Individual Reports

You will carry out research on a global question devised from the specified list of eight topics.

•You are expected to explore issues within your chosen topic, and answer a global research question from local / national and global perspectives. You will need to conclude your report by indicating how the research has impacted your personal perspective.

•You should also consider the causes, consequences and possible courses of action of the issue(s) in question.

Structure of an Individual Report.

  • The topic: out of the eight topics given
  • The title (should be a research question)
  • Introduction to the issue
  • Analysis of the issue from different perspectives
  • Analysis of the causes and consequences of the issue,
  • Propose relevant courses of action to improve or resolve the issue
  • Evaluation of sources of information (highlight weaknesses and strengths for each)
  • Conclusion and Personal perspective. (how your views have changed before and after the research)

List of Individual report topics.

  • Belief systems
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem loss
  • Changing communities
  • Digital world
  • Family
  • Humans and other species
  • Sustainable living
  • Trade and aid


•The question should be focused on an issue within the eight topics provided.

•Your research question should be two- sided offering an option for a YES OR NO ANSWER. This makes your question debatable.

•AVOID using words that might make your research report opinionated, limited and descriptive (instead of analytical) such as ‘How? Or ‘to what extent’.

•Instead, make use of IS, CAN, DOES, ARE, SHOULD, WILL, ETC..

Examples of good research questions

  • Does our belief system continue to judge abortion?
  • Should State-Run Mass surveillance be permitted?
  • Will technology replace human workers in the 21st Century?
  • Does excessive use of social media increase risk of depression in teenagers?
  • Are wildfires lifesaving or life-threatening?


This is where you introduce your issue and put into perspective why you think it is very important.

Some of the aspects to include in the introduction include:

Define and cite the meaning of key terms in the research question. EG. In the research question, Are wildfires lifesaving or life-threatening? you might need to define the terms wildfires, lifesaving as well as life threatening.

Highlight some critical background information that make this issue very important. Including interesting and shocking facts/statistics about the issue will work like magic.

Which parameters will be tackled in your report eg. perspectives, causes, consequences and recommended actions against the issue.

Sample Introduction


A global perspective addresses a global issue raised in the question. It should be clear whose perspective this is – a quote from the relevant person or organisation should be attributed to them. Information should be presented to explain the perspective and support it. Aim to include 3-4 perspectives.

When looking into the global perspectives, focus on the viewpoints of

  • international organisations (UN, World Bank, EU, WHO, Africa Union, Common Wealth),
  • scientists,
  • renown professionals
  • Authors of articles in reputable websites etc.

A Sample Global Perspective.

The UN says, ‘It is important to foster sustainable fashion’ and has followed up by
including sustainable fashion as one of its Sustainable Development Goals. According to Geneva Environment Network, (2021) waste can either be in the form of excess materials from production or used clothes from a consumer… 10%of global carbon emissions … higher than the total emissions of all international flights and maritime shipping combined. (UNECE, 2021)


A national perspective is a national viewpoint on the issue presented, or an opinion, or a feeling about, or an attitude to the national situation. Again, it should be clear whose perspective is being presented, either by paraphrasing or quoting the person or organisation with clear attribution. There should be evidence of the perspective and supporting information to explain it. Aim to include 3-4 perspectives.

A sample National Perspective

Seymour (2013) believed this dependency inhibits the beneficiary countries from developing. Teddy Ruge, a prominent Ugandan writer on Uganda’s technological development, believes such interventions disincentivise local and national governments from creating self-sufficient industries.5 Ugandan people might thus have a negative view of humanitarian aid trips as it’s from an outspoken member of the national group of Ugandan people. Because Ruge is a writer on such matters, he can be considered an expert….


Always begin by identifying the issue in your research question. Then ask yourself, besides the proposed cause in the research question, which other causes are likely to cause the issue you have at hand.

For instance let us look at the topic Biodiversity and Ecosystem loss and the research question ‘Are wildfires threatening or life-saving?’

