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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay: Crucial Things to Remember


A cause and effect essay is an assignment that asks you to write in a personal position about the causes of topic, such as home burglaries, and the effects of the topic, such as increased sales of handguns. Generally, it’s hard to write a great cause and effect essay in a few words, so these assignments will be a few pages long to adequately describe both components.

Here are some crucial things to remember in writing a cause and effect essay:

Write down the parameters of the essay. Most assignments will ask you to examine a particular part of society, history or politics. Make sure you understand the topic and pay attention to the length, number of sources required, and the scope of the paper. Again, you likely won’t have enough space to provide an in-depth analysis, so find out if there is any one or particular sub-topic you should address.

Find out if you are given any one component. Usually, your instructor gives you a known cause or a known effect and asked to describe the relationship between the two. In this case, you are being asked to prove either the just the cause or just the effect. Your paper should focus mostly on the one component and only briefly mention the other.

Research the topic. If any, read all of the assigned texts as the assignment is given so that you have enough time to consider several topics. Visit your library and search for reference books on the topic you are considering. Research helps you draft a preliminary thesis that can guide your reading and save you time.

Determine the cause and effect. Be sure to take down notes as you do your research, so that you have several causes or effects to choose from. When you’ve identified your major points, do more research to find more evidence to support your argument. Revise your thesis as needed, but be sure you narrow your argument in the process. The more precise the better.

The next phase involves getting down into the nitty-gritty – writing a final thesis, creating a draft and writing your first draft. After you’ve completed your first draft it’s always a good idea to go through a couple of rewrites. All great writing has consists of great proofreading and editing, so give yourself enough time to do these last steps before turning in your paper. If you accomplish these things in order, and write clearly and concisely, you will almost be certain that your cause and effect essay will make a great impression on your reader.



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