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WRT 102 - East (Salvo) Writing II: Historical Perspectives (Context)

Literary Criticism, Memoir, text in context

Historical Context for Your Short Story

Select a time and place or event with which to base your story. Research the background material for your story.  Be sure:

  • The story is told well and is historically accurate.  
  • Characters are realistically portrayed.
  • The setting is authentic.
  • Historical facts are skillfully woven into the text.

Questoins That Need to Answered for Proper Context

Questions to Think About...

Historical Event

  • What exactly happened?
  • Description of the location
  • Why, when, and where did it happen?
  • What were the surroundings like? urban / rural?
  • What did the scene of the event look like?
  • What details about the event are known?


  • What year was it?
  • What was happening locally?
  • What was happening nationally?
  • What was happening globally?


  • What was it like to be a wealthy person?
  • What was it like to be poor?
  • What kinds of jobs or occupations did people have?

Daily Life and Culture

  • How did people dress?  What were the clothing styles?
  • Language/words How did they speak to each other? Slang terms?
  • What were the fads?
  • What did people eat?
  • How were they entertained?
  • What were the social events?
  • What were their traditions?


  • What did people of that time and culture believe in?
  • What were they concerned about?
  • What were their religious practices?

Language in a Short Story

An example of language in a short story      



Possible Setting

We listened to the wireless for news about our troops in France.
Wireless is radio in British English 
World War II, London
We have wi-fi and will catch up with friends on face-book. 
"Wi-Fi" is used in general English as a synonym for WLAN (wireless local area network)
Present time, USA