What is the Author’s Purpose?

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An author writes with one of four purposes in mind: To inform, to describe, to entertain, or to persuade. Once we figure out which one of these four purposes the author is writing with, we will be able to better understand his/her motivations for writing. If the author is writing to inform, it will probably be nonfiction. Some examples you might see are research papers or recipes. You are getting information. The author is informing you of something.

They’re informing you how to do something. It’s nonfiction. Their purpose is simply to inform you. If the author’s purpose is to describe, it will probably be fiction, and it’s going to have lots of details. A descriptive story or paper is going to elaborate on details. It’s going to give you as much description as possible, and a lot of times that’s going to be something that’s a work of fiction.

While you will have details in an informational paper, or writing of some sort, it’s not going to be the same kind of details you’d get in a descriptive, fictional narrative. If the author’s purpose is to entertain, then it will also probably be fiction, and you will have humorous and/or dramatic elements. Something that’s funny or humorous is going to be entertaining, but something dramatic can be just as entertaining as something funny.

Some of the best stories are going to have humorous and dramatic elements in them. Something written to entertain is usually fiction, and it will sometimes have both of these elements or sometimes just one or the other, but it’s written to entertain you, to make you feel entertained like you are reading a story that you were enjoying. If the author is writing to persuade you of something, you are probably going to see an editorial or an advertisement.

All of those ads you see on TV are meant to persuade you to buy something, persuade you that one product is better than another. That is where advertisements are going to be one of the primary places that you persuasion in writing. An editorial in a newspaper may lean toward or against a certain topic or a candidate in political campaigns, so those are also written to persuade you one way or the other.

Most people are going to see ads on an almost daily basis, whether it’s on the Internet, whether it’s on the TV, whether it’s on a billboard driving down the highway. This is something you’ll see every day, whether you’re trying to or not. The four main purposes an author will write with are: To inform, to describe, to entertain, or to persuade. Once you determine what the author’s purpose in writing is, you will better be able to determine the author’s motivation for crafting his work.

Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 07/17/2018


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