Students will learn why authors wrote particular pieces using the examples presented on these pages.

There are three main reasons why an author writes something: to entertain, inform, or persuade (or sometimes all three at once!). When we are trying to grasp why an author sat down to write the piece that you are reading, there are several ways to tell tale signs that you can use to determine this. If the story presents a number of different facts or attempts to explain something it was most likely composed to inform the reader. This is common of news articles and textbooks. If the work diverts readers into a new realm towards the goal of amusing us, then it was written to entertain. This is common of stories and funny poems. If the work tries to get you to take some kind of whether it is to agree with the writer or reaffirm what you already believe the goal of the work is to persuade. You see this in advertisements and editorial pieces.

This collection of worksheets presents short passages, advertisements, excerpts, recipes, and other samples, and the students must determine the reason behind the writing. Students will learn how to use context and language clues in order to determine the purpose of the passage. Answer keys have been provided for each worksheet. Project idea: Have your students pick a topic and write three passages about it: one to entertain, one to inform, and one to persuade.

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Print Author's Purpose Worksheets

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Mixed Media

Why did the author write this? To entertain, to persuade, or to inform. Then, explain your answer.

Entertain, Inform, Persuade

What is the reason for this?

Multiple Choice

The sentences are shorter, but clearer here.

Stretch It

We move in all different directions here with the kids.

Short Explanations

Read the description or example and determine the author’s purpose: to entertain, to persuade, or to inform.

Extended Text

These are full paragraph works for you.

Advertising Thoughts

We all know that some ads are just there to entertain us.

Large Bodies of Text

Where do you fit all the body text?

Tougher Passages

These are more advanced works for students to work through.

Even A Recipe In There

We work hard to get through all these for him.

On the first day of school

Authors write for one of three main purposes: to entertain, to inform, or to persuade.


Works written for entertainment usually appeal to the reader’s emotions, sense of adventure, etc. The following passage is written to entertain the reader.


Use evidence from the work.

A Thick Reading Passage

Read the passage. Then answer the questions.

Covering All Angles

This passage does it all. It entertains you, persuades you, and informs you.

Page Number 2

This continues the passage from above.


When authors write to inform, they use facts, provide reasons, and offer evidence for what they are saying.

A Maritime Reading Passage

It is true that the powers of Europe may carry on maritime wars with the Union; but there is always greater facility and less danger in supporting a maritime than a continental war.

The Peacock Spider

The Peacock Spider is only about 5 mm long, but it is one of the most brilliantly colored of any spider species.


Identify at least three things that prove that the passage was written to entertain.

Was it the First Turtle?

Determine why the author is trying to do with this work. Then provide at least three items of textual evidence that support your answer.


What do you think would make an appropriate title for this passage?

Young Don Quixote

Read the text, paying close attention to the underlined passages. Identify the author’s purpose.

Here Kitty, Kitty

Focus on finding the evidence first.

More Entertainment

Underline at least five things that prove that the passage was written to entertain.

Short Work

Indicate at least three places in the text that reveal the author’s purpose.