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IB Theory of Knowledge Essay is one of the most demanding essays that an IB student has to write. The titles of the essay raise knowledge questions, so students do not only need to present claims and counter-claims regarding the raised issue, but also link knowledge issues to areas of knowledge and ways of knowing. If this is not hard enough, the essay must also show student’s creative thinking and comply with the Assessment Criteria. Don’t forget about the word limit, which cannot exceed 1,600 words, otherwise it will be penalized. So if you are looking ToK essay help, try to read an example of tok paper that can be found on this page. Also, the information here can be used as a basic ToK essay guide. So continue reading and see what our tok essay writing service has for you. If you are asking your self "who can write my tok essay for me ?" buy tok paper here by hiring our tok writers and get a good grade.
A Competitive Theory of Knowledge Essay (ToK) Development
Writing a Theory of Knowledge essay can be compared to an activity like swimming; it is either you know the art, or you don't. In Swimming, learning breath holding and floating is so challenging to beginners. To the experts, you do not even notice that you are floating or holding your breath. It’s just automatic!!! The same case applies to Theory of Knowledge Essay Writing. Getting the concept requires attention! Applying the concept requires attention too. Have you ever been to a public swimming pool and observed ‘big' people who don't know how to swim, but find at the same place children who are experts? The best definition of Irony, isn’t it?
Format Of An Excellent ToK Essay
An excellent ToK essay begins by presenting the topic. Definition of keywords or concepts ensues. Most commonly used keywords in the theory of knowledge course possess some extent of ambiguity while others look ambiguous but have alternative meanings. A clear understanding of the meanings of these major words in Theory of Knowledge course is vital in the development of a good ToK essay. Each way of Knowing or Area of Knowledge is a section in the structure of your essay composed of paragraphs. Competing approaches should be organized in an alternating pattern; a paragraph of one claim should be followed by a paragraph of an opposing counter-claim. The ‘Claim' paragraph should state the claim, explain it and give an example. The ‘Counter-Claim' paragraph should state the counter-claim, give an example, and relate the counter-claim to the knowledge question. This is a perfect way of communicating the conflict in your ToK essay. The length of a standard ToK essay is 1,600 words. Hence, you should be precise in summarizing your ideas. Give a conclusion and close the essay by reflecting on the entire essay.
Steps Towards An Excellent Theory of Knowledge Essay
1. Select a title
Sometimes you might be required to choose a title from a list. Your selection will determine the quality of your final Theory of Knowledge essay! The following points are the Do's and Don’ts in Selection of a good Theory of Knowledge Essay title:
- Do not select a title just because it sounds interesting.
- Be sure to read through all the topics provided to choose the best.
- A good ToK title is the one that lets you display your critical skills, and prove in your essay that you understand the Theory of Knowledge matters.
- Have it in mind that in your ToK essay, you will be required to respond to the tile you selected only. Hence, choose a title that will help you utilize all you know about the Theory of Knowledge.
2.Formulate a title
When you are required to formulate a title for your ToK essay, you should first come up with a title like “What is it about teaching that makes it a fulfilling profession?” Such a title will help you come up with a knowledge question such as “To what extent is teaching a more fulfilling than other careers?” Your knowledge question should allow a variety of viewpoints so that you are not so limited when developing your ToK essay. Hence, it is important that you to formulate an open question. It is, therefore, advisable that you begin the Knowledge question with words like “How efficient is…” or “How fulfilling is…” or “To what extent…” The most important of all is that your question should be about Knowledge. Remember the essay you are structuring is not just like any other, it is a Theory of Knowledge Essay. Theory of knowledge cuts through several disciplines. Hence, carefully choose at least three aspects of knowledge you will relate to the essay. Make sure you have appealing claims to make and explore in the areas of knowledge (e.g. Mathematics, History) or ways of knowing (e.g. Sense, perception, emotion, reason) you have chosen.
