ATAR Stories Study Tips

Picking Discovery related texts HSC

discovery related texts
Written by Ashlee Negrone

Picking a Discovery related text is a deceivingly easy task. There are a number of things to consider, like relevance, size, sophistication, text type –  and on top of that, it has to be SOMEWHAT interesting because of the time it takes to analyze and memorize quotes.

Most will recommend to pick two related texts. This is as a backup If your initial text doesn’t fit, or if they ask for two related texts. This is really unlikely, but it could happen. Personally, I recommend having one related text solely for discovery (which is pretty flexible) and a backup could be your related text for Module C. Because you’ve already analyzed your Mod C text, you can have a backup of techniques and quotes should your original related text not fit. For peace of mind, I made brief notes on how my Mod C text fit into discovery. Depending on the module chosen, this can be pretty easy – for example, People and Landscapes and Discovery fit relatively well together.

It’s important to not blindly choose your related texts without a proper understanding of the module. So make sure you have a thorough understanding of the rubric and how your prescribed text relates to discovery BEFORE picking a text; because they have to match up in some way. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when choosing a related text.


1.     Length (Related text)

Have a look at how long the text is. Whilst this isn’t necessarily a deciding factor, it’s important to consider because the longer the text, the more amount of stuff there is to decipher and pull out. It can also work in the other direction; having a longer text also means potentially more ideas about discovery.  Find a nice balance which is comfortable for you; for example, when I analyze a text, I need to know everything within it. So picking a three hour movie wasn’t a good idea; because I knew I would go WAY over the top. I picked two short films instead, both around fifteen minutes, which was achievable for me without being too time-consuming.


2.     Analysis

Of course, you need to analyze your related text to make sure that it is relevant to discovery and to your prescribed. To assess its suitability, try asking some of these questions:

·       How many ‘discoveries’ are in the text?

·       What are these discoveries saying ABOUT discovery as a concept?

·       Is there enough evidence to support these ideas?

·       Can I discuss these ideas in length?

·       Can I relate the ideas to each other?

·       How does this text compare to the prescribed? Differences / similarities? (note: your prescribed and related texts don’t have to say the same thing about discovery! They can re-affirm or contrast perspectives. This creates more opportunity for discussion.)

Make sure you can be confident in talking about this text and discussing its ideas, and have enough evidence to support this.


3.     Memorizing

Unfortunately there will be some degree of memorizing for your exam. This includes quotes and techniques. In picking your text, you can make this easier on yourself through picking a less complex text. Your related text doesn’t have to be super impressive, lengthy and complicated in order to be successful. In fact, showing that you can related your prescribed (which may be a dated text like Shakespeare) to a modern-day text demonstrates that you understand the concept of discovery. So make sure that you understand the text to memorize the main ideas and techniques within it. Realistically, you aren’t going to remember techniques that are obscure or lengthy; so stick with familiar and understandable ones. This is the same for language. You don’t need to choose Shakespeare as a related text, it would be a lot harder to memorize those quotes.


Here are some suggestions on possible related texts for discovery:

·       The Important Places by Forrest Woodward

·       The Language of Love by Kim Ho

·       The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

·       Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

·       The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

·       Journey to the Interior by Margaret Atwood


Any questions please email

Good luck!

Author: Ashlee Negrone

Ash studies Pre-Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney. She gradutated in 2016 with an ATAR of 95.3 with the subjects Biology, Adv English, PDHPE, English Ext 1, Design and Technology and Studies of Religion 2U.
Contact for tutoring inquiries.

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