The Cause and Effect Essay

Cause and Effect Essays give reasons why something happened. They explain either the situations or actions that caused something to happen, or they explain the effects from something that happened.


The introduction begins with a sentence that catches the reader’s attention. Following the catch (hook), the connecting information may give background information, or reasons to prepare the readers for the thesis statement.  The thesis statement then should state your position clearly showing  whether you will focus on cause or effect. It may also include the points you will develop in your body paragraphs.

Cause and Effect Essays can be organized in three basic patterns: a focus on causes, a focus on effects, and a focus on a chain of events frequently call the domino effect.

Examples of Thesis Statements:

  • Focus on Cause Thesis Statement: Noise pollution is caused mainly by three factors: the growing number of cars, the increase use of technology, and the demand of larger industry.
  • Focus on Effects Thesis Statement: As noise pollution increases, especially in metropolitan areas, it has significant effects on the physical and the mental health of the people.
  • Domino Thesis Statement: Eventually, as unemployment continues at the current numbers, society will reach a state of despair that could lead to anarchy.

Body Paragraphs

  • Each body paragraph supports the thesis statement by defining either a cause or effect.
  • The supporting details all relate to the topic sentence.  They may include examples, facts, or explanations.
  • The organization of each body paragraph is coherent using appropriate transition words.

The Conclusion

  • The conclusion restates the thesis statement of the essay.
  • It may summarize the main ideas
  • It may leave a word of advice.

Useful Transitions for Expressing Cause

When introducing a noun phrase that will express a cause, use as a result of, or because of.

  • As the a result of global warming, many regions are experiencing heavier rainfall.
  • Many regions are experiencing heavier rainfall as the a result of global warming.
  • Because of the extreme weather conditions, all flights in the Northeast have been canceled.
  • All flights in the Northeast have been canceled because of the extreme weather conditions.

Useful Transitions for Expressing Effect

Introduce effects using such words as consequentlytherefore, or as a results.

  • Manufactures have been using GMO foods more and more; consequently, the cases of food allergies have been increasing.
  • All flights have been cancelled. Therefore, passengers must rebook their flights.
  • In the 2009 economic recession many companies laid off workers.  As a result, the unemployment rate increased dramatically.

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