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for Cause & Effect and Predictive Essays


Sometimes you want to figure out what made something happen.

You would be right to think that a Cause & Effect essay is similar to a Persuasive essay because they both argue for your opinion or interpretation. What makes this essay different is the narrower focus on looking into the causes (what made/makes something happen) and the effects (the thing that happens). Smart people use this strategy all the time in their work to forecast weather events, anticipate how citizens will cast their votes, or predict how a patient will respond to treatment.

Let's Get to It!

  1. Answer the following questions in short phrases (not full sentences).
  2. Do not use periods / full stops (.) You can see an example.
  3. Click the "Build a Thesis" button when you're finished.
  4. A window will pop open with your Built Thesis.
  5. Go back and adjust your answers to smooth out the thesis until it makes sense and expresses your beliefs. Clicking on the "Build a Thesis" button again will update your thesis to show your changes.
  6. Once you've got a thesis statement, use the Make an Online Outline button to generate the framework for your essay. (Would you like to see an example outline?)

What topic are you exploring for Causes & Effects?

Begin this phrase with an uppercase letter

Brainstorm a list of all the main events, actions, or relationships related to your topic. Number the three most important points on your brainstorm as 1, 2 and 3. It might help to think of these as a "chain-of-events" where 1 is the first and 3 the last or as a mixture of influences where 1 is important, but 3 is most important. Enter the 3 most important influences or actions below.

Use the select menu below to show if your topic is in the past, present or future.

First or Important influence or action #1

Second or More important influence or action #2

Third or Most important influence or action #3

What is a good title for your essay?

Your name:

Once you are happy with your thesis statement,
you can crank out a quicky outline by clicking the button below.