How To Write A ToK Essay - Updated 2023
Ace your ToK Essay with our expert tips & tricks! Get the latest and greatest techniques on "How To Write A ToK Essay" and impress the IB examiners.📝💡
Table of content
Purpose of tok, assessment of tok, the game plan, execution of the gameplan, planning for tok essay, structure of tok essay, introduction, conclusions, bibliography.
How to write a TOK Essay?
To answer that, you must familiarise yourself with what a TOK Essay is about.
Before you start reading this article, Amanda has some excellent TOK tips for you!
Theory of Knowledge is one of the most meta subjects that IB offers. Despite its complexity, TOK helps in providing a base for holistic learning and allows students to have a multidisciplinary experience.
To understand TOK is to understand the essence of IB, a task that most people consider unattainable.
But not for you!
Thank your lucky stars who made you land on Nail IB. How exactly will Nail IB help you?
Well, nailing International Baccalaureate is something we will discuss later.
Let's focus on cracking your TOK essay, shall we?
TOK demonstrates how students can apply their knowledge with greater awareness and credibility .
Big words, huh?
Now that we know that we cannot just slide through the Theory of Knowledge, let's understand how we can conquer this battle all guns blazing.
ToK essay’s primary objective is to answer the why behind our studies.
It makes one aware of the real-life implications of their subjects. The students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions and appreciate the diversity of different perspectives. It helps the students find their unique perception, a prerequisite for excelling in the IB TOK essays.
Before we dive into our gameplan, let’s overview the rules of the game.
There are two assessment tasks in the TOK: an essay and a presentation . While a presentation encourages students to explore a real-life situation through the lens of TOK, an essay is written on the basis of the various questions provided by the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
- The presentation is to assess a student’s ability to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation whereas IB TOK essay is more conceptual.
- The essay is externally assessed by IB and must be on any one of the prescribed TOK essay titles issued by the IB for each examination session.
- Word limit of a TOK essay is 1600 words ( excludes extended notes, footnotes, bibliography).
Now that we have unleashed the game, let’s move ahead towards the gameplan of acing both, your presentation and your essay.
One of the fundamental tasks of TOK is to examine different areas of knowledge and find out their similarities and differences.
The TOK essay requires the students to investigate two Areas of Knowledge (AOK) and two Ways of Knowing (WOK) . AOKs and WOKs are investigated via questions such as:
- How do we know what we know? (WOK)
- What counts as evidence for X? (AOK)
- How do we judge which is the best model of Y? (WOK)
- What does theory Z mean in the real world? (AOK + WOK)
The aforementioned are Knowledge Questions which help combine the Areas of Knowledge and the Ways of Knowing that they are using. This eliminates the superficial way of learning and makes an individual sensitive to the nature of the information. Our acquisition of Knowledge can be broadly divided into Shared Knowledge and Personal Knowledge.
Shared knowledge: What WE know It is the product of more than one individual. Although individuals contribute to it, shared knowledge does not solely depend upon the contributions of a particular individual—there are possibilities for others to check and amend individual contributions and add to the body of knowledge that already exists.
Personal knowledge: What I know It is essentially dependent on the experiences of a particular individual. Also known as procedural knowledge, it is gained through experience, practice and personal involvement and is intimately bound up with the particular local circumstances of the individual such as biography, interests, values, and so on.
The best hack to ace TOK essay is to develop a habit of making connections between the construction of knowledge, its acquisition and its relevance in the real world.
After that one needs to develop an interest in understanding the difference between diversity and cultural perspectives and personal assumptions.
One also needs to critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives.
Yes, this is what you signed up for. It may sound a little intimidating but once you get the hang of it you will be able to see the matrix and understand this beautiful world a little better.
Understand that to provide the best version of your writing, it will take you more than one or two drafts. First and foremost, you need to pick your essay topic diligently. Try to choose an essay topic that best interests you. The topic should also allow you to explore the Areas of Knowledge towards which you are naturally inclined. Here are a few sample questions:
a) 'Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.' To what extend do you agree with this statement?
b) With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape their personal knowledge.
c) How can we know if knowledge is produced more through 'Passive Observation' or 'Active-Experiment' within the Human and Natural-sciences under a Mathematical-Perspective?
d) "The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives". Assess the validity of this statement.
Great things take time. It took me more than a couple of weeks to finalize this TOK essay guide. It is completely okay if the first few drafts may not look pleasing or award-winning to you. You will require sharpening your perspective towards the topic each time you polish your draft. Your writing journey from a dull draft to a masterpiece will be a whole process that you will have to be patient with. Have faith in yourself and proceed stepwise.
You need to consider the opinions of others who have devoted hours of research and a lifetime of dedicated studying the topic that surrounds your writing. Unravelling the realms of your mind palace is so Sherlock but let’s not deny the fact that at times, Watson is the one whose expertise helps Sherlock through pretty difficult times. I mean even Batman needs a Robin. In support of my awesome sauce examples, the point I am trying to make is that finding support for our claims and counterclaims through research is a good thing .
Use real-life examples to support your claims and counterclaims. These examples need to be documented researched examples like studies, experiments, articles, presentations by well-known people, etc. Examples that stem from your diploma subjects are highly encouraged, but those will need to be supported by research as well.
It is suggested that you choose a title, stick to it, tackle it and not be afraid. Do not change your mind unless there is a good reason. Also, try choosing Areas of knowledge that you truly enjoy. You know slaying a known devil is much easier than an unknown one. Allot a TIMELINE to your essay. Start with creating an outline of your essay. This will help you to track your progress and accomplish your goals
You can use tools like Trello to organize your ideas and plan your TOK essay.
Areas of Knowledge (AOKs): TOK distinguishes between eight areas of knowledge. They are mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems. It is suggested that students study and explore six of these eight.
Ways of knowing (WOKs): TOK identifies eight specific WOKs- language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition, and memory. It is suggested that studying four of these eight in-depth would be appropriate. WOKs underlie the methodology of the areas of knowledge and provide a basis for personal knowledge.
Moving ahead, let us discuss the structure of your TOK essay.
Your essay will consist of 4 broad segregations
Before breaking down further on the pillars, keep the following in mind
- Please note what the TOK essay title is asking you. (Read it a couple of times. We highly recommend that you brainstorm ideas with your TOK coordinator)
- Make sure you understand the command term and the question it is asking.
- What kind of knowledge is being elicited?
- When choosing your areas of knowledge (AoK) and ways of knowing (WoK) make sure that you are able to draw contrasts and comparisons, that is, you are able to find evidence that supports as well as challenges your claims.
- Identify key terms in your TOK essay title. Make sure you define them. Your essay will gravitate around them. Key terms/words in your titles are your essay anchors. Your response should be built around them.
- Your writing skills come in handy while you work on your IB TOK essay. Like any other essay make sure you have proper thesis statements and topic sentences to guide the evaluator through your work.
- Respect the TOK essay title. Rephrasing the topic is not encouraged . Your main job is to address the title.
Introduce your topic accurately and state your thesis statement for the essay carefully. A thesis statement is like a teaser to your entire essay wherein you define your key terms and introduce your interpretation of the question. Make sure that you do not reword the prescribed title in your thesis. Instead, it needs to, as the word says, INTRODUCE your readers to what your essay is about. A strong introduction allows the reader to deduce what knowledge question(s) you are trying to answer.
So, in a nutshell
- Write interesting things about the given TOK essay title .
- Define key terms
- Narrow in on the particularly interesting aspect
- State your thesis statement . This will be your short answer to your given title if you don't know how to write a killer thesis statement check out this blog from SparkNotes .
- State your Roadmap. This will help the readers in understanding the direction of your essay.
The body can be mainly divided into 3 segments.
Body (1st Segment)
- AoK Claim: Here you investigate your first Area of Knowledge and draw parallels between your AoK and the question. This is done by stating your claim. Claims can be general in nature and need not reference a particular area of knowledge. They help you shape your essay and investigate the question further.
- Evidence: Example of a real-life situation, describe thoroughly and accurately, which supports your stated claim. (AoK)
- Counter-Claim: State your counter-claim: like claims, those can be general and need not reference a particular area of knowledge. Counterclaim helps you show the other side the coin and gives your essay a holistic nature.
- Evidence: A referenced real-life situation/example. Describe thoroughly and accurately, show how this supports your counterclaim (AoK ).
