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Humanities LibreTexts

12.2: The Structure of a Cause-and-Effect Essay

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  • The cause-and-effect essay opens with a general introduction to the topic, which then leads to a thesis that states the main cause, main effect, or various causes and effects of a condition or event.

    The cause-and-effect essay can be organized in one of the following two primary ways:

    1. Start with the cause and then discuss the effects.
    2. Start with the effect and then discuss the causes.

    For example, if your essay were on childhood obesity, you could start by talking about the effect of childhood obesity and then discuss the causes or you could start the same essay by talking about the cause of childhood obesity and then move to the effects.

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