Which language is useful in a cause and effect essay?

This is the third of four lessons about Cause and Effect Essays. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Introduce useful language to signal causes

– Introduce useful language to signal effects

– Provide examples to contextualise this language

Lesson 3

Now that you understand what a cause and effect essay is and have been introduced to some of the possible structures of this essay type, the next step would be to recognise that there are particular words and phrases which can be used to make it clearer to the reader whether it’s the cause or the effect being discussed. For example, when you’re introducing the causes of a situation, you should remember to include some of the following language structures.


1. Signalling Causes

  • (cause) caused (effect)
  • as/since (cause), (effect)
  • (cause) is the reason for (effect)
  • (cause) is responsible for (effect)
  • the first cause of (effect) is (cause)
  • (cause) is directly related to (effect)
  • (cause) has resulted in/led to (effect)
  • (cause) is one of the causes of (effect)
  • another reason for (cause) may be due to (effect)
  • because/as a consequence/as a result of (cause), (effect)



  • “increased linguistic support is the reason for decreases in dropout rates”
  • the first cause of high student debt is that universities realised they could make more profit by introducing a preliminary year”
  • “students receiving more instruction about cultural differences has resulted in students having more appropriate course expectations”


And when you’re introducing the effects caused by a particular situation, you should try to include some of the following language patterns:


2. Signalling Effects

  • (effect) is due to (cause)
  • (effect) began from (cause)
  • (effect) is caused by (cause)
  • (effect) is because of (cause)
  • (effect) affects/causes (cause)
  • another result of (cause) is (effect)
  • the first effect of (cause) is (effect)
  • (effect) is often attributed to (cause)
  • (effect) is a result/consequence of (cause)
  • consequently/therefore/thus/hence (effect)



  • “dropout rates have decreased due to students receiving more linguistic support through preliminary-year programmes”
  • another result of students receiving more instruction about cultural differences is that students have more appropriate course expectations”
  • “the increase in student debt is often attributed to the fact that universities realised they could make more profit by adding a preliminary year”


There is of course some flexibility to the above phrases, in which aspects such as verb forms, verb tenses and hedging language may all be altered to suit the writer’s purpose. Such variety can also exist in cause and effect essay questions, which is why we’ve provided some example questions below:


3. Signalling Cause and Effect Essays

  • How has global warming changed the world’s environment?
  • How are English-medium degrees benefiting Chinese students?
  • What are the effects on a child of having no siblings?
  • What were the most important factors for the economic crash of 2008?
  • What impact does a poor diet have on a person’s health?
  • Why have smartphones become so popular among teenagers?
  • What events have lead to global warming and how is this situation impacting the Western world?
  • Fewer and fewer students are finding relevant jobs after they graduate from university. What factors might be creating this situation, and how is this affecting students in the years after they graduate?
3 of 4 Lessons Completed


Once you’ve completed all four lessons about cause and effect essays, you might also wish to download our beginner, intermediate and advanced worksheets to test your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.

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