Main Rules Of Proper Cause And Effect Essay Outline Format

A cause and effect essay is a very popular assignment and one of the most interesting. It’s always fascinating to look deeper into ordinary issues and understand the true reasons for their happening. Before starting your work you should do some research on a given topic and make notes. The next stage some students are struggling with is making an outline which will guide you through the writing process.

What to Include in a Cause and Effect Essay Outline?

An outline of any essay briefly describes its introduction, main body, and conclusion, but may also set forth other sections:

  1. Introduction.
  2. Introduce your topic and some general information about it. Define what you are going to explore: the two variables for causes and effects. You can present more specific data later. A thesis clear statement finishes the introduction.

  3. The literature review.
  4. Write what resources you used and how your topic was investigated previously by other authors.

  5. The main body.
  6. This is the largest section which should have at least three subsections. Your main ideas should be contained in separate paragraphs. You may mention the problem as a subsection and its causes, effects or both as smaller subsections. If you want to describe the “domino effect” use separate subsections for each point.

  7. Conclusion.
  8. Rephrase your thesis statement and expand it with evidence from the main body. You can also propose solutions to cure the harmful effects of some phenomenon or write why it is important to see its causes and effects.

Important Suggestions for Formatting an Outline

  • Prepare for writing.
  • Define the main purpose for writing and the major ideas you want to prove. Write lists of ideas with questions you want to answer, draw schemes to see clearly the reasons and results of the issue you describe. You should be a specialist on the topic before you make an outline.

  • Choose a structure.
  • There are two strategies of outline formatting. The first one is alphanumeric: you use Roman numerals, capitals, Arabic numerals and lowercase letters for listing ideas in order of their significance. The second is a decimal structure: it requires numerals instead of letters to number subsections like “3.1”, “3.1.1”, and so on.

  • Make the sections parallel.
  • Start each section with a similar word construction, so that all of them are alike.

  • Choose a style.
  • Decide if you prefer to write in brief or in full sentences. If you use just short phrases you may later forget what you wanted to explain.

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