Author's Purpose

Author’s purpose is closely tied to text structure. In narrative text, the author entertains; in expository text, the author informs; in argumentative text, the author persuades the reader; and technical writing presents a process. Students should, however, put on their detective hats to discover if the author may have an underlying purpose separate from the text structure. 


Text Type Author's Purpose
Narrative To Entertain
Expository To Explain, Inform
Argumentation To Convince, Persuade
Technical To Instruct,Tell How

Web Resources

Can you Determine the Author's  Purpose for Writing?

TEACHnology: the online teacher resource


Author's Purpose Chart: This graphic organizer allows students to collect examples of author's purpose from multiple points in a passage to help them determine the author’s overall purpose for writing.

Author's Purpose Bookmark 

Author's Purpose and Tone of Voice: This is a high school lesson by Patricia Penrose. 

Graphic Organizer: shows visually the four text types with questions to identify author's purpose

Identifying Persuasive Text: This handout provides helpful questions to use when trying to discriminate between expository and persuasive text.