How to Write a Cause and Effect Paper

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By Abhijit Naik
Published: 7/15/2010

How to Write a Cause Effect Essay
Writing Tips for a Causal Paper
Whether it’s a paper on the causes of air pollution or the effects of texting while driving, establishing causal relationships between subjects is a great source for academic writing material. A well-organized cause-and-effect paper should identify a clear relationship between two subjects, have a clear thesis, and use details and statistics to support the argument. Decide on Either Cause or Effect

Most short academic essays between 200 and 500 words will not be able to effectively cover both a cause and an effect of a particular topic. The writer therefore must choose to elaborate on either the cause or the effect, depending on which side seems more important. For instance, an essay on global warming could either focus on the causes of global warming (automobiles, deforestation) or the effects of global warming (melting polar ice caps, extreme weather). It would probably not focus on both. So it’s important to choose either a cause or an effect that is both interesting for readers and focused. Brainstorm Ideas

A great way to brainstorm ideas is to create a graphic organizer. Write a potential topic in the middle of a page and surround the word with related causes and effects. This will give the writer a visual map of ideas from which to choose. If there seems to be more causes than effects, the writer might then decide to go with a causal argument. Brainstorming also works well for developing details to support the argument, so once a writer decides on a thesis statement, he can then brainstorm for details to support the argument. Develop a Thesis Statement

Like all good thesis statements, the thesis for a cause-and-effect paper should clearly state the writer’s argument. It should introduce the topic, assert an opinion, and state whether it is addressing a cause or an effect. EXAMPLE: The popularity of video games has caused a higher rate of...
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