How to Structure Cause and Effect Essays

A cause and effect essay can be written in three distinct parts. The introduction, the body and the conclusion are the main parts of the cause and effect essay. When crafting this it may help to brainstorm to frame the ideas for the essay and it sometimes helps to write both the causes and effects to see which stance may be the best to write about. It is not different in structure from other essays, but there are some aspects to consider when writing one.

  • The introduction is the first part and it lays the groundwork for the rest of the essay. This is the first chance that the writer has to attract the reader’s attention and to state the purpose of the essay. Think of this as the roadmap for the essay.
  • The body is where the writer establishes the points to support the introduction. It is the turn by turn directions on the map. In this essay, there could be three cause paragraphs or three effects paragraphs.
  • Choose the order of the body paragraphs before writing. The strongest point can be first to continue the excitement generated in the introduction or the strongest can be saved for last so that there is a steady build up to the strongest before closing the essay. It is a writer’s choice. The topic may dictate the order if the excitement needs to build or if the urgency is to get that first point out to grab the reader and get them convinced of your point of view right off.
  • The conclusion is integral because it needs to summarize the points in the essay and to leave the reader with the impression that you intend. This can also be a call to action like having the reader want to do something because of the essay topic. It can be a restatement of the introduction, but it needs to keep the reader’s attention to the very end of the essay.

When choosing a cause or effect essay, make sure that the topic allows for strong points for the cause or the effect. Structuring the essay so that the points keep the reader engaged can be with the strongest points first or at the end before the conclusion. If you wish the reader to be called to an action of some sort, then perhaps the end should be the strongest.