Tok essay criteria 2012

Tok essay criteria 2012

Tok essay criteria 2012

Here are my top tips for getting to top marks on your Theory of Knowledge essay.

1. All ToK essays are cross-disciplinary; they are never just about one way of knowing (perception, language, reason, etc) or one area of knowledge (mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, history, etc). In general you’ll want to include at least

2. But be careful about which WoK’s and AoK’s you include. Review all of your notes to refresh your understanding and make sure you’re seeing the relevant connections and make sure (after you’ve done your research) that you have interesting points to make (claims and counter claims).

3. Make an outline first. The outline is your road map and it’s where you make a lot of your major decisions. It will also help you to develop an argument, with each paragraph building on the one before.

3. Research in a lot of different ways: websites, your class notes, talking with people (parents, classmates, your teachers). Find arguments which support both sides of (for and against) your thesis and examples that support your claims and counterclaims. As you develop insights you can use, make sure to record them. ]

4. Make sure you have clarified the scope of your essay (what you’re aiming to do). Make it clear, in your introduction, which WOK’s and AOK’s ’s you’re using. And define your key terms carefully, in ways that are useful to your argument. Dictionary definitions rarely do this. At the minimum, be sure to not just use the first definition you find.

5. It’s easy to forget that ToK is about developing your ability to think for yourself. Give yourself some time away from your outline, to reflect before you begin your real essay. And then try to give yourself a few breaks from your essay as well, so you can come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s hard to see the weaknesses of your thinking while you’re busy trying to get it done (i. e. in a hurry). Come up with your own ideas.

6. Read at least 3 examples of excellent ToK Essays written by other people.

7. Keep editing. Each of your paragraphs should show opposing viewpoints concisely. Compare two opposing ideas about how natural science might relate to your knowledge question.

8. Use specific and qualified language. Rather than writing that “all science always provides useful insights,” instead say that, “Chemistry Often provides useful insights.” Words like Often or Sometimes (instead of always), Might or Could (instead of should) help to keep from over-generalising or saying more than you can actually support in your essay.

9. To prove your essay’s thesis you’ll need to rely on evidence. Various types of facts are fine (quotations, statistics, true stories from your reading or your own life). Avoid using clichés and common examples. If you can use examples that the marker hasn’t heard before this will show that you are thinking for yourself.

10. Read it out loud, after you have finished it. This will help you to find mistakes and areas that don’t flow as well as you thought.

Other Useful ToK Essay Resources

Writing a TOK essay, by Richard van de Lagemaat

This in link TheoryofKnowledgeStudent. com goes through a variety of examples of how to answer some of the questions from previous years.

Writing a TOK Essay, from ‘Findings’ Part One, Two, Three, Four, and Five.

10 Tips on Writing a Good Theory of Knowledge Essay, from the American International School of Lusaka

And consider some common problems, from ToK Talk

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«I want to thank you for the resources that have been provided. As a result, I got an A for EE in business after following the steps written in this website, including the help from my supervisor of course. I would recommend the current IB students to read the resources in your web, in order to obtain more insights. Thank you once again, sir!»
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«I’m an IB student who has been lost until I found this website! This has the best advice on the web and I’m definitely recommending it to all my fellow IBers back at school. Definitely wish you were my economics teacher! Thank you so much for taking time to write these guides. You have truly saved my IB life!»
-Cat (UK)

«WOW! Thank you already for helping me. So many great posts about IB and how to be effective. So awesome. I will defiantly spend more time here and hopefully learn a lot. I just wanted to let you know how great and helpful your website is 🙂«
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«Thank you so much Mr Woods. The Economics exam will start in 4 hours and I think I am ready for it!«
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«Just want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for this website and all the effort you’ve channelled into helping others with your knowledge and skills. I’ve found it extremely helpful and I cannot thank you enough!»
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«Just wanted to send you a note of appreciation for the great and selfless contribution you have made. You must have already made a difference to so many lives and achieved the real purpose of our lives. «
-Hina Nihal @ Jeddah Knowledge International School (Saudi Arabia)

