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| Student Demo |
Critical Analysis and Evaluation
Finding Main Ideas
Recognizing the Primary Purpose
Making Predictions
Identifying Author's Attitude
Recognizing Strengths/Weaknesses
Distinguishing Between Fact/Opinions
Identifying Logical Assumptions
Determining the Relevance of Evidence
Comprehension and Context
Research and Reference Skills
Practice Reading Tests

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Recognizing the Primary Purpose of the Passage

An author always has a reason or purpose for writing a passage. Some passages explicitly state their purposes. Other passages leave it for the reader to guess or infer the purpose. The good reader should always seek the purpose of a passage because it is an excellent clue for understanding the writing.

When trying to determine the purpose of a passage, begin with a consideration of the topic sentences of the paragraphs. The author’s purpose is often related to the progression of the ideas. Another method of determining purpose is to take note of the language that is used. If the purpose is to explain a serious issue, the passage will be restricted to standard English. If the purpose is to entertain or satirize, then slang, jargon, and informal English may be used to produce the desired effect.

To improve an understanding of any passage, a reader should try to write a sentence describing its purpose. This practice will improve comprehension of the ideas and conclusions of a passage.

For the three paragraphs shown as a passage above, describe the author's purpose. Click the "Next" button below when the task is completed.