What is the Purpose of the Authors?
Teaching students about the author’s purpose is a common reading comprehension strategy. It is also a fairly intuitive concept, as most students know why they enjoy pigeon books or historical nonfiction about the Revolution.
In general, authors write to persuade, inform, or entertain. By learning the three primary writing purposes, readers will better understand how to approach selections.
Whether they write fiction, nonfiction, or even a blog post, every author has a reason for reporting their selection. The primary purpose of a text is the author’s intent to either persuade, inform, or entertain.
Authors attempting to inform the reader will use facts and statistics that help educate them on a particular subject. This type of writing can be found in textbooks, newspapers, and magazines.
When the author intends to entertain, they use literary devices, such as a fast-paced plot or creative character development. Entertaining texts can be happy, sad, scary, or even funny. Authors like Daniel Handler trying to explain, often called how-to texts, will try to teach the reader through examples and step-by-step instructions. They will also attempt to appeal to the reader’s senses by using sensory details such as sounds and smells. An excellent way to introduce students to these types of purposes is to create a pie chart with them collaboratively or have them work independently on identifying a particular goal in a specific piece of literature.
A text written to persuade aims to convince the reader of the merits of a particular point of view or a course of action. It can use facts and emotional input to help readers understand a situation’s underlying causes and effects. It may encourage a reader to take an active role in helping solve the problem.
Teaching students to identify the author’s purpose is easy because most of us can tell when we are being entertained or informed. A first grader who loves pigeon books can tell you why they are so fun, and a fifth grader reading about the American Revolution can say to you why they find historical facts so interesting.
However, it is essential to remember that not all purposes are mutually exclusive. Some texts have two or more goals. For example, a persuasive speech might also be entertaining and informative. A political cartoon could have both a straightforward and fun sense.
Authors aim to engage and amuse readers through storytelling or humor when they entertain. For example, the book features a fictional cast of silly farm animals that cause laugh-out-loud mischief and aims to entertain readers. Moreover, authors such as Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket, may also write to describe, aiming to help readers visualize the subject through vivid language. Texts are written to instruct or seek to provide step-by-step guidance or directions.
Whatever the author’s purpose, all writing pieces elicit an audience response. Remembering the acronym will help you determine the meaning of a text. It’s as easy as pie!
To satisfy someone is to provide something they want, need, or require. For example, a paper might satisfy a literature class requirement, while a candy bar might satisfy a chocolate craving. When authors write to help, they aim to communicate a main idea about a subject. They may also use narrative writing to tell a story. It is essential to determine the author’s purpose so that you can understand what they are trying to achieve with their work.