College students are expected to learn and execute a variety of different essay types throughout their academic careers. One of the most popular types is the cause and effect essay. This type of writing is all about linking consequences to an event using reason and facts. Focusing an essay on this is a great early step to learning how to build logical arguments into longer, more complex writing projects.
In this post, we will present steps to identifying a good cause and effect topic, some best practices to resolving your chosen topic, and a list of popular topics to get you started. We will also discuss how to use tutors, essay writing services, or university writing centers to further hone your cause and effect writing.
What is and is not cause and effect
Everybody has personal experience with cause and effect. Sometimes its good, sometimes its bad, but it is a fundamental learning mechanism. It can be something simple and straightforward such as setting an alarm before bed which causes you to wake up at a particular time or turning off that alarm instead of waking up which has the effect of you being late.
The types of cause and effect that warrant writing about are a little more involved, though. In general, this sort of cause and effect is going to be something that isn’t entirely intuitive and requires evidence which must be correctly cited. For example, you may wish to argue that eating a vegetarian diet causes a person to be healthier. Students just learning this should definitely consult a writing center or essay writing professional to make sure they are on the right track.
Being clear about what is not a cause and effect relationship is just as important to effective, logical writing. An obvious example would be something outrageous such as drinking coffee regularly does not make someone a better athlete. There may be good athletes who drink coffee every day, but this is simply correlation, not cause. This concern exists for any attempt at demonstrating cause and effect and a writer has to acknowledge any correlations to keep their argument clear. If you choose a reliable essay writing service to help you, they will connect you with a professional writer who is expert in distinguishing between correlation and causation.
How to choose the right topic
Deciding what to focus your cause and effect essay on is easily half the battle. If you are going to take this task on yourself instead of consulting with an essay writing service or writing tutor, there are a few considerations that you want to keep in mind:
- How long is your paper? You will have a hard time demonstrating that President Reagan’s economic principles caused the early 2000s recession in a two page essay. Likewise, you will probably run out of things to write about if you limit yourself to a simple topic like smoking being a cause of lung cancer, if you are working on a 20 page paper.
- What is your academic level? It is important to know what is expected of you, and what your limits are. A college freshman is expected to stick to easily researched, common topics. A master’s student is expected to make advanced arguments that require intensive study and thorough citations. One major advantage to working with essay writing professionals is that they are able to target a specific skill level so you aren’t overwhelmed by what you pay for.
- What matters to you? Conventional writing wisdom has long advised students to write what they know. This case is not much different. You should choose a topic you have some kind of familiarity with, but more importantly one that you care about. It is far easier to slog through hours of research and writing if you have a personal stake in the topic.
Ultimately you should choose a topic that you are comfortable being accountable for. You know how much time and energy you have available more than anyone else. It is always rewarding to take on a challenging topic and learn something new, but not if that kind of burden overwhelms the rest of your life. If you do overreach, essay writing services and university writing centers can help alleviate this burden, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
Choose a topic based on cause or effect
The best way to focus your topic search is to narrow the approach you are taking. Ultimately, every cause has some kind of effect and every effect was caused by something. You will likely find more success by choosing one half of the equation and following where the research leads. This kind of writing is most successfully if you start your search with an open mind rather than assuming you know the cause and effect connection before you begin.
If you choose to start your research based on causes, you have no shortage of options. As suggested above, you may want to choose something from your own life. If your parents were divorced, you may want to target divorce as a cause and start researching what sort of effects it can cause. If you participated in an advanced learning program at school, start there and see if you can find a common effect generated by students in a similar programs. Since this method requires quite a bit of research, you may want to consider having a professional essay writer help gather and organize research, perhaps into an annotated bibliography for easy use as you write your paper.
Starting with an effect may prove to be more efficient, if a more limited approach. This may be best for people with limited time as it requires less research to get on track. If you have trouble sleeping, target that effect and start seeking out possible causes of insomnia. If you find that your peers are disinterest in political action, but you aren’t sure why, this is a great opportunity to start researching what causes that effect.
For students with extremely limited time or perhaps limited interest, it may be best to choose a topic from a list or one suggested by a professor. It can also be effective to have a professional writing service generate some topic selections to pick from and possibly provide an outline to go along with your choice. It all depends on an individual’s goals.
