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Identify Author’s Purpose

Why do you think the author wrote this piece? To persuade? To entertain? To inform? To express? Author’s purpose is the reason or reasons an author has for writing a selection. Authors may have more than one purpose for writing. Purpose can be stated explicitly or readers may have to infer the intent.

Reflective readers are able to analyze information when they can describe author’s purpose. Identifying purpose may give readers clues about how to approach a text and what strategies to use before, during, and after reading to build understanding.

Guiding Questions:

  • Based on the title, why do think the author wrote this selection?
  • Which words do you think best describe the main reason the author wrote this selection: to provide readers with information? To describe a person, event, or issue? To express their own thoughts and feelings? To persuade readers to think about an issue in a certain way and to take action? Or to entertain the reader?
  • Why did the author write the article from a particular point of view?
  • How did the author influence your response to the selection?
  • Was the author’s purpose specifically stated?
  • Do you think that the author achieved his/her intended purposes? Did the article effectively give information? Entertain readers? Express the author’s thoughts and feelings? Persuade readers to think about an issue and/or take action?
  • What examples from the text support your conclusions about author’s purpose?


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