Preparing for the reading comprehension portion of a standardized test will always involve practicing some of the same concepts – finding the main idea, making inferences, understanding vocabulary in context, and, of course, understanding the author's purpose.
Below, you'll find the answers to the Author's Practice 2 worksheet. If you're unsure about how to find the author's purpose in a passage, then perhaps you should take a look at this information first:
PDF Handouts for Teachers
Author's Purpose Practice Question #1: Writing
The author most likely wrote the paragraph in order to:
B. suggest that new writers use the writing process to craft their work.
The best answer is B. The author is giving direct commands in the paragraph: "Stay and look through your work. Reflect upon what you've composed." That is more than just an explanation or an identification of ideas – A and C. Choice D is also incorrect because although the writer mentions the words "experienced" and "novice" as descriptions of writers, he or she does not compare the writing of each, just the technique.
Author's Purpose Practice Question #2: Poor Child
The author most likely mentions the physical appearance of the impoverished child in the last paragraph in order to:
D. contrast the poverty of the second child with the privilege of the first.
The best answer is D. By describing the physical appearances of both children, the reader is given a picture in stark contrast – the wealthy child is described as "fresh", "beautiful" and "clad in those country clothes that are so coquettish." He has a "splendid toy" shiny and new and stands in front of a "pretty manor house bathed in sunlight.". The second child, on the other hand, is standing in "nettles and thistles" and is "dirty, sickly, soiled with soot." The physical description helps delineate the contrast more readily.
Author's Purpose Practice Question #3: Technology
The author's first paragraph primarily serves to:
B. criticize technology because it causes humans to turn from the natural world.
The best answer is B. A criticism is pretty simple to find; just look for negative words associated with the subject. Here, the author makes the point that technology is enslaving, exploiting and victimizing humans, turning them from the natural world. That's a definite criticism. C is incorrect because the paragraph doesn't show (which is what an illustration is) how humans are exploited. Likewise, D is incorrect for the same reason. There is a lot of passion, but limited description. And A is obviously incorrect because the tone is negative versus explanatory.
Author's Purpose Practice Question #4: Shipwrecks
The author most likely composed these two paragraphs in order to:
A. inform the reader about surprising places shipwrecks have been found.
The best answer is A. The first paragraph demonstrates what a person typically thinks about when the word "shipwreck" is said, but the second paragraph provides the twist, and hence, the reason for writing: not all shipwrecks are underwater. Choice B is an accurate description of the first paragraph, but it isn't the author's purpose of the whole passage, or else the second paragraph wouldn't exist.
Author's Purpose Practice Question #5: Nutrition
The author most likely uses the phrase "filled with sugars, hydrogenated fats, chemicals and preservatives – all of which can be harmful in large quantities" in order to:
D. intensify the negative reaction to processed foods
The best answer is D. Adding the word "harmful" makes the idea of poor health even greater than it would be if the author just listed the words sugars, fats, chemicals, etc. The author obviously wanted to spark a negative reaction to those foods in the reader by adding such a loaded word.