How to write for a cause and effect essay
This type of writing is distinctly different from creative or opinion-based writing. When drawing a line between a cause and an effect, it is essential to be logical and evidence based. This comes naturally to some writers and feels like pulling teeth to others.
Cause and effect writing is effectively the same as technical or rhetorical writing. The entire purpose is to find scientific connections that objectively demonstrate the cause as being responsible for the effect, not just connected. Here are a few key elements to remember as you research and write this type of project:
- Use peer reviewed sources. Because you are trying to objectively prove something, you want to rely on objective sources that have been evaluated. A peer-reviewed source is one that has been evaluated by experts and is commonly by professionals in the related field as a credible fact. Professional writing services happen to be excellent at finding and using these sources, because they do so on a daily basis.
- Use primary sources whenever possible. Any student should become familiar with the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. Primary sources are actual research data, gathered while observing. These are the very best for proving any argument. Secondary sources can be credible and are often peer-reviewed, but these are created using primary sources. Tertiary sources are often things like news articles, Wikipedia articles, or blog posts and should be avoided whenever possible for objective writing.
How to identify primary v. secondary sources
Primary and secondary sources both play a role in any research-based project. Knowing the different helps you make the best use of each..
- Be systematic. Present your arguments in a logical, progressive manner. Begin by explaining the effect or cause you are starting from and suggest the corresponding cause or effect you intend to prove, respectively. From here, dedicate one to three paragraphs for each piece of evidence that supports your connection. This is not a creative or surprising process, begin at the beginning and take each step gradually with all the support that is required to prove it and no more. Have a writing center or professional essay writer read through and critique your logic to be sure it makes sense to a reader.
For creative writers
For writers who are naturally creative and expressive in their writing, this can be a great opportunity to practice a new skill. Every sentence must serve a purpose and either introduce, express, or comment on a hard fact. Though this is simple to describe, it is far from easy to execute.
These type of writers will likely have to revisit their finished draft at least once to scrub out the natural voice that they are inclined to add. Creative writers are no stranger to proofreading and editing, but the objective has to be on trimming out color and opinion and fleshing out the cited evidence. A link between a cause and effect can never be because someone “feels” or “thinks” or “believes.” This type of writer would benefit greatly from having a teacher’s assistant, classmate, or essay writing service review and edit their work to make sure it is on track.
For technical writers
Cause and effect writing is fundamental to technical and rhetorical writing, so this is probably a relatively easy task for these types of writers. Any logical argument, whether written or spoken, must proceed from one fact to another, and this is exactly that.
That said, any writing benefits from a second set of eyes and no writer should assume that their first draft is perfect. These types of writers are also likely to embrace more challenging topics and, in these cases, it is best to have an expert evaluate the overall essay for cohesiveness and logical progression.
For people who just hate writing
There are plenty of people who are in college for something other than writing, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. For those who just can’t stand writing or for those who have families and jobs to balance school with, this type of writing task just doesn’t have the same importance as other obligations. For these people, essay writing services can be a life saver.
If you don’t have the resources to use a professional writing service, don’t panic. You can do this. The first priority is to keep things simple. If you don’t like writing, there is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel. Pick a topic that is simple and has plenty of research. Keep your argument simple, as well. Fortunately, this type of essay is not expected to be colorful or eloquent.
The most important thing you can do to keep your task manageable is to set up an outline. Since what you are writing is logical and relatively scientific, you may want to consider preparing something like a research paper outline. The evidence is going to do most of the work for you if you build every paragraph around introducing a piece of evidence as the next step in your argument, citing that evidence, and then explaining how that piece of evidence applies. It is perfectly all right if your paper isn’t fun to read, the point isn’t to be fun, it’s to make a successful argument.
Ultimately, don’t be shy about getting help. Nobody becomes a great writer on their own and students aren’t expected to succeed without learning tools. This is why tutors and writing centers exist.
And don’t be afraid to consult an essay writing service, even if you aren’t sure that they are for you. They can help you plan an essay or edit the final product, even if you don’t want them to provide a full written draft. They can also help you reclaim some of your valuable time in those situations when you get overwhelmed. Buying an essay has never been easier or safer, with reliable writing services, and your education is worth it.