Read the assignment requirements and put down the details in case you need to review them later. Make sure you understand the formatting rules and the structure type so that you don’t have to go all over your task twice once you are finished. Cause and effect papers do not always have a clear goal.
You have to bear that in mind when you start researching the topic. Sometimes, you will be obliged to research causes. In other cases, you will need a paper on effects. Either way, you have to organize the essay so that it matches the initial purpose and does not provide contradicting arguments that make readers scratch their heads.
As an example, we can suggest a cause and effect essay on the American history. If you were assigned to write about the causes of Civil War, you would be searching for catalysts that triggered the hostilities. In case of the effects, you have to write the introductory paragraph about the post-war state of the country. Depending on your ideas, the paper may take different directions.
Work with the topic
If you were given the chance to choose your own topic, you need to do the following:
- Come up with ideas. Write down every single thought that comes to mind. You will edit your essay later, so you can neglect the structure and stick to the concept instead.
- Pick the theme. Choose the subject that causes the most excitement and resonates with your experience. In case you are familiar with the topic, you have a better chance of producing a high quality paper, based on the personal experience.
- Gather information. Evaluate your research talents and think about the number of sentences you can fit into a paragraph. This is very important, as you are planning out the structure and choosing the right formatting to stick to.
- Write from experience. Again, if you are allowed to make your essay personalized, you can choose the topic, fueled by your real life experience. For example, living in a historical area gives you the opportunity to dwell on the consequences and reminisce about the past.
Do not forget to inform your readers that you understand the alternative views and are ready to discuss them. You can find substantial proof for your opinions as well, but it would be important to acknowledge other sources of information. You can admit that other approaches exist and argue with the readers in a reasonable manner, and yet insist on a relationship you found in your paper.
To make your writing a piece of cake, you should first identify the broader theme for research. Separate the themes according to their complexity and find information on each of them selectively. This way, you will organize your thoughts and ideas and give yourself a more detailed insight into the question.
Once you are done with the first outline, you should look through paragraphs in order to define the missing pieces. We advise you to skip the irrelevant parts and get rid of the lengthy and wordy paragraphs. They do nothing for your paper and clutter space. Your work should be readable and a cause and effect essay is not an exception.
You can be flexible with the number of paragraphs, unless you were asked to follow a strict pattern. The universal recommendation is that of a five-paragraph body, preceded by the introductory thesis and the main statement. You have to make a conclusion in order to emphasize the thought and be very careful with your structure, as cause and effect essay papers may have page limits.