Cause And Effects Essay Outline

“For many phenomena, 80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes.”

Joseph M. Juran

The entire universe is connected and so are the people, events, ideas. Sometimes we are aware of these connections, but in other instances, we are not. Every cause has its consequence or results even if we don’t see it at a first glance. This is the premise behind cause and effect essays. A common assignment in high school and college, cause and effect essay urges a writer to elaborate root of the idea or problem and its larger impact. This useful guide will show you how to complete one such essay easily.


The main point of this essay is to determine how various ideas or phenomena are connected to one another. A write creates a scenario where one cause generates one or more consequences and why. The paper requires a deep understanding of the subject and focuses on explaining all the “whys” and “hows”. Contrary to the common misconception, this essay doesn’t just state a cause and result but also describes how and why it took place. Why did something happen? How did it occur?

Benefits of writing a cause and effect essay

Every essay has its purpose that goes beyond the subject. Believe it or not, essay writing is a practical and effective way of improving different skills you’ll be using throughout your life. That’s why students get these assignments in the first place. Let’s take a look at skills that you develop while working on a cause and effect essay:

  • Writing skills – of course, working on different assignments sharpens your writing skills and this essay is not an exception
  • Organizational skills – we need to be organized in every aspect of our lives in order to get something done. Cause and effect essay improves your ability to get organized. You arrange causes and effects in a way that will keep reader’s interest and avoid creating additional confusions about the subject. While researching, you can identify a multitude of causes and effects. Good organizational skills are essential to categorize them and include into your essay properly
  • Attention to details – this form of essay isn’t just about mention a cause and consequences that everyone can see, it digs deep and highlight some causal links we don’t notice easily. To do this, you need to pay attention to details. Frequent cause and effect essay writing sharpens this skill and it can only be good for you, especially in the working environment
  • Objective thinking – the goal is to report a causal link between two ideas or situations without letting your emotions interfere with the way you write. Being unbiased is a great skill to adopt as it only makes you seem more authoritative and responsible

Areas of interest

Similarly to other forms of essay writing, cause and effect paper can write about everything that’s happening in the world around us. Everything you see, read, witness, hear, or experience can be turned into a discussion and, thereby a cause and effect essay. Every action has its consequences. That means you have plenty of causes (actions) and effects (consequences) to write about. Here are common categories:

  • History
  • World events
  • Politics
  • Social issues
  • Ecology
  • Technology
  • Relationships and marriage
  • Education
  • Family
  • Health and medicine
  • Science

Cause and effect essay outline

Quality of your cause and effect essay depends on the outline you follow. You can consider outline as the spine of your essay. Just like spine supports the body, outline supports your paper and keeps you on the right track. We have a lot to say when writing an essay and it’s easy to get off the subject. The strong outline doesn’t allow that to happen. Here’s an outline of cause and effect essay:

  • Introduction – sets the tone of the essay, catches reader’s attention, and creates a sound basis for the entire paper. It provides background information that introduces the topic and finishes with a thesis statement
  • Causes/effects – the central part of the essay and one can write it in many ways. You can mention causes or effects individually or causal links (causes + effects). The approach depends on the way you organize the paper or causes and effects you wish to discuss
  • Conclusion – restates the topic and its importance summarizes causes and effects discussed and calls for action while explaining what could happen if we don’t act on the matter

Writing tips

Having to discuss some subject in a detail and mention its causes and effects may be overwhelming. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly natural to be concerned. It shows you care. Too much stress, though, is not a good thing. In order to minimize stress, you need to know all the tricks and tips that make the writing process easier, and here they are:

