When it comes to choosing a related text for HSC English, there’s a whole lot of urban myths on how to find the best one.

Some say to stick to past prescribed texts, others swear by saying you read the book when you actually watched the movie.

Choosing a related text is usually so difficult because students get caught up in trying to figure out what will get them the most points or impress markers.

Realistically, there are some super simple DO’S and DON’T’S that can help you on the right track to choosing a related text!

If you want a more in-depth guide on how to pick the perfect related, check out our full walk-through here!

The Do’s

1. Choose a text you’re interested in

Writing about your prescribed text can quickly become tedious!

Make sure that your related text is one you enjoy writing about, that way you make the work more rewarding and help balance out any boredom or even hatred you feel towards your prescribed texts!

2. Consider mixing up text types

Consider the type of prescribed text you’ll be working with when choosing your related.

If you’re studying a movie in class opt for a novel or poetry for your related text, or consider a film or graphic novel if you’re working with a collection of poems for your prescribed text.

This ensures that your responses don’t become repetitive, as well as showing the marker that you can successfully analyse different types of texts.

3. Find similar themes

Look for a related text which explores the same, or similar themes, as your prescribed text.

It may seem easy to simply choose a text that fits the module, but looking deeper into the specific concepts of the prescribed texts and finding related material that compliments them helps give you an edge when it comes to comparative analyses.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t pick your favourite movie

It’s best to try to keep your related text on a similar literary level as your prescribed text!

Though it’s tempting to go straight for your copy of ‘Mean Girls’ or ‘Die Hard’, keep in mind that your text has to have enough literary merit to be analysed alongside your prescribed text.

PROTIP! If your favourite movie was a novel first, read the novel and use that instead!

2. Don’t choose a movie because it’s ‘easy’

When using a film as a related text it’s crucial that you analyse the techniques that are unique to its text type.

This mean you need to consider things like camera angles, lighting, costume design, etc. not just dialogue. 

One of the easiest ways to lose marks when analysing a film is to treat it as a spoken novel. 

PROTIP: Consider movies to be an audio-visual text. Therefore, analyse it as such!

3. Don’t pick the current fad

Choosing the most popular teen novel or film out right now always fails.

By choosing a text that is a current teen craze (looking at you Twilight and The Fault in Our Stars) you only really show the markers is that you were too lazy or unoriginal to find anything else, plus there’s a strong chance it won’t have amazing literary value.

Be original and choose something else!

Related texts aren’t as scary as they seem, and finding one is actually pretty easy when you stick to the tips above and always remember that there is no one “best” related text —the text is what you make of it.

Looking for extra help with HSC English?

We pride ourselves on our inspirational HSC English coaches and mentors!

We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at our state of the art campus in Hornsby!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today!

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at info@artofsmart.com.au or check us out on Facebook!


Maddison Leach completed her HSC in 2014, achieving an ATAR of 98.00 and Band 6 in all her subjects. Having tutored privately for two years before joining Art of Smart, she enjoys helping students through the academic and other aspects of school life, even though it sometimes makes her feel old. Maddison has had a passion for writing since her early teens, having had several short stories published before joining the world of blogging. She’s currently studying a Bachelor of Design at the University of Technology Sydney and spends most of her time trying not to get caught sketching people on trains.