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Tips for writing TOK Essay titles

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

Every year the TOK essay Question topics change, out of which students must select one to write on. For May 2022, these six questions are as follows.

  • Can there be knowledge, which is not dependent on culture? For example, discuss concerning mathematics and one other area of knowledge.

  • To what extent do you agree with the claim that "there is a world of difference between truth and facts?" (Maya Angelou), Answer regarding two areas of knowledge.

  • Is there solid justification for using natural sciences more highly than another area of knowledge? Discuss the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

  • How do historians and human scientists give knowledge meaning through telling stories? Discuss the history and human sciences.

  • How can we differentiate between good and bad interpretations? Discuss the arts and one other area of knowledge.

  • If we conclude that there is some knowledge we should not seek on ethical grounds, how can we determine the boundaries of proper investigation within an area of knowledge? Discuss two areas of knowledge.

Tips for selecting a TOK Essay title

Now you must select a question out of these 6 for writing. Here are some tips for choosing a title, which you can efficiently work on. These tips also work when writing the title.

Break down the keywords and understand the title: It is advisable to break down the keywords and phrases in the question and analyze their meaning individually.

Don't rush your choice: You should be open-minded about the titles and listen to others' opinions during the initial class discussion before choosing a title. You might have a for or against argument for specific titles. However, waiting till you have fully processed and understood what each title wants before selecting is better.

Link the titles to the big questions: The big questions or BQs are designed to align with the TOK essays, so when selecting one, pick the one which links to a BQ ( which you enjoyed the most). Such things will make it easier for you to choose a title.

Food for thought: which thinkers and ideas appeared in that BQ?

Link the questions to the AOKs: When considering a title, you should think about how they link to the areas of knowledge and which AOKs may work as the reference for your essay. If the topic looks pretty complex, it is wiser to avoid working on it. (this will prevent the student from stating irrelevant AOKs )

Find methods to challenge the question: the best essays challenge the questions, so if you can dispute the question or raise some issues, then the title is for you as it shows that you have a critical approach to knowledge.

Try relating the question to your experience: Another critical point to consider when selecting a question is whether it would allow you to connect to your personal experience or not (inside or outside school from books you read, art galleries you visited, thinkers you met). All these things benefit a TOK essay.

Place the question in a real-world situation: You should also consider issues or events on a local, national, or international level, think about real-life podcasts, etc., which you have come across, as it will help you justify your ideas.

Avoid superficial/stereotypical approaches to the title: You should avoid simple methods. For example, mathematical knowledge is based on fundamental universal principles, so culture is not linked. Such basic approaches are easy to make but lack depth and do not score well. You must have a more insightful and nuanced approach.

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Note: Blogs by 7Wiseways are written based on the writer's information, knowledge, and perspective. While every caution has been taken to provide readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information in this blog. In case you find any information that is factually wrong or something that could be made better, please write to us at

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