- Don’t forget to weave in your WoKs: You need to take into account the source of your knowledge. Here you can also investigate if your nature of acquiring the knowledge has, in any way, affected it. It is good practice to question if your knowledge would be different had it been acquired through a different source/method
- Mini-conclusion: Here you analyze your examples in reference to your claims and counterclaims. You must connect to your thesis statement and the prescribed title. How does your proposed argument, in this particular part of the body, connect to the prescribed title and the knowledge questions you are trying to answer?
Body (2): Follow the above process for your second AOK.
- Use this part of your essay to compare and contrast your varying AoKs. You need to connect them to your thesis and your prescribed title clearly showing how your arguments respond to the PT.
Your conclusion section will make your essay come together. It is the glue that will make your essay stick together. Herein, you need to
- Reiterate your thesis (initial response).
- Use your mini conclusions to write a final conclusion.
- Tell the reader what the significance is for knowing what we know in this particular PT.
- Discuss implications as well.
- Offer another perspective, how will the perspective of a different person affect the claims/counterclaims you make in the essay?
- Don’t forget to make the end strong.
We recommend all the ib students use the citation machine (It's FREE) to organize or generate a bibliography for your TOK essay. Please go through this extensive guide provided by the IB before you start working on your citations.
If you are still struggling heaps with your TOK essay feel free to subscribe to our tok notes bundles or get access to more than 500+ IBDP notes and past papers here .
Nail IB is your virtual companion that helps you hustle through your diploma and provide you with the right resources at the right time. To know more about acing IB, click here .
I hope this article will become the foundation for figuring out how to write a TOK Essay.
Remember to have faith in yourself.
I hope you NAIL your TOK essay!
Quoting the great Napolean Hill
"Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
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Guide to the TOK Essay
- What is Theory of Knowledge (TOK)?
- What is the Theory of Knowledge Essay?
How is the Theory of Knowledge Essay Scored?
How to structure your theory of knowledge essay.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB/IBDP) is a rigorous and rewarding internationally based educational program that offers courses in numerous studies, from humanities to chemistry. Students take part in a two-year curriculum that includes external examinations, internal assessments, research papers and community service hours. Essentially, students will have to do a bit of everything, especially with IB’s core, which is CAS, TOK, and the extended essay (EE). Understanding how TOK, IB’s flagship class, is assessed with its essay is important to success in the course overall.
What is Theory Of Knowledge (TOK)?
Theory of Knowledge is IB’s way of introducing a more intuitive way of thinking into classrooms. TOK is at its surface as simple as it sounds: you essentially learn the “what” and “why” of how we learn and understand knowledge. In order to assess students of their skills in TOK, IB uses an essay and a presentation. The essay makes up 67% of your total TOK score, making it the most important task to focus on for getting a high score.
What is the Theory Of Knowledge Essay?
The TOK essay is a 1600 word essay written about topics usually given to students from their teachers from a list of numerous options. It is an essay that promotes arguments and counterarguments for the topic at hand. Understanding your ways of knowing (WOKs) and areas of knowledge (AOKs) is extremely crucial before you even start choosing a topic to write on, as your essay will revolve around and structure itself based on these two concepts. Being able to demonstrate higher-level thinking and using examples to solidify the points you make in your essay is also important. Additionally, you’ll need to reference every source of information that you use, since that is something examiners look for as well.
As said earlier, 67% of your grade is from the essay, and your overall TOK score receives a letter grade using a calculated score out of thirty. Your essay score and presentation score are each out of ten. The grades for your TOK presentation and essay are determined by sending material to the board of IB, from which they designate a grader/examiner to read your essay and grade based on a rubric that determines the level of knowledge you exhibit in your writing.
The following formula should better explain how to find your TOK grade.
(presentation score) + (essay score * 2) = overall score out of 30
The grade boundaries out of 30 that determine your letter grade can vary each year so checking in with your school for the most recent ones is the best course of action, but an example set would be like this:
Once you have a letter grade for IB, your extended essay, which is another part of the core, is also included into a larger grading schema to calculate your core score, which is three additional points required to complete and earn the diploma. The following table details this grade further:
Doing well in the core is important to passing IB and getting three points out of the total 45 attainable points.
There’s a trick that most IB students use in writing the TOK essay, and it boils down to understanding four key components of learning:
- Content : Understanding knowledge issues
- Clarity : Structuring your essay in a legible and clear/easy to read manner
- Creativity : Using your personal ways of thinking and applications of knowledge specific to your understanding of the knowledge issue
- Critical Thinking : Using a counter argument for every argument you have to analyze your own claims constantly
Dividing your actual essay into three main chunks helps, starting with an introduction. Your introduction should be where you state your knowledge question, the central point of your essay, and you should make use of jargon specific to the concept. As the basis of your essay, the introduction should be where you form claims and counterclaims that either support or challenge the knowledge question through heavy analysis and evaluation.
The body of the essay follows the introduction, and it is where most of the conceptual analysis of your knowledge question takes place. Every argument and its counterargument should have a dedicated paragraph of its own, and make sure to not jump back and forth too much throughout the essay. to avoid creating messy transitions for the reader and potentially harming your score. Understanding the essay from the reader’s point of view is important, as it will help you better understand how to structure the body of your essay.
A conclusion in the TOK essay is mainly for finding closure among the numerous arguments that have been taking place thus far in the essay. Make sure to summarize but not repeat previous information entirely to refresh the reader. A conclusion should essentially loop back to the beginning of the essay, the knowledge question. The knowledge question’s answer should be the conclusion and the stopping point of the essay, and by now the answer you provide should be backed by paragraphs of supporting claims and counterclaims. If done right, concluding the essay can be how you earn most of your points.
Starting early is an obvious and effective advantage to students. Aside from TOK, let alone the presentation, IB has substantial work that requires focus and allocated time dedicated to it, such as external examinations and the extended essay. These tasks are equally as important as the TOK essay, so starting your outlining, drafting or even just planning early will set you up for success.
Send Your Drafts to Your Teacher
Your TOK teacher is a great resource for drafting essays and making edits to perfect your final product. Making use of time outside of the classroom to catch your teacher for a quick review of your essay could be a bigger advantage than you realize. Making use of an outside perspective is essential to forming a great essay.
While your final IB grade isn’t as important as you’d think regarding college admissions, understanding how to pass TOK and using the lifelong practices you’ll learn in the class is even more important. TOK creates students who think outside conventional methods, making them excellent candidates in the eyes of college admissions offices. Taking TOK and showing proof of understanding it as well as capability of academic rigor is what colleges are looking for. For more information on how your chances of college admissions might look, use CollegeVine’s admissions calculator !
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IB TOK Essay Structure in Detail
Theory of Knowledge is an interdisciplinary field of study that focuses on understanding the different ways of knowing and how our knowledge is acquired, developed and used. It involves exploring the connections between different disciplines, such as the sciences, humanities, mathematics, and the arts, and recognizing the complexities of real-world problems and issues. Through TOK, students are able to gain a deeper understanding of the world around them, as well as develop their critical thinking skills.
TOK helps people understand the links between different disciplines, allowing them to see a broader perspective on the world. By equipping students with the tools to think critically, TOK prepares them for meaningful dialogue about complex issues. Additionally, it serves as a valuable way for students to assess and evaluate their own knowledge and beliefs, as well as question and challenge the knowledge of others. In essence, TOK encourages exploration of the different ways of knowing and understanding the world.
For teachers, understanding the importance of TOK can help to create more effective learning environments. By introducing and discussing different theories and perspectives, teachers can provoke deeper exploration and thought, which can help to ground students’ understanding and open up new sources of knowledge. Moreover, introducing TOK in the classroom can develop students’ ability to think critically, allowing them to form logical arguments and see the connection between different areas of knowledge.
To sum up, Theory of Knowledge is an interdisciplinary field of study that encourages exploration of the different ways of knowing and understanding the world. It provides students with the skills to think critically and examine the complexities of real-world issues. Additionally, it is a useful tool for teachers to help develop students’ abilities to think critically and explore different perspectives. Now, let’s take a closer look at the TOK essay structure.
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Outline of the TOK Essay Structure
The International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge essay is a 750 to 1600 word requirement on the student’s knowledge of the world, and how they analyze and evaluate it. The TOK essay structure is designed to help students express their ideas in an organized, concise and effective way.
