Difference Between Context vs. Content

Main Difference

The main difference between the term context and content is that content is the matter or topics treated in work, typically a written work and context refers to the components of a discourse that surrounds a passage or word and help the reader to understand its meaning clearly.

Context vs. Content

Context is the surroundings, circumstances, environment, background or settings that determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event or another occurrence. The word content refers to all the things contained in work. It is the material dealt with in a literary work or speech. The origin of the term “context” is from Latin “context” which means “ a joining together, scheme, structure, to join by weaving.” The origin of the term contest is from Latin “contestāri” which means “to call to witness, testārī to testify. Context is the circumstance that helps us to understand any text. Content is what is contained in any work. The context refers to the surrounding information of something. The content refers to what is in something. Context is not just about the storyline; it is also about the intent of the content itself. Content cannot be king without the context. Context is of various types according to the situation or circumstance. It has two categories: verbal context and social context. Content is of many types and varies according to the topic of speech and discourse. All three components, the introduction, the body and the conclusion of an essay are its content. Context is a feature of the text that is related to it in many ways and helps the readers to understand the text more deeply and through various dimensions. Content is all that is used, treated and contained in a piece of discourse or text according to the need of the topic and requirement of the reader or writer who is going to deal with this content later.

Comparison Chart

ContextContent
A situation that shapes the setting for an idea, event or statementThe subject matter and material in a text
Role
Helps us to interpret any piece of workTreats with a piece of work and contained in it
Type of word
Technical word in certain fields like linguisticsBroad word
Depends On
Situation or circumstanceThe topic

What is Context?

Context refers to a situation that shapes the setting for an idea, statement or event and in terms of which it is easy to understand fully. The origin of the term “context” is from Latin “context” which means “a joining together, scheme, structure, to join by weaving.” Context is of various types according to the situation or circumstance. The historical context refers to the period in which something happened or was created. No one can understand the past custom or practice properly without looking at the historical context. When talking about a text, context can also refer to the chunks of the text that preceded and follow a passage or word and clarify its meaning. Hence, it is clear that it is essential to understand the entire context of a text to understand its meaning. Context is also a notion which students study in linguistics and other language sciences. Context is categorized into two categories: verbal context and social context. Verbal context is the text or speech surrounding a sentence, phrase or a word. Social context is the social identity that is construed and displayed in text and discourse by language users.

What is Content?

Content is the subject matter in a text. The origin of the term contest is from Latin “contestāri” which means “ to call to witness, testārī to testify. Content is the material which is being dealt with in a speech or literary work. Before creating content, thinking beyond the creative capacity of the material is necessary. Content can be of many types and varies according to the topic of speech and discourse. For example, if we take all three components, the introduction, the body and the conclusion of an essay, it can be taken as the content. Thus, the material which someone writes, collect or gather about the given topic is the content of a document. The term content is also used to talk about videos, articles, essays, speeches, etc. In general, the word content refers to all what is contained in any work.

Key Differences

  1. Context is the circumstance that helps us to understand any text whereas content is the material dealt with in a literary work or speech.
  2. Context is the surroundings, circumstances, environment, background or settings that determine, specify, or clarify the meaning of an event or another occurrence on the other hand content is everything that is contained in work.
  3. The context refers to the surrounding information of a text or discourse conversely the content refers to what is contained in a text or discourse.
  4. Context is not just about the storyline; it is also about the intent of the content itself while content cannot be king without the context.
  5. Context can be of various types according to the circumstance and situation on the flip side content can be varied according to the topic of a text or something.

Author:

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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