Suggestions for using cause-effect in an essay:
Determine the purpose of the essay developed through causal analysis. Do you want to inform? Persuade? Speculate about possibilities?
Think logically about causes and effects. Causes and effects are seldom simple or obvious. Be willing to dig for causes, and to think creatively about effects. An effect may have multiple causes, and in reverse, a cause may have multiple effects.
Develop a thesis that focuses on causes or effects, not both. You still need a strong three part thesis statement with a pattern of development.
An ineffectual public school system has led to high illiteracy rates, crippling teachersâ€™ strikes, and widespread disrespect for education. (Focus on effects)
Our school system has been weakened by paltry teaching salaries, an overemphasis on trendy electives, and decreasing parental support.
(Focus on causes)
Choose an organizational pattern. There are two basic ways to present your discussion:
Chronological order: discusses events in the order in which they occur.
Emphatic order: discusses the cause or effect you deem most important last. The last point you make stays with your reader the longest.