2.2 Craft and Structure

Cause and Effect Text Structure

Authors sometimes organize their writing by cause and effect. Signal words such as because, since, and as a result may help you determine what caused something to happen.

A cause is why something happens. To determine the cause, ask “Why did it happen?”

An effect is what happens. To determine the effect, ask “What happened?”

Read the passage below to help you understand the cause and effect text structure.

Sometimes humans change an ecosystem without meaning to.

It’s that way in my town, Oakville. Recently, many new homes were built in a wooded area of the city. People moved onto the land where deer and other wild animals lived. As a result, the only place the deer could roam was in the city. Early in the morning, it’s not unusual to see deer walking down the middle of the main street. They wander in people’s yards looking for plants to eat. It can be dangerous for drivers because the deer can run in front of cars.

That’s one reason our class has adopted the deer as a project. We’re writing to ask city council to leave some wooded areas for the deer.


Signal words provide hints that help you make sense of what you are reading. Click below to see the signal words in the text above.

Signal words

The words as a result, because, and one reason help to determine what caused something to happen. For example, when people moved onto the land where the deer lived, the result or effect was the deer started to roam in the city.

To learn more about signal words, click the link below.

|Signal Words|

Go back to the main page to learn about other kinds of text structure. When you are finished, go to the practice page.