Forget the chicken and the egg — we’ve got 50 cause and effect essay topics that will give students an opportunity to create a logical essay. Our essay topics are designed to spark critical thinking and can be modified for students in elementary, middle and high school. They are grouped by topic for easy student and teacher reference. Feel free to print the entire list for plenty of inspiration for your next cause-and-effect essay assignment!
Politics and Culture Essay Topics
- How does political fundraising influence political decision making?
- What would be the impact of lowering the voting age?
- Choose a recent event in American history that involved another country. What was the cause of America’s actions, and what was the effect?
- What causes people to choose to vote or to abstain from voting?
- What would be the impact of allowing people to vote online instead of in person?
- What aspect of society has been influenced the most by social media and technology?
- What causes poverty in America?
- What causes homelessness?
- What are some of the effects of growing up in poverty for American children?
- What are some of the effects of growing up in a wealthy family for American children?
- What factors influence a person’s decision to attend or not attend college?
- What effect does choosing to attend college have on a person’s life?
- Does television affect society’s perception of social issues (for example, same-sex relationships)?
- Do protests and other social actions have an effect on social issues?
- Is using social media a valid way to protest or raise awareness about an issue?
- How has the increased use of cell phones affected our in-person social interactions?
- How does scientific research affect the way food is marketed to consumers?
- How does scientific research affect the way medicine is marketed to consumers?
- What causes one product to be more popular than another product?
- What is the greatest determining factor in a child’s life on whether he or she will be a successful adult?
Values and Ethics Essay Topics
- What impact does frequent violence (either from war or street violence) have on a community?
- What factors make certain communities more peaceful than other communities?
- How does the First Amendment affect the way people use social media?
- What causes divorce?
- What causes addiction?
- What impact does the term “broken families” have on children of divorced families?
- What causes children to be placed in foster care?
- Why do charitable organizations exist?
- Why do food pantries exist?
- Why do some people choose to bully others?
- What causes someone to become truly excellent in his or her career, in athletics, or in another field?
- How do music and art affect people?
- Is exercise necessary for all humans to maintain their health?
- How does a person’s diet affect his or her health?
- How does the place you choose to live affect your life?
Big Picture Questions
- Who has the greater effect on a person’s life: family or their friends?
- What has the greater effect on a person’s life: the country in which the person is born or the person’s gender?
- What has the greater effect on a person’s life: financial status or health?
- What is the single biggest factor that affects the environment today?
- What causes climate change?
- What actions need to be taken to make American a stronger country?
- What actions need to be taken to make the world a safer, healthier place?
- What created our planet?
- What is the single largest impact that you think humans will end up having on this planet?
- Why did people originally leave their home countries to explore the rest of the world?
- How has human curiosity driven human progress?
- Has human curiosity had an overall positive or negative effect on the planet?
- What caused humans to domesticate animals for labor and companionship?
- What are some of the factors that make the world feel smaller and more connected?
- What are some of the factors that make the world seem large and difficult to wrap your head around?
Looking for more essay topics?
Compare and Contrast Essay Topics
Descriptive Essay Topics
Narrative Essay Topics
Persuasive Essay and Speech Topics
When high school students are confronted with information or current events, they should be able to independently analyze the data or situations. These cause and effect essay prompts will help your teen draw conclusions about underlying causes and intended (or unintended) effects. A family discussion may help your high schooler brainstorm and organize ideas before he starts writing.
1. He Who Fights with Monsters
Violent video games and toys are pervasive in our society. Could this be caused by malicious, money-hungry marketers, or is it simply a reflection of human nature? Do toy guns and first-person shooter games lead to more crimes, or do they actually prepare young people for better self-defense? Write an essay explaining how violent video games can affect the individual gamer, society, or both.
2. Daddy’s Home
Sadly, it has become ever more common to see broken homes and absent fathers. What do you think has caused this breakdown of marriage, and what are the effects on children who grow up without a male role model in the home?
3. Give Me Liberty
Gun control is a divisive topic. From your experience or research, why are guns withheld from law-abiding citizens? What happens to freedom when a citizen can no longer own and carry a weapon? What happens to crime rates?
4. Some Things Money Can’t Buy
In our nation, personal debt has skyrocketed over the last century. What has caused the massive growth of school loans, credit card debt, and thirty-year mortgages? What is the effect on an individual, family, or country when debt is entered into so freely?
5. Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better
Have you heard that boys statistically get more attention than girls in a classroom? What do you think has caused the integration of young men and young women in educational settings, from high schools to youth groups to summer camps? What are some of the positive effects of this social policy, and what have been some of the negative or unintended effects?
If you enjoyed these cause and effect essay topics, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for teens.
WriteShop I & II, homeschool writing curriculum for teens
High School Writing Curriculum
If you’re looking for a homeschool writing curriculum for your teens, consider our WriteShop program:
- WriteShop I
- WriteShop II
Download free sample lessons here.
If you enjoyed these essay prompts, be sure to check back each week for more Writing Prompt Wednesdays! Once a month, we feature topics especially suited for high schoolers.