If you are an IB student, you probably find the preparation of IB Theory of Knowledge Essay one of the most challenging assignments. In this kind of essay, students have not only to present their claims and arguments about an issue, but also find and demonstrate the connection between the raised topics, knowledge, and ways of knowing. On top of that, students also have to be creative and meet the assessment criteria, not to mention word count requirements.
Writing a tok essay is like swimming: you either master it, or you do not. For those who cannot swim, floating is already a challenge enough, while experts do it without thinking about it. In any case, with practice it gets automatic.
First, you have to present your topic and define the key issues and concepts. Although you might think that your intended audience is already familiar with all concepts, most terms in the theory of knowledge course are rather vague, so some definitions will help your reader grasp the idea faster. The essay will be divided into sections with each section dedicated to a separate area of knowledge or way of knowing. Opposing views should be alternating: present one view and explain the counter-claim in the subsequent paragraph. A standard tok essay is around 1,600 words, so remember about word economy. Express your thoughts concisely and clearly. Finally, provide a summary of your ideas.
If you have to select a title from a list, remember that the choice will influence your result. A simple tip: do not choose a topic simply because it sounds fun. Give it some thought. It is highly recommended to do some reading before making the choice.
The school will provide you with the grading criteria. Even if you think you know for sure what’s expected from you, do not ignore the grading rubric. Many students are mistaken when they think grading criteria is some sort of additional assignment that is a waste of time. However, smart students understand that assessment criteria help avoid mistakes and get one step closer to an excellent tok essay.
Planning should be done at least a week before you have to turn the assignment in. At this stage, you can discuss your topic with your fellow students, ask questions about the grading criteria, and so on.
Now, that you have your topic, the knowledge question, the grading criteria, and after discussing the details with your fellow students, you can do some research and create an outline of your paper. This will be a ‘skeleton’ of your essay, so make sure it’s well thought out.
Finally, you can write your tok essay. Be sure to restate the key ideas in the concluding paragraph.