IGCSE Global Perspectives - Individual Research Guide
Focusing the Research on an Issue:
* Getting started: use background or immersion knowledge of an area of study to begin your investigation. What do you already know? What more would you like to know? Immerse yourself into the area of study through articles, films, discussion, or other means.). Write about your background knowledge and / or your reaction to immersion activities. This can serve as the basis of the introduction to the individual research later. * Formulating a good Focusing Question: develop a good research question that requires you to take a stand on an issue after reviewing the relevant facts. This is your Focusing Question. The question should zero in on a specific issue within the area of study and require you to form, and show, an opinion. * Possible Focusing Question templates:
* How important is (access to free education / protecting coral reef / awareness of the causes of climate change / the use of diplomacy /...)? * Whose responsibility is it to (protect coral reef / combat climate change)? * Do the benefits of (advancing technology / factory farming / patent laws / urbanization / globalization / access to cheap goods...) outweigh the disadvantages? * What is more important: (the right to free speech or a nation’s security /conserving energy or making renewable energy sources accessible...)? * Should (education be considered a right or a privilege / people have access to free drinking water / animals have the same rights as people / freedom of speech ever be limited, and if so, why...)?
* Formulating Supporting Questions: Supporting Questions are those designed to guide a researcher in finding the facts will shape and support the answer to your Focusing Question. * If your FOCUSING QUESTION under the area of study Technology and the Economic divide is Do the benefits of the availability of cheap goods outweigh the detriments? then you would need the answers to a few secondary questions to develop and support an informed opinion: * Economic Perspective (personal, local global): what are various methods used to produce cheap goods? Who might benefit from the profusion of cheap goods? Who might be put at a disadvantage? (this last question might lead a student to look at both a community in which people shop and work at places like Wal-Mart, just as it might lead a student to look into labor practices in developing countries, and the student might then link these two perspectives together). * Environmental perspective (personal, local, global): what impact does the production of the cheap, disposable goods my family uses have on the environment? (Students might then look into factory pollution, use of resources, disposal of cheap goods. * Health perspective (personal, local, global): questions might investigate the safety of cheap goods as well as the effect consumerism might have on mental well-being).
* Stating your Opinion: Once you have gathered and analyzed the information collected to answer these questions, write out the opinion you have formed in a sentence or two. This is your Thesis Statement (claim, or main idea). The final aim of your research is to support the thesis statement. A possible thesis statement for our Focusing Question might be: * Cheap, mass produced disposable goods can present huge benefits in terms of convenience and affordability, but these benefits are small in comparison to the damage that our dependence on cheap goods does to our environment, to people’s health, and to the world’s poor.
Information Gathering / Bibliography:
* Use reliable sources:
* When compiling information for a study, use reliable, verifiable, and trusted resources, such as, but not limited to * Articles from major news sources and professional journals * Government websites...
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Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping Mar. 2006: 143-48. Print.
Purdue, Pete. Personal interview. 1 Dec. 2000.
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