5 Paragraph Cause Effect Essay Outline

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

With every action comes a certain reaction. To understand how a cause and effect essay works let’s break down its definition. A cause and effect essay is a format of writing where the paper writers describe the reasons and actions that lead to certain consequences or results. Even though the essay can have a variety of different structures, the primary goal is to show a logical consequential correlation between Point A (an action, event, etc.) and Point B (a result, outcome, consequence). However, there are a few steps you need to complete before jumping into writing.


Table Of Contents



The Cause and Effect Essay is one that asks you to explain what reactions come from certain actions and why. Normally, you would be given a certain scenario in which an action occurred. From there, using things such as logic and analysis, outcomes (reactions) must be carefully crafted and explained.

Where Do I Begin?

When you receive your assignments, whether it is for college, university or high school, make sure to read the directions to identify the requirements thoroughly. More often you will have to choose your own cause and effect essay topics. Therefore, brainstorming is a must.

In most cases, the information you already have will not be sufficient to write a detailed, captivating paper, that is why you will be required to perform research to acquire as much additional information as you can. If the format of your essay allows you to include visuals, then the following will help you to support provided information:

  • Cause and Effect Venn Diagram
  • Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer
  • Cause and Effect Anchor Chart

If you are sure that you have acquired enough material and selected one of the cause and effect topics, then it's time to build an outline.

Sample Topics

  • Pollutions effects on society
  • Internet’s influence on youth development
  • Drugs impact on the human body
  • Uber effect on taxi companies
  • Causes and Effects of Lying
  • Causes and Effects of Natural Disasters

Outline

The cause and effect essay outline is going to serve you as a guide for the rest of the paper. It will help you to stay on track and include all the ideas you have initially pinned down. This paper is commonly written in a 5 paragraph style, but it allows a variation. Depending on the topic of analysis and the depth of the content, cause and effect essays will vary in length. However, the general format will still stay the same. Just like all papers have an introduction, body and a conclusion, the cause and effect essay is no exception.

Before you begin writing, create a cause and effect chart which has two sections. It should include the main points and details relating to Point A and Point B. It will help you to see the bigger picture and to create logical transitions between the two sides

Furthermore, you can create a cause and effect graphic organizer. Not only does it make the process smoother, but getting that visual allows for the creation of even more ideas and analysis!

Introduction

The main purpose of the introduction is to inform the reader of the topic of conversation, giving if needed. The highlight of the introduction is to provide a relevant thesis statement, explaining the cause and its effect.

  • Hook: The sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. Since we are doing cause and effect, this could be some foreshadowing or some rhetorical question. Its main purpose is to serve as an appetizer for the reader to get a sense of what's to come!

  • Background Information: In this case, background information is very important. Not only does it give more insight towards the cause, but sometimes can help explain some of the effects. This is especially true if we are talking about a historical topic such as World War 2 or some Natural Disaster. Another key point is to make sure that this information follows a linear path. State information that helps understand the cause(s), instead of just filling up space. It should also be applied towards the main point (thesis) of the essay.

  • Thesis Statement: The thesis statement is the main point of the entire argument in one sentence. Along with the setting of the situation, it should state the general point of your entire essay in a few words. The goal of the essay is to prove the thesis statement, so make sure that it flows accordingly with what you plan on writing about in your main body paragraphs.

Also, it's super important to base your essay around the thesis statement. The type of content that you provide depicts what kind of thesis statement you should have. Make sure they match!

Body Paragraphs

All body paragraphs should always have some kind of introductory sentence and an assertive concluding sentence. However, the “meat” of the paragraphs isn’t absolute.

Great news, this is the part of the essay where variety is in abundance! Unless we are specifically writing a 5-paragraph essay, there are a lot of options in turns of forming the paper. Assuming we are using the 5 paragraph style, there are 3 options to pick from.

  • Cause-Effect-Effect
  • Cause-Cause-Effect
  • Cause/Effect-Cause/Effect-Cause/Effect

Obviously, these should be picked according to the subject of discussion. Sometimes there are situations where one thing creates mass chaos, or many small parts create one big problem. Depending on the situation, it’s important to pick the paragraph style accordingly.

If we aren’t using the 5 paragraph style, then you are free as a bird when it comes to choosing your approach. The options come from as simple as one cause and one effect body to having multiple paragraphs that each contain a cause-effect style.

Being meticulous in these paragraphs is super important. For example, if you are using the Cause-Effect-Effect style, the first paragraph should specifically be focused on the causes. It’s also incredibly important to make sure that there is an evident correlation between the initial cause and the duel effects. Once again, depending on the content you have to provide, the essay should be organized to suit your information efficiently and neatly.

Concluding Paragraph

Just like the introductory paragraph, this paragraph has 3 parts that practically follow the reverse order of the intro. The highlight of the conclusion is to create an impact upon the reader before fully concluding, emphasizing the strength of your argument!

