cause and effect essay

cause and effect essay

Essay 2: Write an ARGUMENT about Causes/Effects

OWL Draft Due Date: Due Date

Final Draft Word Count and Setup Requirement:

1300-1500 words (plus a correctly formatted APA cover page)

In-text citations and References page (if outside source material used in the essay)

12-point Times New Roman font

Double-spaced lines

3rd person point of view


Describe an event or problem (the EFFECT) and arguehow specific forces work together to create that event or problem (the CAUSE).


To accomplish the goal of this essay, analyze a cause to determine whether it is likely to play an important role in bringing about a particular effect, or analyze a specific effect to determine whether it is likely to result from a particular cause.


Select an event or problem that will not require research and brainstorm details related to its cause(s) and effect(s).

Narrow the scope of your essay. A 1300-1500 word essay won’t be enough space to describe all causes and all effects of a particular event or situation; an excellent paper will detail one or two things in depth.


Create an effective thesis statement.

A THESIS, above all, HAS TO TAKE A STAND and PRESENT a definite point of view. In scholarly writing, this is PRESENTING AN ARGUMENT, not just a FACT or a SUBJECT.

Sometimes a thesis may show CAUSE and EFFECT:

Example: “Because the cost of college tuition forces working class and poorer students to either quit or skip college (CAUSE), America can no longer claim it is The Land of Equal Opportunity (EFFECT).”

Rhetorical Structure:

1. In an introductory paragraph, summarizebackground information on the cause/effect; include your essay’s thesis statement as the last sentence of the introduction.

2. in each paragraph, write a topic sentence that connects to your thesis statement. Develop each paragraph with facts, details, examples, or reasons to support each of your topic sentences.

3. Conclude your essay by summarizing the main points of the cause/effect essay and explaining how your conclusion connects to your thesis statement.


Revise the entire document several times to ensure you have conveyed your thoughts clearly, you have developed your paragraphs with details, facts, reasons, examples or evidence, and you have shown logical transitions from one paragraph to the next.


Print your essay and read it ALOUD to check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

APA Citation Basics:

This assignment does not require outside research; the finished essay should not need in-text citations or a References page. The assignment does, however, require a properly formatted APA cover page. The assignment does not require an abstract.

If you decide to include outside sources in the construction of this assignment, you will be graded on the accuracy of your citation decisions and presentation.

Academic Format, Citation and Integrity Resources:

Please view this link to learn how to format in-text citations or make a references page:…

Please view this link to learn what plagiarism is and how to avoid it:

REMEMBER to SUBMIT your draft(s) to your WRITING SPECIALIST in your Online Writing LAB (ENG 1108). Your OWL WRITING SPECIALIST will help you develop a polished, well-crafted final version of your work.


This assignment expands your understanding of cause/effect relationships while reinforcing your appreciation of writing as a process requiring substantive revision. Completing this assignment also helps you develop assessment, revision and editing skills.

REMEMBER: Chief Executive Officers consistently list writing skills as one of the top five most important skills required of their employees.

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