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Review: Cause and Effect Essays

In a cause and effect essay, you discuss the causes (reasons) for something, the effects (results), or both
causes and effects. You may use cause/effect organization to answer typical test questions like:

Discuss the causes of World War II

Discuss the effects of pollution on people living in big cities in China
Discuss the effects of U.N. intervention in the ISIS crisis in Syria
Explain the increase in math scores in Australian elementary schools
Discuss the effect of immigration on the UK economy

(modified from Writing Academic English (2006). Pearson Longman: NY)

Depending on the topic of your essay, you can organize your cause and effect essay in the following ways:

Organization A
Introduction Paragraph
Effect #1
Effect #2
Effect #3
Conclusion Paragraph

Organization B
Introduction Paragraph
Cause #1
Cause #2
Cause #3
Conclusion Paragraph

Decide which organization would be best to use for each of the writing prompts below.
Organization Type

Essay Prompt
Discuss the effects of heroin use on teenagers.
Explain the causes of acid rain.
Why do people immigrate?
What are the effects of soft drinks on your body?

Transition or signal words you can use to talk about cause and effect: Discuss the meaning and use of the
following words with a partner.
Because (of)
As a result of
For this reason
Due to (the fact that)
As a consequence of
A. Now, use them to fill in the spaces in the following sentences.

Given that
Because of (the fact that)
Due to

____________________ the war, many Syrians are now without homes.

Rosa has been depressed ____________________ she was not accepted into her preferred university.
____________________ his intelligence, Pablo was chosen to lead his student group in the
____________________ the heat, Marthas plants all died.
Lucys mother is a foreign diplomat. ____________________, Lucy has to travel a lot and has visited
many countries.
Jairo loves to study, ____________________ he gets bad grades in all his courses because he never
goes to class.
Jessica enjoys playing piano and ____________________ likes cooking for her friends on the weekend.


Johnny wants to be work as an ambassador. ____________________, he is studying International

____________________ Anna needs to pass the TOEFL exam, she has to seriously study soon.
Gregory is a citizen of the United Kingdom. ____________________, he does not need a visa to travel
in the European Union.

B. In the space below, create your own sentences using some of the transition words above.
1. ________________________________________________________________________________________
2. ________________________________________________________________________________________
3. ________________________________________________________________________________________
4. ________________________________________________________________________________________
5. ________________________________________________________________________________________
Read the following prompt related to homeschooling:

What are the consequences of

homeschooling for parents?

Brainstorm possible responses using the following graphic organizer:

Consequence #1:

Consequences of
for parents
Consequence #2:

Consequence #3:

Now, you will choose one of the following prompts and write a 5-paragraph cause and effect essay!
Option 1
What are some
reasons why
students prefer to
be homeschooled?

Option 2
What are the
effects of
homeschooling on

Option 3
Explain why
homeschooling was

Option 4
Discuss positive
effects of
homeschooling on

Before you write your essay, fill in the graphic organizer below with your ideas.

Option 5
Discuss negative
effects of
homeschooling on