For higher level sometimes you are asked to discuss “at least two texts” so only discussing 2 if the question is worded in this way is fine. More often than not you are told to discuss all three.. If it says “the texts you have studied” then you MUST answer on three texts because the syllabus tells you to study three texts.
At ordinary level you are almost always only expected to discuss two texts.
Sample 70 mark questions:
“Studying a theme or issue enables a reader to form both personal and universal reflections on that theme or issue” Discuss in relation to two or more texts.
“Important themes are often expressed in key moments in texts” Compare how the authors of the three comparative texts studied by you used key moments to heighten your awareness of an important theme.
“A reader’s view of a theme or issue can be either changed or reinforced through interaction with texts.”
“There are key moments in a text when a theme comes sharply into focus” Discuss.
“The dramatic presentation of a theme or issue can add greatly to the impact of narrative texts”
“Exploring a theme or issue through different texts allows us to make interesting comparisons”
“A theme or issue explored in a group of narrative texts can offer us valuable insights into life”
Sample 30 / 40 mark questions:
“In many texts, a theme or issue may not be resolved to the complete satisfaction of the reader“
(a) Discuss the extent to which a theme or issue is resolved to your satisfaction in one text on your comparative course. (b) Compare the extent to which the same theme or issue is resolved to your satisfaction in two other texts on your comparative course.
(a) Choose a theme from one text you have studied and say how it helped maintain your interest in the text. (30) (b) Compare how the theme is treated by the authors of two other texts to maintain the reader’s interest. (40)
“The comparative study of a theme or issue allows the reader to gain a variety of viewpoints on that theme or issue”
(a) Describe the viewpoint on your chosen theme in one text you have studied. (30)
(b) Compare the viewpoint on the same theme in your other two texts. (40)
(a) Compare how key moments of two texts you have studied raised an important theme or issue. (40)
(b) In the case of a third text show how a key moment helped in your understanding of the same theme or issue. (30)
“The study of a theme or issue can offer a reader valuable lessons and insights.”
(a) Identify and discuss at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained through the study of a theme or issue in one text on your comparative course. (30)
(b) Compare at least one valuable lesson or insight that you gained, from studying the same theme or issue (as discussed in (a) above), in two other texts on your comparative course. The valuable lesson or insight may be the same, or different, to the one discussed in (a) above. (40)