The TOK essay has a distinct structure that should be followed throughout the paper. The basic structure includes an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each of these parts should be a separate section within the outline and should include specific points.
The introduction should clearly define the topic and provide an overview of the essay’s purpose. It should also introduce the three Are of Knowledge (AOKs) that are relevant to this essay and describe how they will be connected in the essay.
Following the introduction, each body paragraph should contain an argument, evidence to support it and then a conclusion that ties back to the main argument. Body paragraphs should cover each AOK mentioned in the introduction, with the arguments relating to each AOK. In addition, body paragraphs should state how each AOK is related to each other.
Finally, the conclusion should summarize all of the arguments made in the body of the essay and suggest ways to further explore the topics presented. This should be done with a focus on how these areas of knowledge intersect to create a more holistic understanding of the world.
By following this structure, students can ensure that their TOK essay is well organized and effectively communicates their ideas. Additionally, it will help students stay on track with the essay’s requirements and ensure that their essay meets the grading criteria.
Overview of the Grading Criteria for TOK Essays
The Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay is one of the most important components in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and it carries a significant chunk of the overall score. Writing a compelling TOK essay requires much more than simply understanding the topics and reading about them. If you’re hoping to get an excellent grade, it’s crucial to understand how your work will be assessed.
Knowledge Questions and their Relevance
The key part of any TOK essay is the knowledge questions – these need to be answered directly with a clear focus and relevance to the question. A well-structured essay will address the question from various points of view and as far as possible. It should also provide appropriate examples and evidence for your points, any counterclaims or alternative viewpoints and your own knowledge experiences.
Organization and Structure
The essay should be logically organized and structured with clearly defined sections. Every section needs to have a purpose and its own independent set of arguments. It should also include citations and sources where appropriate, as well as personal knowledge experiences. The overall essay should be written in an academic style, consistent with the rest of the TOK curriculum.
Reasoning and Argumentation
Make sure you use complex reasoning to develop a strong argument that supports your main point in the essay. To do this effectively, you’ll need to reference other sources, research documents and your own personal experiences. Your essay should also discuss the validity and reliability of the sources used, and whether they are relevant to the particular knowledge issue being discussed.
Grammar and Language
Finally, the essay should be written using a formal language, grammar and punctuation. When writing the essay, it’s important to keep in mind that TOK is designed to be studied from an international perspective. Grammatical accuracy, clarity and consistency in language will help to make sure your points come across effectively, and allow you to get the best score.
Understanding the grading criteria that are used to assess TOK essays is crucial if you want to earn a high grade. Make sure you pay close attention to each of the criteria discussed here and ensure your essay covers them all. This will help you get the most out of your TOK essay and ensure you reach the grade you deserve.
Step-by-step Guide to Writing a TOK Essay
Writing a Theory of Knowledge essay can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By breaking the essay writing process down into small, manageable steps, you can make it easier and less stressful. This step-by-step guide shows how to use the Areas of Knowledge (AOKs) to write an effective TOK essay.
Step One: Brainstorm
The best way to start your TOK essay is to brainstorm ideas. Take some time to think about your experiences and create a list of potential topics that could be developed into an essay. Don’t worry if the ideas don’t relate directly to the question – this is just for brainstorming purposes.
Step Two: Research
Once you have an idea of what kind of essay you are going to write, it is time to do some research. Look into the different AOKs and try to pinpoint which ones are relevant to your topic. This should give you a basic knowledge of the topic and the various perspectives that need to be considered in the essay.
Step Three: Outline
Now that you have researched the topic, it is time to create an outline. Make sure to include the main points you want to cover in the essay, as well as any counterarguments that may be presented. Also, include any evidence or examples that will support your argument. The outline should be as detailed as possible to ensure that you stay on track when writing the essay.
Step Four: Writing
Now that you have completed your research and created an outline, it’s time to start writing. Remember to remain focused on your main argument and use evidence from your research to support your claims. Be sure to explain how each AOK applies to the essay, and how they interact with each other. Consider how the different perspectives can be combined to form a complex argument.
Step Five: Proofreading and Editing
Once you have completed the essay, it is important to proofread and edit. Check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and make sure your argument is well structured and logically consistent. Also, make sure to address any counterarguments that you outlined in the essay. Finally, consider adding any new information or ideas that you discovered during the writing process.
By following these steps and using the AOKs as a guide, you can be sure to craft a high-quality TOK essay that meets the assessment criteria. With the right amount of effort and dedication, you can succeed in writing an effective TOK essay.
Using Personal Knowledge Experiences in TOK Essays
A student’s individual experiences are just as important as the facts and theories presented in an essay. Personal knowledge experiences help to bring life to the paper and make it stand out from the rest. For example, if you are writing about the concept of truth and objectivity, your personal experience may help to provide insight into how different perspectives could be interpreted.
When using personal knowledge experiences in your TOK essay , it is important to consider how these experiences could contribute positively to your argument. Ask yourself questions like ‘how has this experience informed my viewpoint?’. By reflecting on your experiences, you can demonstrate your understanding of the TOK essay question and explain why your view is important.
In addition to reflecting on relevant prior experiences, you should also think about any current research or experiences you can draw upon. If there is an opportunity to conduct interviews or visit a local museum, these activities can be used to support your argument.
It is important to remember that the personal knowledge experiences you choose should not take away from the overall structure of the paper. These experiences should be used to reinforce the points you have made and to supplement your argument. Make sure to check your essay for any grammatical errors or typos and ensure that your points are backed up by logical reasoning.
Ultimately, using personal knowledge experiences in your TOK essay can help to differentiate it from other papers. It is a great way to demonstrate your understanding of the subject and your ability to present evidence to support your views.
Tips on Thinking Critically for TOK Essays
Writing a successful Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay requires the ability to think critically and develop strong arguments. Critical thinking can be difficult and complex, so here are some tips to help:
- Gather evidence: Any successful argument needs evidence and facts to back it up. Research your topic thoroughly and make sure you have solid evidence to support your argument.
- Analyze evidence: Consider the source of the evidence and evaluate it objectively. Does this information support or contradict your argument?
- Be creative: Think outside the box when constructing your argument. Analyze different perspectives and viewpoints to gain a deeper understanding of your topic.
- Think logically: Once you have gathered all your evidence, it’s time to build an argument. Structure your argument in a logical way, leading from one point to another.
- Question assumptions: It is important to be open-minded and question any assumptions you may have about the topic. Reflect and challenge ideas to create an argument with diverse points of view.
- Anticipate counterclaims: Not all readers will agree with your argument, so be prepared to address objections or counterarguments. Showing how you thoughtfully considered the other perspective demonstrates critical thinking skills.
By following these tips, you will be able to submit a high quality TOK essay with a carefully crafted argument. Remember that clear and logical thinking is essential for a successful essay.
Creating a TOK Essay Outline
Creating an outline for a Theory of Knowledge essay can be challenging, but it will help you make sure your essay is structured clearly and logically. An outline allows you to break down your essay into sections that are easy to understand and follow. This helps to ensure that your essay takes a clear path from the introduction to the conclusion.
When creating your TOK essay outline, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure you are producing an effective outline. The first step is to brainstorm what topics and ideas you want to include in your essay. Once you have identified the topics you want to include in your essay, it is important to determine how they fit together and how you want to present them. This helps you to come up with a basic structure for your essay.
Once you have a structure in place, you should move on to developing more specific subtopics. These topics will form the basis of the main body of your essay, and help you to further develop each point you’re making. This is a crucial step in creating a TOK essay outline, as it helps to ensure that all of your ideas are clearly expressed and logically organized.
The final step in creating your TOK essay outline is to develop an effective thesis statement. This statement will serve as the main focus of your essay, and should encapsulate the main point that you are trying to make. Once you have developed a thesis statement, you will be able to start putting together the outline of your essay in a logical and organized manner.
Creating a TOK essay outline is a great way to ensure your essay is well-structured and logically organized. Following the steps outlined above will help you create an effective outline that ensures your essay is organized in a clear, logical manner.
Using Language Effectively to Support Claims in a TOK Essay
Recapping your key ideas, using strong vocabulary, making connections, making assumptions explicit, summarizing your argument, introduction to tok essay assessment criteria.
