Identifying the Author’s Purpose

What is author’s purpose?

In later elementary school, students work on the “why” behind an author’s writing. We call it “author’s purpose”. What motivated the author to write the piece? What was their intent behind their writing and what did they hope to achieve with that writing?

By analyzing the author’s purpose, students gain a deeper understanding of the text.

What are the different types of author’s purpose?

The author’s purpose can be to:

Persuade: a text that is written to persuade aims to convince us to believe or do something;

Inform: a text that is written to inform aims to enlighten us about real-world topics and facts;

Entertain: a text that is written to entertain aims to surprise us or make us laugh;

Describe: a text that is written to describe aims to have us paint a picture in our imagination;

Explain: a text that is written to explain aims to tell us how to do something or show us how something works.

Author’s purpose worksheets

In our grade 4 reading section, we have created a couple of worksheets for students to practice analyzing a series of texts to work out the author’s purpose for each.

Author's purpose worksheets