Understanding the Author's Point of View

Understanding the author's point of view helps you comprehend what you are reading.  There are questions that you can ask yourself to figure out why the author wrote the text. While reading a piece you should be asking yourself, "Why did the author write this, or what was the reason this piece was written?"

Authors have reasons why they write a piece. Many authors write to
inform or teach someone about something. Sometimes authors write for others to enjoy his or her piece. Often authors' purpose of writing is to persuade  their audience to do or not do something.


Read the story below and try to identify the author's purpose.  Is the purpose of the story to inform or persuade the audience?  Or did the author write this piece for the audience to enjoy?
Most people that have pets, have a cat or a dog. People disagree all the time as to which pet is best.  Cats make the best pet! There are many reasons why cats are the best pet. Cats are very independent.  If you go on vacation, you can leave extra food and water and have a friend occasionally check on the cat.  On the other hand, dogs need to be kenneled, which costs a lot of money.  Watching a cat play with a string or ball is very entertaining. You can sit back and enjoy the cat.  However, a dog needs a person to play with and usually won't play alone.  On a cold winter's night, there is nothing better than to have your cat snuggled up on your lap purring contentedly.  If you are trying to choose between a dog or a cat for a pet, cats make the best pet!
The author wrote this to...

The author wrote this to convince the audience that cats make the best pet, as stated in the last sentence. The evidence is the author gives many reasons why cats make the best pet.  His or her purpose for writing this piece was not to inform or entertain the audience but to persuade the audience to choose a cat as a pet.

Read the next story and try to identify the author's purpose. Did the author write this story to inform/teach, persuade/convince, or entertain his or her audience?

Once there were three little pigs, I know you've heard this story before.  They set off into the world to be independent and wanted to build a house for themselves.  As you know, the first pig built his home out of straw, which was blown down and he was eaten by the big bad wolf.  The second pig didn't learn from his brother, and built his home out of twigs, which was blown down and he too was eaten by that bad wolf.  The third little pig was smart and decided that she would take her time and build a strong house out of brick.  As the story goes, that pig outsmarted the wolf and had a delicious wolf stew for dinner. It took a female to prevail!  
The author wrote this to...

The author wrote this to entertain the audience.  He or she is not informing you of anything or trying to convince you to do anything.  It was written for enjoyment. 

Read the last paragraph and try to identify the author's purpose for writing and the evidence you have for your answer. Remember, the author's purpose is to inform, persuade, or entertain the audience.
The earth is a sphere made up of one-fourth land and three-fourths water.  The largest bodies of water are the four oceans: Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Arctic Ocean.  The land is divided into seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica.  

The author wrote this to... 


The author was did not write this piece to entertain or persuade you.  She wrote this piece to inform the audience.  There is evidence to support this answer.  Everything that is written in this piece is fact.  It is a fact that the earth is made up of 1/4 land and 3/4 water with four oceans and seven continents.                            
Remember, authors' writing pieces have a point of view.  If you can identify whether an author has written a piece to entertain, inform or persuade his or her audience, this will help you comprehend what you are reading!

Now let's practice identifying author's point of view.

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