Writing a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay can be a challenging task for students. It requires careful thought, research, and organization – not only of the facts and arguments but also of the assessment criteria.
In TOK essays, students are assessed on their ability to think analytically and critically. The International Baccalaureate (IB) has developed a set of criteria that are used to evaluate each TOK essay. It’s important for students to have a good understanding of each of these criteria so they know what to focus on when writing their essay.
The TOK essay assessment criteria are split into two categories: C & P (communicate and present) and A & R (argument and reason).
- Communication and Presentation (C&P): This criterion evaluates a student’s ability to communicate their ideas effectively and demonstrate a clear understanding of the topic. Points awarded for this criteria are based on how well the essay is structured, use of evidence, clarity of language, and strength of argument.
- Argument and Reasoning (A&R): This criterion assesses a student’s ability to apply logic and rational thinking to their essay. Points awarded for this criterion depend on the student’s capacity to use evidence to support their argument, make well-thought-out conclusions, and reference counterclaims (where relevant).
Advice For Meeting These Criteria
When writing your TOK essay, it is important to follow the criteria carefully and make sure that you address all of the points. Here are some tips to help you do this:
- Read the question correctly and make sure you understand what it is asking. Analyze the keywords and think about how you can use them in your essay.
- Research relevant AOKs (Areas of Knowledge) and create an outline to plan your essay. Make sure all of your arguments are supported by logical reasoning, evidence, and examples.
- If relevant, think of counterclaims and provide effective refutations to them.
- Write your essay using clear language and organizing your thoughts in a way that is easy to read and understand.
- Proofread your essay several times and make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes.
- Write a strong conclusion that ties together all of your arguments and summarizes your main points.
By following these steps, you should be able to create an essay that meets the TOK essay assessment criteria and earns you the grade you deserve!
The Role of Counterclaims in a TOK Essay
When attempting to answer a TOK essay question, it is essential that you consider various counterarguments and opposing viewpoints. These counterclaims can help in developing a TOK essay that is well-reasoned, logical and backed up with evidence. Looking at counterclaims can also help to create a balanced argument and give your TOK essay added depth.
Including counterclaims in your TOK essay can help you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an argument. Through considering opposing points of view, you can develop ideas that are less biased and more convincing. For example, if you are discussing the impact of technology on modern life, perhaps you could argue that technology has had both positive and negative implications for society. This can add an interesting layer to your essay and make it stand out from the crowd.
When introducing counterclaims into your TOK essay, it is important to make sure that your arguments remain impartial. Rather than simply stating that one point of view is wrong, it is better to present both sides of the argument and discuss their merits or drawbacks. It is also a good idea to use evidence or personal experiences to back up your argument.
When addressing counterclaims, be sure to include any opposing opinions on the topic, as well as potential solutions should a conflict arise. For example, if you are discussing a particular ethical dilemma, it is important to present both sides of the argument and explore any potential solutions or proposed compromises.
All in all, considering counterclaims and their potential implications is a vital part of constructing an effective TOK essay. Through engaging with opposing viewpoints and exploring possible solutions, you can produce an argument that is thought-provoking, balanced and convincing.
Summary of key points for crafting a high-scoring TOK essay
To craft a high-scoring Theory of Knowledge essay that is structurally sound, there are a few key points to consider. To begin with, it is important to have an in-depth understanding of the TOK essay structure, as well as its grading criteria. Once you understand the structure and criteria for a TOK essay, you must ensure that your essay includes the appropriate Areas of Knowledge. You should use personal knowledge experiences to answer TOK essay questions and make sure that you think critically when forming arguments.
It is also necessary to form a clear TOK essay outline, as this allows the essay to be structured properly. This means that, when writing the actual essay, it is important to use language effectively to support claims and arguments and also to include counterclaims. Finally, it is essential to meet the TOK assessment criteria set out by the instructor, as these criteria will be used to determine your grade.
In summary, to craft a high-scoring TOK essay that is structurally sound, it is important to understand the TOK essay structure, the grading criteria, and how to use the AOKs within the essay structure. Additionally, using personal knowledge experiences, thinking critically and creating a clear outline can help to ensure that the essay is written correctly. Furthermore, the essay should use correct language, include counterclaims, and meet all assessment criteria.
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Nick's article, featured in Routledge's " Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization ," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.
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How to Write a TOK Essay In One Night: The Complete Guide 2023
by Antony W
October 21, 2023
This is the complete guide on how to write a ToK essay in one night.
Whether you still have time left or you’re in the last minute race, this guide shows you exactly how to complete the assignment in the shortest time possible.
- Read the essay prompt carefully to understand what the assignment requires.
- Choose a prescribed title.
- Select two of the most appropriate areas of knowledge.
- Develop an outline relevant to the Theory of Knowledge essay.
- Write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
- Proofread your work.
- Submit your ToK essay for assessment.
If you already understand the fundamentals of writing a ToK essay but you’re already running late, Help for Assessment can get the paper done for you. Get our ToK essay writing service and benefit from the convenience of our custom writing.
Otherwise, continue reading this guide to learn how to develop a comprehensive essay from start to finish, even if you have only 24 hours left.
How to Write a ToK Essay in One Night
The Theory of Knowledge essay is a 1,600 words assignment based on an already pre-determined title.
It requires you to compare and contrast the different ways of knowing with the different areas of knowledge.
Furthermore, your work must reflect on the nature of knowledge and clearly demonstrate why you know what you claim to know.
So here's what you need to do:
1. Choose Your Prescribed Title
Choose a title from one of the prescribed essay titles provided by IB.
You shouldn’t just pick a topic because it appears simple. We recommend that you read each title and make a careful consideration of your topic selection.
Look at the title you’ve select and try to understand the command terms and the underlying knowledge question .
Ask yourself the following:
- What question does the prescribed title ask?
- Does the title require me to focus on shared or personal knowledge?
2. Choose Two Areas of Knowledge
Keep in mind that Theory of Knowledge is comparative in nature.
Thus, when choosing your areas of knowledge , ensure you can easily draw relevant comparisons and contrasts to the WoKs you write.
Take note on whether the title requires you to handle two disciplines or AOK before you start writing.
And except for Math and History, you should be clear about the -discipline of the AOK that you choose.
3. Read the Essay’s Instructions Carefully
Note the keywords in the essay’s instructions.
The question might ask you to “assess” or “evaluate” a perspective, which implies that you should consider for or against the title.
Also, factor in any grey area or ambiguity linked to the title.
- If the title asks “in what way” or “to what extent”, it means you provide an argument for or against the statement.
- Where the title asks a direct question, you should address in what way or the extent to which you support or don’t support a position or argument.
4. Understand the Grading Criteria
IB assesses Theory of Knowledge essays based on four criteria, and each carries equal weight:
- Understanding Knowledge Issues: Your essay should show relevant between two knowledge issues, links and compares the issues, and demonstrate a unique comprehension of the issues.
- Knowers Perspective: Demonstrate independent thinking. Have at least two different perspectives, a few supporting examples, and show self-awareness.
- Analyzing Knowledge Issues: Demonstrate insight and depth. Present counter-arguments and arguments, and justify key points, and show implications and assumptions of the selected prescribed title.
- Organizing Ideas: You should structure your essay properly. Ensure factual accuracy, explain key concepts, and, where applicable, cite sources.
5. Brainstorm Ideas for Your Prescribed Title
The Theory of Knowledge essay is inherently reflective. It requires you to demonstrate your thoughtful consideration of the title and your readiness to analyze and reflect upon it.
So brainstorm the title you’ve selected. Write all the thoughts that come to mind, and allow your ideas to flow freely.
Next, review your notes, making sure you identify interconnected ideas, as well as those that present conflicting viewpoints.
If the title presents a perspective to assess or evaluate, create two columns, one for supporting the perspective and another for opposing it, and allocate the ideas you have generated into the respective columns.
Additionally, create a third column to capture ambiguities or areas where the answer is not clear, and assign relevant ideas to this column.
Look at instances where you can use concrete examples to support the ideas you recorded. These examples will serve to enhance your arguments and add depth to your essay.
6. Create Your Theory of Knowledge Essay Outline
We’ve written quite a lot about TOK essay outline already, and we strongly recommend that you check out that guide for an in-depth teardown of the structure.
