cause and effect paragraph | English homework help

Use the writing process steps to develop a well-written cause and effect paragraph. Keep in mind, the three characteristics of a good paragraph are unity, support, and coherence.

The final draft of the paragraph, with all supporting work (reflection, prewriting notes, outline, and first draft)

Paragraphs should be 250 to 350 words long, using Times New Roman or Calibri font, size 12, double-spaced. Your paragraph should also include a heading, a title, and an indent.


At the top of your prewriting, write down two areas you wish to improve on or two goals you wish to accomplish in this assignment.

Step 1: Prewriting

A cause or effect paragraph usually highlights either the causes or the effects of a particular circumstance. Your first step is to think about a specific circumstance and decide whether you will write about the causes or the effects of that circumstance. Once you have a topic, spend about 10 minutes gathering your thoughts about it. 

Ask yourself:

  • What is the main point of the paragraph, cause or effect?
  • What are the important causes or effects?

Step 2: Planning

Consider the material you gathered in your prewriting, and create an outline for your paragraph. Organize your ideas by order of importance. You can use the following template for organization. See this week’s reading for an example.

Topic sentence

Cause or effect 1



Cause or effect 2



Cause or effect 3




Check your outline for unity, development, and coherence by asking yourself:

  • Is your main idea or topic sentence clear?
  • Do your supporting points actually support the main idea? Delete anything off topic
  • Do you have enough supporting points and examples? You should have at least three
  • Are your supporting points organized in a logical order?

Step 3: Drafting

Using that outline, write the first draft.

  • “Flesh out” the ideas from your outline
  • Include transitional words and phrases to create a flow between sentences. See this week’s reading for a list of transitions for a descriptive paragraph
  • Compose a title for your work

Step 4: Polishing

Ask yourself:

  • Are my sentences too long or too short?
  • Do I have enough sentence variety?
  • Are my words appropriate for academic purposes?
  • Do I have any major grammatical errors (e.g., fragments, comma splices, or run-on sentences)?
  • Do I have any spelling or mechanical errors?
  • Are my verb tenses or persons (first, second, third) consistent?
  • Are there verbs or adjectives I could replace with better ones (e.g., nice = cordial, amiable, gracious; do = accomplish, undertake, perform)? Let (Links to an external site.) become your new best friend

Running the spell-checker is not a substitute for proofreading your work carefully.