Finding the purpose of a passage

Everyday, we read different texts and passages in different sources.

All these different passages are written with a particular intent or purpose.

In other words, writers write for a reason. When we know the author’s reason for writing, we know the purpose of the text.

We can tell a lot about a passage if we know its purpose.

Let’s figure out the different purposes that authors have while writing a passage.

Passages usually have one of three purposes. This can be remembered using the acronym PIE.

So writers may write to inform or instruct, to entertain, or to persuade. And each purpose can be easily identified.

First, let’s understand the purpose of informing or instructing.

We’ve all read textbooks or encyclopedia articles.

Their purpose is to inform us about some topic that the writer believes is important and necessary for the reader to understand.

For example, an article about the invention and use of emails, is written to give information to the reader.

Instruction manuals, how-to books, and recipes also inform the reader by giving instructions.

Now, let’s move on to the second purpose, that is, entertaining.

Some texts are written simply to target the reader’s imagination by telling a story or describing an event.

So imaginative works like novels, stories, or poems are written for the purpose of entertainment.

Such texts may educate us about human nature or important values but their main purpose is entertainment.

Finally, let’s discuss the purpose of persuasion.

If the writer tells us about his or her opinion, offers proof to support it, and then invites us to share the same opinion, the writer’s purpose is to persuade.

For example, advertisements, blogs and editorials persuade you to take action.

Attempting questions related to finding the passage’s purpose need not be too difficult!

First of all, examine the answer choices listed below the question. You should be able to eliminate at least one or two options right away.

For example, some options may be limited in scope and can focus on a very small fact, which isn't the main purpose.

Let’s try to find the purpose of the following passage.

From among these, let’s find the purpose of the given passage.

We can easily eliminate 2 and 4 as the passage doesn’t talk about body language or the difference between nervous and epithelial tissues.

Let’s zero in on the overarching purpose first. At first glance, the passage seems to be informing us about tissue.

Upon a thorough reading, we see that the importance of nervous tissue to the human body becomes clear to us. Option 3 identifies this point and is the correct answer.

Let’s revise!

Purpose is the author’s intention behind writing the passage or text.

Writers may write to inform, to entertain, or to persuade.

That’s all folks!