Cause and Effect TopicsWhen selecting your topic for this essay, you should find an event, trend, or phenomenon that has a fairly obvious cause and effect. You can pick very big topics like World War II and attribute a cause and effect to it by not exploring every possible reason why it started and what its effects were. Just pick a few causes and effects that you can attribute to it and make some notes before you start writing.
For example, let’s say that you’ve chosen the October Revolution of 1917 as your topic. What are some key elements to this event? There are MANY but let’s pick war, living conditions, and political repression. Now let’s break these down further:
War: The Russian Empire had already killed off many of its young soldiers in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905 and in the early years of World War I. The Provisional Government that came after the monarchy in February 1917 didn’t do much better in WWI. This resulted in people being angry about losing so many soldiers and resources for the war effort.
Living Conditions: Life for both the peasants in the countryside and the workers in the city was abysmal. This went hand in hand with an elite who used up many of the country’s wealth for their own personal pleasure. This resulted in people being angry for having so little while others had so much.
Political Repression: There was no political freedom in the Russian Empire. There was no “real” constitution, parliament, or elections that weren’t controlled by either the monarchy or later by the Provisional Government. Because of political repression, anyone who disagreed with the status quo was subjected to arrest, exile, or execution. People wanted more freedoms like other citizens had in Western Europe.
Other Cause and Effect Essay Topics
- How divorce effects children
- Why some friendships end
- The effect of the American Civil War on race relations in the US
- The effect of birth control on the Sexual Revolution
- The effects of poverty on people’s psychology
- Why first-year college roommates rarely get along
- The positive effects of a healthy lifestyle
- Why some romantic partners cheat
- How second-wave feminism effected gender relations between men and women
- The effects of drugs on prenatal development
How to Write a Cause and Effect EssayNow that you have selected a suitable topic, you can begin to write your cause and effect essay.
Step 1: You need to explain the effects by making appropriate links to the causes. This is where your breakdown of the topic will help you.
Step 2: Be sure to only focus on a few points. Too many will overcomplicate everything for your reader.
Step 3: Organize your essay
- Begin with your thesis statement. It should state the event, phenomenon, or trend that you want to explore in your essay.
- All of the other paragraphs should begin with topic sentences that explore one of the cause and effect aspects. In the October 1917 example, you discuss the war's cause and effects in one paragraph.
- End your essay by drawing your discussion together neatly.
Cause and Effect Essay ExamplesThe causes and effects of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia are enough to fill volumes upon volumes of text. However, I will explore three main causes of this revolution. These were namely war, terrible living conditions, and political repression. While there were other factors involved, these three basic causes created ripple effects that left almost no one in the former Russian Empire untouched and a country ripe for further revolution…
Many people wonder what caused the writer Fyodor Dostoevsky to transform from a potential revolutionary to a fervent skeptic of revolution and an ardent Russian Orthodox Christian. Pivotal moments in the writer’s life played a role in his transformation. This included the murder of his father by his peasants, his near execution that was only stopped on the tsar’s orders, his imprisonment and exile in Omsk, and his battle with poverty. Due to all of these factors, Dostoevsky was changed not only as a person, but as a writer as well…
- Proper formatting
Model Essay #1
Model Cause, Effect, and Solution Research Essay
Prompt: What are some causes and effects of illiteracy?
Title: Understanding and Solving the Problem of Illiteracy
If we can send a people to the moon, should not every person on earth have the ability and opportunity to read and write well? Knowing how to read and write, or being literate, is a prerequisite for succeeding in today’s technologically advanced and quickly evolving global society. Every person needs to acquire literacy in his/her early development, because reading and writing are useful skills in so many daily activities, from reading newspapers, medicine bottles, and product warning labels, to writing letters, emails, and reports. Being literate also develops the mind, imagination, and critical thinking skills. However, many people in the world are not literate, and many do not even have the opportunity to become literate in their lifetime. In fact, UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the international organization that collects data for the United Nations, estimated in 2004 that 800 million people (nearly 1 in 6 people in the world) are illiterate, and more than 65% of that number are women. This number is increasing as well, due to the high birth rates in illiterate societies. Therefore, in order to understand more about this significant phenomenon, a few of the causes, effects, and solutions to illiteracy will be discussed.
One of the major causes of illiteracy is poverty and the subsequent lack of access to reading and writing materials. Realistically, students who would have gone on to continue their education past the 5th year sometimes quit school in order to work on the farm or in a factory in order to assist with the family income. Also if a family is poor, food and the basic necessities of life take precedence before books can be purchased. Related to this issue is Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of needs. Maslow, a well-known psychologist, wrote that people deprived of basic needs, such as shelter, food, clothes, and basic safety, are less likely to develop themselves with higher education (University of Tennessee Website, 2004). In other words, economic instability can affect the ability of a population to become literate.
The effects of illiteracy often negatively impact a nation’s ability to develop its human resources. Countries with a high illiteracy rate are more likely to be disadvantaged in the global economy. If a populace is not literate, it cannot be as involved in high tech jobs. New careers in the sciences, mathematics, and technology are primarily established in countries that have literate populations. Another major effect of illiteracy is not having access to basic information that is distributed via books, newspapers, or the Internet. This type of information could include practical advice to increase the quality of life, such as how to participate in microfinance projects. In short, illiteracy does not encourage positive social change, personal growth, or the preservation and development of language and culture.
How can illiteracy be overcome? One of the best solutions to solving the stubborn problem of literacy is to teach parents to read, so that they can in turn teach their children. In a document published by the Departments of Education of Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, and others, Judith Schickendanz explains that “Children learn about written language in a … socially mediated way…. Children also learn about the functions of written language as they observe and help parents make lists, write letter to family members or friends, or read menus in a restaurant” (1999). If the adult women are educated first, each generation will be able to read and write, since mothers are the first educators of children. The women will teach their children, both male and female, who will in turn teach their children. Once more people in a society are literate, that society tends to develop further capacities, and further value literacy.
In conclusion, illiteracy has many interrelated causes and effects. In many countries literacy rates are increasing, notably in India, due to literacy campaigns (EFA, 2000). Economic development of many of these countries is also increasing in a similar fashion. Thus, one could easily argue that the increase in literacy is directly correlated with positive economic growth. In the past, education was not required, but in this day, universal education is becoming a necessity. Therefore, innovative solutions should be implemented to take advantage of this unique time in history.
The EFA 2000 Assessment: Country Reports (2000). India. Retrieved August 25, 2006 from the UNESCO Web site: http://www2.unesco.org/wef/countryreports/india/rapport_2_2_1.html
Schickedanz, J. (1999). Myths About Literacy Development. Retrieved August 24, 2006 from the National Association of Early Childhood Specialist in the State Departments of Education Web site: http://naecs.crc.uiuc.edu/newsletter/volume6/number3.html
Simons, J., Irwin D. and Drinnien, B. (1987) Psychology - The Search for Understanding New York: West Publishing Company. Retrieved August 25, 2006 from the Faculty Development at the Honolulu Community College Web site: http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/maslow.htm
UNESCO Education. (2005) Literacy and skills development. Retrieved August 24, 2006 from the EFA Global Monitoring Report Web site: http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-uRL_ID=35964&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html