Guide How to Write a Cause and Effect Essay in Criminal Justice: Everything Justified!

Writing guide
Posted on September 17, 2019

What is a Cause and Effect Essay in Criminal Justice?

The main aim of a cause and effect essay is to examine a situation and explore its reasons and results. The essay determines the causes and consequences of various phenomena, actions, and conditions. You need to be well aware of the topic in order to present the audience with an in-depth insight into a specific issue. Furthermore, analytical writing skills and cognitive reasoning abilities are required for writing a substantial cause and effect essay. This type of essay explores the underlying reasons for a specific situation or action and discusses its results. Usually, a cause and effect essay analyses both reasons and consequences. However, it is also possible to consider only a cause or effect of the issue. You should take into consideration that there is a need to use professional language and follow the requirement of a typical academic essay. With regard to a cause and effect essay in criminal justice, it involves the analysis of reasons for different concepts, including criminal punishment, procedure or sentencing, and their results. An insightful cause and effect essay considers logical arguments and reviews the causes and effects of the problem under discussion.

Choosing a Topic for a Cause and Effect Essay in Criminal Justice

You need to remember that choosing a topic for an essay is one of the most significant steps of the pre-writing process. In addition, criminal justice includes different issues that would engage the audience. However, different countries offer different historical and socio-cultural and this should be taken into consideration before the selection of topic. Furthermore, it may be challenging to consider the cause and all of the various effects of a significant issue, so it would be useful to narrow a cause and effect topic down to a manageable size.

The topics below should help you choose a compelling idea for your cause and effect essay in criminal justice:

  • The Causes and Effects of Capital Punishment;
  • Causes and Effects of Media Violence;
  • The Reasons for A Diversion in Criminal Justice and Its Effects;
  • The Causes and Effects of Cybercrime;
  • The Causes and Effects of White-Collar Crime;
  • The Effect of Poverty and Crime on Relationship;
  • The Reasons for Domestic Violence;
  • The Effect of Sociology on Crime Prevention;
  • The Effect of Social Media on Crime Investigation.

Pre-Writing Tips

In case the topic is not provided by the instructor, selecting a topic for a cause and effect essay is an essential step of the initial writing stage. Sometimes, students may find it challenging to find an appropriate subject, so it may be helpful to ask the professor for clarification to eliminate the vagueness of the task and choose a specific issue. It is better to select the topic that would be interesting for you. This way you will be able to provide a reasonable perspective of the problem and offer different viewpoints on the issue. In such a case, students will be able to explore the topic from diverse points of view and explain the cause and effect. It would help if you focused on presenting narrow specific arguments avoiding irrelevant information and too broad claims. As a result, it is crucial to pay enough attention to choosing a narrow topic in criminal justice to write a valid cause and effect essay.

You should keep in mind that there is a need to conduct in-depth research to find relevant information before writing an essay. Accordingly, you should study up-to-date materials, surveys, articles, and laws. It will help to obtain the required knowledge of the issue and present its cause and effect persuasively and objectively. The presentation of information will be more effective in case you gather information from several credible sources. Moreover, background knowledge may be helpful in terms of presenting the issue more effectively. In addition, you should remember that your claim should be based on precise data, studies, and facts. Accordingly, the causes and effects of the issue should be supported with relevant references.

Another critical point is that before writing an essay, there is a need to write a short outline. It will assist in organizing the main points of an essay. Logical order of thoughts and ideas makes a paper more compelling. Accordingly, a substantial cause and effect essay should include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. In addition, you should pay attention to a thesis statement and write down the primary causes and effects of the issue. It will also help to develop the arguments and present information in a logical order. A thorough outline will assist in writing a compelling cause and effect essay in criminal justice.

Structure of a Cause and Effect Essay

With regard to the structure of a cause and effect essay in criminal justice, it should be noted that it follows a regular structure of academic essays. It is crucial to keep in mind that the structure of cause and effect essay derives from the nature of cause and effect relationship. In other words, the cause always goes before the effect. Accordingly, there are some specific features that should be taken into consideration while writing a cause and effect essay.
It is worth mentioning that you should choose a clear and consistent title in order to attract readers. As a rule, a cause and effect essay consists of an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Although the five-paragraph structure is usually used for cause and effect essays, you can include more effects or causes if necessary. The introduction aims to explain the relevance of the issue and provide background information. In addition, it contains a thesis statement that presents the main arguments of the work. A cause and effect essay includes three body paragraphs that discuss one or several causes and effects of the issue. Consequently, a conclusion summarizes the presented arguments and restates the thesis statement in order to remind the findings of the essay.


