How to Find Cause and Effect in a Reading Selection

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How to Identify the Problem and Solution in a Reading Selection

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 How to Find Cause and Effect
  • 1:00 Example of Cause and Effect
  • 3:04 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kara Wilson

Kara Wilson is a 6th-12th grade English and Drama teacher. She has a B.A. in Literature and an M.Ed, both of which she earned from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cause and effect structures can be used to describe how an action takes place. This lesson will discuss how to find this structure within a reading selection.

How to Find Cause and Effect

When a news article or other informational text is written using the cause and effect organizational structure, it explains the ripple effects of what happened and why. Signal words and phrases are used within the informational text to clue the reader in that the cause/effect structure is being used. These signal words and phrases include:

  • For this reason
  • Therefore
  • As a result
  • Thus
  • Since
  • Due to
  • Consequently
  • Because
  • May be due to
  • This led to
  • On account of

It's also important to note that:

  1. The cause and effect structure is not always written in sequential order.
  2. Scholarly journal articles, news articles, or expository essays can also analyze why something happens.
  3. The author can choose to focus more on causes than effects, vice versa, or he or she can decide to fully examine both.

An Example of Cause and Effect

Let's look at an example to see how this is done. Here's a couple of excerpts from a New York Times article written by Ritchie S. King entitled 'After Lean Acorn Crop in Northeast, Even People May Feel the Effects.'

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support