The purpose of a cause-and-effect essay is to answer the question Why? It identifies the reasons behind a certain situation or event, and these reasons are called causes.
The effects are the consequences of these causes. A cause-and-effect essay is similar to an argumentative essay in that it provides persuasive evidence to support its points and makes a claim about the subject matter that can be refuted with contrary evidence.
However, unlike an argumentative essay, which takes sides and presents opposing viewpoints, the purpose of a cause-and-effect essay is to explain the underlying reasons or causes behind events or situations in order to arrive at the most logical conclusion.
Establish relationships between two or more variables with a cause-and-effect essay
Most cause-and-effect essay topics will be about exploring the relationships between two or more variables. One variable will be called the cause, and another will be called the effect. For example, if an essayist wants to explore how eating chocolate makes people happy, then happiness would be the effect while eating chocolate would be the cause. In this case, eating chocolate causes happiness to happen.
Therefore, the cause-and-effect relationship in this example can be written as: eating chocolate (cause) makes people happy (effect). It is important for readers to understand that there are usually many different causes and effects that can lead to a single outcome. Sometimes the process of elimination can help with figuring out which cause led to which effect. If someone does not eat any food but is still hungry, it may be because they have not been drinking enough fluids.
Drinking enough water might help them feel better, so one possible cause-and-effect scenario could be dehydration (cause) leads to hunger (effect).
On the other hand, if someone has been living on junk food but has never felt hungry at all, they may have problems with their appetite; so junk food (cause) leads to no hunger (effect). your essay should make a claim about the relationship between these two things and give examples to back up that claim.
Use Cause and Effect Essays To explore the consequences of an event, action, or decision
Cause and effect essays help you explore what happened as a result of that event or action. Consider an example where you are writing about how quitting smoking affects health. There could be many potential effects. Smoking causes cancers in the lungs, mouth, throat, colon, larynx, oesophagus, stomach and pancreas; it increases the risk for heart disease and stroke; it causes wrinkles on your face; it can make your hair smell bad; etc.
Depending on the topic you choose, there may be a number of specific effects that can occur. The point of these types of essays is to show an audience how one thing leads to another.
Some common topics for cause-and-effect essays include: why students do poorly in school, the correlation between climate change and extreme weather events, how pollution from factories affects air quality, how racial profiling hurts police relations with communities of colour, why getting vaccinated is good for society, etc.
Persuade readers by showing them all sides of an argument
A cause-and-effect essay can also be used to persuade readers by giving both perspectives of an issue. As a reader, it’s easy to see when one perspective dominates over the other. You can avoid such accusations by sharing both viewpoints and letting your audience come to their own conclusions.
For instance, sometimes teachers assign homework without discussing the pros and cons of homework with parents beforehand. Parents might think that homework is helpful for academic success while teachers believe it builds responsibility and discipline. An argumentative cause-and-effect essay would argue against assigning too much homework by presenting evidence that shows how it takes away time children need to rest and play outside.
A persuasive cause-and-effect essay might start off by stating, “As a teacher, I am interested in creating a learning environment that encourages creativity and critical thinking. In order to do this, I want to provide my students with a variety of assignments that stimulate these skills. Homework can be a great way to practice skills taught in class or to introduce new concepts that will be covered in the future.
However, assigning homework can also create a stressful and unproductive environment for students. So the question is whether we should assign homework or not. On one hand, if students spend less time doing work at home, they’ll be more focused and creative during lessons.
On the other hand, if they’re constantly feeling stressed about unfinished work then they won’t focus on classroom activities at all. What’s clear is that assigning too much homework can have negative effects on student performance.”
Use a cause-and-effect essay to explore and analyze any complicated situation
The cause-and-effect essay structure allows this type of paper to explore and analyze any complicated situation. The idea is that every event has a cause, and everything that happens is a result of something else. Situations can be complicated and difficult to understand. That’s why the cause-and-effect essay structure is useful for exploring and analyzing a particular scenario.
It can take some of the mystery out of how one event led to another. Sometimes it can even show an unintended consequence that arose from a seemingly innocent choice. One of the most famous examples of a cause-and-effect essay is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The story follows the main character Ebenezer Scrooge, who had lived a selfish life until he was visited by the ghost of his former business partner.
When he saw how his choices had harmed others, he realized that it was never too late to change and become a better person. Using a similar method of analysis, you could write about the causes and effects of homelessness. How did someone get homeless in the first place? What are the consequences that arise as a result? These are just two ideas for essays.
Cause and effect essays are a great way to make sense of complicated situations. They can also be persuasive or causal, depending on the desired goal. Use the tips above to determine which style will best suit your purposes.
If you want to offer a causal argument, talk about the events and decisions leading up to a certain outcome. If you’re writing a persuasive piece, draw attention to both sides of an issue before concluding with your opinion. If you’re aiming for persuasion, start with one side of the issue before presenting counterpoints; these should be backed up with evidence so that readers feel like they’re being presented with all sides of the story.
Ultimately, when writing a cause-and-effect essay, your ultimate goal is to come to a conclusion about whether an action caused or influenced the desired result. Whether it’s causation or persuasion, you need to support your point with evidence such as anecdotes, statistics, surveys, experiments etc., at least three sources.