Whatever your academic subject, you’ll invariably find yourself describing cause-and-effect relationships. Of course, in academic writing these relationships can be very complicated, but luckily the grammatical structures used to describe them often boil down to a simple formula.
When using verbs like lead to, cause, or generate, the structure is very straightforward:
noun (cause) + verb + noun (effect)
Even complex examples follow this simple pattern:
Others say globalization and lower levels of unionization may have led to a longer-term shift in the balance of power between workers and employers.1
Can you recognise the simple structure in this complex example? To explore in more depth, I’ve made a short video using lead to as an example.
Following this video, we can deconstruct the example sentence as follows:
noun phrase (cause) + verb + noun phrase (effect)
Others say globalization and lower levels of unionization may have led to a longer-term shift in the balance of power between workers and employers.
Effective use of simple structures like this will improve the clarity of your expression and logic of your arguments.
P.S. Can you spot which citation style I’m using?
- Mark Louis Latour, American government and the vision of the democrats (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2007), p.218