How to write a cause and effect essay

A cause and effect essay is a very common type of essay given by teachers to students at college level. As the name suggests, it tries to understand and interpret ‘cause and effect’ relationship between events, phenomenon, and situations. These type of essays require not just cognitive reasoning abilities but also analytical reasoning abilities in students as they take a strong and in depth look at a situation or an event to examine its cause and effect on other people and situations. You can think of how social media influences buying behaviours of people and the economic effects of easy availability of internet as examples of this type of essay.

Block and chain structures

There are two popular ways of writing a cause and effect essay. These are called block structure and chain structure. In the block structure, the students mentions the causes first an d then describes all the effects. In the chain structure, effects follow each cause to drive home the point. Block structure is more suitable for writing a less descriptive cause and effect essay whereas chain structure is more apt for writing a long essay with effect following a cause right away.

Understanding the differences between cause and effect

Writing a cause and effect essay requires deep research on the part of a student. However, it is not a difficult task once the student knows how to organize and structure his essay. The student needs to differentiate between a cause and its effect. Sometimes, there are several effects of a single cause while there are also instances where several causes lead to a single effect. For example, social media (cause) has multiple impacts on the society. On the other hand, crime rates in a society (effect) are the result of multiple factors such as income inequality, lack of education, poor development, and so on.

Chronology and order of importance

Introduce your thesis in a statement and make it clear to the readers whether you intend to study causes or effects of a particular event or situation. Some of the most common words used to establish relationship between cause and effect in these essays are as a result of, therefore, consequences, and because of. There are often some very important effects of a cause while there are also some less important effects. Student must describe effects in their order of importance. There are also indirect effects that need only a passing mention in the essay.

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