IDENTIFYING AUTHOR’S PURPOSE
All authors write for a reason. The reason an author writes something is called the author’s purpose. When you figure out why a reading passage was written, you are identifying the author’s purpose. Authors write for one of four reasons—to describe, to entertain, to explain, or to persuade.
- If a reading passage tries to get readers to do something, buy something, or believe something, the author’s purpose is to persuade.
- If a reading passage provides facts about a particular subject or tells readers how to do something, the author’s purpose is to inform.
- If a reading passage is enjoyable to read, tells a personal story, or uses a story to teach a lesson, the author’s purpose is to entertain.
- If a reading passage contains many details about a person, place, or thing, the author’s purpose is to describe
Questions about author’s purpose ask you why the author wrote the passage. Most authors write for one of these reasons: to persuade (make someone want to do something), to give information, to describe, or to entertain. You can remember these four reasons by remembering P.I.D.E.—P for persuade, I for information, D for description, and E for entertain.