Research on what else is likely to be threatening and life saving besides wildfires. This may include drought, earthquakes and floods.

•Include statistics and facts to compare the causes before reaching  a conclusion on which cause seems to be the most significant and life threatening among the three.


You must compare consequences of the issue and explain which consequences were the most serious, and/or why there are different consequences for different groups of people, or different places or different situations.

Based on the question (Is poverty the cause of maternal mortality in the 21st century)


‘On the other hand, Anemia is another cause of maternal mortality, indigenous people have the worst health and this is because of the increased risk of infectious diseases, poverty, malnutrition, and lack of health care ‘infections related to hygiene, sanitation, safe water, and water management are significant contributors to anemia’ (Khambalia, Aimone, Zlotkin, 2011). Worldwide there is a higher rate of people being sick of anemia ‘The burden of anemia is overwhelmingly higher among indigenous groups compared to the general population and represents a moderate (20 – 39.9 per cent) to severe (240 per cent) public health problem’. (Khambalia, Aimone, Zlotkin, 2011).’
‘According to what has been said, the most important and serious cause is poverty since poverty has a great influence and supports all problems, lack of resources, anemia, and other maternal pathologies are favored by poverty but we need to take into account other causes no matter if they are most severe or not.


This section requires that you provide actions that can help resolve the issue in your research question. Provide 1 or 2 courses of action and give details on who should take up action and what the impact will be- either positive or negative. Be sure to mention who would do it and details of how it would be done


As the Australian Government plans to introduce a new paid parental leave scheme of a combined 20 weeks, experts believe it will negatively impact Australia on the path to reaching gender equality. To ensure that this leave is not taken solely by mothers, the Australian Government could follow an approach taken by Scandinavian countries.

Scandinavian countries have implemented a three-part parental leave scheme that allocates equal, nontransferable leave to mothers and fathers, with one part to share. This approach positively impacted gender equality in Sweden and Iceland as they currently have the highest percentage of fathers taking parental leave. It has been proven that fathers who take leave have an increased likelihood of parental involvement in the future, as childcare and domestic duties are viewed as shared responsibilities. Currently, Australian fathers are wanting to spend more time with their children but they only get 2 weeks leave, which is the least of all OECD countries.

Australia could implement a three-part division of parental leave with six weeks allocated to mothers, six weeks to fathers and 12 weeks to be shared between parents and paid at a more substantial percentage of their income. This would help to make fathers taking parental leave and the involvement of fathers in the raising of children, more prominent in Australian society which would ultimately help to close the gender pay gap.


You need to show clear evaluation of the sources of information used in your research report. Be sure to highlight 3 points of evaluation in at least one of the sources used in order to fully achieve this criterion. (Sample 1 clearly shows this)

Sample 1

‘The information given by the interviewee is somewhat reliable because it is from their personal experience (primary data) and the events that they talked about are recent. However, this source might not be the most reliable as it is only the experience of a specific individual, and other members of the community in other parts of the world and from different backgrounds could have differing responses. The information given by the interview is reliable as the interviewee has been an ‘open’ member of the community for a long time thus, they have a lot of experience and knowledge on the topic. On the other hand, there may be a bias or the information received may not be all correct as we only know what the interviewee is telling us thus we only know one side of the story.’

‘The most useful source was the article on the BBC Future article because it provided a handful of relevant information, supported by evidence such as graphs and statistic values. Information about carbon offsetting from BBC Future was cross-referenced in my second source, proving its reputability. Its credibility is shown through incorporating expert opinion. For example, Gossling, a professor at Linnacus University is featured in the article, stating his opinion on the issue which he has extensive knowledge on.’

A vague and generalised evaluation looks like the one below.

‘During this individual report, the sources used were helpful in every single aspect. I ensured I was using certified and professional sources in order to get the most accurate information possible. I consider I have used different sources from different places to expand the knowledge acquired during this process. The sources such as graphs and tables, help me visualize into a more statistical matter how the population and the contamination present in these places.’


