To place your selected text in its historical, political, and cultural context. To explain the importance and relevance of the text that you have chosen to analyze. A 1500-1800 (roughly 5-6 pages) essay that locates your text in its relevant contexts.
The context for the text depends on your purpose. You as a critic need to decide how much and what kind of context your readers need to fully understand your analysis. Remember that your research should focus on scholarly books and peer-reviewed scholarly journal arguments and primary source accounts of events where appropriate, and make minimal use of popular sources.