However, for the sake of this guide, here’s the summary of the format that you should follow:
First, understand that the purpose of the outline is to guide your essay, so you can easily organize your points to achieve a logical flow of information.
If you can follow this specific outline to a tee, you’ll end up with a more comprehensive essay based purely on the selected prescribed title.
Here’s the outline to use:
Write the Introduction
The introduction of your Theory of Knowledge essay sets the stage for the paper. It should be between 100 and 150 words long.
Your introduction goes here, usually in 100 to 150 words. Your description should show at most two things about the prescribed title and a few words to show that you understand the knowledge question.
Give a clear definition of one or two key terms from the prescribed title. The definitions are usually important, especially because they can give you some clues for perspectives and evidence.
Complete the paragraph by giving your readers a clear roadmap for the essay. By doing this, you make it easy for the reader to know exactly what to look for in your work.
Develop Your First Area of Knowledge
The second and third paragraph will cover your first area of knowledge. This area should be no more than 600 words.
- State the Claim: Write the topic sentence. Remember, a perspective is the argument about the prescribed title you selected in the first step.
- Give an Example: Give an example of the perspective, which can be anything based on your experience, as long as it’s real and specific.
- Explain: Give a clear explanation on how your example supports the perspective. For the sake of grabbing the reader’s attention, state something interesting about your example and explain what it state about the title.
- State Counterclaim: Here is where you argue against the perspective that you make in the second paragraph.
- Give an Example: Here is where you give a concrete support for the perspective that you just made.
- Explain the Example: Give a clear explanation about how the example you provided supports your perspective. Remember to write what you believe is interesting about the example. Also, mention what the example says about the selected prescribed title.
- Summary: Sum this section by linking to the prescribe title and ensuring you’ve highlighted the insight that you have had about this area of knowledge.
Develop Your Second Area of Knowledge
This is the section where you develop your second area of knowledge. Again, this part should be no more than 600 words.
- State your perspectivefor the second AOK.
- Give a solid example.
- Explain your example, making sure you show exactly how it supports the perspective.
- State the perspective for the second AOK.
- Give an example that’s good enough to support the perspective.
- Explain how the example you’ve provided supports the perspective you’ve given.
Write the Conclusion
The conclusion is the final paragraph of the ToK essay. In terms of length, it should be between 200 and 250 words long.
- Conclusion: Here, write what insights you’ve gathered, making sure it relates to the prescribed title question. Also, ensure you synthesize the main insights that you’ve gathered about the two areas of knowledge.
- Implication and Significance: Explain the impact and importance of your essay in relation to the prescribed title. Go the extra mile to give clarity on why it’s important to understand these insights.
- Perspectives and Extensions: Is there a different way that you would have approached the question? Would the approach have given a different outcome or insight than that already reflected on your essay?
Note that the Theory of Knowledge essay has changed a bit. So as to the number of paragraphs in a TOK essay , the maximum you should have now is 6, not 9.
The TOK is often assessed through a 1200-1600-word essay and an oral presentation.
The essay asks you to reflect on the nature of knowledge, as well as how you know what you claim to know. It is usually a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma and is compulsory for all students.
Every TOK essay is different. To pass your essay, you will need to prepare thoroughly.
Treat it as you would any type of research and take some time to create an outline and write your thesis statement. After writing, make sure you cite your work properly and proofread it.
About the author
Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.
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In short, I can’t recommend this article enough. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in topic above. Good work to the writer, you have truly outsmart yourself! Keep the good content coming.
Overview of the TOK essay (first assessment 2022)
There have been some important changes to the TOK with the new curriculum (first assessment 2022). Overall, the “heart” of the essay remains the same but there are some key differences. When searching for resources online about the TOK essay, pay careful attention to whether or not they are geared towards the new essay. While many older resources are still somewhat relevant you need to be aware that some of has been written about the older curriculum may not apply anymore.
Additionally, there are a large number of sample essays available online but the vast majority of them are written for an older TOK curriculum. Older TOK curricula have some different requirements and different assessment criteria. Looking at older TOK essays can be beneficial as the basic core of the new essay has not changed dramatically. Be careful though.
The first place to look when trying understand the TOK essay is the assessment instrument. Page 48 of the TOK subject guide states a basic question that underlines the marking of all TOK essays:
“ Does the student provide a clear, coherent and critical exploration of the essay title?”
Each of the three “c” key terms needs further investigation:
- Is the essay as a whole clearly linked to the essay title?
- Are all of the key terms in the essay title clearly addressed in the essay?
- Are the arguments clearly linked to the essay title?
- Do the specific examples have a clear connection to the prescribed title?
- Is the writing clear? Writing clarity is itself not assessed by TOK markers but markers can only give you credit for your arguments if they are written clearly enough to be fully understood.
- Does the essay overall have sufficient coherence?
- Do the arguments flow logically from one to another?
- Do the AOKs flow logically from one to another? You do not have to separate your essay into two distinct AOK sections but there needs to be a logical reason for the order of your body paragraphs.
- Are the specific examples organized in a logical way?
- Are the different points of view discussed in an effective and logical sequence?
- Does the essay use transitions words and phrases effectively to improve the coherence of the essay?
Note: To be able to create a coherent TOK essay you first need to be able to create a coherent essay. You need to develop your general essay writing skills before your start working on your TOK essay.
- Do the arguments in the essay have sufficient depth of critical analysis in its approach to the prescribed title? Does the essay overall have sufficient depth of critical analysis?
- How are the specific examples used to support the arguments? Are the specific examples examined in sufficient depth?
- Do the different points of view in the essay have sufficient depth? If a different point of view in the essay is fairly superficial it make it more difficult for the essay to be successful.
- Does the evaluation of the different points of view in the essay have sufficient depth? Is this evaluation linked directly to the arguments and the prescribed title?
- Are the implications in the essay critically considered ? Just mentioning a couple of implication may not quite be enough.
Most of the points above are drawn directly from the TOK essay assessment instrument. It is extremely important that very early on you take some time to closely examine the TOK essay assessment instrument. All parts of your essay must directly connect to both the essay title and to the TOK essay assessment instrument.
- During the TOK essay writing process make sure you examine and re-examine whether or not your essay fully addresses the prescribed title .
- If there is some part of the essay title that you are not covering sufficiently in your essay, make sure you make the necessary changes as soon as possible
- If there are parts of your essay that have weak links to the prescribed title strongly considering cutting them out. Save space in your essay for in-depth critical analysis that is directly linked to the prescribed title.
- During the TOK essay writing process make sure you examine and re-examine whether or not your essay fully addresses the TOK assessment instrument .
- If there is some part of the TOK assessment instrument that you are not covering sufficiently in your essay, make sure you make changes before you hand in your final draft.
- If there are parts of your essay that have indirect / weak links to the TOK assessment instrument strongly considering cutting them out. Use the space in your essay for in-depth critical analysis that is directly linked to the prescribed title and the TOK assessment instrument.
Beyond the basics (making sure you address the essay title as well as the TOK assessment instrument), there are additional requirements for the TOK essay. Check the TOK subject guide for details.
- Academic honesty / authenticity: Page 44 of the TOK subject guide is quite clear: “The TOK essay must be the student’s own work.”
- You must submit both your essay and the TOK essay Planning and Progress Form (TK/PPF) for marking. The form is not taken into consideration in the marking of your essay but it may be important if questions are raised about the authenticity of your work.
- Maximum 1600 words (make sure you are clear about what is and is not included in the word count).
- 12 point, double spaced, standard font. This is now the standard for most if not all IB EAs and IAs. If you do not follow these simple basic requirements you are indicating to the marker right from the start that you are not careful and do not follow basic instructions. That is not the frame of mind you want the marker to be in when they start reading your essay.
Tok essay titles May 2023
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TOK Essay titles May 2023
Here are the TOK essay titles May 2023 and our best help to students.
IB TOK essay titles May 2023 have been released and there is a big buzz in the air on how to work on these 2023 TOK essay prompts. The six prescribed titles for the May 2023 are:
1. Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. for artists and natural scientists, which is more important: what can be explained or what cannot be explained discuss with reference to the arts and the natural sciences., 3. does it matter if our acquisition of knowledge happens in “bubbles” where some information and voices are excluded discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge..
4. Do you agree that it is “astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power” (Bertrand Russell)? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.