You will need to reflect on your own perspective, on your research findings and on the perspectives you have explored. You must show how your own perspective has developed, been changed, or impacted by others’ perspectives and by the information you have gained about the issue.

Sample 1

Though I earlier believed that ageing populations are a family’s responsibility, I also agreed that they are a burden to the society and soon they will be responsible for most of the governments expenditure. However, after exploring the benefits of an aging population, I was convinced that this new uprising crisis can actually be a global opportunity. The different policies and courses of actions implemented by some countries also contributed to changing my perspective. I think that our world would need to change social attitudes towards the older population and reap the benefits of this valuable human resource.

Sample 2

‘Before commencing research, I was aware that short-term foreign aid policies had the capacity to quickly relieve inequality created by natural disasters and other emergencies. After reviewing the effectiveness of aid in the context of various bilateral I have concluded that foreign aid can be insufficient in solving systemic issues and eliminating the root causes of inequality. This is often due to a lack of transparency and accountability on behalf of NGOs and donor governments, leaving aid to be exploited for political reasons. I am now aware that the harms of poorly planned aid programs on local communities and affected people outweigh the potential to create meaningful change.’
‘I believe that perception on the success of foreign aid programs should not solely be measured through quantitative measures such as the OECD’s measure of Official Development Assistance but rather the reform and long-term benefits for developing countries, as evaluated by affected individuals and governments. In more cases than not, it is difficult to track the tangible benefits of aid, thus leading me to the conclusion that foreign aid is not effective in addressing inequality in the world.’


All work submitted must be your own work as a student. Any quotations must be marked as such, and work quoted must be credited. Sources quoted must be listed in a bibliography. Cutting and pasting large chunks of another person’s work is plagiarism and is strictly forbidden.

There is no one fixed method of citation or referencing for this component. Any clear and consistent method is acceptable. Some institutions go with APA, MLA, Harvard etc.

In-text attribution: Candidates may use bracketed citations, or numbering, or in-text referencing, to indicate where they have used sources. They must include complete references somewhere in their work, either footnotes, endnotes, or in-text references. (For ease of reading and control of word count, numbers or brackets are more manageable).

References: References should include author, date, and title of publication for books or magazines, and online materials should include at least the full URL (leading to the document, not just to a website) and date of access. You can use to help you with this. When writing down the Bibliography, list it down in an alphabetical order.

Important to note

  • You must make sure that your citations and reference lists match. Some candidates only provide a name and date in a bracket in-text, but this name and date does not appear in the reference list.
  • You may however provide a list of sources that you did not quote in your work, but gave you some ideas that you used in your report. However, any sources that are quoted or used in your work must be fully referenced somewhere.

How will I be assessed?

•The individual research report is worth a total of 60 marks, which is 30% of the final IGCSE grade.

•The marks are for your ability to research, analyse and evaluate information and ideas.. There are also marks for how well you communicate and reflect. The report must be between 1500 and 2000 words.

AO1 Research, Analysis and Evaluation (40 marks)

You will be assessed for the ability to:

  • Researches and analyses an appropriate range of relevant information
  • from different perspectives.
  • Analyses in some depth the causes and consequences of relevant issues
    and makes appropriate and well thought-out comparisons.
  • Proposes developed and relevant course(s) of action, drawing clear and
    supported conclusions.
  • Evaluates sources of information, making two appropriate and developed
    points of evaluation

AO2 Reflection (5)

This section will assess the reflection of how your own perspective has developed, changed or impacted by your research findings as well as the different perspectives you have explored.

AO3 Communication (15)

This section will assess:

The structure of your report. Is it well planned, logical and easy to follow. Does it include the most important sections of an individual report- Introductions, Perspectives, causes & consequences, Courses of actions, Evaluation of sources and personal perspectives.

Clarity of arguments, perspectives and evidence. The report contains relevant arguments, evidence and perspectives presented clearly and effectively in separate paragraphs or by using sub headings.

Citation and referencing. You should adopt a referencing style using a consistent format.