How To Write,Structure & Outline Cause And Effect Essay With Examples: Detailed Explanation

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Writing essay assignments is a constant occurrence in students’ life. There are numerous types of essays that require various strategies to write them. Some essays must be written in narrative form, while others need to be written persuasively. And one of these strategies is cause and effect, where one discusses the cause of a specific event and its effect. This article will explain what this essay is all about and its structure.

What Is The Meaning Of Cause And Effect Essay?

Cause and effect is a type of academic writing which is also known as a reason and result essay. This type of essay falls under expository writing, which explores any given topic through discussions on causes and effects.

To elaborate further, this type of essay probes a specific case, issue, or topic at hand, along with its effects or consequences. It investigates how an event or circumstance happened or occurred (the cause) and its result (the result). In short, the primary goal of this essay is to research the “why” and “how” of a given event or circumstance.

Writing this essay involves critical thinking, deep research, and analysis of the topic. Furthermore, one must develop valid claims about the subject and possess the knack for developing cause-and-effect reasoning. The tone of the essay must remain neutral, and the style must be formal with enough vocabulary.

How To Structure A Cause And Effect Essay?

Structuring a cause-and-effect essay is crucial, and it is easy and very similar to other types of essays. Start with an introduction section and include a thesis statement, write the body section, and end the essay with a conclusion.

The introduction must begin with a hook sentence that grabs readers’ attention. Include some background information about the topic that briefly overviews the issue. Next, write the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. 

Once the introduction is complete, start with body paragraphs where each section has an argument or point that supports the thesis statement. The length of each of these sections can be short or long based on the information. You can divide the section into a few paragraphs if the information is more. However, ensure that the essay meets the word count requirement and does not exceed it.

Furthermore, the body section can be organized in various ways based on the focus of the essay. For instance, you can talk about the cause(s) one after the other section and then talk about the effect(s) later. If there is just only one cause and effect, use one section to discuss both. Or, you can talk about each cause and related effect as a pair in each section.

Here are some factors that you need to consider to structure the essay:

  • The number of causes and effects that are to be discussed
  • The association between cause and effect (how close it is)
  • The length of the essay (if applicable)

For instance, if the essay has numerous causes and just one effect, you can talk about all the causes first and then focus on the effect in a separate section. Additionally, suppose causes and effects are loosely related. In that case, you may use one section to explain each cause-effect relationship, bring all the sections together, and tie them up in conclusion.

Once the body section is complete, you may proceed to write the last section (conclusion). Here you must summarize the points you made in the body section, restate the thesis, and give a fitting conclusion to the essay.

How To Write A Cause and Effect Essay?

Here is the step-by-step procedure for writing an effective cause and effect essay:

  • Brainstorm the topics

The first step is to find a suitable topic to write about. For this type of essay, you can choose a subject related to cultural movements, nature related occurrences, such as earthquakes or cyclones. Compile a list of potential topics and select the one where you easily analyze the cause and effect in any given topic.

  • Write a thesis statement

Once you select a topic, you need to write a thesis statement which can be just one or two lines. The statement must reflect the relationship between the cause and effect of the topic.

  • Develop an outline

According to the structure of the essay, the introduction must be one paragraph, followed by body sections which can be five to six paragraphs long, depending on the essay topic or word count. Finally, the conclusion must have one paragraph. Each section in the body must explore the relationship between cause and effect that is defined in the thesis statement. 

Ensure that you cover all major points in the outline and the positives and negatives related to the topic. Do not add all points in a single section. Instead, each section should explain a new point.

  • Write the first draft

Once you create an outline, start writing the draft. Ensure you maintain a logical flow of ideas by adding the right transitional words. Each paragraph should highlight the thesis statement and stress the importance of your argument. Also, remember the purpose of the essay when writing the draft.

  • Revise the draft

After writing the first draft, revise it to eliminate errors in sentence structure or spelling. Usually, the first draft will be raw and needs some good revision to make it clear. Check if there are any grammatical mistakes or if you have missed any points and add them.

  • Finalize your draft

Once the revision is complete, go through it again to finalize the draft. Sometimes, it takes multiple revisions and drafts to make your essay sharp and concise. 

Cause And Effect Essay Outline

As discussed above, there are various ways to structure a cause and effect essay. Here is the outline of those variations for your reference:

1st variant 

  • Introduction
  • Cause 1
  • Cause 2
  • Effect 1
  • Effect 2
  • Conclusion

2nd variant 

  • Introduction
  • Cause 1
  • Effect 1
  • Cause 2
  • Effect 2
  • Conclusion

3rd variant 

  • Introduction
  • Cause and Effect 1
  • Cause and Effect 2
  • Cause and Effect 3
  • Conclusion 


Writing a good cause-effect essay requires solid planning, research, and organization skills. Moreover, when you attempt this type of essay, you must clearly understand the reason and results. 

The structure of this essay has a different version, which is discussed in this article. Thus, before writing, you need to consider all the factors mentioned in this guide and choose the correct outline for your essay.

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