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Author's Purpose

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Basics on the topic Author's Purpose

What is Author’s Purpose? – Definition

Have you ever wondered why the author wrote a story the way that they did? You might have been wondering, what the author’s purpose is! The definition of the author's purpose is the reason that they write a story.

The reason why an author writes something.

Take a look below to find more about this author’s purpose lesson, author’s purpose video and author’s purpose worksheets.

Author’s Purpose – Meaning

What does author’s purpose mean? When authors write, they write for many different reasons. One of those reasons is to inform or give information to the reader. Another could be to entertain the reader or to provoke ideas within the reader’s mind. As authors write they also give reasons that support it! But, how do you find the author’s purpose?

Identifying the author's purpose can be achieved by reading the title and the text closely that they have written. Then, look for supporting sentences that help to give reasons for this idea. You can do this by looking for words like should, good, need and bad.

Author’s Purpose – Examples

Do you think you can figure out what the author's purpose is in these examples below? Take a look!


What is the author's purpose in the picture above?

  • Hint: Look for words like good, should, need and bad to help figure it out!


The author’s purpose in this example is that trees are great for the environment. We can see that the author used words like need in the sentence ‘Trees create more oxygen, which we need in order to breathe!’

Let’s see one last example! Can you figure out what the author's purpose for writing this text is?


What is the author's purpose for writing this text?

  • Hint: Look for words like good, should, need and bad to help figure it out!


The author’s purpose in this example is that it is important to stay cool in the summer. We can see that the author used words like should in the sentence ‘You should drink a lot of water in the summer to stay hydrated and cool!’

How to Find Author’s Purpose – Summary and Practice

What is the author’s purpose? Today we learnt all about what an author's purpose is. We learnt that an author’s purpose is why they write something. We also learnt that authors usually give reasons to support their purpose.

When trying to find what the author's purpose is in a text, follow these steps:

Step # What to do
1 Start by looking at the title and the story to learn what it is about.
2 Read the text closely and look for keywords that
give you an idea of what the author is trying to say.
3 Next, look for the reasons to support the purpose
using words like good, should, need and bad.

Interested in learning more about identifying the author's purpose? After this video are interactive exercises and author’s purpose worksheets! Don’t forget to comment below and tell us what you have learnt.

Frequently Asked Questions on “What’s the Author’s Purpose?”

What is the main purpose of identifying the author's purpose?
How do you determine the author's purpose in a text?
Is it possible for a text to have more than one author's purpose?
Can an author's purpose change throughout a text?
How does genre influence the author's purpose?
How can analysing author's purpose improve critical reading skills?
Is the author's purpose relevant only for academic and literary texts?
What role does the author's background play in determining purpose?

Author's Purpose exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Author's Purpose.
  • Why do authors write?


    A reason for writing could be to tell others information about a certain topic.

    When writing, authors share their ideas.

    Authors will back up their ideas with reasons.


    All of the choices are correct. These are the reasons authors write:

    • To inform, or help readers learn something.
    • To share their ideas.
    • To share reasons for their ideas.
    • They enjoy writing.

  • Identify the author's idea and supporting reason.


    Does the author feel that recycling is good or bad?

    • Find a reason to support the author's idea.
    • Look for clue words like should or need.

    Look for sentences that support the idea, or purpose, while reading.

    These are the steps to finding an author's idea and supporting reason.


    Author's Idea

    • Recycling is good as it helps keep plastic out of the ocean.
    Supporting Reason
    • We need to recycle so that sea turtles don't eat the plastic in the ocean.

  • What is the author's purpose?


    In this example, the author's idea is that recycling is a good way to keep plastic out of the ocean.

    • Spending time in nature makes people happy.
    • Does this reason support the idea that people should or should not spend time in nature?

    The author's idea in the text is that people should spend time in nature.

  • Identify the author's purpose and supporting reasons.


    What is the text about?

    What reasons support the author's idea that dogs need or do not need exercise?


    The author's purposeis that dogs need exercise. This should be highlighted in green.

    The supporting reasons are that dogs need lots of exercise to stay healthy and exercise such as daily walks and playing fetch will keep your dog happy. These should be highlighted in violet.

  • What is the author's purpose for writing here?


    What is the text about? Is it about art or PE?

    The text is about art. Does the author think art is good or bad?


    The author's purpose in this text is that schools should have more art classes.

  • What is the author's purpose and reason for writing?


    Painting can help students feel more creative.

    Does the author say that schools should or should not have more art classes?


    The author's purpose and reason for writing is: schools should have more art classes such as painting because painting can help pupils feel less stressed and more creative.