5. Are visual representations always helpful in the communication of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and mathematics.
6. to what extent is the knowledge we produce determined by the methodologies we use discuss with reference to history and one other area of knowledge., tok essay titles may 2023, tok essay may 2023 title 1.
Among Tok essay titles May 2023, tok essay May 2023 title 1 focuses on the key concept of ‘replicability’. Does replicability ensure how good knowledge is? You get to explore the idea on the significance of reproducing the same knowledge in a same setup every time.
Explore the natural sciences and its knowledge reproduction. Many a cases such knowledge pieces ensure credibility in building up the confidence that you would get the same results repeatedly. However, evaluate and see whether this act of reproducibility is necessary in the knowledge production.
Is it the same in other areas of knowledge? How can replicability be separated from not being plagiarized?
Walk through a creative domain like the arts and imagine that it might be possible to replicate an artwork in the form of indistinguishable pieces. But what about the knowledge each replicated art piece produces?
TOK essay May 2023 title 2
Among TOK essay titles May 2023, TOK essay May 2023 title 2 has played a twist here with the wordings in the title. Note carefully that you are not asked to explain what ideas can be explained and what not.
Your task is to evaluate perspectives on ‘which is more important’-ideas which can be explained or those which cannot be.
In natural sciences, there is a huge scope of research as natural science may not be able to prove all facts but theoretically describe them.
In the arts, there are contextual artworks like history arts which may look for explanation on evolving traditions.
TOK essay May 2023 title 3
Among TOK essay titles May 2023, Tok essay May 2023 title 3 is pretty fascinating and gives an immense flexibility to you in sharing your opinions. ‘Knowledge bubbles’ are those silos where some knowledge pieces keep echoing.
In the field of human sciences, the question remains whether knowledge bubbles impede us from bearing the responsibility of exploring new knowledge?
On one hand knowledge in natural sciences get to be solidified gaining certainty through long years of beliefs.
Questions arise on whether it matters for you to acquire knowledge from a known knowledge zone where a proposition fits in with the overall set of beliefs for people in that zone.
TOK essay May 2023 title 4
4. do you agree that it is “astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power” (bertrand russell) discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge..
Among TOK essay titles May 2023, Tok essay May 2023 title 4 comes with a hilarious touch-reminds me of ‘little knowledge may be dangerous’.
The question is if you are surprised or not by the observation that little knowledge can give much power or command over the knowledge. It is in fact pretty usual to see such attitude in people with little knowledge entrapped in an illusory web of overestimating their knowledge.
In the area of the natural sciences, you may find such overestimation of capabilities in asserting knowledge claims.
In the human sciences, it is quite common scenario for people to go overwhelmed in overrating their calibre.
TOK essay May 2023 title 5
Among TOK essay titles May 2023, Tok essay May 2023 title 5 may be exciting to visual learners, for they would find a strong personal connection with themselves.
Be precise with certain key words in the title as ‘always’. Knowledge is produced, received unidirectionally. However, communication is a bidirectional concept.
You would get to unpack some of the areas where statistical data have different purpose of production than that of interpretation. Questions may arise on the reliability of such data in predictive analysis.
TOK essay May 2023 title 6
Among TOK essay titles May 2023, Tok essay May 2023 title 6 reminds of the methods and tools in the TOK knowledge framework.
To what extent the observations collected and evaluated in the knowledge production through the use of methodologies, impact the nature of the new knowledge produced-is the focal point.
The contestability is with regards to the influence of varied methodologies in the production of new knowledge. Do appropriateness of research methodologies affect the accuracy of knowledge produced- is the area of reflection.
In history, there might be evidences from primary resources in interpreting the past.
It is equally exciting to inspect the nature of knowledge produced in the natural sciences through empiricism.
If you like what you read, then you may consider reading How to write TOK essay
Also, more details on TOK ESSAY TITLES MAY 2023 can be found at TOK ESSAY TITLES MAY 2023
May 2024 TOK Essay Prompts | IB Experts Guide + Examples
Table of contents
- Writing Metier
The TOK essay prescribed titles for May 2024 are now available. Understanding these TOK essay prompts is essential for IB students aiming for a successful essay. This is why I’m writing this article with expert suggestions from our IB experts for you.
I do not want to spend your precious time with a long introduction, so let me go straight to the point!
May 2024 TOK essay titles list
Here’s a breakdown of each title, offering insights and potential approaches.
- Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts but unfairly condemned in history? Discuss with reference to the arts and history.
- How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.
- Nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, so why are areas of knowledge often so slow to adopt them? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.
- Do we underestimate the challenges of taking knowledge out of its original context and transferring it to a different context? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
- Do we need custodians of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
- Are we too quick to assume that the most recent evidence is inevitably the strongest? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.
Get TOK essay assistance from IB experts
At Writing Metier, we understand the intricacies and challenges of crafting a compelling TOK essay . Our team of seasoned IB experts is here to guide you every step of the way.
We will provide you with a tailor-made sample TOK essay that aligns seamlessly with your specific instructions, adheres to the TOK essay rubric , and meets the overarching IB criteria.
Trust in our expertise and let us support you in achieving excellence in your TOK essay writing .
Breakdown of each 2024 May TOK Essay Prompt
Now, let me break each TOK essay title for May 2024 in detail. I’ll also suggest several possible areas of knowledge, ways of knowing and applicable real-life examples to give you some inspiration for these prompts.
TITLE 1: Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts but unfairly condemned in history? Discuss with reference to the arts and history.
Examine the role of emotion and intuition WOKs in the arts, where personal interpretations often lead to diverse artistic expressions.
For instance, Picasso’s abstract art is open to multiple interpretations. Contrast this with history, where reason and language WOKs play a pivotal role in documenting events.
For example, while historians value primary sources for their objectivity, they often criticize biased accounts.
TITLE 2: How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.
In mathematics, specialization might refer to mastering a specific theorem, while generalization involves understanding broader mathematical principles.
For instance, Pythagoras’ theorem is specialized, but its application in various real-life scenarios , like architecture, is a generalization. Contrast this with the natural sciences, where specialized knowledge might refer to niche research studies, while general knowledge encompasses broader scientific theories.
TITLE 3: Nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, so why are areas of knowledge often so slow to adopt them? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.
In human sciences, new psychological theories, for instance, undergo rigorous testing and peer reviews before acceptance. This slow adoption ensures reliability.
Contrast this with ethics, where new moral ideas, like those concerning AI’s rights, face resistance due to cultural and societal values, making their adoption slow.
TITLE 4: Do we underestimate the challenges of taking knowledge out of its original context and transferring it to a different context? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
In religious knowledge systems, scriptures taken out of their historical context can lead to misinterpretations.
For instance, ancient religious texts might not directly apply to modern ethical dilemmas.
Similarly, in the arts, a piece of art created in a specific cultural context might lose its original meaning when viewed in a different cultural setting.
TITLE 5: Do we need custodians of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
In indigenous knowledge systems, elders often act as custodians, preserving traditions and stories for future generations. Their role ensures that knowledge is not lost over time.
In contrast, academic journals and institutions act as custodians in the natural sciences, ensuring that scientific knowledge is recorded, peer-reviewed, and accessible for future research.
TITLE 6: Are we too quick to assume that the most recent evidence is inevitably the strongest? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.
In the natural sciences, newer research, such as recent findings on climate change, might be considered more accurate due to advanced technology and methodologies. However, it’s essential to consider the reliability and validity of these findings.
In history, newer historical evidence, like a recently discovered manuscript, might shed light on an event, but its authenticity and context must be verified.
Now let me share some samples written by our expert IB writers at Writing Metier.
May 2024 TOK essay samples
Let’s start with the sample of the TOK essay on May 2024 prompt 2 – How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge?
If you need a professionally written TOK essay, feel free to ask for help from our IB experts.
If you have missed it, I also have an article about prior TOK essay titles with suggestions and samples. Make sure to check them out as well!
The year 2023:
- November 2023 TOK essay prompts
- May 2023 TOK essay titles
The year 2022:
- November 2022 TOK essay prompts
- May 2022 ToK essay titles
Previous years’ prompts:
- November 2021 ToK Essay titles
- May 2021 Theory of Knowledge essay prompts
With a clear understanding of these TOK titles, IB students are well-prepared to select a topic and begin their essay.