  • Understand cause vs. effects – it is not uncommon for students to mix them up. Cause is the catalyst or the reason behind the occurrence of some event while effect is its consequence
  • Research – regardless of the type of the paper, research is a must. Investigate the subject from different angles, think outside the box, and collect information that you’ll use later
  • Make meaningful links – you need to explain effects by making appropriate links to causes. Their relationship has to be solid and discussed thoroughly. Avoid discussing causes and effects that have a barely noticeable link
  • Quality over quantity – avoid piling causes and effects one after another. Remember, you should provide a deeper insight into their relationship and use evidence to support your claims. Quality of a cause-effect link beats quantity
  • Choose the method – you can arrange causes and effects in a chronological order, based on the importance, or categorize them. Choose the approach you find most convenient
  • Smooth transition – to avoid choppiness, use transition words that allow you to switch from one point to another seamlessly. Transition words for causes include: due to, because, first, since etc. Words for causes include: consequently, thereby, hence, therefore, thus
  • Remember the purpose – the goal of this essay is to inform the reader about causes and effects associated with some subject, it rarely (almost never) involves persuading someone to adopt your view
  • Be unbiased – you may agree or disagree with someone, like or dislike, love or hate, but you should never show it in the paper. Cause and effect essay should be unbiased or objective
  • Don’t exaggerate – for a stronger impact one might feel tempted to exaggerate the effects or causes, but you need to avoid doing that. Stick to the facts only
  • Evidence – it’s not enough to write “this cause has this effect”, you need evidence to support everything you write. Use reputable journals, publications, and other respected sources during this process

Cause and Effect Essay Topics

You get to choose your own cause and effect essay topic? That’s wonderful! In many cases lecturers allow students to write an essay based on a subject they choose for themselves. Some students spend hours thinking about topics they could discuss, but you don’t have to do that.

Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics

Here are great ideas for you:

  • Causes of voter apathy
  • What is the effect of divorce on children? Does the child’s age make any difference?
  • Effects of abortion on a relationship
  • Causes behind US poverty
  • Causes of homelessness and its effects on society
  • Effects of increasing obesity rates in the US
  • Effects of stress on health
  • What are the effects of violent video games on a child’s cognition and behavior?
  • Causes of addition to exercise and its effects
  • College dropout rates have never been higher: causes and effects
  • Reasons why online shopping makes internet users spend more money
  • Positive and negative effects of technology on our lives
  • Effects of feminism on marriage
  • Causes and effects of air pollution
  • What was the effect of colonialism on Britain’s view of itself?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Relationships and family

  • What causes people to cheat on each their partners.
  • Effects of living together before the marriage.
  • Long-term effects of growing up with a single parent.
  • What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships?
  • What are causes of destructive relationships between siblings?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Environment

  • What is the most dangerous factor that affects the world climate changes today?
  • Has human curiosity had an overall positive or negative effect on the planet?
  • What effect did human curiosity in relation to our planet?
  • What are causes of environmental catastrophes?
  • What could be the effects of global warming on the planet?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Social issues

  • What impact does frequent violence (either from war or street violence) have on a community?
  • What effect makes social networks on real life communications?
  • What are the causes of poverty in megalopolises?
  • How lack of freedom can effect on the society?
  • What are the effects of living in poor housing?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Technology

  • Effects of modern technological progress on children.
  • What impact has the internet on youth?
  • What are effects of using modern technologies during the class work?
  • How technology development affects the state of nature?
  • What are causes of technological advancements in Japan?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Education

  • What are causes and effects of changing a major in the middle of the studies?
  • What makes a person be an excellent student?
  • The causes and effects of an exam failure.
  • The cause and effects of cheating at the exams.
  • What are the effects of student involvement into extra-curricular activities?

Cause and Effect Essay Topics Ideas: Psychology

  • Why has depression become one of the most wide-spread illnesses?
  • What makes a person have a good mood?
  • The effects of stress on students who both study and work.
  • Why is good mental health no less important than physical well-being?
  • What are causes and effects of having an empathy?

Topic Ideas: Health

  • How does a person’s diet affect his or her health?
  • Causes and effects of vaccination in teenage age.
  • Effects of having smallpox in adult age.
  • What are causes of long-term smoking?
  • What are the causes and effect of insomnia during exam week?

Topic Ideas: Food

  • Cause and effects of eating seafood.
  • Effects of eating only vegetarian food.
  • Why is it dangerous to eat in cheap fast food restaurants?
  • Effects of eating genetically modified foods.
  • What are the typical causes of loss of appetite?

Topic Ideas: Sport

  • How regular workout improves the productivity of a person?
  • Causes and effects of skipping physical education lessons in school.
  • What are effects of doing sports professionally?
  • Causes and effects of sports violence.
  • What effect does doing extreme sports have?

Topic Ideas: Culture

  • What is the reason of popularity of movies based on comic books?
  • How listening to favorite music affect the person?
  • Why are summer music festivals so popular among youth?
  • How free music downloading effects the artist
  • What are long-term effects of video games playing addiction?

