Context, Intertext, and Hypertext

There is always an inspiration behind the writing of a text, and often, it leaves clues about the situation or the reality that served as the backdrop of the text. This backdrop, this situation, this reality is known as the context of the text.

When you consider context as you write things, be guided by the following reminders:

  • If you are writing non-fiction—academic texts, historical narratives, argumentative essays, position papers, etc.—you need to stick to the facts. Portray reality as it is. To do so, you must conduct extensive research using scholarly references.
  • When using context, try to represent several perspectives—by citing different sources.
  • If you are writing fiction and aim to integrate your context into it, remember to not make the tale too far off from human and worldly reality. Works like Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings, and Ibong Adarna, while they are fictional, have a lot of the human touch in them—making them relevant to audiences.

One of the recent developments in reading has been brought about by the advancement of technology. Let’s take a look at the technological advancements that you’re familiar with. Circle those that you actually have as possessions.

desktop computer

Perhaps you encircled most of these. If you did and you read texts through the said gadgets, you may have noticed that some web pages have texts that have hyperlinks (normally underlined and in blue color).

What makes hypertext unique is the speed at which you can shift to different texts. When the first text mentions the concept that is also discussed in another text, all you have to do is to click the hyperlink and the other page will load.

What happens when we shift to different texts

One good thing that hypertext does is allowing readers to shift to different web pages almost instantly. When you get to navigate around the internet and view several web pages in a matter of seconds or minutes, you have a greater chance of getting a better picture of the entire scenario in a fast manner.

There are now so many news websites and applications that are accessible via the internet. Often, when you read a news article – especially one that belongs to a series – you will see hyperlinks that will bring you to other related news stories. This helps the reader get a better understanding of the whole story.

Always remember that true comprehension is being able to understand the whole picture.

Intertextuality draws origin from literature and asserts that texts can only be understood in relation to other texts. Also, present-day texts are believed to have been based on or at least inspired by previously-published literature – from the style to the content, to the context, etc.

While intertextuality has remained researched largely in the field of literature, it has applications for academic and technical reading (academic is for school; technical is for work). Let’s take a look how we can benefit from intertextuality:

  • We can widen our knowledge. Reading more leads to knowing more, and that can help broaden what you know about the topic.
  • We can view different texts and different perspectives. Referring to different texts and authors helps give you other perspectives about the same topic, preventing you from having a fundamentalist view of things.
  • We can be more certain of what we know. Finding out that your ideas match the ideas of the previous authors helps validate the things you know. It likewise increases the credibility of the information.