3. Go through the grading/assessment criteria
Your school should provide the grading criteria. Understanding these criteria will help you appropriately set your goals for your ToK essay. Most students have a negative perception towards grading criteria. They view them as an extra test besides the Theory of Knowledge essay. Only a few smart ones appreciate the benefits of going through these assessment criteria. Grading criteria help the student understand what is expected or desired of his or her ToK essay.
After understanding or not understanding the grading criteria, take your time to plan your ToK essay. This should be done at least a week before the due date. During this time, discuss your ToK essay topic, the knowledge question, the grading criteria, and the outline of your essay with fellow students.
5. Structure your ToK essay
You have all the tools at hand by now! The Title, the Knowledge Question, Requirements of the Grading Criteria, the Ways of Knowing or Areas of Knowledge, Ideas, and the Format of a Theory of Knowledge Essay. Write a skeleton of your expected ToK essay. Be sure to follow the correct format.
6. Boldly write your ToK essay!
This should be the simplest step in ToK essay development. Having planned well in the preceding steps, what is remaining is just a Write Up! Be cautious not to omit the following:
- The Correct format of ToK essays.
- The guidelines obtained from the Assessment Criteria
- Use of Example from a wide variety of sources.
- A good conclusion; Tell us why it is necessary we know this, give a possible different perspective or view, and finally, the Parting Shot!
ToK Essay Example - Theory of Knowledge Essay
Two areas of knowledge - mathematics and art incorporate ways of knowing and knowledge questions, claims and counter claims, relevant real life situations and personal examples perspective
- Academic Level: Master (IB)
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How to Structure a Theory of Knowledge Essay
The following structure is a very good, step-by-step method you can use on any ToK essay to get very high marks.
Here are the main things to keep in mind when you're using this method:
- Your #1 priority is answering the prescribed title. If you somehow follow this method, but don't answer the question you won't score well. So make sure you keep linking back to the question as you go.
- Try to use original, interesting evidence.
(I have a full a lot of helpful advice, tutorials, evidence videos in my online ToK course, which you're welcome to join if you like. Or, if you just need some TOK Notes you can get those here.)
And I've also made a help page (similar to this) for the TOK presentation, here.
Okay here we go...
The structure on this page will give you a strong foundation for your essay and then we're going to make your essay as insightful as possible.
First, choose your PT and KQ
Before you can begin your real/final essay, you’ll want to look at the Prescribed Title (something like: “What is it about mathematics and science that makes them so convincing?” and think about it.
Get some of your initial ideas down on paper.
Second, choose 1 WOK and 2 AOKs
Now, take your prescribed title and choose two AOKs to explore it with (here are my notes: Mathematics, Human sciences, Natural Sciences, the Arts, Ethics, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Religious Knowledge Systems, or History). Or you can use WOKs: (again here are my notes: Emotion, Faith, Sense perception, Reason, Imagination, Intuition, Language, Memory). Then you can explore these aspects in your essay.
I normally recommend exploring just 2 AoK's in the main body of your essay and then include a few insights into WOKs around the edges (more on this in a bit).
The essay contains two body sections (or "developments"). Each body section will look at a certain area of knowledge or way of knowing.
To explore the question we chose above, it's pretty easy to choose our AOKs because they are actually listed in the question. We'll be using Mathematics and Natural Science.
The courtroom analogy
The TOK essay is about knowledge (how we come to know things). It helps to think of the essay as though you're showing the most interesting bits of a conversation between two smart people, about how we know things.
Or you could think about it like presenting two sides of an argument, in front of a judge. Each side needs to present evidence.
One lawyer is saying YES (i.e. reason is reliable, with examples) and the other is pointing out the weaknesses in what lawyer 1 is saying (i.e. reason is often not reliable, also with examples).
Your lawyer will make the case that you can’t be guilty of robbing the bank (her thesis), by using several arguments (claims); she’ll show that
- You weren’t there
- You’re are a moral person and
- You don’t have the technical knowledge to pull off a job like that.
However, if your lawyer was a ToK student they would also be explaining reasons why you might be guilty (the counterclaims).
