50 Cause and Effect Journal Prompts

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When we ask the question "Why?" about a subject, we usually begin to explore its causes. When we ask "So what?" we consider the effects. Cause-and-effect writing involves drawing connections between events, actions, or conditions so as to achieve a clearer understanding of the subject.

Whether we choose to focus on causes (the reasons for something) or on effects (the consequences of something) depends on our subject and our purpose for writing. In practice, however, the relation of cause to effect is often so close that one can't be considered independently of the other.
You'll find that some of the following topic suggestions emphasize causes while others focus on effects, but keep in mind that these two approaches are closely related and not always easy to tell apart.

50 Writing Prompts: Causes and Effects

  1. The effect of a parent, teacher, or friend on your life
  2. Why you selected your major
  3. The effects of cramming for an examination
  4. The effects of peer pressure
  5. Why some students cheat
  6. The effects on children of a broken marriage
  7. The effects of poverty on an individual
  8. Why one college course is more rewarding than another
  9. Why many people don't bother to vote in local elections
  10. Why more and more students are taking online classes
  11. The effects of racial, sexual, or religious discrimination
  12. Why people exercise
  13. Why people keep pets
  14. The effects of computers on our everyday lives
  15. The downside of smartphones
  16. The environmental effects of bottled water
  17. Why reality shows are so popular
  18. The effects of pressures on students to get good grades
  19. The effects of a coach or teammate on your life
  20. The effects of not keeping a personal budget
  21. The causes of noise (or air or water) pollution
  22. The effects of noise (or air or water) pollution
  23. Why so few students read newspapers
  24. Why many Americans prefer foreign-built cars
  25. Why many adults enjoy animated movies
  1. Why baseball is no longer the national pastime
  2. The effects of stress on students in high school or college
  3. The effects of moving to a new town or city
  4. Why sales of DVDs are declining
  5. Why growing numbers of people shop online
  6. The effects of the rapid increase in the cost of going to college
  7. Why students drop out of high school or college
  8. Why college mathematics (or any other subject) is so difficult
  9. Why some roommates don't get along
  10. Why adults have more fun than children on Halloween
  11. Why so many people eat junk food
  12. Why many children run away from home
  13. The long-term effects of unemployment on a person
  14. The influence of a book or a movie on your life
  15. The effects of music downloading on the music industry
  16. Why texting has become such a popular means of communication
  17. The effects of working while attending school or college
  18. Why workers in fast food restaurants often have low morale
  19. The effects of not getting enough sleep
  20. Why increasing numbers of children are overweight
  21. Why TV shows and movies about zombies are so popular
  1. Why bicycles are the best form of transportation
  2. The effects of video games on young children
  3. The causes of homelessness in your community
  4. The causes of eating disorders among young people