Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 6,2019

Tue Feb 4,2020 01:27 PM

Hey everybody!
I'm a ToK tutor (among other subjects) and I've reviewed many ToK essays in the past couple of weeks and have seen consistently poor structure. I know ToK is taught poorly at many IB schools and the majority of students aren't given a complete picture of what a ToK essay should look like, so I just wanted to give everybody some general pointers on how to structure the essay. Please note this is by no means the only organising method, but in my and my students' experience it is particularly

Your introduction should:

1. Provide a hook (why is the title important)

2. Define key terms

3. Introduce Areas of Knowledge

4. Signpost your 2 Knowledge Questions\*\*see note on KQs below\*\*

5. Optional (Signpost implications)

Important note on Knowledge Questions: From reading the subject reports, I’ve found out that the IB **doesn’t** want you to reformulate the prescribed title as a knowledge question and then answer the knowledge question, as they say that this ignoring/not answering the title (but simply replacing it). What you should be doing is formulating **two subsidiary knowledge questions** which follow coherently from one another, and both give insight into answering the prescribed title as given. After your definitions, your introduction should read something like “first we explore whether \[KQ1\] which then allows us to examine \[KQ2\]." This is very important for maintaining a convincing structure.

The body of the essay should be:
Claim relating to Knowledge Question 1
Counterclaim relating to Knowledge Question 1
Balanced mini-conclusion 1 (i.e whilst both perspectives have some merit under given circumstances, the weight of evidence suggests...)
Claim relating to Knowledge Question 2
Counterclaim relating to Knowledge Question 2
Balanced mini-conclusion 2

Following this is the conclusion. Like any other essay, you should be summarising your arguments. Ideally you'll have slightly different conclusions in each area of knowledge, and these should be linked to heterogeneity between the Areas of Knowledge themselves. Finally you must include some implications; what does the conclusion of your essay mean for the humanity's unrelenting quest to further its knowledge? (This is often a little difficult so dm me if you're having issues with this part and I'll try to opine)

Again, this isn't the only way to organise a ToK essay but it is definitely a good one! Sorry if this is a little late for you May 2020 folk but hopefully it's still of some use. Drop a comment if you have any questions and I'll try to get back to you.
Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 31,2020

Mon Feb 10,2020 12:56 AM

Extremely helpful, thank you very much
Posts: 2
Joined: Apr 3,2019

Sat Feb 15,2020 04:36 PM


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