Keep in mind that the key to a compelling TOK essay is a thorough understanding of the chosen prompt and a structured approach to addressing it.
If you need assistance writing a custom TOK essay , Writing Metier is here to help you out. Contact our support team via email or using a live chat or simply fill out our online order form with details of your IB TOK essay.
Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and how modern technology makes it more accessible. He wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities as an educational specialist. When Vasy is not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.
November 2023 tok essay prompts explained + samples.
This article is a complete guide to the November 2023 TOK essay prompts, which includes detailed explanations of each prompt along with samples to help students understand them better. It offers practical advice and expert guidance to help students improve their writing skills and succeed in this important assignment. Whether you need help selecting a topic or want to enhance your critical thinking skills, this article provides valuable insights that will help you craft a successful TOK essay.
IB ToK Essay Prompts for November 2022
Every year, students who started IBDP are waiting for IB to share the list of specific prescribed titles for Theory of Knowledge essays. Like in all the previous years, IB opened a list of six topics for TOK essays for the next semester.
ToK Essay Titles November 2021 | Explained + SAMPLES
In this article, we will be talking about the six Theory of knowledge essay topics students enrolled in the IB diploma need to be aware of. Just like every year, this TOK November’s topics vary in different elements, and in this article, we will share descriptions about each topic which the students need to keep in their minds when selecting the essay topic for their diplomas.
30 Different TOK Presentation Topic Ideas to Succeed in IB
Given that the TOK essay's structure and the presentation are unlike others, students can find it challenging to proceed with it. You can only do well on the TOK presentation if you have an excellent idea.
May 2023 TOK Essay Prompts + SAMPLES and Suggestions
Every year, students anxiously wait for the IB to announce the TOK essay topics. So this year is not an exception; IBO has also announced 2023 May titles for IB TOK essay. In this article, we have provided the list of prompts with short directions and suggestions for each topic. Enjoy reading ;)
TOK Exhibition IA Prompts 2023/2024
The list of TOK exhibition prompts for the years 2023/2024. You can easily get through the TOK exhibition with the right understanding of how to work your way through it. All you need is to select the right TOK exhibition IA prompt and have the proper focus with determination to complete it.
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My husband founded a startup. Then our marriage got weird.
One morning this past spring, I was working at my desk when Biz, a fellow tech reporter with a bloodhound's nose for news, texted me a screenshot of my husband's Twitter bio.
Something was missing. Kyle had deleted the name of his startup.
"What happened to Playbyte????" Biz wrote.
Confused, I wrote back, "Wait that's so weird. I'll talk to him."
Kyle and I both work from home, and I wanted to confront him then and there. But talking about my husband's battle-scarred startup always had the potential to turn into a fight. And if his reason for scrubbing Playbyte's name was that he was winding it down, well, that would be an even longer conversation.
That night, as he plugged in his Apple Watch, iPhone, and Steam Deck on his side of the bed, I sidled up to him and asked what the story was.
Kyle shrugged it off. Playbyte, which had started as a kind of TikTok for games (which I loved) and then pivoted to software for indie game developers (meh, he could do better), was about to pivot again. For weeks, Kyle told me, he and Playbyte's two employees — all who were left after he laid off several others during the tech downturn — had been working on a new tool, one that would let anyone build a web app by describing it to a chatbot. I knew that part, though barely because Kyle had been sharing less and less about the company with me.
Then he said he didn't relate to the name Playbyte anymore.
My cheeks flushed. I wanted to scream. Kyle had put 3 ½ years of his life — of our life — into building his startup, and now he had wiped it from public view in a few keystrokes. That, I told him, sent a message to his 20,000 Twitter followers that he had given up. What he was really doing was siphoning off code from the old project to start a new one. Had he considered the knock-on effects on his ability to attract new investors or talent? (After eight years of reporting on startups and venture capital, I'm sad to say, I reflexively use phrases like "knock-on effects" with my husband in bed.)
Kyle knit his brow and explained why he didn't need more money or engineers. I changed the subject to what we should put on before bed. We watched "The Mandalorian" in stewing silence.
By the time I rolled over and turned off the light, I was feeling a pang of remorse. I wished I had told Kyle that I would understand if he wanted to quit. I'd reassure him that he hadn't failed. I had the words ready, but I couldn't bring myself to say them. I still wanted to present as the kind of wife who had unlimited confidence in her husband's ability to turn things around.
In my reporting on the world of company building, I've grown familiar with the myriad ways startups end — with acquisition jackpots or bankruptcies, with trading debuts or lawsuits, with Champagne or jail. "The myth of a successful journey is that it starts with an idea, followed by a ton of hardship, and then a gradual and linear rise to the finish line," the founder and investor Scott Belsky writes in his book "The Messy Middle." It's taken living with a founder to fully dispel that myth for me. "In reality, the middle is extraordinarily volatile — a continuous sequence of ups and downs, flush with uncertainty and struggle," Belsky adds. That's as apt a description of Kyle's startup as it is of our relationship. And in our case, the startup's middle has surely been made messier by the fact that the startup's founder is married to a startup reporter.
Lately, I've been fixated on a nagging question: Would my marriage be happier if my husband's startup failed?
Four years ago, when Kyle began talking over dinners and dog walks about becoming a founder, I secretly hoped he'd change his mind. I'd written hundreds of stories about the life he was signing up for: 80-hour work weeks, high stress, low salaries. Not the ideal lifestyle to adopt, right as we were planning to start a family. I told Biz and Jillian, also a tech reporter, over breakfast in San Francisco's Mission District that I thought this was a bad idea. They asked whether we had savings to fall back on.
My worst fear about his startup wasn't that he'd fail. My worst fear was that I'd never see him, and we'd grow apart as he became a staggering success.
Nine in 10 startups fail. Yet, at the time, it didn't occur to me that my husband's might. During the 10 years I'd known Kyle, things always had a way of working out for him. When he was 20, he dropped out of the University of California, Berkeley, to write for TechCrunch. Before long, he had parlayed a sit-down interview with the renowned investor Chris Dixon into a dealmaking role at Andreessen Horowitz. In 2019, while working at a drone startup, he caught the entrepreneurial bug.
My worst fear about his startup wasn't that he'd fail. My worst fear was that I'd never see him, and we'd grow apart as he became a staggering success. Late nights of toiling over code would lead to private jets and alcohol-fueled company retreats, and I'd be left behind, reading about his corporate conquests under someone else's byline. Earlier that year, Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott had filed for divorce amid a tabloid scandal that included love nests and racy texts with a news anchor. I wondered whether someday our children would spend every other weekend at Kyle's Pacific Heights mansion with his own " alive girl ."
But I didn't tell him any of this. Like my mother, and her mother before her, I am ruthlessly nonconfrontational. When I was growing up, my dad lovingly referred to our "Schulze talk" — the thing you say when you're upset, instead of what you really mean. Becoming a reporter and learning to ask hard questions of founders and investors helped immensely, but being hard on the aspiring founder I slept next to was another thing. I worried that if I didn't support his career, my husband might love me less.
As Kyle was conceiving his startup, I found out I was pregnant. For that, I did confront him. I told him I'd feel more comfortable with him becoming a solopreneur if we moved from San Francisco, where rents were catastrophically high at the time, to New York, where we would be closer to family when the baby arrived. He agreed to my condition, even though it meant he'd be a continent away from the investors and talent he needed to court.
Kyle, who learned to program in fifth grade so he could mod his favorite video games, dreamed up an app for creating and sharing simple games in a scrolling feed. I thought it was fantastic, and well-timed: TikTok was just then taking off in America. Together, we picked out a name by covering our living room walls with sticky notes filled with words and phrases. He settled on Playbyte, a nod to both the app's bite-size games and our tug-of-war-loving pit bull, Nubs.
I put the Post-its in a shoebox of keepsakes, along with handwritten love notes and ticket stubs from our travels, at the back of our closet. Back then, I imagined I would get the Playbyte Post-it framed and give it to Kyle on the day he took the company public, generating a windfall for our family that would pay for our daughter's tuition and so much more.
Lately, though, the Post-its feel like just another relic of our relationship, ones we'll dig out decades from now and laugh over. "Remember when you tried doing a startup?" I'll say.