  • Restatement of Thesis: Now would be a good time to check if your thesis statement was actually proven by your body paragraphs. After confirming the following, the paraphrased sentence should assertively state that the thesis has been proved.

  • Summarizing Main Argument: You should use this section to simplify your argument into a couple concise sentences. Explain the general outline of the cause and effect from one to three sentences. The strength of this sentences is incredibly important. The manner in which the main argument is summarized shows the reader the proficiency of the content. Also, make sure these summaries come back to that core thesis statement.

  • Overall Concluding Statement: Just like your hook gave a thrilling intro to your essay, you must know provide a meaningful conclusion. This argument was developed for a specific purpose, whether an essay for college or a presentation at work. Just like in a court case, it’s necessary to provide the importance of your argument. In other words, explain why your argument should be taken seriously and present the consequences if ignored. You wrote this essay for a purpose, not just to get a good grade. (Or at least I hope so….)

Additional Writing Tips

In the preparation stage, it is always a very good idea to read other cause and effect essay examples to understand the structure better. Not only it will allow you learn more about the outline, but help you to distinguish between good and bad papers.

If the project is quite substantial and important, then you will need an in-depth understanding of the topic. One of the things that our writing service always recommend is to involve yourself in extra activities. Cause and effect games will help you understand the concept of action - reaction system and cause and effect worksheets can give you a detailed perception of your topic.

Finally, you have to review the paper on multiple occasions.

  • Print out a hard copy and edit it yourself with a red pen. Watch the flow of your transitions. Make sure there is a logical connection between different ideas.
  • Send your paper to someone who is more experienced in writing than you are and more aware about your theme. Let them give you professional feedback.
  • Send your paper to someone neutral, to receive impersonal, straightforward reader review.

Download Examples:

The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Cause And Effect Of Homelessness

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Jeff M.from EssayPro

Selecting the right topic for your cause-and-effect essay is very important. When selecting the topic, make sure that the events you’re writing about definitely have a cause and effect relationship. Sometimes things are statistically significant, but remember the golden rule: correlation is not causation. If you’re not assigned a specific area of study for your essay, then write about something that has a proven link between it. A good topic would be “smoking and insomnia” or “fast food and obesity”. The article mentions several types of the cause-and-effect essay, but you some effects have more than one cause. This is another good type of cause-and-effect essay to explore writing about. A good example of a topic like this would be “causes of amnesia”. In an essay like this, my advice is to try your best to not veer off of your topic. Be brief when branching on to other areas of expertise and stick to your outline while writing.

If you still have any doubts about the quality of your essay, make sure to check out our essay writer service to find the most highly-trained writer that can proofread or write your essay for you.

Try our essay service


How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay on any Topic

Published 5/9/2013

What is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A Cause and Effect essay essay is concerned with why things happen and what happens as a result (effects). Cause and effect is a common method of organizing and discussing ideas.

When writing your essay, remember your purpose. Decide if your are writing to persuade or inform. Focus on immediate and direct effects. Limit yourself to causes that are close in time and related, as opposed to remote and indirect causes, which occur later and are related indirectly.

Choosing a Topic for Cause and Effect Essay

In order to write a good Cause and Effect essay, you need to find a good topic for it, i.e. a topic that lets you easily demonstrate your writing skills and finally get a high grade without thinking too much.

Althrough choosing the essay topic for cause and effect essay type is not difficult, It’s important you choose the essay topic that is really important for you. Choosing the correct essay topic makes your essay more interesting and successful.

Here are some examples of pretty good Cause and Effect essay topics:

The Civil Rights Movement and the Effects

Causes and Effects of the Popularity of Fast Food Restaurants

Popularity of Sports in US Internet Influence on kids

Effects of Pollution

The Changes in the Ocean

Using the following links, you can find a lot of good topics for your Cause and Effect essay:

100 Cause and Effect Essay Topics

40 Good Cause and Effect Essay Topics – Students’ Choice

Cause Effect Essay Sample Topics

40 Writing Topics: Causes and Effects

Cause and Effect essay structure

Considering the right structure for your essay is one of the key points of success. Sticking to a recommended essay structure is the only way to properly outline and write it, paragraph by paragraph from the introduction to conclusion, without mistakes.

Depending on the kind of relation between causes and effects, your essay can be organized by one of the three patterns: "Multiple Causes, One Effect" pattern, "One Cause, Multiple Effects" pattern and "Causal Chain (Domino)" pattern

Multiple Causes One Effect pattern

This pattern deals with the situation when one effect is a result of multiple causes.

It contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, each one describing one of the causes, leading to the effect.

One Cause Multiple Effects

This pattern should be used when one cause leads to multiple effects.

It contains five paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and three paragraphs, each one describing one of the effects, the cause is leading to.

Causal Chain (Domino)

Sometimes a cause leads to a situation and that situation leads to another situation and so on.

This is called a causal chain or domino effect.

