Higher Modern Studies The Decision Making Exercise (dme)



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Higher Modern Studies The Decision Making Exercise (DME)

  • Paper 2 is the Decision Making Exercise
  • You get 1 hour and 15 mins in which to evaluate sources (Q 1-3) and write a report (Q4) on your decision, based on the Sources and your Background Knowledge (BK)

The Evaluating questions - Q1-3

    • In the DME you are given three sources of information
      • Source A gives an overview of the options
      • Source B1 gives support to one of the options
      • Source B2 gives support to the other option
      • Source C gives statistical information about the topic
    • You then have to answer 3 questions about these sources that will help you to understand what the DME is all about
    • To answer these, you evaluate the sources given in the question, without any other knowledge being used
    • Answering these will help you to understand the sources and help you to decide which option to go for in your report
    • Go from the statistical source to the text source

You must memorise the headings below for the exam!

  • Title of report/Memo format
  • Role and Remit
  • Recommendation
  • Arguments to support your recommendation
  • Dealing with criticisms of your recommendation (rebuttal)
  • Conclusion
  • DME Question 4 - The Report

1&2 Title of the Report/Role and Remit

  • You could lay your title out like a memo:-
  • To: Nicola Sturgeon - Minister for Health & Community Care
  • From: Prof G Mackenzie – Department of Social Policy, University of West Lothian
  • Subject: Advice on “means testing” personal care for elderly people in Scotland

3 Recommendation

  • In your recommendation you must simply state which option you prefer, and list the advantages of that recommendation
  • Remember - it is a formal report you are writing, not an essay! This is the only place you can use bullet points

4 Arguments to support my recommendation

  • Under this heading, you now explore each of the main advantages/good points of your recommendation, in some detail - giving each section a sub-title.
  • Use the paragraphs in the written sources to give you the main points
  • Between this and the next section, you must refer to, and quote all of the sources – ‘According to source A, it is clear that….’ - ‘This is supported by source C1….’

4 Arguments to support my recommendation

  • You must also refer to any background knowledge you have on this area –
  • ‘In my experience/According to an article I read in the Scotsman/West Lothian Courier/a Panorama documentary which highlighted this issue…’ etc. This conflicts with the original aims of the Welfare State’
  • ‘The elderly are an important group of voters.’
  • Each time you use background knowledge, put a BK in the margin.

5 The Criticisms of my Recommendation

  • Under this heading, you must explain the main disadvantages/bad points of your recommendation.
  • By the end of this stage you must have referred to all of the sources and included appropriate background knowledge.
  • Anyone writing a real report, would point out possible criticisms. You must do this in a balanced way by rebutting these criticisms.

6 Conclusion

  • This is your opportunity to really persuade the readers of the report, that your preferred recommendation is the best one. You can include any extra BK here.
  • Reinforce your recommendation by summarising your arguments.
  • At the bottom of the report, print and sign your name and give your role again.

Top Tips

  • Take in a ruler and two colours of pen and write out your headings in one colour and paragraphs in another. Underline your headings to make it look like a formal report.
  • Each time you use a Source or Background Knowledge, write the Source number or BK in the margin, to prove to the examiner that you are using both.
  • You will get extra marks for integrating your BK with the sources. Again show this in the margin.



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