A cause and effect essay in criminal justice starts with an introduction that captures readers’ attention. In addition, it presents general background information on the chosen issue. You need to discuss the topicality and relevance of the problem in a concise manner. Furthermore, the introduction may also contain critical facts about the issue, including recent findings or statistical data. The last sentence of the paragraph is a thesis statement that contains the essential concepts of the writer’s argumentation. A thesis statement aims to summarize the main idea of the essay and reveal your unbiased position.

You can read the examples of effective and non-effective thesis statements below:

Incorrect: ‘The death penalty does not keep people from murdering each other.’

This thesis is too broad and does not reveal the cause and effect of the issue.

Correct: ‘The death penalty is a way to deter people from committing terrible crimes so that people in a society will observe that justice is being done.’

The second thesis statement effectively presents the writer’s central idea. Consequently, readers can easily understand the approach towards the subject matter.

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of a cause and effect essay aim to reveal the cause and effect relationship between different factors. Accordingly, you need to start with a discussion of reasons in order to maintain the logical structure of the essay and ensure that it is easy to read and understand. After the explanation of the cause, there is a need to discuss the effects of the issue. It is more effective to structure the main point of each paragraph on one central fact, and not to overcrowd the section with the abundance of the main arguments. You should try to explain the peculiarities of the cause and effect connection in a concise manner. Moreover, there is a need to present a fresh look at the problem with the help of relevant sources. In addition, the paragraphs should be logically concise and informative.

Do not forget that each of the body paragraphs starts with a topic sentence that gives the readers a clear understanding of what is about to follow. The topic sentences connect the paragraphs with a thesis statement. The explanation of the cause or effect should be based on clear arguments and supporting evidence. Moreover, sometimes, it would be beneficial to present additional evidence to prove the relationship between the claim and the thesis statement. With regard to stylistic, it is crucial to include a smooth transition between the paragraphs.

Another critical point is that the causes and effects should be supported with the evidence from relevant outside sources, including criminal laws, articles, and research. You need to remember that the usage of related references will make the paper more persuasive. Accordingly, supporting evidence will assist you in writing an essay in a clear and logical manner.


A final part of a cause and effect essay is a conclusion. The main aim of a conclusion is to provide a cogent summary of the writer’s central claims. First of all, do not forget to restate the thesis in different words to underline the findings of the paper. However, a conclusion should not present any new information or supporting evidence that was not mentioned in the body part. In addition, you can discuss further research that would be useful due to the findings of the essay. The last sentence of a conclusion is a concluding statement that explains the general role of the provided explanations.

Post-Writing Tips

As soon as you write your essay, there is a need to check the draft for grammar, vocabulary, and consistency. Firstly, it is crucial to check whether the paper meets the requirements of the professor. Accordingly, you need to reread the work and check whether the presented claims are consistent and supported by up-to-date sources. In addition, there is a need to check the accuracy of paper format. You can check the peculiarities of paper formats on the website, Purdue Owl. Secondly, it is crucial to correct grammar and vocabulary mistakes in order to make an essay more compelling. Consequently, you should check word order, spelling, and punctuation. Thirdly, logical consistency is the essential component of a cause and effect essay because the paper achieves its purpose of presenting the reader the topic through smooth transitions and the right flow of a logical argument.

Another critical point is that there is a need to check the structure of the essay. An effective essay needs to follow a typical structure of an academic essay. It should include an introduction, several body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Furthermore, the thesis statement needs to present the main argument of the paper reasonably. Accordingly, the body paragraphs should support the thesis and reflect it in the topic sentences. Keep in mind that a conclusion should restate a thesis statement. Do not forget to check whether the causes and effects of the issue were clearly researched.

With regard to the context of the paper, you should avoid repetitions and irrelevant details. Besides, it is crucial to check whether the claims are based on relevant supporting details. Do not include extra information that is not relevant to the topic of the paper. Transitional words may help the writer to present the ideas in a logical order. For instance, for presenting the cause, it would be helpful to use such phrases as because of, as a consequence of, to result from. because/since/as, because/since/as, to be the result of. Accordingly, to discuss the effect you can use consequently, hence, the first effect of, something has an effect on.

Finally, you need to consider all the notes and corrections in order to make a final version of an essay. Following the tips presented in the guide will help you to write a persuasive cause and effect essay in criminal law that deserves the highest mark.

“Definitive Guide to Writing a Cause and Effect Essay – A Research Guide.” A Research Guide for Students, 8 Jan. 2019,
“Model IELTS Causes and Effects Essay.” IELTS Buddy,
“Cause & Effect Essay.” Excelsior College OWL,
“Criminal Justice Research Topics – IResearchNet.” Criminal Justice,

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