- Someone said they saw you there,
- You admitted to lying to your mom about candy one time and
- You are pretty good at computers.
The lawyers would use evidence to support each of these claims and counterclaims.
Making sure your evidence actually supports your claim is one of the toughest aspects of the essay.
The step-by-step method
The method has 4 sections and 7 paragraphs overall and specific aspects need to go in each.
First, write your introduction, using 150-200 words
-Say 2 interesting things about the prescribed title. "Many people find Mathematics and Natural Science very convincing. However, many of these same people would say that they don't have a strong understanding of either of these two fields. Both of these fields rely on rigorous methodologies."
-Define one or two of the key terms in the title. Here I might define Mathematics and Natural Science. (I would also look up the term "convincing". I might not include that definition in my essay, but I would like to know whether there are any conflicting definitions. That might help me say interesting things later on in the essay--for example in the conclusion.)
-Narrow in on one aspect which is particularly interesting. "This essay with focus on the link between replicability of results, as a source of reliability."
-State your thesis. What is your short answer to the prescribed title, your thesis. (You might decide, by the end of your essay, that your initial thinking was wrong, but you should know the point your claims are going to be supporting).
-Give us a roadmap, a sentence that gives us a preview. This shows us what you’re going to do in your body paragraphs (your "developments"). Tell us AOKs you're going to use and which WOK you will be focused on most. This will make it easy for the marker to know what to look for. An example: “Mathematics can be seen as more reliable because it uses reason. Natural science can be less reliable because it relies on observation. ”
Next write your first development. 2 paragraphs totalling 600 words
-Claim. A claim a topic sentence that outlines your argument about the prescribed title. For example you could claim that, “Mathematics can be relied on because it is a purely logical system.”
-Explain. Elaborate and clarify your claim. “Mathematics is axiomatic and independent of subjective experience.“
-Example. A real life example, to clarify and support the claim from your own experience. Examples should be personal, specific, precise and real. Did something happen in your Science class? Did you have a conversation with your or hear a story from your grandfather? These are evidence from your own life rather than examples from Darwin or Lincoln. So you could talk about how, “In mathematics we learned that the inside angles of a triangle, in Euclidian space, sum up to 180 degrees.”
-Counter-claim. Argue against your claim above. “However, it is possible to come to different conclusions using different systems of mathematics.”
-Example. An example that supports your counter claim. “There are different It is not possible to demonstrate that the interior angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees in Euclidian space, this cannot be proven within other systems, such as spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry.”
-Link to prescribed title. Quickly sum up the (complicated) insights of this section. “It is therefore clear that mathematics is reliable to an extent, but often it can only show something to be true within one fixed system or approach.”
Now, write another two body paragraphs, looking at your second AOK. Use the same approach you saw in paragraphs 2 and 3. 600 words
-Link to prescribed title.
Finally, write your 'conclusion'. Two paragraphs, totalling 200-250 words
-Your conclusion. Explain what big, general insights have come out of this--your conclusion.
Implications and significance. Also tell us why it's important that we know this. When and how does it matter that we understand this lesson?
-Perspectives and extensions. If you can, try to pull in a very different perspective, on your conclusion. Perhaps you can recognize a very different way of approaching the question, which could have resulted in quite different insights than those you included in your essay. Or you could also mention one or two unresolved questions that this essay has revealed. You could also think of this as explaining some "limitations" or a weaknesses of your essay, but it's also about showing that the conversation isn't over yet. There is more to the question than you've had the room to explore.
Obviously there is a lot more depth that we can go into about what makes a really great TOK essay, but this structure will get you started.
Here are some more ToK Essay tips you might want to consider or you can join my online program if you like www.tokmastery.com
Cite this page as:
Woods, Tim. “How to Structure a Theory of Knowledge Essay” IBMastery. IBMastery, 1 Jan 2016. Web. TODAY’S DATE <https://www.ibmastery.com/blog/how-to-structure-a-theory-of-knowledge-essay>