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Cause and effect

The table below simply represents the variety of meanings, uses and nuances that can be derived from the word most strongly associated with the notion of cause and effect mainly expressed by the word because . This is not intended as a reference list, though you may use it as such if you are looking for alternative vocabulary. In a more general sense, you are invited to think about all these words, and the subtlety of their meanings in relation to each other. You will find, for instance, that cause actually means contributor, and effect actually means outcome. Each tells the same story from a different angle or perspective. Knowing your perspective will always help you to achieve precision in writing. More than this is the ability to explain not just what something is, but, at a lateral level, how something happens, which is a fundamental skill in all research. Words in the table below were derived from the entries for because and related words in a number of dictionaries and thesauruses. The sheer number of related words should encourage you to write with ever increasing variety and range. Try building up a similar table using any other word, especially one that you use very frequently. The exercise of looking through a few dictionaries will certainly benefit your repertoire of vocabulary and should give you more choices for more subtle nuances in your writing. Because ... nuance noun cause cause contributor to causality the result origin e.g. source principle because of influence gravity, key apples fall to derivation the ground intention production contribution responsibility precipitation input adjective causative reliable original influential derivative derived intentional intended contributive verb cause be the cause of shape give rise to initiate generate affect bring about trigger originate make make happen influence lead to intend produce create contribute induce deduce promote engender be responsible for determine precipitate adverb causatively originally derivatively contributively intentionally determinedly subsequently context phrase because due to as a result of owing to since therefore when ... .then if ... then since ... then

nuance noun effect effect result of consequence prior act or derivative condition result e.g. outcome development because the product train was output late, I missed repercussion my ramification appointment implication nuance noun attribution attribution ascribing attribute cause ascription e.g. reference to explanation because of interpretation the accident, reason why she never drove again

adjective dependent on reliant on

verb result from arise from grow from stem from be shaped by culminate in proceed emanate from follow from depend on verb account for attribute ascribe impute refer derive from assign as cause indicates shows points towards be associated with correspond to correlate with verb answer respond reply acknowledge explain interpret solve discover inquire query satisfy allow

adverb naturally consequently necessarily eventually reliably conditionally

adjective attributed to attributable to explained by

adverb accountably unaccountably imputedly derivatively

nuance response reaction stimulus e.g.


because you said that, Ill begin to think differently

noun response impact, reply defence explanation contradiction acknowledge ment discovery solution, clue inquiry, query satisfaction support evidence resolution reaction noun

adjective conclusive inconclusive defended contradictory satisfactory interpretive apparent empirical

adverb conclusively satisfactorily evidently interpretively apparently empirically

context phrase because owing to resulting from due to caused by depending on of course it follows that therefore as since context phrase because according to hence thence therefore on account of due to in view of owing to as a result of as a consequence of with reference to in respect of in light of from this point context phrase because in response to as a result in conclusion in reply in defence in acknowledgem ent of in light of considering while acknowledging that context phrase because since as


adjective valid rational reasonable

verb infer reason validate

adverb rationally validly reasonably

reasoning reason inductive or explanation deductive argument

calculation e.g.

generalisation rationale induction because it deduction was a hot discussion day, we took inquiry our bathers debate analysis synthesis

reasoned cogent logical forceful relevant appropriate correct persuasive conclusive dialectic polemical debatable controvertible

argue consider discuss debate dispute refute examine wrangle follow from contend insist

arguably forcefully appropriately correctly conclusively consequently accordingly

for hence whence thence seeing that then so so that for this reason for that reason for which reason inasmuch as whereas considering in consideration of therefore wherefore thus in conclusion finally after all in the end on the whole context phrase because therefore as for this reason by reason of on account of due to owing to

nuance motive reason for generating an effect e.g.


adjective reasoned intentional motivated persuasive enforceable inclined biased

verb stimulate induce prompt instigate provoke encourage attract activate actuate act on work on operate on determine bias incline dispose predispose persuade enforce concede verb

adverb with reason intentionally determinedly

reason ground(s) stimulus intention motivation inducement because she influence was inspiration interested, encouragement she took up incentive astronomy concession purpose





context phrase

intention determination direction aim towards an goal outcome pathway e.g. aspiration because I have a goal, I will make it happen

intentional determined decisive incisive deliberate conscious

be determined aspire intend ensure aim (for) set up work towards aim towards effect envisage

determinedly decisively intentionally deliberately consciously

because of in order to to with the intention of so that so

Understanding and suggesting solutions to problems is at the heart of much academic work. However, solutions cannot be suggested unless the problem is fully analysed, and this involves a thorough understanding of the causes and the effects. The cause may show what led up to the event or idea that is, what caused to become what it is now. The consequences of the event or idea are the effects of it. Cause or effect paragraphs are sometimes written separately; in this case, one paragraph will state the causes, and the other will give the effects. Often, though, both the cause and the effect are combined into a single paragraph. Some of the language that you may find useful for explaining causes and effects is listed below:

Lack of adequate resources Much of the instability Interpersonal and community violence

VERBS may cause/ can lead to can result in can give rise to stems from

poverty and injustice the economic effects of the war

caused by/ resulting from produced by/ stemming from poverty, ... NOUNS The most likely causes of X are poor diet and lack of health care. A consequence of chronic deprivation is a feeling of insecurity. Social advocacy is an important factor in helping people undo negative coping. Many other variables have an influence on poverty levels. Another reason why Xs are considered to be important is that ... PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES A great number of people owing to/ because of wrong economic become poor as a result of/ due to policies. Wrong economic policies are often applied, ADVERBIAL PHRASES thus/ thereby a great number of people become poor. perpetuating the poverty cycle.


Many people encounter chronic deprivation.

Therefore, Consequently, Because of this, As a result (of this),

they develop a feeling of insecurity.

Sample paragraph: cause and effect pattern (with signal words bolded)

Until World War I, the United States had always been a debtor nation. The value of the goods and services we imported often exceeded the value of the goods we sold to foreigners, and foreigners were investing far more in the United States than Americans were investing in other countries. Thus we had to pay interest and dividends to investors abroad. During World War I, the situation was reversed. The war-torn nations of Europe needed U.S. goods, so our exports more than doubled, while the value of the goods we imported declined, By 1919 we had become a creditor nation foreign nations owed more to the United States than the United States owed to them. This net credit position continued until 1985, at which time the United States once again became a net debtor nation. The value of our imports greatly exceeded the value of our exports, and foreigners were investing heavily in U.S. securities, largely because of the relatively high interest rates here.
(Gordon, S.D., and George G.Dawson. Introductory Economics . 7th ed. Lexington: D.C.Heath. 1991. 433