By: Endro DH, MA

In our daily we often talk about causes and effects of certain phenomena. For example, we often discuss the causes of global warming or the effects of smoking. In the academic writing world, the cause and effect pattern also applies when we write a paragraph. If you want to learn how to write a cause and effect paragraph, follow these tips:


There are two kinds of patterns in the cause and effect paragraph. In the first pattern, in your topic sentence you write the effect of something. For example, you write “Low birth rate is caused by a number of factors”. So in the supporting sentences, you write some causes of the low birth rate.

In the second pattern, you write the cause of something in your topic sentence. For instance you write “Smoking can cause several bad effects to us”. Then in your supporting sentence, you write about the bad effects of smoking.


If you want to say that X cause Y, you can use the following language patterns:

>>> Drug use and unemployment cause/produce/bring about/is responsible for/lead to/increase crime.


>>>Drug use and inflation occur, producing/bringing about/causing crime.

Always try to vary your language so that your sentences will not be monotonous.


If you want to say that the effect Y is caused by X, you can use the following language patterns:

>>> Crime is caused by/is produced by/results from/is brought about by drug use.


>>> Crime occurs mainly, as a result of/because of/due to drug use.


Finally, apply the normal steps in writing a paragraph including writing a topic sentence, writing supporting sentences and writing a conclusion. Take a look at the following example of a cause and effect paragraph!

An Effect and cause paragraph:

The low birth rate, which has been brought about by high prices and the changing social situation of women, is one of the most serious problems in Asia and it is caused by several reasons. First, the low birth rate in Asia is caused by the high price of house.  In many major cities such as Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, the cost of a house is extremely high. A young couple who want to buy their own house may have to pay as much as $300, 000. In the case of an apartment which has one bedroom, one dining room, a kitchen, and a bathroom, the couple will have to pay approximately $ 900 a month. Moreover, low birth rate in Asia results from the high children’s education expense. So if they want to have a child, the child’s education is not affordable. For example, most kindergarten fees are at least $5000 a year. In such a situation, it’s very difficult to afford children. Next, the low birth rate in  Asia is because the number of married women who want to continue working is increasing rapidly as these women enjoy their jobs. So, if they want to have children, they immediately have serious problems.

A cause and effect paragraph:

Scientific studies have shown that vitamin A may have beneficial effects in clearing up skin problems, treating eye disorders and fighting infection. To begin with, vitamin A tablets bring about solution to skin problems. Tablets with vitamin A have been used effectively in treating skin problems like acne. When applied directly on the skin, vitamin A can also clear up boil and heal ulcers. Injection of vitamin A have even been use to remove warts from people’s skin. Secondly, vitamin A is a successful way of treating such eye disorders as night blindness and blurred vision. In addition, therapeutic doses of vitamin A are used to treat glaucoma and conjunctivitis. Most important, vitamin A plays in integral role in fighting infections. Because it strengthens cell walls, vitamin A protects the mucous membrane from invading bacteria. Furthermore, dosages of vitamins A have shortened the duration of communicable diseases, such as cold and measles.