Discovery Essay Writing: Tips for a Band 6 Essay

18 Jun 2019

Examinations are always stressful for students, who become nervous or even anxious, but they eventually turn into valuable experiences, providing opportunities for a better future. From this perspective, HSC exams are particularly important as they testify students’ expertise upon completion of senior high school level studies. HSC exams are important milestones in one’s education, so you should take the preparation to them really seriously. As far as HSC English is considered, whether writing a discovery essay or any other written response, students are expected to demonstrate their writing abilities. This suggests that they should be able to not only produce coherent texts with good word choice and logically structured arguments, but also show their critical thinking skills that translate into an ability to make strong autonomous judgements. Luckily for most learners, the craft of writing is something everyone can develop if he or she gets enough training. Here are some insights into the possible preparation process to HSC English Paper 1. Let’s discuss some aspects you should take into account if you strive to produce Band 6 essays, taking Area of Study: Discovery as an example.

Recent Changes and Their Effects on Preparation

For students who had to pass their HSCs in 2015-2018, the words “Area of Study” followed by the “Discovery” concept could be easily compared with a pill that immediately puts one into anxiety. Although many feared this concept, they actually had a tactical benefit, because they could prepare beforehand, up to the point of memorising specific responses that could be used during the exam. In 2019, some changes were introduced aiming at lowering the likelihood of the pre-preparedness and plagiarism. Despite recent changes, some people still memorise information they will use during exams. However, rather than memorising particular responses, now students concentrate more on writing patterns and argument development processes.

Discovery Essay Structure

Structure is an important component of every Band 6 essay. Students’ ability to develop essays with an excellent logical structure is thus an asset worth possessing. When composing their essays, ensure the presence of clearly distinguishable introduction, body, and conclusion. Here are some tips on how to write a discovery essay while simultaneously ensuring an excellent structure that markers will take into consideration when marking your paper.


This paragraph usually makes the very first impression on readers. In it, briefly outline ideas that will be presented in their papers. To do this effectively, they should:

  1. Read essay question carefully –dividing it into major logical parts is a particularly good idea. In case of a discovery essay, it may be helpful to distinguish the following aspects: a) key concepts (emotional, creative, intellectual, physical, or spiritual discovery; new discovery or re-discovery; self-discovery, epiphany, awakening, serendipity, anagnorisis, or zemblanity), b) subjects of analysis (particular texts, pictures, quotes, extracts on which students reflect), and c) expected outcomes (for instance, discussing consequences as transformative for particular individual, changing over time, challenging major assumptions held by an individual or modern world in general, or appealing to certain cultural or historic contexts).
  2. Establish a clear framework – A good idea is to start with introducing major theme that will be discussed in an essay. Also, mention materials under analysis (for instance, assigned or chosen text, poem, quote or any other object/subject important for discussion that follows) along with summarising ideas that support their argument.
  3. Develop a thesis statement – this is an essay question response, an argumentative claim written from third person perspective. In a discovery thesis, articulate with identified key concepts in a manner that clarifies their subjective viewpoint. Thesis should testify writing-from-scratch skills, showing how they critically interpret the material simultaneously reflecting on individual experiences.

Body Paragraphs

Based on their individual discovery essay questions, students decide on the number as well as content of body before writing. These may vary depending on specific task. However, each paragraph should have the following important components:

  1. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence – this sentence briefly presents key idea discussed in a paragraph relating it back to a thesis. In each paragraph, make statements that prove or support their main argument.
  2. Present evidence – just making a statement is not enough, as every argument should be supported with evidence from the provided material. Here, students have an opportunity to show their understanding of major forms (poetry, novels, short stories, films among others), language modes, as well as specific text features, like language techniques authors use for conveying their message. Mind that evaluations of texts and textual details as well as synthesis of these evaluations in a manner that creates an original argument are necessary Band 6 essay prerequisites. Students use TEEL paragraphs in writing, which suggests that they will present a particular technique, bring evidence from text, provide explanation, conclude with a clear link to a thesis.
  3. Conclude and add a linking statement – body paragraphs should logically relate into a single whole. So, use linking words and transitions creating links between ideas.


Concluding paragraph should restate your argument in a memorable and particularly appealing manner. Apart from summarising main ideas and restating their discovery theses, include claims that would reinforce their main argument.

Mind that concentration on structure may be rather helpful as a means for dealing with stress. Also, such structure ensures logical argument presentation, which will make it easier for readers to follow it.

Discovery Essay Paragraph Example

Here is a sample essay paragraph, which examines physical discovery as a cause of change in self-perception through better understanding of values.

Although physical discovery enables people find something new, previously covered from their sight and understanding, the greatest value it brings to people is the renewed perception of themselves and others. This is particularly true when due to their natural curiosity people confront completely new culture, as it happened with Columbus, who described his experience in a 1493 letter to Luis De Sant Angel. Columbus mostly devoted his letter to description of native inhabitants he met for the first time, but he also could not but mention some characteristics of his own people that were hidden from him prior to discovery. Thus, when describing the natives, Columbus particularly admitted their generosity. Discoverer was so fascinated by their kind nature, that he repeated the phrase “they would give their very hearts” twice (Columbus, 1493). While the unprecedented generosity impressed the traveler, it also revealed the corrupt nature of some sailors. They took advantage of the natives: “One sailor was found to have got for a leather strap, gold of the weight of two and a half castellanos, and others for even more worthless things much more” (Columbus, 1493). Columbus forbade such exchanges, but he could not prevent people from holding certain values. Columbus discovered new culture, but he also understood better the values of his own culture, which altered his perception of self and others.

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Questions for Essay Writing Training

Training in essay writing is an important part of HSC exam preparations. The more essays you write, proofread, and polish, the more skills and writing techniques you’ll gain and memorise. It is good when students use tutor help while preparing. Tutors may point out particular strengths and weaknesses in their writing, along with providing recommendations on how to master writing skills. Here are some discovery essay questions you might use for writing together with previously provided structure tips. Mind that during the HSC exam, students are required to reflect on particular prescribed text(s), but for training purposes, you are free to choose particular texts on your own in regards to your class curriculum:

  1. Using any two texts you’ve read, prove that discovery effects change within time, provoking a permanent transformation of individual’s perception of the world.
  2. Discoveries allow people better understand themselves. Prove this point.
  3. Discovery experience reveals new aspects of an individual's self-identity Prove this claim.
  4. How cultural background affects process of discovery? Use assigned literature for evidence.
  5. How the texts you’ve studied present people’s motivations in pursuit of discoveries? Is curiosity the only driving force that leads people to discoveries.
  6. What relationships can you distinguish between discovery and change utilising assigned readings?
  7. Write about unforeseen consequences of discoveries and their impact on individual’s life using assigned texts.
  8. Talk about unexpected consequences and their impact on society utilising assigned texts.
  9. Discuss differences between physical and emotional discoveries implementing assigned materials.
  10. Should individuals resist opportunities to make discoveries? Answer this question with the help of assigned articles.

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Outcomes of HSC exams not only impact students’ options for continuing education, but also largely determine possible career paths they will have after graduation. Therefore, it is sound to use all available resources for ensuring the best exam results. EduBirdie tutors help students prepare for their HSC exams most effectively. Both essay writing and editing services are of great help during the preparation stage. For instance, professional writer can write a discovery essay showing how particular techniques create an appealing argument. Or an expert can edit your essay, outlining both your strengths as well as weaknesses. The more options you use to train your writing along with critical-thinking skills, the better results you’ll get.

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