That is, more than one cause may be responsible for any given effect. Therefore, cause-and-effect discussions are often complicated and frequently lead to debates and arguments. Use the complex nature of cause and effect to your advantage. Often it is not necessary, or even possible, to find the exact cause of an event or to name the exact effect. So, when formulating a thesis, you can claim one of a number of causes or effects to be the primary, or main, cause or effect.
As soon as you claim that one cause or one effect is more crucial than the others, you have developed a thesis. The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event. For example, if your essay were on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the effect of childhood obesity and then discuss the cause or you could start the same essay by talking about the cause of childhood obesity and then move to the effect. Regardless of which structure you choose, be sure to explain each element of the essay fully and completely.
Explaining complex relationships requires the full use of evidence, such as scientific studies, expert testimony, statistics, and anecdotes. Because cause-and-effect essays determine how phenomena are linked, they make frequent use of certain words and phrases that denote such linkage. Some of these phrases are listed here:. The conclusion should wrap up the discussion and reinforce the thesis, leaving the reader with a clear understanding of the relationship that was analyzed.
Be careful of resorting to empty speculation. In writing, speculation amounts to unsubstantiated guessing. Writers are particularly prone to such trappings in cause-and-effect arguments due to the complex nature of finding links between phenomena. Be sure to have clear evidence to support the claims that you make. Choose an event or condition that you think has an interesting cause-and-effect relationship.
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- Cause and effect essay structure.
Introduce your topic in an engaging way. End your introduction with a thesis that states the main cause, the main effect, or both. Organize your essay by starting with either the cause-then-effect structure or the effect-then-cause structure. Within each section, you should clearly explain and support the causes and effects using a full range of evidence. Acknowledge that many effects of various kinds exist, and then limit your discussion to the most important ones.
Transition words that suggest to the reader that you are discussing effects include the following:. Employees at companies that offer flexible work schedules are more productive and file fewer claims for mental-health benefits; consequently, the number of companies offering flextime is on the rise. As a matter of argument, you could claim that the example above shows two linked effects of the flextime policy: First, it caused employees to be more productive; and second, their enhanced productivity, in turn, caused more companies to adopt flextime.
Linked causes and effects are typical of this type of paper. Predicting results Cause and effect papers often make predictions based on known facts, trends, and developments. Prediction moves from the known and observable into the unknown and possible. Prediction tries to answer questions like these: What are the possible or likely consequences? Are these results likely to have great impact on my life or the lives of others? Are these results likely to have great impact on shaping public policy, society, or history? What preconditions would have to exist before my predictions could come about?
If you choose to make predictions, as is common, for example, in political science, education, science, and philosophy, be sure to use credible evidence and strong reasoning. If you do not handle predictions with finesse and ground them in established fact, they are apt to appear fantastic and unbelievable. Avoid overstating your case; use language couched in an appropriate degree of uncertainty might, may well be, is likely to, can expect, is entirely possible.
Signal Words for Cause and Effect Essays
Signal words and verb forms such as these suggest to the reader that you are making the move from observation to prediction:. No matter the subject, difficulty, academic level or document type, our writers have the skills to complete it.
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Cause and Effect Essay Outline: Types, Examples and Writing Tips
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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay Topic: Research Paper Topics - A Research Guide
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