Writing: Context Revision
Context is important to further understand a text after the audience and purpose have been established.
In other words, it gives more meaning and relevance to the text, and makes it easier for the reader to understand the full picture.
Make sure you are happy with the following topics before continuing:
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What is context?
The context needs to match the tone and the aim of the text.
Essentially, the context provides useful background information, which will improve the quality and relevance of your text.
Consider this exam task:
”Write a review about a recent visit to a new restaurant in Plymouth.”
There are various contexts which could apply to this task, and each would alter the final text.
Some potential contexts are:
- You have lived in Plymouth for 5 years.
- You have only moved to Plymouth recently.
- You are writing for an audience who has never been to Plymouth.
Although these details may not be absolutely necessary to write a basic answer, they will help to create a complete picture of the situation, and a more effective text.
Because of this, context is a valuable element to consider when writing a text.
Context may also affect the style of writing regardless of the audience or purpose.
Think about the differences between these examples.
Consider the language use on each poster…
- The poster written for a summer donation campaign is more light-hearted, and generalised.
- In contrast, the poster for a winter donation campaign uses more emotive language such as ‘desperate’ and ‘struggling’. Although the texts are very similar, the change in context from summer to winter requires a different linguistic approach.
Thus, we can see how context can require changes in a text.
Although each of these texts has the same aim and audience, a different use of linguistic features, colour and images is needed, due to the shift in context.
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