«Thank you so much Mr. Woods. I find it absolutely incredible that you take the time to answer students and write your posts. Just today I was talking with another friend of mine who, I just found out, also happens to be following your blog.«
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«Thank you for this piece of gold! I was about to give up on my TOK presentation when I saw this page! Now I know I can deal with the IB and TOK in particular! Greetings from PERU!»
-Mateo (Peru)

«Thank you so much for all of this voluntary support. I’m taking an online economics HL course and it becomes quite difficult at times to find assistance. You’re a life saver!.»
-Theone (Bangkok, Thailand),

«Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for writing these guides. They have been extremely helpful for me, I was just about to panic and give up on my IA and now I am actually really proud of it.«
-Sofie Lind

«Dear Mr. Woods, your initiative is highly appreciated and Needless to say, the resources on this website are helping thousands of students tremendously. As for me, I thank you sincerely for your notes on IB Economics, the Extended Essay and for Theory of Knowledge. Hats off! Nothing better than spreading wisdom! Congratulations!»
-Anonymous

«Everyone at my school in Mexico uses your Structure for TOK essays. I’ve used it on all of mine and I’ve never gotten lower than an A-. I just wanted to thank you for being a lifesaver.»
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«How to structure an Economics Internal Assessment is amazing. Absolutely great. It is such a great help to have word counts of different sections and a detailed description on how to score high marks. Thank you so much.»
-«Desperate Student»

«Just wanted to say, as a fellow Economics & Business teacher of IB, I love your site. So plain, simple but so effective. My students in Barcelona love it too and it makes my job easier. Keep up the good work, and thank you once again. Really good and inspirational information on your site!»
-Faraz Mirza @ The American School of Barcelona

«Thank you! This is tremendously helpful. I am writing three IAs tonight. Unsure as to what I would do without these posts these posts as a guide. Thanks again.»
-«Procrastinator»

«I am an IB student from India and I am very very thankful to you for these sites. My extended essay, TOK essay and business IA are the result of your articles and ideas. Your site gave my extended essay a plan on how to go about it and made the journey simpler. The article how to score full marks in the business IA was really helpful as it gave me a plan and coming into TOK I was able to build my ideas in structured pattern.
-Srikanth Reddy @ Sreenidhi International School (Hyderabad, India)

«I was looking about to get some support material for my son’s TOK and EE today and your pages have been great. They are easy to follow and digest. My son was very grateful. Your blog has been a fabulous resource! Keep up the great work!»
-Karen (Doha, Qatar)

«Just wanted to write you a quick thank you note for putting up such A great revision website! It is honestly one of the best I have encountered online for IB Economics revision. If I was at OFS it would be a pleasure to have you as my Econs teacher!»
-Avi @ United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), Singapore

«Your Economics IA slideshow Really helped me understand what assessors were looking for, and how I could easily avoid loosing marks (word count etc). I really appreciate the time that you have spent to help students like me.»
-Anonymous Student @ IBS of Provence (France)

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-Adi C.

“Your site is amazing!! Thank you so much! I am a senior in IB economics and thanks to you did very well in my IA! Just thought I had to let you know.”
-Pamela A.

«woooooooooooooow How to Write Successful College Application Essays has opened my eyes like so wide. thanx tim woods i sure will apply all these tips»
-Julie H.

ToK Grading

The Presentation

Quarter and Semester Grading

Generally your summative assignment (a presentation or a writing piece) will be worth 60% and the remaining 40% will come from homework and classwork.

However In the first semester of Year 11 (Quarter 1 and 2) we will weight your work slightly differently than in the rest of the two-year course. We will count your quarterly sumative assignment for only 40% of the course. We do this, so that you get a chance to learn what is expected in these assignments, before they hurt your grades too much.

