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Author's Purpose Practice Exercises

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Updated on Apr 25, 2014

Review the following study guide if needed:

Author's Purpose Study Guide

Author's Purpose Practice Exercises

Practice 1: Ripples of Energy

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) A wave is any movement that carries energy. Some waves carry energy through water. Others carry energy through gases, like air, or solid materials. If you drop a rock into a pool of water, a wave, or ripple of energy, skims across the pool's surface. In the same way, an underwater earthquake can release energy into ocean water. Then it carries a giant wave, or tsunami, across the surface until it hits land.
(2) If you hear a clap of thunder, sound waves (or vibrations) have carried the crashing BOOM to your ears. Sound waves speed through the air at about 1,100 feet (335 meters) per second.
(3) Light also travels through the air in waves. They travel at more than 186,000 miles (300 million meters) per second. So the light waves from a flash of lightning reach your eyes before that clap of thunder reaches your ears!
(4) Electrons travel in waves, too. They move back and forth in a solid wire, sending waves of electricity so you can turn on a light during the storm!
1. What is the author's most important purpose for writing the selection?
a. to persuade readers to throw rocks into the water
b. to entertain readers with the legend of Wally Wave
c. to teach readers how to use a surfboard to ride waves
d. to inform readers about different kinds of waves
2. Which question could best help someone figure out this author's purpose?
a. Did the author give me information?
b. Did I learn how to make an electric light?
c. Did the selection make me feel sad or scared?
d. Did the author want me to make waves?
3. Which might also have been an author's purpose for this selection?
a. to teach readers why people wave at one another
b. to inform readers about gravity and magnetic pull
c. to persuade readers to study more about tsunamis
d. to entertain readers with a little humor

Practice 2: People Who Need People 

Read the selection, and then answer the questions that follow.

(1) Everyone needs help sometime. Humans depend on one another. That's why communities everywhere have special people to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it.
(2) For example, what would our citizens do without a community fire department? If a home catches on fire, as the Jackson place did last week, it might be destroyed and the inhabitants hurt . . . or worse. We're so fortunate to have trained firefighters to come to the rescue and put out the fire, safely. If the fire department hadn't come so quickly, the Jacksons might have lost everything.
(3) And what about our local police who protect our families, our homes, and our belongings? The police have helped so many families this past year, especially rescuing people and pets and protecting our property after the flood.
(4) Think about all the other service workers we have in this community. We have sanitation workers who collect trash and keep our community clean. We have road workers who put up and repair traffic signs and fix potholes in the streets to protect not just us, but the tires on our cars! And where would this community be without the teachers in our school and the doctors, nurses, and technicians in our community clinics?
(5) We benefit so much from all these tireless workers who keep our community running. But these services are expensive. As citizens, we pay taxes, it's true, and some of the taxes go toward buying the services we need. But today, there's just not enough money. Times are hard and the economy has slowed. Plants are closing and people are losing their jobs and homes. But citizens still need services!
(6) Many service workers are thinking of leaving and going to other communities where they'll be paid a better wage, one that allows them to support their families. They can't afford to live here anymore . . . and we can't afford to let them leave.
(7) We need these people in the community. So join with us today as we petition for changes to our tax system that will allow our community to keep more of the tax dollars to invest in service workers who live right here in the community. Please sign our petition now, and be sure to vote for Proposition 6X1 on Election Day!
4. What is the author's most important purpose for writing the selection?
a. to entertain readers with an exciting story about a flood
b. to persuade readers to sign a petition about taxes
c. to teach readers how to use the new voting machines
d. to inform readers about what firefighters do
5. Which question could best help someone figure out this author's purpose?
a. Did the author make me laugh?
b. Did the author teach me what to do in case of fire?
c. Did the author inform me about how to become a teacher?
d. Did the author want me to do something?
6. If the last paragraph had NOT been written, what do you think the author's purpose would have been?
a. to explain to citizens who the Jacksons are
b. to thank citizens for paying taxes
c. to remind citizens about the many services they have available
d. to inform readers about the dangers of potholes
7. Why do you think the author believes readers will sign the petition?
a. because they like firefighters
b. because they are members of the community
c. because they have cars
d. because they need stop signs
8. How does the first sentence give a clue about the author's purpose?
a. It signals that the author may ask readers to do something to help others.
b. It signals that the author is talking about math.
c. It signals that the author is not American.
d. It signals that the selection is fiction.
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