Showing Cause / Effect in Written English

Writing Cause and Effect Essays
Connecting Sentences. James McQuillan / Getty Images

Sentence connectors are words and phrases that connect sentences to help with understanding. Sentence connectors are also known as linking language. This linking language can be used to order what you have to say, show opposition, provide clarification and so on. In many grammar books, you will find information about sentence connectors when reading about subordinating conjunctions, coordinating conjunctions and so on.

Here are sentence connectors that show cause and effect in written English. 

Type of Connector

Connector(s)

Examples

Coordinating conjunctionsfor (cause), so (effect)

Professionals can sometimes be extremely impatient, for their positions are at times rather stressful.

The doctor decided a second opinion was required, so Tom was sent to an eye specialist.

Subordinating conjunctionsbecause, since, as

Since high level positions are at times rather stressful, professionals can sometimes be extremely impatient.

I've decided to go back to school because I've always wanted to study philosophy.

As the meeting began late, the CEO went directly to his presentation on last quarter's sales.

 

Conjunctive adverbstherefore, as a result, consequently

High level positions are at times rather stressful. Therefore, professionals can sometimes be extremely impatient.

Susan enjoyed spending her free time at the theater. As a result, she decided to take a vacation in London in order to attend plays.

The rent has increased drastically over the past two years. Consequently, we've decided to move to a less expensive city.

Prepositionsbecause of, due to, as a result of

Due to the stressful nature of high level positions, professionals can sometimes be extremely impatient.

Albert left work early because of his appointment with his doctor.

Many students spend two or more hours playing video games each day. As a result, their grades suffer and they sometimes need to repeat classes. 

More About Sentence Connectors

Once you have mastered the basics of correct usage in written English, you will want to express yourself in increasingly complex ways. One of the best ways to improve your writing style is to use sentence connectors. Sentence connectors are used to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences.

The use of these connectors will add sophistication to your writing style.

Sentence connectors can do more than show cause and result. Here is a short overview with examples of each type of sentence connector and links to more information.

When you want to give additional information:

Not only have I not finished my work on the report, but I also need to begin work on next month's presentation in New York which is very important.
Mark would like to focus on his studies next year. In addition, he wants to look for an internship to improve his resume to help him in his future job hunt.

Some sentence connectors show opposition to an idea, or indicate surprise situations.

Mary asked for another week to complete the project although she had already spent three weeks in preparation.
Despite the economic growth of the past eight years, most middle class citizens are having difficult making ends meet.  

Contrasting information with connectors helps you show both sides of any argument:

On the one hand, we haven't invested in infrastructure over the past three decades. On the other hand, tax revenues are at the lowest in years.
Unlike my French class, homework in my business course is challenging and interesting. 

Subordinating conjunctions such as 'if' or 'unless' express conditions in various situations.

If we don't finish the project soon, our boss will be very upset and fire everyone!
She decided to finish school in New York. Otherwise, she'd have to move back home and live with her parents.

Comparing ideas, objects and people is another use for these connectors:

Just as Alice would like to attend art school, Peter wants to go to a music conservatory. 
The marketing department feels we need a new add campaign. Similarly, research and development feel our products need a fresh approach.