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Getting Smarter through Language

Modes of Organization
Cause and Effect Mode

Cause and Effect Mode of Organization

Writers use the Cause and effect mode of organization to show how certain events, actions, or conditions lead to specific results, outcomes, or consequences.

It involves identifying the causes and effects of a particular phenomenon and explaining the relationship between them.


Topics or ideas that call for the cause-effect mode of organization can be anything that can be explained as having a cause and a result or effect such as “what causes diabetes," “what caused World War II,” “the effects of sleep deprivation on the body,” or “the effects of social media on mental health.”

Types of Text Using the Cause and Effect Mode

The cause and effect mode is frequently used in in academic writing, research papers, and business reports to explain complex phenomena or events. Journalists use the cause and effect mode when reporting news events and trends.

Transition Words Used in the Cause and Effect Mode

Transitions commonly used in the cause and effect mode include:

  • Because, (is) caused by, for this reason, causes, since, due to, as: These expressions signal the cause of an event or phenomenon.
  • Consequently, therefore, as a result, resulting in: These expressions signal the effect or result of an event or phenomenon.
  • However, although, despite, nonetheless: These expressions indicate a contrast or an exception to the expected cause or effect.

Example cause and effect mode of organization

The following paragraph is written using the cause and effect mode of organization:

Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer. When a person smokes, they inhale harmful chemicals that can damage the cells in their lungs. Over time, these damaged cells can turn into cancerous tumors. In addition to lung cancer, smoking can also cause other health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

Note. The above paragraph is used for instructional purposes only. Search the topic for accurate information on it.

Note for Readers

When you read, it is important to identify the mode of organization as cause-effect because it focuses your reading and improves comprehension.

Be sure to distinguish the cause from the effect. Pay attention to any detail that explains why something has a particular effect or result. What is the chain of events or sequence of causes and effects?

Do some results occur under certain conditions only? Are there conditions under which an expected result does not happen?

Up Next: Problem-Solution Mode

Continue the lesson to learn about the problem-solution mode of organization.