Causal chain pattern contains seven paragraphs: introduction, conclusion, and five paragraphs, each one describing one causal link.

After choosing an essay pattern, now all you need is to write your cause and effect essay, on any topic, according to your pattern’s structure. Also, be sure to read the A+ writing tips for a cause and effect essay on any topic below. Follow these instructions and you will write a high grading cause and effect essay.

Writing an A+ Cause and Effect Essay

Introduction

In a Cause and Effect essay, the introduction is very important. It gives the reader his/her first impression of the text.

First of all, provide background information. Than state your essay’s thesis.

In "Multiple Causes, One Effect" pattern, enumerate the causes / causes groups leading to this effect. For example:

Hunger is a result of many reasons such as poverty, models of development and consumption, violence and militarism.

In "One Cause, Multiple Effects" pattern, enumerate the effects / effect groups of the cause. For example:

TV was also invented with positive thoughts in mind – there would be no national borders, education and communication would be worldwide, etc. However, we are now trying to overcome its physiological and psychological adverse effects on human beings.

In "Causal Chain (Domino)" pattern, state that the first cause in the chain leads to the final effect. For example:

Let’s see how the use of popular deodorants can bring the end of world.

Multiple Causes, One Effect – Cause Paragraph

Clearly state the cause

One of the main causes of hunger is poverty – lack of purchasing power and access to resources.

Support the cause by two supports – major and minor

Poverty is linked not only with poor national economic performance but also with an unequal distribution of income and a political structure that renders poor people powerless, whether in a democracy or a dictatorship.

While writing, these supporting ideas should be adequately explained and exemplified as well.

Globally, incomes and consumption differ starkly. Twenty percent of the world’s population – mostly in industrial countries – receives 85 percent of the world’s income and accounts for 80 percent of consumption, producing two-thirds of all greenhouse gases and 90 percent of ozone - depleting chlorofluorocarbons. This level of consumption is not sustainable at the global level.

Use appropriate transitions

To blend details smoothly, use the transitional words and phrases listed below:

because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second

One Cause, Multiple Effects – Effect Paragraph

Clearly state the effect

One of the physiological effects of watching TV in excessive amounts is eye-strain.

Explain it in details

It is true that there are specifications for watching TV; TV should be 5 m. away from the eye, the room should be adequately lit, TV should be placed at the same height with our eyes, etc. However, these do not prevent our eyes from getting tired if we keep watching TV for a long time.

If it’s a group of effects consequently explain each effect:

Another effect is obesity, which is widely observed in people who like watching TV and eating snacks everyday (there is even a term “TV snacks” to refer to fast food that is suitable for eating in front of the TV). TV is such a powerful machine that people cannot get away from it – it is addictive.

Use appropriate transitions

To blend details smoothly, use the transitional words and phrases listed below:

consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore

Causal Chain (Domino) – Causal Link Paragraph

Keep in mind the causal chain

deodorants contain chlorofluorocarbon gases ->
this gas destroys the ozone layer ->
unfiltered ultraviolet rays melt icebergs ->
the sea-level rises -> sea covers the land -> end of the world.

In each paragraph you deal with one cause / effect entry

Clearly state the cause and the effect

Chlorofluorocarbon gases cause the ozone layer to become thinner and finally disappear in patches

Explain the link in details

Years of deforestation and pollution have slowly but steadily damaged the atmosphere and depleted the ozone layer. Refrigerators and air conditioners, for example, emit harmful Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which cause the depletion of the ozone layer, which results in Global warming.

Use appropriate transition terms

To blend details smoothly, use transitional terms, such as those listed below:

because, due to, on cause is, another is, since, for, first, second, consequently, as a result, thus, resulted in, one result is, another is, therefore

Conclusion

The conclusion of a cause and effect essay is one of the more important essay components. Without a solid ending, the earlier analysis could fall flat, no matter how well written the ideas were.

Restate (do not repeat) the thesis

Global warming is the result of human negligence. Years of deforestation and pollution have slowly but steadily damaged the atmosphere and depleted the ozone layer.

Consider the implications

Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and ask yourself what needs to be said to finish things up in a clear, concise way. What things need to be addressed in order to wrap things up?

You may explain how your conclusion should be practically used; express your hopes as you look to the future; issue a call for action, etc.:

To reduce Global warming we need to control the air pollution, the emission of the harmful gases and factory smoke. We need to respect and protect our environment so that we have safe and healthy air to breathe and we can live in a clean atmosphere.

Finalizing your Work

Pay attention that even though your essay is fully written, it still isn’t ready to submission.

There are some common and annoying mistakes which may significantly harm your grade. However, you can avoid those grade lowering mistakes by completing the following checklist:

  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Ensure that your essay is fully compliant with the required formatting standard
  • Properly organize all the citations and the References / Works Cited page
  • Ensure that your title page is done as required
  • Take a final look at your paper to be certain that everything is indeed fine

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