If X, Then Y: The Cause-and-Effect Essay
In a cause-and-effect essay, you examine the relationships between how certain events bring about or lead to other events. Depending on the depth of your topic, you need to determine if you have several causes you need to explore, if some causes may have more importance than others, or if some causes have more immediate or long-term effects than others.
For instance, if you're looking at the causes of U.S. involvement in World War II, you'd write about the immediate cause (the bombing of Pearl Harbor) as well as causes that had been building up for some time (growing hostilities between the United States and Germany and the United States and Japan, increasing bonds between the United States and the Allies, and so on).
In a cause-and-effect essay, some writers find thinking in these terms to be helpful:
Xhappens, why does Yoccur?
Xhappened, why did Yoccur?
Yhappens, what will Xhave done?
Yhappened, what Xwas a cause?
Be sure that there is actually a relationship between
When writing a cause-and-effect essay, the following transition words and phrases can come in handy: