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GCE Biology 2008

Unit 3- Research Skills

A brief overview
Students will present a written report of between 1500 and 2000 words, which will be marked by the teacher. The report will be of non-practical research into a biological topic. This need not be related to the specification content. The issue addressed is intended to bring a student into contact with a real-life example of biology in use.

What will I be assessed on?

Students will be assessed on their ability to describe the biological based methods and processes in the context of a selected problem or issue; identify the relevant applications of biology; use information or arguments from their research and communicate clearly.

Research skills
Identify a biological problem Try to come up with an appropriate solution Consider the implications of the solution Examine the benefits and risks of this solution Look at some alternative solution(s) Critically look at and then use any source material Attempt to communicate ideas effectively

Assessment Criteria
The report has at total of 40 marks There are 4 distinct sections to the report

Biological Methods and Processes used

1. Describe the biological methods and processes used in a chosen area of biology in the context of a problem or question identified during a visit made or issue researched Maximum 12 marks

Statement of the problem

State the biological problem that is being addresses. Precisely what is being looked at Eg. For a study of cardiovascular disease, it could be something specific like the use of stem cells in some treatments

Biological Methods and processes

Describe in reasonable detail what methods or procedures biologists are using to solve the problem that has been identified Eg. Some animals in captivity might show sterotypical behaviour due to boredomewhat do zoos do to try and minimise this?

Biological methods and processeseffective?

A description alone of the methods used to solve the problem are not enough Consider just how effective they are- do they work? How could they be improved? Look at some specific examples or collect some data for analysis Eg. If the zoos provided enrichment activities for some animals, how effective are they? Which animals do they focus on? What do other zoos do?

Applications and implications of the biology

Identify applications and implications of the biology encountered within the context of the issue researched 12 marks

Applications and implications

For the actual biology associated with your stated problem, you must also identify and describe at least two implications (ethical, social, economic or environmental) They must be relevant

Benefits and risks/ advantages and limitations

An analytical and critical discussion Eg. If looking at the therapeutic use of stem cells, as well as considering how effective their use is, what about side effects or problems?

Needs to be a discussion Look critically at other alternatives. Are there any? Eg. Are there alternative treatments to the use of stem cells for a variety of diseases?

Source Material
Use information or arguments obtained from three or more sources (including at least one web based and one not webbased) when researching the issue

Source Material
The sources material should be current
Eg. Scientific journals

Make sure that any quotes or pieces used are identified clearly You should refer to your sources in your text Make sure there is a proper bibliography

Evaluate in reasonable detail at least two pieces of source material Can the information be trusted? Do the research biologists agree? When stating whether your sources are valid or not, give the evidence

Communicate clearly, concisely and logically with appropriate use of visuals 4 marks

Spelling, punctuation and grammar are important Presentation must be clear Use must use technical language Try writing for an audience- dont just write an essay Dont go over 2000 words Make it interesting by using visual materials such as graphics, pictures, tables and diagrams
They must be relevant

Refer to diagrams or pictures in the text Use sub-headings to break up the text

Acid rain, ADHD, Ageing, Alcohol, Algae, Alien species, Aloe Vera, Altitude effects, Alzheimers, Amazon, Anabolic Steroids, Angelman syndrome, Angina, Angioplasts, Animal testing, Antigens, Anorexia, Anthrax, Antibiotic Resistance, Arthritis, Artificial insemination, Artificial heart, Aspirin, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Atkins diet, Back pain, Bananas, Barteres syndrome, Battery hens, Beauty Therapy, Better cattle, Binge drinking, Biofuels, Biological warfare, Biopiracy, Bioterrorism, Bird Flu, Blood, Blood doping, Blood substitutes, Blood transfusion, Brazil nuts, Breast cancer, Bronchitis, BSE, Bulimia, Burns, Butterflies, Caffeine, Cancer, Cannabis, Cataract, Cervical Cancer, Cetacean Strandings, Chameleons, CHD, Chemotherapy, Chinese foot binding, Chromosome defect, CJD, Cloning, Cocaine & gastroschism, Cod, Common cold, Conjoined twins, Conservation, Controlled environments, Coral, Coronary Heart Disease, Creatine, Creatinine supplements, Crohns disease, CVD, Cystic Fibrosis, Dairy cattle, Deforestation, Deodorants, Depression, Designer babies, Diabetes, Dieting, Digestion, Dinosaurs, DNA fingerprinting, Doping, Downs Syndrome, Drug trials, Ecosystems, Ecstasy, El Nio, Elephants, Epigenetics, Epilepsy, Erythropoietin, Evolution of human race, Evolution, Exercise, Extinction, Face transplants, Feline hyperthyroidism, Fire Ants, Fish, Flu, Folic acid, Forensic Science, Fox gloves, Free radicals in food, Frozen Ark, Gene insertion, Gene Therapy, Genetic drift, Genetic engineering, Germ warfare, Glandular fever, Global Warming, Global warming and penguins, Glofish, GM Crops, Gorillas, Greyhounds, H5N1, Haemochromatosis, Haemophilia, Hallucinogenic drugs, Hayfever, Heart disease, Height, Herceptin, High Altitude, High heels, HIV, Hostile environments, HRT, Human/Cow embryos, Human Genome project, Human mummification, Huntingdons disease, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperthyroidism, Iguanas, Immune system, Infertility, Insomnia, Island Ecosystems, IVF, Kidney transplants, Leprosy, Leukaemia, Lung cancer, Lupus, Malaria, Manic depression, Marijuana, ME, Measles, Meningitis, Mesothelioma, Migraine, Mitochondrial DNA, MMD, MMR, Morning sickness, Motor neurone disease, Motorcycle safety, MRSA, MS, MSG, Multiple Births, Muscles, Musth in elephants, Myotonic dystrophy, Myxamatosis, Nandrolone, Nanotechnology, National DNA database, Natural dust, Neurofibromatosis, Neuromuscular control, Nitrogen, Obesity, Oceanography, Oncolytic virus, Orangutans, Organ transplants, Osteoporosis, Ovarian cancer, Oysters, Pain, Pandas, Paper, Parkinsons, Peak performance, Pesticides, Pests, PGD, Plants & Medicine, Polar bears, Polio, Pollinators, Pollution, Poppies, Post traumatic stress disorder, Parasites, Premature babies, Prenatal screening, Protein deficiency, PRRS in guinea pigs, Rabbits, Rabies, Radiation, Recycling, Rennet, Respiratory distress in infants, Right handedness, SARS, Scale Insects, Schizophrenia, Scoliosis, Seahorse conservation, Sex selection, Shark antibodies, Sheep diseases, Sheep scab, Sickle Cell anaemia, Skin Cancer, Sleep, Smog, Smoking, Snake venom, Spanish Flu, Sperm counts, Spina bifida, Statins, STDs, Stem Cells, Stem cells &, MS, Steroid drugs, Stress, Strokes, Sturgeons, Superhumans, Suspended animation, Symbiois, TB, Teeth, Telomeres, Testicular cancer, Tetracycline & Gum disease, Thalassaemia, Thalidomide, Tigers, Tobacco plants, Tourettes, Transplants, Turners Syndrome, Turtles, Vertebrae, Viagra & Hypertension, Viagra in pregnancy, War, Water, White blood cells, Witch hazel and Xenotransplantation.

What topics are there?

Getting Started
Have a look in the news and online!
You will be carrying out a research lesson later in the week with your teacher but start thinking now!

Great Ormond Street Hospital Link

Some additional support

Researching Information Producing a reference list