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.