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August 25, 2015 - Posted to Writing
Best Topics for Cause and Effect Essays

If you are looking for a topic for a cause and effect essay for a course, or a unit of study within that course, there are four considerations:

  1. Choose a topic that really interests you
  2. Choose a topic for which the causes and effects are pretty clear
  3. Determine whether the essay will treat causes only, effects only, or both causes and effects.
  4. Choose a topic for which the causes and effects are “manageable,” that is, one that is not open-ended with such a long chain of cause and effects that you will have difficulty narrowing your lists to a number that can be addressed in a single essay. For example, there are multiple causes of climate change, and there are multiple effects. And each one of the effects of climate change is a cause for additional effects. This chain could go on and on, but you have to determine what the parameters are for your essay, so that you will be able to manage it. The best topics for cause and effect essay writing, then, are those for which you can find definite start and stop points.

With all of this in mind, here are some potential cause and effect essay topics for college students, categorized by content fields. Check on our examples essay topics too!

Sociology and Psychology

  • What causes a young person to join a gang or a terrorist group?
  • What is the effect of subliminal advertising on consumers?
  • What are the psychological effects of being the middle child (or the first born)?
  • What are the effects of domestic violence on children in such situations?
  • What causes young people to engage in significant substance abuse?
  • What causes a young person to become a bully?
  • What are the psychological causes of helicopter parenting?

History/Political Science

  • What are the causes of the rise of ISIS in the Middle East?
  • What are the causes of the Donald Trump phenomenon in American politics?
  • What are the effects on the U.S. economy of the political gridlock in Washington?
  • What were the causes of the wave of “new immigration” to the U.S. in in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?
  • What effects have the Tea Party movement and other rightist movements had on Republican Party policy declarations?
  • What will be the effects of the newly established relationship between Cuba and the U.S.?


  • How has globalization affected e-commerce?
  • What are the causes of the new “sharing” economy?
  • What are the economic effects of the Baby Boomer generation reaching retirement age?
  • What effects will raising the minimum wage have on the U.S. economy?
  • What are the causes of the new thrust of entrepreneurship?
  • How has the exponential growth of mobile device use affected business marketing?


  • What are the effects of man’s misuse of our oceans?
  • What are the potential effects of biogenetic engineering on a society?
  • What are the effects of pumping water out of the ground to address California’s drought?
  • What impact has nanotechnology had on medicine?
  • What are causes of the 500% per cent increase in earthquakes in the state of Oklahoma?
  • What are the causes of the increase major heart attacks and stroke among women?
  • What are major environmental causes of types of cancers?
  • What are the causes of the rapid disappearance of certain species of animals?
  • What will be the effects of the demise of coral reefs on oceanic life?

Hopefully, this cause and effects essay topics list has stimulated some thought for you as you consider your options.

Breadth and Depth as Factors in Topic Choices

You will need to identify and refine your topic choice based upon the parameters of the essay or paper assignment. If you are to produce a basic 5-paragraph essay, for example, you will need to narrow your topic to a cause only or an effect only presentation and further narrow causes and/or effects to 3-4. If, on the other hand, your professors has requested a much lengthier piece, then topics for cause and effect essay writing become much broader. If you are experiencing difficulty refining your topic appropriately or structuring and composing that essay properly, let an topic-specific expert from Ghost come to your aid.

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