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Reading Comprehension 17 - Purpose of Author
The purpose of a poem about the beauty of flowers is to entertain.

Reading Comprehension 17 - Purpose of Author

It is not only in Upper Primary English that our reading comprehension is tested. Everyday we read. It could be a newspaper or a novel, an instruction booklet on the way to handle your new smart phone, a tax notice from your tax authority or your text books to prepare for a test. You could be reading an advertisement for the latest movie, reading an advertisement from an e-trailer or you could be considering buying a new dress. In all the cases cited you are evaluating the purpose of the message that you read and that of its author.

It will aid your comprehension skills to learn the different motives for writing. Broadly, the purpose of a message falls into one of the following three categories:

1 - Informing the reader about something new or reiterating something they already know. Usually, informing seems to deal with facts and also deal with teaching something.

2 - Persuading someone to take action. In this category, advertisements seeking your indulgence are a common form of persuasion. Based on the message that is conveyed to you it is possible that you may take action to buy a product that is advertised.

3 - Entertaining. In this category all forms of general writing such as novels, plays, stories, jokes and poems are involved. Generally, the purpose of an author when entertaining is to promote his opinions and give his point of view. It is possible that the reader may or may not agree with the opinion of the author. Often, entertaining elicits some form of emotion from the reader.

It is always good to have a comprehension of the author's purpose whenever you are reading something so that you can understand what you are reading better. Take the quiz that follows and learn how to determine the purpose of the author.
1.
"The tiger is an animal belonging to the cat family and is one of the most recognisable of animals. In India it is reported that there are about 2000 tigers and the government has started a 'Save the Tiger' campaign in order to preserve the magnificent animal."
What was the purpose of this story?
To entertain.
To inform.
To express.
To persuade.
The purpose of the story is to inform and give information about the tiger
2.
When someone writes something about why people should always demand printed invoices when they buy goods and services what is the writer's purpose?
To express.
To persuade.
To entertain.
To inform.
When someone buys goods and services the government usually levies a tax. In order to ensure that taxes are paid an invoice is generated as a way of tracking the sale, otherwise taxes may be evaded. Here, the writer's purpose is to persuade the reader to ensure that he demands an invoice
3.
When someone writes something about what you will need if you go on an excursion what is the writer's purpose?
To inform.
To entertain.
To persuade.
To express.
The writer's purpose is to inform so that the person is prepared well to go on the excursion
4.
"Anamika was told by her friends to come to a movie on the first day of April. When she came to the movie hall there was no one there. Afterwards all her friends had a nice laugh."
What was the purpose of this story?
To express.
To persuade.
To inform.
To entertain.
The purpose of the story was to entertain. Here, a funny situation is used to elicit laughter - although, it wasn't very funny for Anamika!
5.
In which of the following options is the author's purpose to persuade?
A news report on an air crash.
A novel, such as 'Personal' by Lee Child.
A limerick about a young lady from Leeds.
An advertisement asking adults who are illiterate to join an adult education class.
An advertisement asking adults who are illiterate to join an adult education class aims to persuade such people to join the class. A news report on an air crash is usually to inform. A novel is written to entertain and a limerick is a literary tool used by writer to put across a point humorously in the form a verse following certain conventions. Limericks basically entertain
6.
In which of the following options is the author's purpose to entertain?
A poem about the spring season and the joys of flowers.
An article about how cotton is grown in India.
An advertisement in the papers urging the people to pay their advance tax.
An article about how scientists have discovered new forms of life that once lived on Mars.
A poem about the spring season is an attempt to entertain the reader with the blooming of flowers. A poem is a literary device used to entertain readers. An article about how cotton is grown in India is to inform. An advertisement in the papers urging the people to pay their advance tax is to persuade. A discovery is a form of information.
7.
In which of the following examples is the author's purpose to inform?
A news report of the latest murder case.
The statistics of the recently concluded India-Australia test cricket series.
A notice on how keeping hands clean by washing them before every meal can prevent illness.
All of the above.
All the three statements serve the purpose of informing the reader
8.
"It's The Khan in a new role! See him fight the aliens. Hear him demolish the predator. A completely new Khan in the action film HERO. Don't miss it!"
What is the purpose of this message?
To persuade.
To inform.
To express.
To entertain.
The purpose of the message is to persuade the reader to see a movie by convincing them that it is a good movie in which to see the leading actor in a new role. The message tries to convery that there is something new in the actor that the reader should not miss
9.
When R K Narayan, India's prolific English writer, wrote about the fictional town of Malgudi what was his purpose?
To inform.
To persuade.
To express.
To entertain.
R K Narayan created Malgudi and most of his stories were based on that town. His main purpose was to entertain the reader
10.
When someone writes a story about five cats riding a bus what is the writer's purpose?
To express.
To inform.
To entertain.
To persuade.
It is difficult to imagine that the writer is writing abouts cats riding a bus to persuade, inform or express! The only purpose is to entertain
Author:  V T Narendra

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