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Effective Guidelines for Writing a Good Causal Analysis Essay Outline

Suppose you receive an assignment to illustrate how certain events, actions, or conditions bring about certain outcomes. In other words, you are tasked to write a causal analysis essay. The first step in completing this assignment may be to write an outline of your future essay. So, how can you write a good outline?

  1. Decide on the structure of your essay.
  2. After picking a topic worth exploring, think about what type of causal analysis you want to write. You may examine either the causes or effects of the chosen topic in your essay. However, it is not advised to focus on both of them simultaneously due to word limit and time constraints. An analysis can be constructed with many causes leading to one effect, many effects brought about by one cause, and as a chain of cause-effect relations.

  3. Do your research.
  4. Investigate the chosen causes or effects, and get strong evidence that will support your arguments. Write your thesis statement, which is a few sentences used to summarize the point of the essay. In the case of causal analysis essays, the thesis statement has to include the investigated causes and effects, as well as the reasons for exploring them. Choose 3-5 examples to include in support of your thesis statement. Use them as the main points of your outline.

  5. Construct the outline.
  6. Arrange your main points in a logical order, and if necessary, remove or replace the weak or irrelevant ones. Typically, your outline will have the following structure:

    • Introduction.
    • It includes a “hook” – an interesting fact to grab the reader’s attention, a list of explored causes or effects, and a brief summary of your essay.

    • The body of an essay.
    • The main part consists of at least 3 paragraphs, one for each of the explored causes or effects. Begin the first paragraph with the summary of your most important point. Continue by listing several details that support your statement. Conclude the paragraph by making a transition into the second paragraph. Repeat the same structure with the second and third paragraphs. It is useful to assign Roman numerals to the main paints, and Arabic ones to the sub-points and details.

    • Conclusion.
    • This part should link all the main points together, as well as tie it all back to the introduction and your point of view.

Making an outline will help you construct your argument in a clear, precise, and logical fashion. It can also be immensely useful in determining whether your thesis statement, main points, and arguments are appropriate or not. Last but not least, making an outline will save you a lot of time.


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