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Cause And Effect Essay Outline

Cause And Effect Essay Outline

A cause and effect essay is a type of essay that focuses on the reasons or causes for something and then discusses the results or effects.

In other words, a cause and effect essay is concerned with why things happen and the results of those things happening.

You should keep the following in mind when writing a cause and effect essay:

  • A cause and effect essay analyzes why something happens (cause) and describes their effects (effect).
  • Causes precede effects but causality involves more than sequence. A cause and effect essay explains why something happened or is happening and predicts what will probably happen.
  • Many causes can be responsible for one effect and one cause can lead to many effects.
  • Complex situations involve numerous causes and many different effects.
  • Even when you have identified several causes for a particular effect, the main cause is always more important than the others.
  • An immediate cause closely precedes an effect and is therefore easy to recognize.
  • Sometimes an effect can also be a cause.

A cause and effect essay should be organized in the following manner:

Cause And Effect Essay Outline

1.0 Introduction

The introduction should have:

A Background

  • Tell the readers the subject of the essay.
  • Provide necessary background information on the subject.
  • Tell the readers whether you will focus on the causes, effects or the chain of causes and effects.

A Thesis Statement

State a clear and specific thesis that lists, explains and describes the causes, effects of the chain of causes and effects.

Consider the following when coming up with your thesis statement:

  • Ensure that the thesis statement identifies the relationship among the specific causes or effects that you will discuss.
  • Your thesis statement should sate the issues you plan to consider.
  • Your thesis statement should state the position that you will take.
  • Your thesis statement should state whether your emphasis is on causes, effects or both.
  • Your thesis statement should also indicate explicitly the cause or effect that you consider most important and the order in which you will present your points.


2.0 Body Paragraphs

You can present your causes or effects in several ways:

  • Present causes in sequential order.
  • Introduce the main cause first and then the contributing causes.
  • Introduce the contributing causes first and then the main cause.
  • Stress the positive consequences by beginning with a brief introduction of the negative ones.
  • Begin by dismissing any events that were not caused by the event and then explain what the real causes were.
  • Emphasize the negative results by summarizing the less important positive effects first.
  • Begin with the most obvious causes or effects and move to the other factor, and then your analysis and conclusion.

Each body paragraph should:

  • Begin with a topic sentence that relates to your thesis and its specific support.
  • Develop each of the specific support for your thesis.
  • Describe the specific causes, effects or chain identified in the thesis.

3.0 Conclusion

Your conclusion should:

  • Restate the thesis.
  • Summarize the main support for the thesis.
  • Summarize the description of the specific causes, effects or chain identified in the thesis.