Essay help

The cause and effect essay writing doesn’t have to turn into a major struggle. You have the opportunity to make this process easy. How? It’s simple; thanks to the amazing breakthrough of technology and easy internet availability, students have access to multiple platforms and tools that simplify essay writing. Here are a few examples.

Essay topic generator

Instead of browsing Google and spending hours trying to come up with a cause and effect essay topic, you can just use Edusson Magic Help. The platform displays a multitude of topic ideas you can use to practice or write your own essay. Search by alphabet, category, most popular topics, or simply enter a keyword and you’ll see an abundance of titles that will inspire you.

Essay examples

Use Edusson Magic Help essay samples to see how other students wrote their own cause and effect essays. This will inspire you to write your own, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and avoid common pitfalls. With a prescription plan, you can also save some essays in the library and read them later.

Essay checker

Essay checker called RobotDon is a highly practical platform and the best tool a student can use when writing an essay. The software utilizes cutting-edge algorithms to analyze uniqueness and check for plagiarism. In addition, it checks sentence structure, rhythm, readability, word use, and overall quality of your paper.

Essay writing service

Professional writing service gathers an amazing team of writers who can create cause and effect essay based on your needs, deadline, word count, and other info you provide. The essay is written from scratch and made to reflect your own position on the subject.

Essay editing service

For students who just need someone to go through an essay and correct mistakes, the editing service at Edusson is the best solution. Editors and proofreaders read and correct spelling and grammar mistakes, improve your style and formatting, and enhance the overall quality of the paper

The first rule of essay writing is to remember there are multiple types of essay one can write. The chances are high you’ll have to work on all of them at some point of your university education and after. If you work as an essay writer, there’ll come the time when you’ll receive a special assignment that requires a particular type of essay writing, and your job is to make that happen. Cause and effect essay is just one example, but it’s poorly understood. Some may regard it as complicated, but once you learn how to create a functional outline, it will be easier. To help you out, I’m going to show you how to construct cause and effect paper successfully. You’ll see, it’s easier than it seems!

How differentiate cause and effect?

Let’s start with the definition first; cause and effect essays are concerned with why things occur (causes) and their outcomes (effects). This type of writing poses as a standard method of organizing and discussing ideas. Here, the author demonstrates his/her ability to connect the reasons and their consequences in a logical and evidence-based manner.

Naturally, a cause is an answer to why a particular event occurs and effect refers to things that happen because of it. Although the explanation is quite simple, many students find it difficult to differentiate causes and effects. Since the successful completion of your paper depends on the ability to know the difference between causes and effects, you should take your time with this. There’s no reason to rush and construct your outline when you aren’t sure how to set apart two main factors.

For example, global warming is an effect whose causes are deforestation, pollution, climate change and so on. To determine the cause, you should ask yourself “Why did this happen?” while effects are usually the answers you get after asking “What happened because of this?” In the example mentioned above, you have global warming as an effect of multiple causes. This allows you to complete your essay discussing different factors that contributed to global warming while citing official sources, respected journals, and so on.

In a way, cause and effect essay is similar to an argumentative essay. You have to prove certain cause led to some particular effect, just like argumentative essay writing requires showing that your argument about some subject is valid.

When you’re in doubt, always ask yourself why and what, and you’ll get your answer. Sometimes you won’t have to describe both causes and effects throughout the essay. In some instances, you’ll just have to explain causes of some effect or effects that occurred due to some cause.

Structure of cause and effect essay

As mentioned above, adequate structure and proper outline are the keys in the successful completion of cause and effect essay. The structure of your work will depend on the type of subject i.e. whether the essay will discuss both causes and effects combined or one of these factors individually. Below, you can see three possible variants and their outlines.

Variation #1: Multiple causes, one effect

This kind of work refers to the situation when one effect is a result of multiple causes. The paper should consist of five paragraphs, introduction and conclusion, and three sections wherein each one describes one cause.

Variation #2: One cause, multiple effects

Unlike the previous variant, this type of essay writing is used for situations when a single cause induces a multitude of effects. Five paragraphs make up the outline of the essay, introduction and conclusion, and three sections for each effect.

