cause effect


  • What happens and why is called cause and effect.  Why something happens is the cause.  What happens because of the cause is the effect.

    •  A cause is the reason that something happens.
    •  An effect is the result, or what happens because of the cause.
    •  Clue words such as so, so that, since, because, and if  often signal cause and effect.  Other clue words are reason and as a result.


    A cause is something that happens.  An effect is something that happens because of the cause.  Read this sentence:  “I forgot to set my alarm clock, so I was late for school.”  The cause of being late for school was forgetting to set the alarm clock.  The effect of forgetting to set the alarm clock is being late for school.  Questions about cause and effect usually begin with the key words, why, what happened, or because.



     Cause ands Effect questions ask you to figure out why things happen.  Sometimes, but not always, the words because, because of, therefore, due to and consequently will appear.  Your job is to find out why something has happened.


    •  Cause and Effect Questions:
    • What is the effect of sunlight on plants?
    • What caused the water pipe to break?
    • The real reason he needs money is because _____.
    • Several reasons are given for the start of the war.  Which statement is NOT a reason?
    • Why did the team win the game?
    • What happens when the rain does not stop? 


    Strategies for Cause and Effect:

    •  Ask yourself what is the reason that something has happened.
    • Be certain your answer is based on the information that was contained in the passage.  Look for the key words such as because, therefore, due to.
    •  If there are no key words ask yourself, “From this passage, what do I think the reason is that…?