Discovery Related Text IdeasDiscovery Related Text Ideas

31 January 2017
31 January 2017 The Alchemy Team

If you are doing your HSC, then you will know all about Discovery – the area of study for both English Advanced and Standard. It is the only topic that absolutely everyone doing their HSC is required to study – meaning that over 80,000 Discovery essays are written in the HSC exams! You’ve got to feel a little bit sad for HSC markers when you hear that!

Students are required to use at least one related text to support their ideas in the Discovery essay. You can check out our guide to selecting the right related text for your situation here, but in this post we wanted to give you a list of related text ideas that explore the idea of Discovery. We have not explained how these connect to discovery as we still want you to do the work – but hopefully these will point you in the right direction!

There is nothing better than the support of an English Tutor in your HSC! Get in touch today to get the one-on-one support you need to get the marks you want!



Youtube vids are great because they are quick and easily accessible. This is a mix of all sorts of text types:

*warning* heavy themes:

The Cement Garden, Ian McEwan [1978]

Island, Aldous Huxley [novel, 1962]

The Children Act, Ian McEwan [2014]

Giovani’s Room, James Baldwin [novel]

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath [novel, 1963]

All the light we cannot see, Anthony Doerr [2014]


Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad [novella, 1899]

Falling, Anne Provoost [1997]

Lives of Girls and Women, Alice Munro [novel, 1971]

The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am, Kjersti Skomsvold [novella]

As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, John Colapinto [non-fiction, 2006]

Endurance, Tim Griffiths [2014]

The Promise, Tony Burch [2014]

The secret life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber [2013]

Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle [2013]

Ice station, Matthew Reilly [2012]

Emma, Jane Austen [1815]

Charles Bean, Ross Coulthart [bio, 2014]

My Thinning Years: Starving the Gay Within, Jon Croteau [memoir, 2014]

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Soldier Boy, Ishmael Beah [memoir, 2007]

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death and hope in a Mumbai undercity, Katherine Boo [non-fiction, 2013]

Who Will Write Our History, Samuel Kassow [non-fiction, 2007]

The Candidate, Director David Karlak [short, 2010]

The Body, Director Paul Davis [short film, 2012]

We, the Masses, Director Eoghan Kidney [short, 2011]

Plurality, Director Dennis Liu [short film, 2012]

Paperman, Director Richard Kelly [anim, 2012]

To this Day, Giant Ant production [anim, 2013]

Devil’s Damned to Try, Director Marshall Burnette [short film]

Looms, Funk Brothers production [short film, 2013]

Ruin, Oddball Animation [animated short, TBR]

Madam Tutli Putli, directors Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski [short claymation, 2007]

Crossing Salween, Director Brian O’Malley [short film, 2010]

Time, Director Liam Connor [short film, 2013]

The Eagleman Stag, director Mikey Please [stop motion, 2011]

23 Degrees, 5 Minutes, director Darragh O’Connell [short film]

Analogue People in a Digital Age, director Keith Walsh [2013]

Madagascar, Carnét de Voyage, Bastien Dubois [anim. 2009]

Descendents, director Heiko van der Scherm [animation]

Nuggets, Director Andreas Hykade [animated short]

Living with the Enemy, SBS [reality documentary, TBR]

Two Men in China, Director Damian Davis [2014]

Alibi, Directors Darren Bolger & Caroline Campbell [2009]

Boyhood, Director Richard Linklater [2014]

Seaview, Directors Nicky Gogan & Paul Rowley [doco, 2008]

Once Upon a Time in Punchbowl, SBS [documentary, 2014]

Welcome to Pine Point, Directors Paul Shoebridge & Michael Simons [interactive documentary, 2012]

Promises, Director B.Z. Goldberg and co-director and editor Carlos Bolado [documentary, 2005]

Australia’s Secret Heroes, Episodes 1-3, SBS [series, 2014]

Winston Churchill: The Man Behind the Myth, [DVD, 2014]

My Beautiful Broken Brain, Lotje Sodderland [2014]

Being Me [ABC Four Corners]

Cohen & Scott [2014]

Psycho, director Alfred Hitchcock [film, 1960]

Big Eyes, Director Tim Burton [2015]

Stories We Tell, Sarah Polley [doco film, 2013]

Interstellar, Director Christopher Nolan [2016]

Hide Your Smiling Faces, Director Daniel Patrick Carbone [film, 2013]

Into the Wild, Director Sean Penn [bio film, 2007]

Silver Linings Playbook, Director David O. Russell [film, 2013] ​

The Bell Jar, Director Larry Peerce [film, 1979]

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Director John Madden [film,2011]

Shutter Island, Director Martin Scorsese [2010]

The Kings of Summer, Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts [film, 2013]


Tracks, John Curran [2014]

The Book Thief, Brian Percival [2014]

The fault in our stars, Josh Boone [2014]

The perks of being a wallflower, Stephen Chbosky [2013]

Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen, 2012

Tomorrow when the war began, Stuart Beattie [2012]

The boy in striped pyjamas, Mark Herman [2008]

Flags of our fathers, Clint Eastwood [2006]

Crash, Paul Haggis [2004]

Touching the void, Joe Simpson [2004]

To this Day, Shane Koyczan [spoken word poem, 2010]

The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost [poem]

Mid-Term Break, Seamus Heaney [poem]

Invictus, W.E Henley [poem, 1888]

Refugee Blues, W.H. Auden [poetry, 1939]

Since feeling is first, E.E.Cummings [poem]

Punishment, Seamus Heaney [poem]

Cinderella, Gwen Strauss [poem]

If, Rudyard Kipling [poem]

Stolen, Jane Harrison [1998]

Behind the beautiful forevers, Katherine Boo [2012]

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