Variation #3: Domino effect (causal chain)

The last variant of this kind of essay refers to instances when a single cause leads to a certain effect. Then, that effect leads to some other situation, and so on. Every situation might have different causes and effects that you have to mention and elaborate. For domino effect essay you’ll need to construct seven paragraphs: introduction and conclusion, and five causal link sections.

Writing your cause and effect essay

Now that you know how the outline of your essay should look, you can proceed to the writing process. It’s always useful to have a schematic demonstration of your outline on a piece of paper. This will help you with the context, research, and ensures you don’t drift away from the subject, which happens sometimes. This part is just the accumulation of your plans, notes, and details gathered, and it happens to be the most demanding aspect of essay writing. You have to showcase your knowledge about the topic as well as your vocabulary and discuss the given subject to keep the reader’s eyes locked on the paper. Below, you can see valuable tips that will help you construct each part of your essay.


As always, your essay starts with the introduction. Although very overlooked, the intro is vital. It sets the tone, catches reader’s attention, and creates a sound basis for the entire paper. This part shouldn’t be too long; a few sentences are enough. Start by quoting someone, mentioning some general info or anecdote and move your way to the thesis statement.

Thesis statement informs the reader what he or she will read about; it also navigates the course of your essay. The introductory part should end with a thesis (one to two sentences long). Here are some thesis tips for cause and effect essay:

  • Variation #1 – mentions the general effect of the situation and names three causes that led to it
  • Variation #2 – mentions one specific cause that created numerous effects
  • Variation #3 – names the first and last part of the causal link chain

The thesis statement should be precise and easy to understand. The last thing you want is to create confusion that would prevent professor (or client) from reading the rest of the text you wrote and submitted.

Causes/effects paragraphs

Sections that elaborate causal links, causes and effects are the central part of your work. Each cause or effect should be divided to different paragraph to create a clear flow of situations and consequences.

Let’s say you have to write about global warming; it’s not enough to mention pollution, deforestation, and so on. You have to provide accurate and reliable info that will confirm that they, indeed, contribute to the problem you specified. Whenever you use some information, website, study, or journal don’t forget to acknowledge it. Plus, mentioning reliable sources only contributes to the quality of your paper. For that purpose, it’s wise to avoid personal blogs and unreliable websites, despite how tempting they might seem.

Research and organizing info you found are crucial for the quality of your text. Organization is the key, and you can do it in a few different ways:

  • Chronological order – arrange details in order they occurred
  • According to importance – organize info from the least important to the most importance or vice versa
  • Categorical manner – divide the topic into different parts or categories and arrange details accordingly

Once you’re done describing one causal link, effect, or cause, you’re ready to move to the next paragraph, and so on. However, you just can’t just skip from one subject to another. Instead, you should make a smooth transition to retain the logical flow and avoid choppiness. To accomplish this, you can start navigating the subject to the one you’re going to discuss in the next paragraph by mentioning something they have in common. This will allow you to elaborate the next cause/effect/causal link without making it look weird.

You can also use transitional words for both causes and effects.


  • Due to
  • Because
  • First
  • Second
  • Since
  • Another is
  • On cause is


  • Consequently
  • As a result
  • Thus
  • Resulted in
  • Therefore
  • Thereby
  • One result is


The importance of conclusion is underestimated, but you shouldn’t ruin your hard work on the essay with a wrong conclusion, right? Conclusion should:

  • Restate the topic and why it’s important
  • Summarize causes and effects discussed
  • Call for action regarding the subject i.e. why we should help fight global warming and what could happen if we don’t

Keep this in mind

  • Don’t forget your purpose: are you writing the essay to inform a reader about causes/effects or your aim is to persuade someone?
  • Limit yourself onto causes that are close in time and related i.e. they should have a direct relationship
  • Improve the quality of your essay with facts, definition of some terms, statistics, examples, and so on
  • Be precise and on point, don’t exaggerated effects or causes just to prove your point
  • Don’t say “evidence” or “proof” if you’re not going to support those words with actual evidence. The information isn’t automatically valid just because you write “a growing body of evidence supports…”

Bottom line

Cause and effect essay aims to discuss the situations where one (or more) causes lead to one (or more) events. To write this paper and get positive feedback, you just have to know how to create an adequate structure, and this article taught you that. With a little bit of practice, you’ll find it incredibly easy. In fact, why don’t you start now? Write cause and effect essay about global warming and see how you’ll do.


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