The TOK Journal

This provides you with an opportunity for critical reflection outside of the classroom, permitting you to identify and analyze issues of knowledge in their personal lives and, hence, to make “real world” connections. With TOK being at the centre of the IB hexagon, these “real world connections” are exactly what the course is about: the real-life relevance and inter-connectivity of all our experiences and learning.

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«Thanks a ton! I have used this article to guide me for my last 2 IA’s and when I was assigned my 3rd and final Econ IA, the first thing I did once I got my Econ article, was open this page. Much appreciation from Pearson College UWC!
-Keegen Payne (Victoria, British Columbia)

«I actually just wanted to let you know that You have been a very big help for me in TOK and Economics. With your effort to publish all this information and advice to IB students, you’re really making a difference!»
-Anne-Sophie T. @ UWC Maastricht (The Netherlands)

«Me and my partner have got an A for our presentation, fully following this guide. Thank you so much Mr. Woods!«
-Alexa A @ Pechersk School International Kyiv (Ukraine)

«Thank you so much for this structure! We followed it exactly as you laid out in our TOK presentation and our teacher gave us 9/10!!«
-Mariana @ St Julien’s School (Carcavelos, Portugal)

«Hi, I am a May 2014 IBDP graduate. I am grateful to say that your website had helped me a lot in finishing my IAs and EEs, I want to thank you for the resources that have been provided. THANK YOU SO MUCH! We recently began working on TOK presentations and I was completely lost but this guide is absolutely amazing and makes it so much clearer. :)»
-Virginia @ Tashkent International School (Uzbekistan)

«Hi, I am a May 2014 IBDP graduate. I am grateful to say that your website had helped me a lot in finishing my IAs and EEs, I want to thank you for the resources that have been provided. As a result, I got an A for EE in business after following the steps written in this website, including the help from my supervisor of course. I would recommend the current IB students to read the resources in your web, in order to obtain more insights. Thank you once again, sir!»
-Cynthia @ Universitas Kristen Petra (Surabaya, Indonesia)

«I’m an IB student who has been lost until I found this website! This has the best advice on the web and I’m definitely recommending it to all my fellow IBers back at school. Definitely wish you were my economics teacher! Thank you so much for taking time to write these guides. You have truly saved my IB life!»
-Cat (UK)

«WOW! Thank you already for helping me. So many great posts about IB and how to be effective. So awesome. I will defiantly spend more time here and hopefully learn a lot. I just wanted to let you know how great and helpful your website is 🙂«
-Nea @ HF-kursus og IB World School (Denmark) June 2014

«Thank you so much Mr Woods. The Economics exam will start in 4 hours and I think I am ready for it!«
-Thao @ Auckland International College (New Zealand) May 2014

«Your website is amazing! I got two level 7’s in my last IAs with the help of your site. Thank you, all the way from UWCSA»
-Nicolette Sauramba @ Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa (Swaziland) April 2014

«@adnamaweit Every self-motivated IB student knows @timwoods. «
-Amanda Tiew @ Campaka Schools (Malaysia) March 2014

«Just want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for this website and all the effort you’ve channelled into helping others with your knowledge and skills. I’ve found it extremely helpful and I cannot thank you enough!»
-Hachi @ Anglo-Chinese School (International) School (Singapore) February 2014

«Just wanted to send you a note of appreciation for the great and selfless contribution you have made. You must have already made a difference to so many lives and achieved the real purpose of our lives. «
-Hina Nihal @ Jeddah Knowledge International School (Saudi Arabia) January 2014

«Thank you so much Mr. Woods. I find it absolutely incredible that you take the time to answer students and write your posts. Just today I was talking with another friend of mine who, I just found out, also happens to be following your blog.«
-Alyson @ EF Academy (New York) January 2014

«Dear Mr. Woods, thank you so much for your structure for TOK essays. It’s really helped me develop a clear idea of what to do when I was absolutely clueless before! Definitely recommending to all my peers.»
-Justine @ Tunas Muda International School (Jakarta) November 2013

