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How to handle TOK Essay?

TOK Essential

Theory of Knowledge is essential in your IB Diploma Program as the grade you receive in it are directly added to the total marks you receive in your exam.

The TOK essay: marks and topics

The assessment criteria: The TOK essay score you achieve will be added to your overall Diploma score. Thus it is very vital. To prepare for it, you must understand the evaluation marks first, which you get from a total of 100 marks.

· Essay on a given title: 67 marks.

· Presentation: 33 marks.

The TOK essay: As per the guidelines, you need to understand the knowledge questions and the quality of analysis of knowledge questions. After understanding that, you can freely choose two topics from the given list to write on.

· Mathematics.

· Natural sciences.

· Human sciences.

· History.

· The arts.

· Ethics.

· Religious knowledge systems.

· Indigenous knowledge systems.

Furthermore, you can also include Ways of Knowledge(WOKs) in your essay, which we have mentioned below.

· Emotion.

· Faith.

· Sense perception.

· Reason.

· Imagination.

· Intuition.

· Language.

· Memory.

Knowledge questions (KQs)

It would be best to center your TOK essay on knowledge questions, which are debatable questions about your chosen knowledge topic. Here are some example knowledge questions.

· To what extent do we require art technique or art history training to praise an artwork?

· What is the connection between hands-on experiential work and theory in the natural sciences?

· What do we mean by elegance in mathematical proof?

· What is the role of intention in making ethical choices?

Structure of your essay

Now we will explain the structure of the essay, which you must follow, but remember that the words and writing style must be original.


You must write an explanation and interpretation of the title and identify the keywords in the title. Furthermore, it would help to mention your thesis and briefly explain the areas of knowledge you will explore further in your essay.

· Begin your essay with something interesting or relatable.

· You can also mention your thesis to capture your reader’s attention.

· Provide the readers an outline of what you will be outlining in the further paragraphs.

The first area of knowledge

It is the paragraph where you will explain the first area of knowledge you choose.

· Start this paragraph with a claim or topic sentence.

· Next, you should elaborate and explain the claim.

· Give an example to support it.

· Link back to your claim and question.


Here you will mention two different perspectives on your claim. Here are the steps to do it.

· Discuss the for and against part of your claim.

· To support your argument, give an example.

· Link back to your main topic or claim.

The second area of knowledge

The paragraph will explain the second area of knowledge you choose, just like the first one.


Like the first area of knowledge, provide a for and against counterclaim.


Write a 200-250 word conclusion of your TOK essay. Your conclusion must include the following.

· Explain the different insights you have obtained.

· Mention why your topic is essential and why your readers should understand it.

· If possible, mention a different point of view on your topic, resulting in another insight. Furthermore, you can also say that some unanswered questions could be answered in an extension.

Importance of academic honesty

Academic honesty infers doing all academic work without plagiarism, cheating, tampering, stealing, uncommon knowledge. The same applies when writing a TOK essay.

Academic honesty allows students and staff the freedom to create new ideas, knowledge, and creative works while respecting the work of others. Thus it is crucial, and there should be an academic honesty guideline in every educational institute.

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