What Is a Purpose Statement?

A purpose statement is a sentence in the introduction to a written essay or report that alerts the reader to the intent of the document's content. An example is, "This paper will outline the common steps to preparing and presenting an effective sales proposal."

An effective purpose statement is concise, specific and goal-oriented. The purpose statement should tell the reader the topic of the paper and the desired outcome in plain language. Another example of a good purpose statement is, "The purpose of this essay is get people to think about the negative effects that plastic has on the environment."