The author's purpose is his or her reason for writing a text, paragraph, or line. There are many reasons why people write paragraphs or lines, but when we look at why people write texts, there are three main reasons. These are to entertain, persuade, and inform. Examples of text written to entertain include stories, poems, and dramas. Examples of texts written to persuade include essays and ads. And examples of texts written to inform include encyclopedia entries and text books.
It's important to note that the study of author's purpose is not so much a science as it is an art. In other words, the author's purpose can be to inform and persuade in some cases, or to entertain and inform. In the following worksheets I have tried to include only clear examples. You may want to discuss the more ambiguous ones in your classroom, however. It may make for a great discussion. Click here for to learn more about author's purpose and watch an informational video.
It's hard to start if you don't know why you are writing.
Common Core State Standards
Author's Purpose Anchor StandardsR.6
- Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
RI.2.6 - Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
RI.6.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
RI.7.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
RI.8.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
RI.9-10.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose.
RI.11-12.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness or beauty of the text.
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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