A text can have many purposes. Some examples are:

  • To inform - to give facts about something.
  • To persuade - to change the reader's opinion.
  • To entertain - to give pleasure or enjoyment.
  • To educate - to give knowledge.
  • To explain - to tell how or why something happened.
  • To describe - to give an account of something.


Various people, each reading a different type of text

The audience is the group of people who are most likely to read a text. Think about the subject matter, content and language to help you decide who the audience could be.

Main and supporting ideas

The main ideas are the most important points of what you read. As you are reading you should think about the general message that is being expressed.

Some people find highlighting or jotting down key words and phrases helps them to identify main ideas. Be careful to mark only what is most important - don’t highlight everything!

Supporting details are facts, ideas and examples used to explain and develop the main ideas. Supporting details help us to understand key points.