Writing the Cause and Effect Essay: Tips for High Schoolers

Writing a good cause and effect essay can take more planning and drafting than other essays. This is because it’s all about finding connections and making your case for them. Think of yourself as a lawyer. You want to find the link between incidents and outcomes. So, this is not one of those papers you can do without reading and thoroughly understanding the material. The more you read and review the material or literature, the easier and quicker the actual writing process will be.

Review all guidelines your teacher has given for the assignment. These are must-dos. Think of them as a checklist. There are many different ways to teach cause and effect essay writing and your teacher may present you with a list of topics or may have you come up with a topic on your own. If you have a list of topics, pick the one that makes the most sense to you. Pick the one you feel you can write the most about.

Topics – If you are responsible for choosing your own topic, then you may need to invest some extra time in drafting and brainstorming. A great idea is to start backwards, and find the cause. You will write the most about the things that catch your interest.

Ask yourself these questions:

What was the most exciting part of the story?

Which part kept you on your seat the most?

Was there some sort of twist in the plot that caught your attention?

This is only the first part in coming up with your thesis. Once you have found what you want to focus on, then you must be a detective and go back through the work to find people, places, or events that could have potentially led up to the outcome.

Cause and Effect Ideas: Romeo and Juliet

So, now that you have a basic idea of what you want to write about, it’s time to add a little magic. The key is finding out what these connections have in common.

There are many examples of cause and effect in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet . One of the most common things readers notice in this work is the ironic outcome that Romeo takes his life. The entire work revolves around the fact that Juliet faked her death and Romeo took his own life. It is easily understood by most readers that Romeo took his own life because he believed Juliet was dead. This is a cause and effect conclusion. You can write an essay based upon these types of cause and effect statements and do fine. But the magic lies in digging a little bit deeper.

When you think you have figured out your thesis, look for the bigger picture. You are usually only steps away from making deeper connections that will improve your grade and make your essay much more interesting. Okay, so Romeo took his life because he thought Juliet was dead. There was something behind all of this that ties the story together. What are the bigger themes? You may want to think about the intense dynamics of the Capulets and the Montagues. Would this have even happened if the families got along. As a matter of fact, would the two have even fallen for each other in the first place if their families were civil towards one another? The more questions you ask yourself, the more you will have to work with. You can even include rhetorical questions in your introductory paragraph to draw the reader in.

Once you have gathered your facts, found a cause and effect and asked more questions; you should have a good idea for a very strong thesis.

The Easy Part

If you use these ideas to write about cause and effect correctly, the easiest part is writing it down. Follow guidelines that your teacher has in place in terms of style. You can also review other general essay writing tips to pull it all together into a fine presentation.