Author's Purpose Worksheets

We try to determine why an author wrote a piece a certain way. We review writing to inform, persuade, and entertain.

Author's Purpose to Inform
Break down a piece to determine where it clearly indicates that the purpose is to teach something. Take so time to think on this one. There might be some hidden meaning in sentences of the work.

Author's Purpose to Entertain
Identify where the author tries to draw emotion from the piece. We ask you to cite specific parts of the work that indicate that the work is meant to entertain.

Author's Purpose to Persuade
See what action the author is trying to get you to take. We have you underline the parts of the passage that tells us that they are trying to motivate you to take action or form an opinion.

Author's Purpose Of A Long Passage
We use a lengthy passage to add to reader's stamina. This is a very extended passage for you to take in. We have you use all the skills that the unit has covered.

Determine the Author's Intent Version 1
This is a real mix of topics. You need to find the motivation behind each work. Take a look through the history driven passage, sales pitches, and works of fiction. Just label them all for us.

Determine the Author's Intent Version 2
Similar to the previous worksheet, but this one is a bit more obvious. We ponder wrinkle cream, Thomas's fall from honor role, and a famous female writer. Why did the author write these works?

Determine the Author's Intent Version 3
The point behind understanding the work is to determine the motives of the author. The third entry is usually a little difficult for many students. You might want to look at it with them.

Determine the Author's Intent Version 4
See if this one is bit easier for you. The writers of these works really spread out their motivation to cover the gambit of influences.

The Purpose of Summaries
We give you book summaries and ask you to determine why they were written. See if you can understanding why each of these book summaries were written. The book titles are all fictitious.

What's the Author's Purpose
See if you can find where these quick one-liners are headed. See if you can understand where the author is going with this in one short sentence.

Writing With More Than One Purpose
The authors try to persuade you by first entertaining you. See if you can make sense of it. Find out where the author tries to entertain you, just to butter you up and persuade you.

Great Authors Worksheets
We look at the work of some of the best of all time.

How to Determine an Author's Purpose

Knowing what the author intends to achieve is a key component of reading comprehension. Kids who learn to discern an author's intent can gain an ability to better understand human nature. They learn to actively analyze the intent of the person they are talking to and can thus become more empathic and emotionally intelligent.

Hence, this is an important skill that kids should acquire since it can potentially help them a lot in their personal as well as professional relationships in the future.
Here is how students can learn how to determine an author's purpose:

You should ask your students why they are reading something that interests them. This answer will help them to identify the author's purpose. For example, you can ask students why they want to read a book on American history. They might reply that they want to be informed about America's past. You cannot fail to miss that this is the reason why the author wrote the text - to inform readers about American history.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to explain the 3 main reasons for writing.

(1) To persuade
(2) To inform
(3) To entertain.

They can memorize these writing intents via the acronym PIE (persuade, inform and entertain).

Persuade - An author trying to persuade readers presents arguments in favor of a particular view meant to convince the reader (of that viewpoint). Readers who accept these arguments will then accept what the author is trying to convey.

Inform - If the author is presenting facts, then he or she is trying to inform the reader.
However, you should warn kids to be careful when reading about 'facts.' It is extremely common these days to read about erroneous 'facts' or mere opinions that are passed around as 'facts.'


At times, the author is simply trying to amuse the audience. That is, the author wants to entertain readers.
However, it is more common for authors these days to intersperse facts with humor. That is, they present facts in a humorous way. This is known as infotainment.

How PIE Can Help

The PIE abbreviation is a useful yet simple concept that you can introduce to kids to bolster their reading comprehension. This will help them become aware of what the author intends to achieve with their writing. This key concept can then be extended into other aspects of life so that kids become more astute in their social and (future) professional interactions.

Understanding the PIE approach can help students think analytically and make sense of what they are reading. Once kids have a good grasp of this concept, they can delve deeper into critical thinking to boost their reading acumen of youngsters.

Explain Genre

After explaining PIE, you can widen its scope by introducing the concept of genre.
You can try explaining different kinds of writing genres so that kids understand what they are reading. By knowing about various genres, children set their expectations for what the text might contain.

Fiction and Nonfiction

Text can be divided into two main categories - fiction and nonfiction.
Younger kids may have a greater affinity for fiction since its purpose is mainly to entertain.

The Author's Purpose in Fiction

The author's main purpose in writing fiction is to amuse and entertain the reader. An example of this can be seen in the fiction book "Duck for President" where the writer Doreen Cronin deftly uses an imaginary cast of goofy creatures to create hilarious scenarios. This book is clearly written to amuse the reader.

The book's main plot is that Duck becomes disgruntled with Farmer Brown and subsequently orchestrates an 'election' to assume control over the animal farm. Note that the book would not have been that hilarious if human beings took the place of funny farm animals.

The author uses the power of personification to bring the farm characters to life and thus amuse and entertain the young reader. One pertinent fact that you should point out to kids is that even nonfiction books are not purely for entertainment. They may have an underlying message that the author wishes to impress upon the reader. The author may want the reader to understand some moral or ethical lesson after they read the book.

Writer Kevin Henkes has composed some fabulous works of fiction like "Chrysanthemum" to convey important life lessons to the young reader. This story is all about acceptance, self-esteem and teasing - key matters for preteens and teens as well. Henkes leverages some very interesting characters to entertain the reader and persuade them that treating others with kindness is paramount.

In Nonfiction

The primary purpose of nonfiction is to convey facts to the reader. This includes documentaries that can be seen on National Geographic, the History Channel and Discovery.

For instance, programs like National Geographic Kid's Planets thoughtfully explain facts.
However, it is now common to find entertainment and even fiction elements. Nonfiction delivered with a sense of humor is often referred to as infotainment.

Finding a bit of fiction in nonfiction works is also common. This can be seen in historical novels and plays. Or in history documentaries that reenact key historical events. For instance, a documentary about the American Civil War will show realistic portrayals of battles fought during the war. While these battles are based on historical reality, the portrayal is an imitation of how these battles may have been fought.

By helping kids acquire this valuable skill, you can boost their reading acumen and help them grow into perceptive individuals.