Top Tips for IELTS

Cause and effect exercises

 One of the most important bits of grammar and vocabulary for IELTS essays is the language of cause and reasons. You need to use this language because the instructions tell you to give reasons for your opinions. The trap is though that you use the words reason and because too much. That is what this lesson is about.

See the mistake and understand the problem

If you read through this highlighted version you should see the problem immediately. There is way too much repetition. This matters because to get a good score in grammar and vocabulary you need range or variety.

There are various reasons why more people are suffering from stress today. One reason is that because of the pace of life nowadays we do not find time to relax. Another reason is the fact that many people find it hard to achieve a good work-life balance because they are under so much pressure to produce results in their job. The final reason is the fact that people feel increased stress because they need to earn money because the world we live in is more and more commercial.

The problem is just one structure is use Reason → because


See a much better example

This paragraph uses exactly the same ideas and most of the same language. It is though much. much better.

There are various reasons why more people are suffering from stress today. One is that the pace of life nowadays means that we do not always find time to relax. Likewise it is difficult to find a good work-life balance due to the pressure to produce results at work. Another related cause of stress is the need to earn money to survive in our more and more commercial world.

You should see that there is a much wider variety of grammar and vocabulary here – not just one repeated structure:


Here are three different linking phrases to avoid using reason. If you look at my notes, they use slightly different techniques each time.

One reason is → One is [just delete the word – it’s surprising how often this works]

Another reason is → Likewise [use a connecting word to avoid repeating the word]

The final reason is → Another related cause [use another word]


Again , here are three different ways to avoid using because too much.

because of the pace life → the pace of life means that [think about using a verb instead]

because they are under so much pressure to produce results in their job→ due to the pressure to produce results at work [due to is one good synonym]

feel stress because they need to earn money because the world we live in is more and more commercial→cause of stress is the need to earn money to survive in our more and more commercial world. [this one just uses cause instead of because]

Practise this language

These two exercises give you a little practice using this language. They both follow the same structure as the paragraph above.

More cause and effect exercises

It would be a mistake just to learn this paragraph structure – good as it is! You need to be able to use a wide variety of words and phrases for other types of paragraphs too. You will find more words and phrases with exercises here



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10 Responses to Cause and effect exercises

  1. sarim ali September 2, 2014 at 1:38 am #

    i have written the same paragraph in my own words. Could you please have a look and see if something needs to be corrected.

    Actually, i am struggling with my writing at the moment as my requirement is 7 bands and i am yet to cross 6.5. A friend of mine recommended your page to me and honestly this is the best website i have ever been on so far. Your detailed lessons and samples are helping me a lot and i was wondering if i could get some customized lessons according to my needs.
    Do you teach online by any chance ? Like if u can check and send a feedback ? That would be much appreciated.

    ”There are various reasons of why more people are suffering from stress today. One is that the pace of life now a days hardly let us have a time off from work to relax. Similarly (or likewise) the pressure of producing results at work has made it less frequent for people to have a work-life balance. Ultimately, their need of earning money to survive in this more and more commercial world causes them feel an increased level of stress”.

    Please do reply as i am desperately seeking some help to get my required score.
    l look forward to hear from you soon.

    kind Regards

  2. payman April 18, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    Perfect … Thank you

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