Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

WRT 101 - Northwest - Writing I: Cause & Effect


A cause & effect essay does just as the title suggests; it explains the cause of a problem and details the resulting effects.

Collect, generate and evaluate evidence. Use your most convincing evidence to support your position.

Features of the Cause/Effect Essay

* A presentation of the event, phenomenon, or trend, with enough background information for your reader to understand the basis of your paper.

* Facts & evidence, examples and anecdotes to build a convincing argument that the proposed causes or results are plausible.

* A professional, reasonable voice; never sound uncetain or insulting.

Source: Roan State Community College

1. Identify Your Topic

Identify your topic (be specific) – in most cases, you will choose a contemporary topic.

What topic are you going to research?

Example: Teen Driver Accidents

List the causes of your topic?

Cause 1 - Teens have less experience driving and avoiding other bad drivers than adults.
Cause 2 - Teens have a high incidence of "distracted driving" (e.g. texting while driving, putting on makeup, etc).
Cause 3 - Teens have a high incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other substances.


List the effects of your topic?

Effect 1 - Higher insurance costs for teen drivers.
Effect 2 - Teens have a high incidence of injury or mortality.

2. Collect facts & evidence

Use these databases to gather general background information on both sides of controversial issues.
To connect from off-campus, enter your MyPima Username and Password.

3. Collect examples & anecdotes

Use these databases to find specific examples of how your topic impacts people in the real world, as reported in national newspapers and magazines.
To connect from off-campus, enter your MyPima Username and Password.