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HONS ENGL 110 (Dr. Young): Find Historical Context

RSA: Historical Context

There are two ways you should be identifying the context.

  • The social context (or historical background) of a text tells us what time period and events inspired the creation of the text that you are analyzing.
  • However, going for a broader context means that you answer the Exigence, Audience, and Constraints.

Here are questions to think about to begin to identify both the Historical and Broader Context:

  • When was this text created/produced/published?
  • What was happening during the time the text was created/produced/published?
  • What is the background of the creator?
  • What search terms will help me to understand more about the period in which the text was created?
  • What definitions might I need to define so that my readers will truly understand this period?
  • How can I explain the social context/period the text came out of in a way that my readers understand this historical information?

Credo Reference


Credo is a library database containing digital versions of encyclopedias and other reference works. Think of it as an academic Wikipedia, only curated by librarians instead of the general public.

Background Research Video

Other Helpful Databases