Discovery Essay English

Let me guess.

You’ve run out of practice essay questions for ‘Discovery’, right? 

The HSC is around the corner and aside from a few HSC English essay questions on ‘Discovery’ here and there, there’s not a lot of practice questions to work with! So, what are you going to do when you run out of HSC English ‘Discovery’ essay questions to study with?

We’ve got you covered with our 20 Essay Questions for HSC ‘Discovery’ below. Phew!

20 Practice Essay Questions for HSC English ‘Discovery’

Question 1

‘Not all discoveries are made for the first time.’ 

 

Explore the truth of this statement in relation to the texts you have studied.

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 2

‘Most discoveries encompass rediscovering something that has been lost, forgotten or concealed.’

 

To what extent do you agree with this statement from your study?

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and TWO other related texts of your own choosing.

 

Question 3

‘Discovery is a product of curiosity and careful planning.’

 

To what extent do you agree with this statement from your study?

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

 

Question 4

‘Deliberate planning is essential for a discovery.’ Is this your view?

 

Write a persuasive response referring to representations of physical journeys in your texts.

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and TWO other related texts of your own choosing.

 

Question 5

You have been invited to speak at the book launch of a new collection entitled Exploring Discovery.

 

In your speech, explain and assess the ways in which discovery is represented in the texts included in this collection.

 

In your answer, you should refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 6

Texts represent discoveries as being sudden and unexpected. 

 

To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea?

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 7

‘Planning rather than curiosity, necessity or wonder leads to discoveries.’

 

Demonstrate how your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing represent this interpretation of discovery.

Question 8

Texts may show us that the discoveries can be fresh and intensely meaningful.

 

To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea?

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 9

How has your understanding of the emotional, intellectual and physical discoveries been shaped by the techniques used by various composers?

 

In your answer, you should refer to your prescribed text, and TWO related texts of your own choosing.

Question 10

‘Discoveries confront and provoke the individual leading to change in self.’

 

Discuss this statement, focusing on how composers of texts represent the concept of discovery.

 

In your answer, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 11

Explore how discoveries can cause the individual to have a new fresh and meaningful outlook on life.

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 12

An individual’s discovery shapes the way they understand themselves and the world around them.

 

How is this view represented in your prescribed text, and ONE other related text of your own choosing?

Question 13

More than anything else, discoveries lead to new worlds, values and ideas. Do you agree? Argue your point of view.

 

In your answer, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 14

‘Only through discovery can an individual speculate about the future.’

 

Discuss this statement, focusing on how composers of texts represent the concept of discovery.

 

In your answer, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 15

‘An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can impact on their experience of discovery.’

 

Discuss this view with detailed reference to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 16

Explore how an individual’s discovery and process of discovery can be influenced by their personal values.

 

In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Question 17

‘An individual’s context influences the discoveries they make and ways they make discoveries.’

 

Demonstrate how your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing represent this interpretation of discovery.

Question 18

The worth of an individual’s discovery evolves in response to the passage of time and interaction with their world.

 

In what ways is this view of belonging represented in your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing?

Question 19

An individual’s discovery is questioned and challenged not only by the individual’s attitude but also by the attitude of others.

 

How accurately does this statement reflect the ideas represented in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing?

Question 20

To what extent has studying the concept of discovery expanded your understanding of yourself, of individuals, and of the world?

 

In your answer, refer to your prescribed text, and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.

Good Luck with HSC English ‘Discovery’!

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Melanie grew up in the countryside and spent many hours studying for her HSC under the watchful gaze of her family’s pet alpacas, grazing outside her window. Languages and Maths are what enthuse her and so she tutors English and Maths with Art of Smart, with a touch of science on the side. Why not? She has 5 years of tutoring experience under her belt and is passionate about supporting students to reach their full potential and grab hold of success in their HSC (that includes you!).

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You need to see what a Band 6 Discovery essay looks like before you can write your own. That’s why we’ve included one below. We recommend reading it carefully and breaking down what it does so successfully. How is the introduction structured? How does the student analyse evidence? And how do they bring it all together in the conclusion? Once you’re finished, apply the strategies you uncover to your own AOS: Discovery essays. We also have a detailed overview of how to write creatives in our Our Beginner’s Guide to Acing HSC English – Part 6: Writing Creatives.

Essay Question

‘An individual’s experience of discovery is determined by their context.’ To what extent is this statement reflected in your prescribed text and ONE text of your own choosing?

 

Band 6 Discovery Essay

The unique context of an individual is what defines their process of discovery and in so doing, shapes their perspectives on interpersonal relationships, personal identity and existential outlook. These ideas are exemplified in both Robert Gray’s poems, Diptych and The Meatworks, and Matthew Thorne’s short film, Where Do Lilacs Come From. We see in these texts that discovery can only take place when our context challenges us, whether it is a change in context or the confronting nature of situational context itself. Only then can transformation occur.

