Cause and effect essay topics: guidelines on how to brainstorm them

Writing the cause and effect paper is a hard assignment for many students, and this is largely due to the fact that it is a unique type of essay that has its own unique rules and criteria. It is unlike any of the other essays a student may be asked to write. Following are some tips for the brainstorming portion of preparing for this type of essay:


  • Before writing down your thought on paper, analyze your thoughts and ideas on the cause and effect you are going to write about. Are the events really linked or are you stretching things and jumping to rash conclusions just to have a topic? Is there more than one cause or effect you need to consider? Watch out for the cause and effect fallacy – this is the mistaken ideas that one event caused the other based on only the fact that is preceded it chronologically.

  • Your intended audience will determine how much background to give. Most times you will be writing for your instructor, so a lot of background information is not needed. But you should still include some so you can show your instructor that you know your stuff and understand how your topic fits into the grand scheme of things.

  • Gather supporting information because no matter how strongly you believe something or think something is true, if you cannot back it up then you cannot prove its validity. Do the required fact checking and find sources, interviews, data, and other reports on your topic to see if your cause and effect idea is really a cause and effect.

  • Outline your ideas so that you can keep everything organized as you plan out your paper and figure out what you are going to say and where in the paper you are going to say it.

A good outline and the proper amount of research makes drafting your essay and actually writing it much easier. This is why it is important to spend time on this part of the process. You should state the cause and effect relationship that you are exploring. This would be your thesis statement. Make sure you are using strong arguments and valid data to back up your view and ideas. You should rely more on data, quotes, and authority sources rather than your own thoughts and opinions- no matter how passionate they may be.

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