Cause & Effect Essay

A graphical image of the structure of a cause and effect essay.

Cause and effect is a rhetorical style that discusses which events lead to specific results. You may find that you are assigned to write a cause and effect essay for a writing class, but you might also encounter cause and effect assignments in other disciplines. For example, you may be asked to write about the causes for the decline of a particular company in your business class, or you may be asked to write about the causes of the rise in obesity rates in the United States for your nursing class.

A cause and effect essay is structured around the goal of discovering and discussing events that lead to certain results. When writing a cause and effect essay, you should be sure that you have researched the specific causes and are confident that you’re demonstrating why they lead to particular results. You may either concentrate on all causes, effects or a combination of both.


NOTE: It’s important to remember that just because an event occurs before an effect does not mean that they are related. You may be mistaking chronological order for causality, which can lead you to some faulty logic.

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