Cause and effect | english | Birmingham-Southern College

A cause-and-effect analysis is any event, experience, or occurrence for which you want to examine the causes and/or effects. The essay explains the cause and effect and examines the connections between them. A cause refers to actions or circumstances that lead to a result or consequence. An effect means the result or consequence. There are several steps that will help you write an effective cause-and-effect essay.

1. Establish your direction

  • Decide whether you want to talk about causes, effects, or analyze both.

2. Present a clear thesis

  • Thesis should inform reader of your purpose or intention. Thesis may focus on causes, effects, or both.

3. Follow an organizational pattern

  • There are two basic ways to organize a cause-and-effect essay: chronological (time) order and emphatic order. Chronological order discusses the causes and effects in the order that they occur. Emphatic order reserves the strongest or most significant cause and/or effect until the end.

4. Use transitions

  • Transitional words help the reader follow your cause-and-effect analysis.

LOGICAL RELATIONSHIPTRANSITIONAL EXPRESSIONSimilarityalso, in the same way, just as … so too, likewise, similarlyException/Contrastbut, however, in spite of, on the one hand … on the other hand, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, in contrast, on the contrary, still, yetSequence/Orderfirst, second, third, … next, then, finallyTimeafter, afterward, at last, before, currently, during, earlier, immediately, later, meanwhile, now, recently, simultaneously, subsequently, thenExamplefor example, for instance, namely, specifically, to illustrateEmphasiseven, indeed, in fact, of course, trulyPlace/Positionabove, adjacent, below, beyond, here, in front, in back, nearby, thereCause and Effectaccordingly, consequently, hence, so, therefore, thusAdditional Support or Evidenceadditionally, again, also, and, as well, besides, equally important, further, furthermore, in addition, moreover, thenConclusion/Summaryfinally, in a word, in brief, briefly, in conclusion, in the end, in the final analysis, on the whole, thus, to conclude, to summarize, in sum, to sum up, in summary

5. Draw a conclusion

  • Restate the thesis and reach a conclusion concerning the causes and/or effects.
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