Choosing the right related texts

5 January 2016
5 January 2016 The Alchemy Team

This is one of the most common questions I get from HSC students:

“What are some good related texts for Discovery?”

It is a question I get almost daily. And it is not a bad question, but I feel like it is asking a doctor for a prescription without telling him the symptoms.

There are so many things that will influence the value of a related text – and what might be a killer RT for one student will be terrible for another.

A related text for ‘discovery’ as a concept is too broad. You need to consider 3 things before choosing your related text:

The details of your prescribed text

You need to know what your main text is – in as much detail as possible. You need to consider the context of your composer, the choice of text type, the overall message and how this text relates to Discovery.

All of these need to be considered when selecting your RT as your RT needs to complement your PT – and not the other way around.

The themes or characters you are going to focus on

This is crucial. If you are doing The Tempest I want to know which characters you are going to draw upon and why. If you are doing Robert Frost I want to know which poems you are choosing and how they will link to potential questions.

This is where I see many students go wrong – they choose an RT because it has strong connections to Discovery, but when I ask them how it shares similar ideas to their themes or characters they don’t know what to say. Ensure that there are direct parallels between the themes or characters so you can use your RT to support your thesis.

What component of the rubric you are going to address

The Area of Study Rubric needs to be the guidebook to your essay writing. If you break down the rubric you will get between 5 to 10 solid thesis ideas – any of which can serve as the question in an exam. This might be the sudden and unexpected vs. deliberate and considered nature of Discovery, or the profound insights gained in the discovery process.

You need to work out which thesis ideas are most prevalent in your prescribed text, and then choose a related text that shares the same ideas.

So for example, if you are doing the Tempest, you might want to focus on Prospero and how discovery leads to a greater understanding of self, and then Miranda and how Discovery can lead to renewed insights of others. You would then find an RT that shows this process in the characters.

Moral of the story: Don’t just choose an RT that features discovery. It has to be able to support your main ideas. You ultimately use your RT to support your argument, and if it can’t do that you need to find another one.

Also – try to choose related texts that are different mediums to your prescribed to demonstrate your understanding of different textual/visual features. And avoid RTs that could be considered too simple – your markers want to see great depth of analysis (this is why you might have heard it is best to avoid Disney movies etc).

This is the same for all modules, not just Discovery. Advanced; you need 2 related texts for Module C. Standard; both Module A and C. Make sure your related texts support your arguments – otherwise they are a waste of time.

Good luck! Make good choices!


Ps. Have you checked out our free guidebook to writing the world’s best essay? It is ultra free. And ultra awesome. Download it now at https://incredibleessays.alchemytuition.com.au

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