Essays

All ToK Essay advice on the internet should be treated with caution. The best source of advice is probably your ToK teacher, as the person who best knows your ‘ToK Style’ they can offer personalised suggestions.

The essay advice contained here are working documents that I have been using with my ToK Students (I have been teaching ToK for 9 years, and I’m a ToK Essay Examiner). What is written here is neither the definitive, nor only ways to answer the questions, these are formative teaching materials.

If you’re concerned about choosing your essay, planning it, etc then please see ToK FAQ’s at this link.

At this link there’s a short presentation on how to start your ToK Essay and how to structure your essay.

There are excellent explanations of each essay at Mr Stevens’ ToK Blog here.

KiS Supervision Process here – KiS Students please see your email for details of your personal supervisor etc.

November 2016 Prescribed Titles.

NB: Nov. 2016 – I have not written the exact titles here as they are copyright of IB. Students should ensure that they get the exact titles from their teachers.

  1. Overview of November 16 Essay Titles.
    2. Content thoughts for Nov. Titles 1-3

May 2016 Prescribed Titles.

  1. Gaining knowledge through networks of WoKs.
  2. Natural Selection as a metaphor for development of knowledge in disciplines.
  3. The Knower’s Perspective – and the pursuit of knowledge ?
  4. Application of knowledge & it’s value.
  5. Do concepts shape conclusions ?
  6. Knowledge: A trade-off between accuracy and simplicity ?

Looking for help with the structure of your ToK Essay ?
1. Clear help from Mr Tim Woods

2. Mr Woods’ masterclass in the ToK Essay.
3. Common Mistakes in ToK Essays by Mr Andres-Felipe Torres

Nov 2015 Prescribed Titles:

1. “The main reason knowledge is produced is to solve problems.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

2. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of using models to produce knowledge of the world.

3. “Without the group to verify it, knowledge is not possible.” Discuss.

4. “In some areas of knowledge we try to reduce a complex whole to simple components, but in others we try to integrate simple components into a complex whole.” Discuss this distinction with reference to two areas of knowledge.

5. “No knowledge can be produced by a single way of knowing.” Discuss.

6. Is explanation a prerequisite for prediction? Explore this question in relation to two areas of knowledge.

May 2015 Prescribed Titles:

1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.

5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

6. “The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Please see ToK Essay FAQ’s at this link

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