Causal Analysis Essay Format
Every day situations result from cause and effect. When your instructor asks you for a causal analysis essay, he or she wants you to evaluate a cause-and-effect situation. For instance, you may write about the causes of global warming or the reasons that lead to an outcome of a personal decision. Once you have your topic, you need to put your ideas in the proper format.
A thesis statement is typically one or two sentences in which you summarize the point of your essay. It is best to research and develop your thesis before you begin writing because this statement will help guide the outline and structure of your paper. In the case of a causal analysis essay, your thesis statement will need to include the exact causes and effects you are examining and why.
All essays begin with an introduction, a paragraph or two that allows you to set up the situation. For example, if you are writing about the effects of good oral hygiene, you may want to begin by discussing the role teeth have in overall health. Not only should this opening catch a reader’s interest, the introduction should contain your thesis statement and briefly outline how your essay will progress. Typically, the thesis statement will go at the end of your introductory paragraph, leading into the body of your essay.
Showing Cause and Effect
After the introduction, you will begin writing the body of your paper. This main portion of the essay will contain ideas that help prove your thesis statement. If you are only examining the causes or the effects of your topic, the body of your essay will typically contain two or three points to illustrate your thesis statement. However, if you are writing about both the cause and effects of a subject, you will look at each element separately. First, explain the cause of your topic and give the reader details and examples. The next section will then explore the effects of these causes. For example, if you are writing about your decision to attend college, after giving your reasons, you will want to show how this choice directly impacted your life. Be sure you do not leave out information or steps that could confuse the reader; your goal is to help him or her understand the position you have taken.
When you conclude a causal analysis essay, you should connect the dots for the reader. Revisit your thesis statement and then reiterate the cause and effect by briefly summarizing the points you made in the body of your paper. Try to end your paper with a sentence that gives the reader a reason to keep thinking about your position on the topic after he or she has finished reading.
Kate Beck started writing for online publications in 2005. She worked as a certified ophthalmic technician for 10 years before returning to school to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree in writing. Beck is currently putting the finishing touches on a novel.