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Cause and Effect Essay Outline: Types, Examples and Writing Tips

Cause and Effect Essay Outline: Types, Examples and Writing Tips

A cause and effect essay isn’t the most common type of written assignments in modern schools, but there is still a huge chance you will be tasked with writing a cause and effect essay at least once in your life.

In general, a cause and effect essay is less complicated and challenging than many other essays you have encountered. Plus, it can be very satisfying to notice and point out the connections between similarly different things. Here is a guide on how to write a cause and effect essay step by step from the professional writers of our best essay writing service USA!

What Is a Cause and Effect Essay?

A cause and effect essay is a piece of writing where the writer’s primary job is to identify the conditions that led to a particular event and the outcome of the event. While it sounds fairly simple on paper, in reality, there are many important things to consider when writing this essay.

The purpose of a cause and effect essay is not just to point out the connections between different things, but also to suggest how the event can be avoided if it has a negative effect, or repeated in case the effect is evaluated as positive.

Types of Cause and Effect Essay

If you are only learning how to write cause and effect essay for the first time, you may be surprised to know that there are actually several types of cause and effect essay to know about besides the most obvious one, where a single cause leads to a single effect. Specifically, you can be tasked with writing one of the three following types of cause and effect essay:

  • Multiple causes and one effect

In this case, you are to analyze the several causes that led to a single effect. A common example of this topic is global warming, which has several equally potent causes such as environmental pollution and overpopulation.

  • One cause and multiple effects

For this type of cause and effect essay, you need to focus on one cause that led to several effects. This type of essays is less common, but it can be even more interesting to analyze how a single event can lead to multiple effects, whether they are good or bad.

  • Chain of causes and effects

Finally, the most challenging but also fascinating type of cause and effect essay is a paper where you follow a string of causes and effects that lead to one another. It may take you a lot of effort to figure out which events lead to other events, but it can also be very rewarding.

How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay

Now you know what is a cause and effect essay and which types of cause and effect essays there are, but how to write a cause and effect essay that will impress your professor and peers? Here is how to write a cause and effect essay and choose the best cause and effect essay topic for your needs.


The important thing to know about this type of essays is that it’s imperative to start with crafting the outline of your future essay. You will be relieved to know that a typical cause and effect essay outline is not very different from the essay outlines you have written before and follows the classic essay structure of an introduction, three or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion.


The first part in any cause and effect essay outline example you’ll ever see is the introduction. The job of the introduction is to convince the reader to give your paper a detailed look instead of just skimming it.

The introduction to a cause and effect essay should be brief but powerful. Using the right tone and vocabulary, you need to demonstrate why the subject of your essay is so important that it requires deep analysis. To make readers pay even more attention to your writing, start the introduction with a hook sentence and end it with a thesis statement.


In most cases, there will be three body paragraphs in your cause and effect essay, but the exact number of paragraphs also depends on the type of essay you decided to go for. For example, when analyzing a chain of causes and effects, you may need to write more than three body paragraphs to make your essay complete.

With most other cause and effect essay types, you will dedicate one paragraph to a cause or effect and the remaining paragraphs to each of the multiple causes and effects you decided to write about.

The sign of a well-written cause and effect essay is the appropriate use of transitional words and phrases that create a clear and logical flow of your narrative and allow the readers to smoothly transition from one idea to another. These words and phrases include “Because of”, “As a result”, “Therefore”, “Owing to”, “Thus”, and other transitional phrases you have likely already used before in previous written assignments.


In your conclusion, you need to briefly summarize everything that has been said in the previous paragraphs of the paper without retelling the chapters word for word. Mention your thesis statement again and the strongest pieces of evidence supporting your ideas.

A good conclusion to a cause and effect essay will not only summarize the points of the paper, but will also include a thought-provoking ending that will stimulate the audience to do additional reading on the subject and educate themselves about the topic.

Topics for cause and effect essay

cause and effect essay topics

There are many good cause and effect essay topics, but the key to writing a successful cause and effect essay is to pick a topic that you personally find interesting and challenging. If you haven’t been given the topic for your cause and effect essay by your professor and are free to choose, here are some cause and effect essay ideas you can pick:

  1. Causes and effects of depression.
  2. Causes and effects of divorce in families with children.
  3. Causes and effects of being obsessed with social media.
  4. Causes and effects of childhood obesity.
  5. Causes and effects of having trouble finding a partner at a young age.
  6. Causes and effects of using coal for heating.
  7. Causes and effects of growing up in a single-parent household.
  8. Causes and effects of the organic food craze.
  9. Causes and effects of living below the poverty line.
  10. Causes and effects of the growing homeless epidemic.

Questions to Ask when Finishing Your Cause and Effect Essay

Reading the final draft and correcting possible grammar and spelling mistakes is important for ensuring a high quality of your paper, but you also need to make sure that the content of your cause and effect essay is sufficient. To evaluate the quality of your cause and effect essay, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the purpose of my essay clearly visible to all readers?
  2. Have I provided enough evidence to support my points?
  3. Did I use enough transitional words and phrases?
  4. Does my essay paint a complete picture of the subject?
  5. Are my introduction and conclusion powerful enough?

Final Tips from Our Writing Team

With our cause and effect essay topics and writing tips and tricks, we are convinced you will do a great job with your essay assignment. If you are having trouble completing the essay task due to the lack of time or other factors, we are happy to tell you that you have already found the best essay writing service for your needs. Reach out to us and we’ll find the perfect solution together!