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How to Write a TOK Essay – Expert Advice

Friday, November 25, 2016 2:49
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You are probably aware that the Theory of Knowledge essay accounts for about two thirds of final TOK grade. The paper is around 1200-1500 words long and is written following topics and guidelines created by the International Baccalaureate commission. The TOK paper, as it’s name clearly suggests, should focus on knowledge topics. Think about what knowledge is and how you know different things. You should be very careful when composing this kind of work because a great deal depends on its quality and adherence to guidelines.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Your TOK Essay

  1. Pick the title for your paper. You can choose from 10 titles created by IB. You need to compare and contrast knowing (reason, emotion, perception, language, etc.) with one or two areas of knowledge (such as arts, mathematics, history, etc.). Select a title that covers an area of knowledge you know most about.
  2. Read the essay instructions, IB requirements – and understand them. Take a close look at the assessment criteria to make sure you don’t miss anything (you will get penalized for missing any of the 4 criteria).
  3. Do some brainstorming and identify the main knowledge issue in the title. Also make sure you nail the area of knowledge that applies to your title.
  4. Compose the outline of the paper. The five paragraph style works best. You start with an introduction, continue with three body paragraphs (each covers an area of knowledge or the most important aspects of a single AOK), and end with a conclusion.
  5. Create the thesis statement and use it to write a catchy introduction that has the potential to keep the IB admissions commission interested in what you have to say. Transition to the next paragraph smoothly.
  6. Research the topic and write the three body paragraphs. Start with the most important AOK or idea.
  7. Wrap everything up with a well thought of conclusion. This conclusion is important because it summarizes your work and presents a course of action. It shows your audience why your work is important.

A Few Additional Tips for the Perfect IB TOK Paper

  • After composing the paper, you need to read it aloud and make sure everything is perfect. After all, a lot depends on the grade you receive for your work. Pay attention to these important things when analyzing your work:
  • External sources are cited using MLA style citations – this is very important.
  • Don’t use definitions from the dictionary in your writing. You should show the IB commission that you are original and insightful.
  • Make your text flow from one paragraph to the other. Avoid vague sentences and sections that don’t add any value to the discussion.
  • There must be absolutely no typos or any kind of grammatical or spelling mistakes. You need to proofread everything thoroughly at least twice.
  • You can consult with your teacher if you are running into a roadblock. He or she may offer some insightful ideas or suggestions.

The IB TOK paper is very important and you need to invest the time and effort into creating the best composition possible. Good luck!

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