Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How to Create a Cause and Effect Outline - An Easy Guide

10 min read

Published on: Jul 9, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 14, 2023

cause and effect essay outline

In academic paper writing, students often tackle diverse essay types, including cause and effect essays. 

Cause and effect essays act as a gauge for how well students can use logical reasoning to understand the outcomes of different actions.

However, the most crucial element while writing this type of essay is to create an outline. 

Many students skip outlining, thinking it's time-consuming. While creating a cause and effect paper outline does take time, it actually saves more time during writing. Following a detailed plan makes the writing process easier, ensuring you don't miss key details and can draft a logical, organized essay. 

Follow the steps given in this blog for a perfect outline.

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What is a Cause and Effect Essay Outline?

A cause and effect essay outline is a detailed plan of action that students follow throughout the writing process. It is the key factor in writing a successful essay as it provides help in the following ways:

  • It is used to organize thoughts logically.
  • It makes the writing process easier and saves enough time to proofread.
  • It helps the writer concentrate on the main points that need to be described in the essay.

It is not required to write full sentences at this step. Instead, state the ideas and structure them in the right order.

Furthermore, it is important to choose a unique topic before developing an outline. Check out our compiled list of good cause and effect essay topics to grab the reader’s interest.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline Format

Cause and effect essay outline generally follows a five-paragraph format. However, the number of body paragraphs may vary according to the topic and scope of the essay. Typically, the cause and effect essay layout contains an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Here is the complete outline format structure of a cause and effect writing:

Section 1 - Introduction

  • A hook statement that grabs the audience’s attention
  • Basic historical information about the topic
  • A strong thesis statement that indicates what the essay is about: its causes, effects, or both

Section 2 - Main Body

Body Paragraph I

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 1/effect 1 (detailed explanation with examples)

Body Paragraph II

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 2/effect 2 (detailed explanation with examples)

Body Paragraph III

  • Topic sentence (indicates causes, effects, or both)
  • Cause 3/effect 3 (detailed explanation with examples)

Antithesis Paragraph

  • Discuss the opposing side of the argument

Section 3 - Conclusion

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Remind the reader of the main points
  • Concluding sentence

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How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay Outline?

Follow the steps below to write an effective cause and effect essay outline.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body paragraphs
  3. Antithesis paragraph
  4. Conclusion

The following is a detailed description of the steps to writing an outline.

Step 1: Cause and Effect Essay Introduction

The introduction is the first section written to give an idea of what your essay is about. It provides background information about the topic under discussion. Similarly, it also discusses the issues and focus of the essay’s main argument, along with its purpose.

Thus, try to give a general idea to the reader with the help of a thesis statement. It is crucial to emphasize how and why the chosen event is relevant to modern life.

For example, if you are writing about the Cold War, state how it is still apparent in global politics.

Furthermore, the essay introduction paragraph includes the following elements.

Start With an Attention Grabber

Start your essay with a relevant, attention-grabbing hook statement. It can be in the form of a sentence, quote, anecdote, rhetorical question, or fact. The primary purpose of such a hook is to attract the audience at the beginning of the paper.

Basic Background Information

Mention some background information on the topic to get a clear picture. It will help readers understand the event and connect with the major argument. Similarly, this element is also used to understand the cause and effect before you start writing.

Thesis Statement

It is the central element while writing an introduction. Its absence will indicate that the essay lacks a focus. It is a statement of 1-2 sentences that briefly describes the major argument of the essay.

Moreover, a writer needs to discuss this idea through all the body paragraphs. Thus, make sure to craft a strong thesis statement that correlates with the outline.

Step 2: Cause and Effect Essay Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs provide enough details and facts about the causes that led to the effects.

  • Begin with topic sentences that indicate the first cause or effect of your topic. Also, brainstorm to describe their importance.
  • Each paragraph should discuss a single cause and a single effect. Furthermore, the information must be organized in chronological or reverse order.
  • Moreover, it is better to start the body paragraphs by describing causes and presenting the effects later. Analyze both the elements by explaining how and why an effect influenced the events or actions. Make sure that the content relates to the thesis statement and the overall topic.
  • Use transitional words to connect the ideas and give relevant examples. Most writers made a common mistake of adding weak and unconvincing causes to reach the word count. As a result, it affects the essay’s credibility.
  • Discuss the below elements while writing the body of your cause and effect essay.

Description of the Cause

This part requires the writer to explain the current situation clearly. It will help the reader to understand the primary argument. Thus, it is important to describe the situation in a way that prepares the reader for effect.

For example, if you are writing about the loss of privacy, that will lead to individual freedom. The focus should be on the technologies that affect freedom.

Description of the Effect

It explains to the reader the logical steps that move from cause to effect. It focuses on explaining what the multiple effects are and how we move from cause to effect.

Following the above example, the writer will explain the connection between privacy and freedom.

Explain the Cause and Effect Relationship

Here, a writer must discuss the importance of the findings. It is used to describe the short and long-term results of the effects. Also, suggest the recommendations to tackle the situation along with future prospects.

Step 3: Cause and Effect Essay Antithesis Paragraph

This paragraph will discuss the other side of the issue by identifying the major causes and effects. Also, explain the causes behind choosing a topic and how it will be relevant to modern life. 

This way, you can show the logic behind the occurrence of the two variables and their possible causes and effects.

Step 4: Cause and Effect Essay Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph aims to provide a brief summary of your essay. Thus, it should leave the audience with the feeling of completeness and make a final emphasis on the major ideas.

This section requires the writer to show how their perspective of the issue has changed by the following analysis. Also, it should further describe the positive and negative effects of the situation.

The conclusion includes the elements discussed below:

Restate the Thesis Statement

Write a few sentences that connect the body paragraphs with the thesis statement. It must also indicate how this statement has helped in proving the main argument of the essay.

Remind the Audience about the Main Points

Here you describe your general outline in strong and precise sentences. Avoid adding any new information. In case you are writing about a major event that influenced the world, such as global warming.

You should write a call to action and suggest what necessary steps need to be taken to overcome the issue.

Draft a Concluding Sentence

Like a convincing introduction; the conclusion should be catchy and compelling as well. Thus, pay attention to this section while writing a college or university essay.

Describe the research outcomes, along with the importance of the essay’s arguments.

Lastly, check out the examples available online. Consider the structure and vocabulary used by most authors to write a cause and effect essay conclusion.

Refer to the example below to better understand writing a cause and effect essay.

Cause and Effect Essay Outline Examples

Below are the cause and effect outline examples and samples for you to understand better.


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To Sum it Up!
This ultimate writing guide will help you write a perfect cause and effect paper outline.

Nevertheless, not everyone can develop a cause-and-effect chain relationship between variables. Therefore, instead of risking your grades, it is better to seek professional help.


MyPerfectWords.com stands as a reputable and professional writing service, poised to support you in your academic writing tasks. In addition to our core writing services, our essay writer service offers a range of free services, including plagiarism reports, editing, and revisions. 


So place your order now and get your perfect outline in no time!

Caleb S.

WRITTEN BY

Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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