Paper 3 -Research Project (HL 20%)

You will have been given this year's research topic. The idea here is to do in-depth, deep even, research on the terms and topic. You should end up with a thorough understanding of the topic to the point that you can answer questions on it.

You will need to document your research. A format that you can use is here. Mindmaps will be helpful.

There are only a handful of question types and should you learn these. In addition, as you research, look for obvious questions. For example a question where a comparison can be made between 2 methods. I think the "Challenges faced" paragraph from line 120 on and the paragraph just before it are likely focuses for the basis for questions.

Paper 3 Standard Questions

1. Define the term.....
2. Outline the function of OR ROLE OF....
Outline how...
3. Identify 2 factors that.....
4. What is the difference/comparison between...
5. Explain
Explain why....
6.Describe the steps.....
7.Discuss how the.....
Discuss whether.....(include evaluation OF SHOULD HAVE BEEN FORESEEN CONSEQUENCES.....

How to answer:

Define (2 marks)

Requires a simple explanation of a technical term in the context of the subject

Outline (2-4 marks)

This is like summarise. Give the main points of a topic or feature without going into detail of how things work. Possibly set them within a clear structure or framework to show how they interrelate

Explain (4 – 6 marks)

This is asking you why or to expand upon a topic. It is not a discussion but is looking for a reason(s). A suitable example will often gain an extra mark.

Describe (4 -6 marks)

Usually means giving a step by step account of something. look at the mark allocation.
I like to think of a standard answer to something generic. "Describe Westbourne School"
Well, it's a private school taking pupils from to… Both pupils and staff are friendly and supportive   The buildings are..

Discuss (Can be 6- 12 marks)
Here you will be expected to include both sides of a case before coming to a conclusion. Discuss would require continuous writing.

Identify (2 marks)

This is like "list" with one mark per item.


More Advice Paper 3 

  • Know all of the terminology in the Case Study. Develop a list of this terminology and additional terminology from your research and linked to the Case Study. Terminology is important in being able to write knowledgeable coherent responses relating to the Case Study.
  • Identify, describe, be able to explain IT systems presented in both the case study and others related IT systems that emerged from your secondary and primary research.
  • Understand and be able to explain social and ethical considerations that relate to the case study and specific scenarios from your secondary and primary research. Consider the impact on stakeholders.
  • Be certain to organize your responses before beginning to write, especially on the 8 mark and 12 mark questions (question 3 and question 4). Please use this strategy on Paper 1 as well.
  • Ensure that responses show a balance in opinions and arguments.
  • Include specific examples from your research in question 4. Be certain to indicate the kind of investigation, visit, interview, paper or online source, but you do not need any formal format for this.  Don’t just write “In my research I ……” be specific. Use phrases
  • ‘So what?’ is a really good question to remember on question 3 and question 4. Your last sentence in every paragraph and the very last paragraph of your response should answer this question. This question allows you to write a reflection on what you said in the paragraph and finally what is your final reflection to the answer to the entire question. This technique is also important on Paper 1.
  • Don’t talk in circles. Particularly for Q4, break it up into sections. It is easier before you start to make a plan at the top and a bullet list of the topics you want to talk about. That way you can “see” what your discussion will be and can write in a focused way. Don’t just start writing.
  • Organize articles and notes so that they can be reviewed before the exam. Know the material and examples.  No notes may be taken into the exam.
  • Be certain to answer the questions asked and use real life situations that link in with the core issues of the Case Study. In the past students have referred to examples that are ‘off-course’. Take the time to organize your response. This will help focus your response on the question asked.
  • . Read the top level markband. What do you need to do to get the highest marks?

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