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Similarly, when you listen to a political commentator on television or radio, you're likely to ask yourself about the beliefs of the commentator. You're also likely to judge a text differently if you know that it was written in 1917 rather than in 1997. And you can learn a great deal about a text by asking where it was first published: texts published in the Wall Street Journal and the National Enquirer often serve quite different purposes.
Asking questions about the knowledge, beliefs, and experiences of authors and the circumstances surrounding the publication of a text can help you understand more about the context in which a text is produced. In turn, your understanding of the context of a text can help you craft a stronger response.