Cause and Effect Essay Examples
Have you ever read one of those cause and effect essay examples? If you have, you’re not alone. This type of essay is one that many college students find difficult to write. A cause and effect essay examine the causes (or reasons) behind something and then describes the resulting consequences (or consequences). For example, the cause and effect of stealing are usually discussed in a criminal law class.
Students need to be able to determine which effects are “good” and which effects are “bad”, i.e. right, or wrong. For example, a claim like “stealing is wrong” would be a strong cause and effect essay topic. However, if the author were to argue that, because stealing is wrong, one should not steal, the essay would be weak in terms of its cause and effect descriptions.
In a weak essay, the writer would merely describe the causes and/or effects of stealing, with no explanation as to why it is wrong or right. This weak cause and effect essay typically lack the required supporting evidence and exhibits. On the other hand, a strong cause and effect essay engage more in explanation through multiple causes and/or effects. The author would first describe the concept, purpose, and benefits of stealing, and then discuss the possible negative effects of doing so. The cause and effect essay use this repeat cycle over again, showing how the concept of stealing has many different “reasons”. Because of this, the essay usually ends with an affect statement, which suggests the reader that his/her views on the matter should be changed, if they hold to be true.
An example 1 essay will look something like this: gorillas kill off some of their own species to survive, but if they aren’t killed, their numbers will be negatively impacted. The second sentence in the first example simply says” gorillas kill off some of their own species”, but the first sentence could be read as” gorillas kill off some of their own members”, which is a stronger cause and effect. In the example 1, the gorilla with the single effect will be identified, while the other gorillas in the group will not be. Because of this, the gorilla that gets the effect statement points to a stronger argument for exterminating the gorillas, making the essay a weaker than average cause and effect essay.
In the third example above, this effect essay is a strong essay. The first sentence in the first paragraph says “For the last few years, I have been experiencing homelessness among the people that I live amongst.” The first effect is not the “extermination” of the gorillas in the “extermination” sentence, since the gorillas in question were not being hunted, and the mere existence of them being in the park was a positive thing. Rather, the second sentence, “among the people that I live amongst”, describes a real life event that caused the people in the park to be homeless. So, the essay has two strong cases: the first is an intended act of violence, and the second is a cause of action that must be stopped, lest it cause more damage. A cause-and-effect essay is therefore strong in its basic structure.
There are many great examples of cause and effect essays, many of which can be found on Wikipedia. One such example is the essay “Why is Suffering Encouraged by Governments?” By George C.ENTION, who is known for his causes-and-effects writing concerning poverty and education. In this essay he points out how, through governmental action, poverty can be alleviated and education can be improved among a population. He uses two main examples: slavery and Jim Crow (a real life case of discrimination) to show how multiple causes and effects affect individuals, communities, and nations.
One of my all time favorite essayists, Kevin Vallier, also excels at creating effective cause and effect essay illustrations. In his essay “The Hypothetical Paradox: A Guide to Causes and Effects” he includes an effectively portrayed conflict between a government program to prevent littering in public places and the desire of a teenager to bring a bike to school. Themes throughout the essay remind us how the causes and effects of one event can affect someone else in a number of different ways. Vallier’s examples include: pollution, hunger, accidents, genetics, and others.
Another excellent essayist, William AE Carlsberg, uses a thesis statement to describe what he means when he says, “Nothing happens by chance.” He then presents a well thought out logical argument that shows how some causes will affect one person directly, and another person indirectly. One example is how a parent’s upbringing can have a profound effect on their children, but will have no measurable effect on another person. This makes Carlsberg’s essay an excellent example of how cause and effect can be easily illustrated using both text and illustrations.