You may choose the topic for this essay. Consider topics about which you are knowledgeable or deeply interested. Did you grow up in a very strict household? Consider the effects of that upbringing. Are you afraid of spiders? Think about the causes of your phobia. Do you believe that social media leads to greater anxiety? Prove it! Ultimately, your essay will be about:
• A single effect with multiple causes–for example, asthma is the effect, and you identify several environmental causesOR
• A single cause with multiple effects–bullying is the cause, and you establish several effects it has on children
The bottom line is that you must be able to generate enough material from your topic to write 3 to 4 pages. Remember that cause and effect essays must answer one of the following questions:
• “Why did something happen?” OR
• “What is the result if something happens?” OR
• “What might be the result if something happens?”
Provide a clear thesis statement that answers the question, “So what?” I recommend that you determine your thesis early in your composition process for the cause and effect essay. The thesis will guide your organization and any necessary research.
Remember that your body paragraphs should support that thesis. If a body paragraph does not directly support the thesis statement, then ask yourself whether that paragraph belongs in your essay. In some instances, a paragraph provides indirect support to the thesis by supporting or explaining another paragraph that does directly support the thesis. This is referred to as indirect support.
Typically, in a cause/effect essay, the organization is rather logical. If you want to argue that recent high school graduates choose community college because it is affordable, located close to home, and offers a flexible schedule, then the body of your essay will cover (1) affordability, (2) location, and (3) schedule flexibility.
To provide compelling evidence to support your thesis, you can draw on your personal experience. However, in some instances, personal experience alone will not be convincing. If, for example, you write an essay about the negative effects of running on the body, you will want to cite some credible outside sources, such as scientific journals or health magazines. You must follow MLA citation style when citing outside sources.