What does the essay assess? The essay assesses your ability to write about knowledge questions and your critical thinking skills through the discussion of one of the six prescribed titles. There are so many resources for TOK and not all of them are good. The IBO strongly recommends that students do not go to TOK websites that offer help and advice for the prescribed essay titles. If you do you will be influenced by compelling ideas that are not your own.
Tok essay counterclaims
You will be penalised accordingly. This a reputable resource that is aimed at more able students.
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It is completely free to use and has links to other 'safe' TOK resources. NumptyKnowledge is a companion website to NumptyNerd. Download the TOK Guide. For example, if your essay question asks you whether progress is equally possible in the sciences and the arts then how you answer that question might depend on how you define progress and a good structure for the essay might be to start by considering one definition of progress i.
However, by and large TOK is looking at how we can know things despite the problems we face when acquiring with knowledge or in spite of the different opinions that exist. TOK is in many ways a pragmatic and realistic subject that is trying to move away from creating the impression that we just can't know anything at all. As such, the best essays will admit that the acquisition of knowledge may not be straight-forward, but will go on to consider how we can overcome these obstacles in the successful pursuit of knowledge.
Make it clear that this narrowing down is a conscious decision that you have made and you can even briefly explain the reasons why you have made the choice that you have, if you think that it is relevant. Remember that the highest marks will go to the students who explore a few really key ideas in depth rather than those who try to cover everything. Remember also that the best and most original ideas are not necessarily going to be the ones that spring to mind first so try to use AOKs or WOKs that not everyone else is using — as long as they work.
In general, it can be good to compare an AOK where a statement 'x' really applies well and contrast that with one where it doesn't or doesn't seem to. So for example 'All knowledge is subjective' seems to fit well with The Arts and Ethics, but less with Maths and Science so if you just talk about The Arts and Ethics then you are just going to have an essay that keeps saying It would be much better to say that this is true in the arts because of xyz reasons and not true in Maths because of abc reasons.
While there is some truth to this stereotype it is not true all the time and the best students will be able to explore where that stereotype breaks down and why it breaks down. For example, while judgement in art is subjective, some truths — e.
TOK Essay Outline
Additionally, even the subjective truths aren't allowed to be absolutely anything - even my Mum doesn't think that my Primary School paintings are as good as Da Vinci's. This kind of subtlety is what marks out the best answers. In addition, do not make sweeping statements about aspects or areas of knowledge that imply that what you are saying is always and absolutely true without exception. Yes you do as this will demonstrate a good understanding of the course but be wary of just throwing them in everywhere: judicious and correct use of TOK terminology is better than going over the top.
The words that should come up more frequently are the key words from the question to show that you are remaining focussed on the question and not getting distracted by anything else. Do I have to include any Philosophy or Philosophical words? No - the IB have made it clear that TOK is not a philosophy course, instead it is meant to be grounded in the real world and your own experiences as a student. Do I have to research the quotations in the question title? In fact, the quotation may not really be relevant at all to the essay question as they are sometimes just used to give you a flavour of the what the essay is about.
Can I use quotations from famous people to back up my argument?
How to Structure a Theory of Knowledge Essay
Students often like starting essays, concluding essays or supporting points with quotations from famous people like Oscar Wilde or Albert Einstein. The fact that these people are experts tends to lend an air of credibility to your argument. You should also remember that, outside of the topic of aesthetics, it might not be a such good idea to quote Oscar Wilde at all: his opinions on how to live a good life, for example, can be sharply witty and sound quite appealing Similarly, Einstein is a hugely important figure in the history of science and it might be worthwhile quoting him if you were exploring the forces that drive or inspire genius.
In general the rule with quotations is that you should only quote from someone when they are an expert in the relevant field and even then you have to bear in mind that their opinion is nothing more than that, an opinion.
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Finally, be careful where you get your quotation from. Do I need to include different perspectives in my essay?
So, for example, you might answer the question from the perspective of the sciences and then compare this with the perspective of the arts — this is a particularly nice trick because it also enables you to draw in some comparisons between the AOKs at the same time. However, there are other perspectives that you considering and exploring different cultural, political, philosophical, historical and intellectual perspectives or different schools of thought within an AOK can lead to a more interesting and more convincing essay.