders
Easy to travel
|Easy to travel
Need to speak English / Chinese
Connected to the whole world
Losing your own culture
Step 2: Write an Outline
It's important to create a map of your essay. There's no need to write out full sentences, just take ideas from your brainstorming and use them to fill out the outline. Next, come up with a hook and a topic sentence for your introductory paragraph. Here's an example:
Statistic about obesity
Obesity has become the number one threat to good health in developed countries.
Body I - Causes
Cause 1: Price
Cause 2: Advertising
Cause 3: Time
Body II - Effects
Effect 1: Poor health
Effect 2: Less time for family, more time for work
Effect 3: Stress
Body III - Possible Changes
Change 1: Education
Change 2: Don't eat at chains
Change 3: Choose fruit and vegetables
Step 3: Use Forms for Showing Cause and Effect
The final step is to write your essay or paragraph. Use the following language formulas for showing cause and effect in your essays and paragraphs. Make sure to use a variety of sentences including compound and complex sentences.
|There are several reasons for XYZ … (First, … Second…, Finally, …)
There are several reasons for obesity. First, nowadays many people eat too much junk food. Second, ...
There are two main factors. The first factor …, Another factor …
There are two main factors that account for increasing obesity. The first factor is the increase in junk food. Another factor is ...
The first cause is… / The next cause is …
The first cause is too little exercise. The next cause is ...
This / XTZ leads to …
Smoking leads to heart disease.
One possible cause is …
One possible cause is a lack of sleep.
Another possible cause is …
Another possible cause is too much stress.
ABC may lead to XYZ …
Increased smartphone use may lead to addiction.
Before, people used to eat at home. Now, many eat on the run.
A second result/outcome
A secondary result of too little exercise is apathy.
One effect is … Another effect is …
One effect is a decrease in appetite. Another effect is general laziness.
Another result is …
Another result is students feel pressure to get good grades at any cost.
They may feel/think/purchase …
They may think that without good grades there are fewer chances in the workplace.
As a consequence of ABC, XYZ occurs / happens / etc.
As a consequence of too little sleep, stress-related diseases occur.
Also,/ Too,/In addition,
Also, students take too little time to relax.
Consequently, there is a shortage of possible jobs.