The most shocking thing I've learned about startups is how boring they are. Day to day, almost nothing happens. There's a call with an investor, a coding sprint, and a team stand-up. So much for "move fast and break things." In my house, it was more "futz endlessly with a Figma file and chat with employees on Discord all day."
Being a startup reporter married to a startup founder isn't without its perks. We can talk about our days without having to explain a million little things. When I get tripped up on jargon such as "transformer" or "smart contracts" or anything Marc Andreessen blogs, Kyle is my Google Translate for tech speak. He rolls deep in juicy news tips, which I'm frustratingly unable to use. And he sets his own hours. When I have to work late, he can easily cover parenting duties.
At times, though, it was strange to experience the way my professional and personal lives had blurred. One drizzly morning last spring, as the tech sector entered year two of a global correction marked by mass layoffs and a dearth of venture-capital funding, I was reporting a story about a looming " mass extinction event " for startups. In our living room, my husband had gathered the team for an off-site. By then, they had already killed the first two iterations of the startup and had begun work on the chatbot app builder. They spoke hunched over laptops on the couch, surrounded by paper coffee cups and twisting charger cables.
"This isn't going to be the thing that determines if we become a billion-dollar company or go out of business," I overheard an engineer say matter-of-factly.
The next night, when Kyle and I were out to dinner with the team, I admitted how bizarre it had been for me to eavesdrop on the challenges they faced at the same time I was interviewing people in the tech industry about the Darwinian moment that startups were facing. To my surprise, Kyle had a confession of his own. He'd been listening in on my interviews, and overhearing talk of things such as "startup mortality rates" didn't exactly give him hope.
I'm not sure Kyle has found as many perks to being a startup founder married to a startup reporter. Perhaps more than any other job, entrepreneurs are encouraged to fake it till they make it, to either bountiful or cataclysmic results. "Startups only exist because their founders are willing to suspend the disbelief of the probable and instead consider what is possible," Eric Paley , an early Uber investor, once wrote. Steve Jobs' infamous "reality-distortion field" let him convince himself and nearly everyone around him of practically anything. Kyle's reality-distortion field seemed strong, and it's often been at war with my journalistic service weapon, a bullshit radar gun.
I knew too much about what could go wrong, like a first lady who doubled as a reporter in the White House press corps. I often assumed the worst because I'd reported dozens of stories about the worst. When one of his favorite employees quit to start his own company — just two months before Playbyte debuted in the App Store — it put both of us in a tailspin of doubt. Had the employee left, we wondered, because he lost confidence in Kyle's idea?
As Playbyte struggled to gain users and investors, I worried less about being the relentlessly positive cheerleader. I began plying Kyle with unsolicited reviews of his pitch deck and interrogating his every move. Did the team really need those logo fleece blankets? When the company had layoffs in spring 2022, had he done everything possible to minimize the impact on his employees? I thought I knew better than he did — after all, I'd just spoken to a dozen talent partners at venture-capital firms for an article , "11 ways companies can ease the burden on laid-off employees." That night, we sat on the bed, bickering over how long the company should extend healthcare benefits. I wanted him to stretch coverage longer. He wanted to be comforted.
Kyle began to bristle at my feedback. Knotted with anxiety, he started withholding details and sought my input less and less. He was trying to find the idea that clicked and found no joy in discussing those that blew up on the launchpad.
Like other founders I've met, Kyle's mood is moored to the health of the business. When he's excited about a development, he oozes confidence and throws himself into the company, often working past dinner. I rarely mind caring for our toddler solo on those nights. Better a happy partner, I figure, than a cranky coparent. Because when a bug creeps into the software, or an investor ignores his email, Kyle can be hard to be around. He snaps at coffee spills and bad drivers and grunts loud enough at his computer to jolt our dog awake. I know things are tense when I hear the dumbbells clanging from his office in the middle of the day. He feels the upsets so intensely because he believes every one reflects on his acumen.
Over the years, I've come to believe that Kyle would cut off his own arm, "127 Hours" style, before putting an end to his startup. After the layoffs, when I asked if he had considered winding down the company and returning some of the funding to his investors, he immediately launched into a pitch on how well the beta test was going. I'm convinced he's going to keep building until he's spent the startup's last dollar.
I often write about founders having blow-through-walls resilience. The Clubhouse founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison had at least nine failed apps between them before hatching the breakout app of the pandemic. Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian led the turnaround of Reddit after a firestorm of user revolts and hate speech. I wrote about them in nearly glowing terms. But the same determination I so admired in them I found unnerving in Kyle. I was exhausted, my patience eroding with each new round of hiring and firing, capital raising, and pivoting.
I told my therapist, my friends, and my boss, whose husband had started and sold his own startup, how I wished my husband would get a "normal job." They encouraged me to tell him how I felt. But that would require me to confront my fear of confrontation.
More than once, I tried to "Inception" Kyle by talking up other companies I thought he'd enjoy working for. He could join a venture firm in Boston, say, and make a six-figure salary, plus a share of the fund's profits. I knew that shutting down his startup would deal a disastrous blow to his confidence. But it would be temporary. In a new role, he could resume a healthy relationship with work. The weight of failure would fall across the entire organization, not on his shoulders alone. He could feel good about himself again.
I want to release myself of the guilt I feel for tearing us away from the Bay Area, where he would have had an easier time getting funded.
I could breathe easier, too. The money would certainly help. But more than wealth, I want things to be less fraught at home. I want to talk about Kyle's work, and mine, without tiptoeing around a minefield. I want him to be free of the torment the startup puts him through. I want to release myself of the guilt I feel for tearing us away from the Bay Area, where he would have had an easier time getting funded. I want peace of mind.
One afternoon in September, I watched Kyle leave his office and face-plant onto the bed. I went over and placed a hand on his back. He looked up at me, tears forming.
"Do you want to talk about it?" I asked.
He told me that in a few hours he had to call an investor and share the news: The app-building chatbot was over. I tried to assure Kyle that his investor had calls like that all the time, especially this year, as founders twisted themselves into pretzels trying to get funded. Just because everything hasn't clicked into place yet, I told him, doesn't mean it won't eventually. After all, YouTube launched as a dating service, and Instagram started off as Burbn.
For once, I thought, I had found the right thing to say — but I must not have been very convincing. Kyle sank back into the pillow and sighed, and I went back to work.
Now Kyle's startup has pivoted a third time. Instead of creating software to help amateurs and indie developers make video games, he and his team plan to use what they've learned to create their own game. The idea is a first-person shooter and an homage to a game, set in a ruinous Russian war zone, that became a pandemic smash hit.
I'm skeptical. In my years of reporting on startups, I've never heard of a pivot like that. Game studios don't exactly scream venture-backed business. Many are bootstrapped or funded by an incumbent studio searching for the next big hit. In the past few years, venture investment in gaming has swelled, but it's still a precarious time for startups that need to raise capital.
The truth is, I don't know if Kyle's startup will make it.
But in the throes of the pivot, Kyle and I faced our most harrowing experience yet. On Labor Day, we were role-playing characters from "Legend of Zelda" with our 3-year-old when Nubs bounded into the kitchen. He jumped on me and kissed me hard before padding over to Kyle. That's when our daughter came up behind Nubs, startling him, and he bit her on the face, slicing her eyebrow and cheek.
She turned out to be OK. But that night in bed, after she had fallen asleep, Kyle and I wept, cradling Nubs in our arms as we had every night for six years. We agreed to call the vet in the morning to discuss euthanasia. Nubs, Playbyte's namesake, was Kyle's best friend. If we went through with it, I asked, did he think he could handle being with me at the vet to put Nubs down?
I wasn't sure how he would respond. This was a man for whom things had always fallen easily, happily into place. But in that moment, as he faced the death of a loved one, I saw that something had changed within him. He now understood peril, having chosen a path rife with it. He had told employees he cared for that he was letting them go. He had gone to investors, tail between his legs, to confess that a new round of funding had fallen through. He had weathered incessant grillings from his reporter-wife, who was not always as supportive as she wished to be and whose own anxiety had often contributed to his. The loneliness and the self-doubt, the sleepless nights and the cold sweats, all the stress and the sorrow of launching and tending to a startup, had shown him something.
"I can do hard things," he told me. He would go with me to say goodbye.
For a flickering moment, between sobs, I was bursting with pride.
Melia Russell is a senior correspondent at Insider.
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