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Writing is an essential skill which is invaluable in different situations: at a workplace, during studying at college, in our day-to-day lives — the list can go on. Moreover, as Inc. reports, 73% of employers expect prospective candidates to have solid writing skills.
So, writing skills are essential and worth to lifelong improving and developing. Still, sometimes it is hard to approach writing, as it is such a multifaceted skill. There are many aspects one should be aware of — structure of the text, writing style, and clarity of writing.
Still, one of the essential parts of writing is context. What is it? Why is it so crucial? How to use it effectively and appropriately in any text? Let’s find out.
What Is Context in Writing?
The definition of context in writing can be intricating. The Oxford Dictionary describes the notion as “The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.”
So, simply speaking, the context in writing has to give answers to three questions. What this particular text is all about, why it was written, and who the audience is.
The context in writing is crucial. If used correctly, it allows providing wonderful works for the most sophisticated custom essays and making sure the target audience will find them engaging and of high quality.
It is especially crucial for college students who write lots of essays and papers during the studying process. However, the writing context goes much further and can be applied for any text — news piece, fiction or non-fiction text, author’s column.
Let’s take, for example, something as simple as a note in a personal diary. It also has to use some context. First of all, the author has to consider what he or she is writing about. Maybe, the author is a student and wants to describe some events that happened at college? Later, one should think about why it is essential to describe this situation and its audience.
Naturally, if this is a personal diary, only one type of audience is the author. If so, he or she does not have to explain every aspect of the situation. In this case, the author-audience will understand it anyway. But if someone else tries to read this note, most likely, he or she will not understand a thing. So, the primary purpose of the context is to provide clarity.
Types of context
Knowing the different kinds of context will go a long way in helping you create a more in-depth understanding of the reader.
1. Physical context
In this case, you will use the characteristics or attributes of a place or physical environment to develop your writing plot. The physical context will help you explain to the reader why things are unfolding the way they are. Note that different physical contexts build a particular perception of the characters; there is a lot you can communicate using physical context.
2. Historical context
As the name suggests, historical context will help you create an understanding of a particular era. Presenting the period in your story creates a mood in the readers where they can understand why and how people talk, dress, and behave.
3. Situational context
This aligns with the current events and explains why things are happening the way they are. The writer can use situational context to help the reader understand how the event is affecting the behavior of the different characters.
4. Cultural context
Cultural context helps the reader to understand the author’s story better. Clothing, food, and religion are all aspects of cultural context. Without including the cultural elements in a story, it is easy for the readers to get lost.
Tips and Tricks for College Students and Other Authors
So, how to use context in writing to come up with a high-quality text? It is especially crucial for college students, who often write papers that will be graded and influence their academic success. Still, anyone who wants to improve one’s writing skills can use these tips and tricks.
1. Know Your Audience
Who are the readers of this text? What, if any, prior knowledge about the topic do they have? These are essential questions as they determine how in-depth research the author has to do to cover the topic comprehensively.
2. Consider the Language
Knowing who the audience helps in determining the language and style of the text. For example, if that is a college assignment, this paper must be written more formally and academically than a blog post.
3. Think About the Purpose of the Text
What this text has to accomplish? Does it have to inform the audience, persuade them, or explain something?
Let’s say it is a college essay. Its main goal is to explain the reasons for global warming. In this case, the author must provide a broad context and include some research from reliable sources.
On the other hand, if the text’s purpose is to reflect personal experiences and thoughts, there is no need to conduct extensive research.
The context in writing may seem abstract, but it is a crucial aspect of every text. It does not matter who writes it — a college student, a professor, or a blogger. Every piece of writing has to be understood by its audience, and context plays a significant role.
If so, it is essential to pay extreme attention to the context in writing and always answer these three questions. Namely: what, why, and who. It will help develop a high-quality text that will be understood and appreciated by the necessary audience.