Everything You Need to Know When Writing TOK Essay
If you’re reading this, you’re probably taking the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course as part of your International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, which is worth about 67% of your final grade. You’ll need to write a TOK essay discussing how you plan to approach the question. But what does “how you plan to approach the question” mean? What kind of thinking do you need to do before you start writing?
This post will go over some tips and tricks for structuring your essay. Here, we’ll discuss how IB defines the “theory of knowledge” (TOK). And finally, we’ll talk about how to structure your response to get a good grade on the essay. Let’s get started!
What Is Theory of Knowledge (TOK)?
In 2021, around 170,000 students worldwide wrote TOK essays, which shows its importance. So, let’s discuss what it is and what examiners expect from you.
Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is one of three core components that make up the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. To receive your diploma, you must write an extended essay on a topic in this subject area and receive an A. The other core components are Values & Ethics and Global Awareness & Responsibility.
In short, IB wants you to think about how you know what you know. The question is: How can you be sure that your thoughts, feelings, and ideas are accurate? It is what TOK is all about.
What does IB mean by “theory of knowledge”? They want you to think about how you collect information, form beliefs and judgments, and make decisions. Basically, IB wants you to think about how you know what you know.
Because of it, your TOK essay should be structured around answering one basic question: “What is the basis of my knowledge?” You can phrase it in different ways. For example, “How do I know that X is true?” The idea is always the same – you’re asking yourself why you believe something and whether or not that belief is justified. It is the basic structure of all TOK essays.
What to Know When Writing TOK Essay?
First, you should know what kind of questions the IB examiners ask in the TOK section. They’re looking for a well-structured and clear answer – not just “good.” You must ensure that your response fits these criteria before you start writing.
Second, your essay should explain how you came up with your ideas. You can’t just state a personal opinion as a fact (“I think X is true”) and expect it to work. You need to explain why you think something is correct – this is the “basis of your knowledge.”
Finally, your essay should include some examples that back up what you’re saying (if possible). If you can’t find any good examples, then at least make sure you explain how your example fits into the bigger picture of your idea (“It’s important because …”).
Tip: Remember that an IB examiner will read your TOK essay. That means you must write clearly and logically so that the examiner understands what you’re saying without too much trouble.
How to Structure the TOK Essay?
Here are some tips for structuring your response:
- Tip #1. Your first paragraph should be a general statement about something you believe. The rest of your paragraphs will explain why you believe it.
- Tip #2. Your second paragraph is called the “evidence” section because it describes your reasons for believing what you believe. You can’t just say, “I think X is true,” because that’s not enough – you need to explain why you think this way.
- Tip #3. Your final paragraph is called the “conclusion” because it’s where you sum up what you’ve written. Your conclusion should show that you understand why other people might disagree with you – this is important.
Think of the structure as a triangle, with each paragraph representing one corner of the triangle. The first and last paragraphs tell us something about the middle paragraph; the second paragraph tells us something about the first and third; and so on.
5 Tips to Make the TOK Essay Better
You must understand the task and requirements to score well on the essay. Here are five tips to help you make your TOK essay better:
- Make sure to answer the question. The TOK essay is all about analysis and interpretation, so you must answer the question that is asked.
- Use evidence to support your claims. The essay should contain concrete examples and evidence supporting the topic’s analysis and interpretation.
- Be consistent with your style. You should ensure you are writing in a consistent tone so that the reader understands your ideas clearly.
- Use appropriate language. TOK essays require you to use advanced vocabulary, which means you should be appropriate to the context and respectful of differing views.
- Show your understanding of the topic. You should demonstrate a critical understanding of their own society’s values, beliefs, and practices and those of other societies worldwide by providing examples from their own lives, or they can describe specific instances that illustrate the points being made.
We hope these tips will help students write an outstanding TOK essay by providing clear guidelines and helping them to organize their thoughts. In particular, we recommend that students brainstorm their ideas before beginning to write and that they structure their essays clearly and logically.