Identifying an Author's Purpose Practice Exercises

Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Identifying an Author's Purpose Study Guide

Exercise 1

Read the text carefully and actively, and then answer the questions.

Organic farming is a carefully regulated industry. In order for foods to be considered organic, they must be grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. They must be processed without food additives. Foods such as meat or eggs must be from animals raised without hormones and fed a healthy diet. Foods that pass these requirements can be certified as organic. Traditionally, organic foods have been grown on small farms, but the growing market for organic goods at grocery stores around the world has boosted production in recent years.


  1. What is the tone of this text?
    1. dismissive
    2. straightforward
    3. critical
    4. sympathetic
  2. Which type of writing might include this excerpt?
    1. a novel about organic farming
    2. an editorial about organic farming
    3. an advertisement for organic farming
    4. a news article about organic farming

Exercise 2

Read the article to answer the questions below. The sentences are numbered for easy reference.

(1) Organic foods are grown by local farmers who use safe, sustainable farming methods. (2) One reason to eat organic is because these methods protect the earth. (3) Organic farming does not introduce dangerous chemicals into the soil, the crops, the air, or the ground water. (4) Organic foods are also better for our bodies than conventionally grown foods. (5) The long-term effects of genetically modified foods are still being studied, but pesticide residue is known to be poisonous to the human body. (6) Certified organic foods are minimally processed, and studies show that they can contain twice as many nutrients as conventionally processed foods.


  1. Which statement from the text represents the author's opinion?
    1. Sentence 3
    2. Sentence 4
    3. Sentence 5
    4. Sentence 6
  2. Which of the following titles would best introduce this text?
    1. Why Eat Organic?
    2. Organic Food Sales Are on the Rise
    3. Locally Grown Foods versus Organic Foods
    4. A History of Organic Farming

Exercise 3


Read each excerpt below and decide whether the purpose is to inform (I), persuade (P), or entertain (E). Write the corresponding letter on the line, as shown in the example.


Chai tea is the best cure for the winter blues. A cup of chai, served warm or cold, will give you a boost of vitamins C and E to keep you feeling your best through the long winter season.

  1. ___ Harriet Tubman was an African American abolitionist. She was born into slavery in 1820, but she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849.
  2. ___ Cal stuffed a sandwich and his tackle box into his backpack. He perched anxiously on the couch, watching out the window for his father's car. It would be their first fishing trip this season, and he couldn't wait.
  3. ___ Carrie quickly scribbled a sign for her bedroom door: Keep out! Busy studying! She wanted some quiet time to think, and her mother wouldn't pester her if she claimed to be studying.
  4. ___ Requiring students to wear identification tags at all times will make it easier for school officials to identify security threats and protect students.
  5. ___ More than 30 schools in southern Maryland introduced new policies about student identification tags this year. School officials say the policy has helped them to minimize security threats.


Exercise 1

  1. b.
  2. d.

Exercise 2

  1. b. Sentence 4 is the only one of the answer options that expresses an outright opinion. The other statements (sentences 3, 5, and 6) might not be convincing, detailed evidence, but they are based in fact. In this example, the author tries to persuade the reader by presenting information about one side of an issue. It doesn't meet the objective and balanced test of informative writing because the intent is to sway the reader's opinion about the topic.
  2. a.

Exercise 3

  1. I
  2. E
  3. E
  4. P
  5. I
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