The contexts in which the interpersonal relationships of an individual take place are what fuel discoveries to occur. In Gray’s Diptych, elements of the persona’s family life are embedded throughout, in particular the ongoing tension between the persona and his father. The father’s dialogue, “Nothing whingeing. Nothing by New York Jews; / nothing by women,” provides insight into the personality and character of the father. The anaphoric repetition of the harsh, despairing “nothing” portrays the father in his limited relationship with the persona, denoting the disconnect between the two and the persona’s negative perceptions of his father as a result. However, the transformative powers of context are revealed after the character experiences the death of his father. It is only after this event that he discovers newfound feelings towards his father and reconsiders their past relationship.  His death provokes a newfound acceptance and nostalgic fondness within the persona. The accident, “my pocket knife slid / sideways and pierced my hand – and so I dug with that one / into his ashes,” is central to the persona’s final emotional discovery. The mixing of his blood and his father’s ashes symbolically unifies the two, highlighting the change in perspective that has occurred with this change in context. Therefore, it can be argued that an individual only truly discovers his feelings towards others when their relationship is challenged by a change in context. The experience of loss following the death of his father caused Gray’s persona to reflect upon their past relationship and in doing so, he discovers feelings of clarity and acceptance that replaced past feelings of resentment and hostility. In other words, contextual experience has the potential to re-determine one’s interpersonal relationships.

 

Similarly, Matthew Thorne’s film Where Do Lilacs Come From explores the transformative powers of context. Much like Gray’s Diptych, Thorne depicts a change in context, in particular one that challenges an individual’s personal beliefs, as a fast catalyst to self-discovery. The film follows Chris, an elderly man with Alzheimer’s disease, as he struggles with the strain his condition places on his relationship with his son, Michael. This is symbolised by the reoccurring large spaces which separate the two characters in each frame, implying their emotional disconnect. A tracking shot of Chris chasing his younger self down a long, brightly lit corridor symbolises his desire to rediscover his lost memories. The responder is able to gauge from this Chris’ perspective on his condition. Senility is a burden on his identity. However, at the end of the film Michael discovers he is able to reconnect with his father by showing him home movies. The movies, displayed as hand-held camera footage with a muted colour palette evoke the same sentiment of nostalgic fondness that changed the persona’s perspective in Gray’s in Diptych. The restorative experience of bonding is shown by a return to the metaphor of distance as the space between two characters is breached and the pair embrace. Not only does this show the characters re-discovering their love for each other, but the discovery they are still able to bond is a revelation within itself, one that allows Chris to view his Alzheimer’s in a new context. He is able to challenge and transform his personal beliefs of his condition, coming to terms with his ageing as he rediscovers hope. Therefore, not only can a physical change in context shed new light on interpersonal relationships, but the way in which an individual contextualises their unique experience within their own mental framework can transform one’s very identity.

 

However, a change in context is not the only determining factor of personal discovery. One’s contextual environment alone has the immense ability to provide incentive for internal transformation through the process of discovery. In Gray’s poem, The Meatworks, the persona’s existential contemplation of life and death is entirely due to his experience working at a slaughterhouse. The self-discovery commences at the start of the poem, as the persona reflects upon the other workers and their disregard for the lives of the animals. The compounded sensorial imagery of the passage, “Most of them worked around the slaughtering / out the back / where concrete gutters / crawled off / heavily, and the hot, fertiliser-thick, sticky stench of blood / sent flies mad,” establishes and sustains an oppressive sense of death. The use of alliteration in ‘s’ and ‘h’ creates a cacophony of emphatic sounds which combine to create a disturbing synesthetic response, illustrating the violent nature of death. It is this horrid setting that facilitates the persona’s inner discovery of existential turmoil, and with it a renewed appreciation for life in all its forms. The symbolic gesture of hand washing in, “I’d scoop up the shell grit and scrub my hands, treading about through the icy ledges of the surf”, illustrates the persona’s desire for purification following his change in perspective. The use of personification in the poem’s last line further conveys the persona’s changing belief regarding the lives of animals: “the ways those pigs stuck there, clinging to each other”. The persona discovers that in death, animals and humans are the same. This revelatory, existential experience perfectly exemplifies how the process of discovery is shaped by an individual’s contextual environment. It shows the true transformational power of context to shape an individual’s outlook and their very understanding of life.

 

In conclusion, it is highly evident that an individual’s context, whether it be their physical environment, or the experience of a change in context, determines their process of discovery. Robert Gray’s poems Diptych and The Meatworks, and Matthew Thorne’s short film Where Do Lilacs Come From, all convey these ideas to a great extent. In these works responders come to understand how the relationship between context and individual experience define the discoveries which impact interpersonal relationships, personal identity and one’s very perceptions of existence. Only when our context challenges us can we discover, and it is the impact of our discoveries that define who we are and our unique, individual experience.

 


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