«This page is awesome. Thank you very much for your help in my IA. You saved my life. Argentina wishes the best for you. Gracias!»
-Carlos (Argentina) October 2013

«Thank you for this piece of gold! I was about to give up on my TOK presentation when I saw this page! Now I know I can deal with the IB and TOK in particular! Greetings from PERU!»
-Mateo (Peru) September 2013

«Thank you so much for all of this voluntary support. I’m taking an online economics HL course and it becomes quite difficult at times to find assistance. You’re a life saver!.»
-Theone (Bangkok, Thailand), September 2013

«Hello, I just wanted to say thank you for writing these guides. They have been extremely helpful for me, I was just about to panic and give up on my IA and now I am actually really proud of it.«
-Sofie Lind, August 2013

«Dear Mr. Woods, your initiative is highly appreciated and Needless to say, the resources on this website are helping thousands of students tremendously. As for me, I thank you sincerely for your notes on IB Economics, the Extended Essay and for Theory of Knowledge. Hats off! Nothing better than spreading wisdom! Congratulations!»
-Anonymous, June 2013

«Everyone at my school in Mexico uses your Structure for TOK essays. I’ve used it on all of mine and I’ve never gotten lower than an A-. I just wanted to thank you for being a lifesaver.»
-Maria @ Greengates School (Mexico City) May 2013

«How to structure an Economics Internal Assessment is amazing. Absolutely great. It is such a great help to have word counts of different sections and a detailed description on how to score high marks. Thank you so much.»
-«Desperate Student», May 2013

«Just wanted to say, as a fellow Economics & Business teacher of IB, I love your site. So plain, simple but so effective. My students in Barcelona love it too and it makes my job easier. Keep up the good work, and thank you once again. Really good and inspirational information on your site!»
-Faraz Mirza @ The American School of Barcelona May 2013

«Thank you! This is tremendously helpful. I am writing three IAs tonight. Unsure as to what I would do without these posts as a guide. Thanks again.»
-«Procrastinator,» February 2013

«I am an IB student from India and I am very very thankful to you for these sites. My extended essay, TOK essay and business IA are the result of your articles and ideas. Your site gave my extended essay a plan on how to go about it and made the journey simpler. The article how to score full marks in the business IA was really helpful as it gave me a plan and coming into TOK I was able to build my ideas in structured pattern.
-Srikanth Reddy @ Sreenidhi International School (Hyderabad, India) January 2013

«I was looking about to get some support material for my son’s TOK and EE today and your pages have been great. They are easy to follow and digest. My son was very grateful. Your blog has been a fabulous resource! Keep up the great work!»
-Karen (Doha, Qatar) January 2013

«Just wanted to write you a quick thank you note for putting up such A great revision website! It is honestly one of the best I have encountered (especially with the slideshares) online for IB Economics revision. If I was at OFS it would be a pleasure to have you as my Econs teacher!»
-Avi @ United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), Singapore January 2013

«Your Economics IA slideshow Really helped me understand what assessors were looking for, and how I could easily avoid loosing marks (word count etc). I really appreciate the time that you have spent to help students like me.»
-Anonymous Student @ IBS of Provence (France) January 2013

“I teach ToK in Midvale, UT and LOVE your site. The students have really struggled with the essay writing process and your site structures it Better than anything else I’ve ever received. Thanks”
-S. Allen (Utah, USA) December 2012

“i am an IB student here in India, and i was demotivated with regards to the workload this course has dished out to us every week. but i went through this website, and all of a sudden there’s been a change of heart. thank you for posting such beautiful stuff that i can relate to.”
-Adi C. December 2012

“Your site is amazing!! Thank you so much! I am a senior in IB economics and thanks to you did very well in my IA! Just thought I had to let you know.”
-Pamela A. November 2012

«woooooooooooooow How to Write Suc­cess­ful Col­lege Appli­ca­tion Essays has opened my eyes like so wide. thanx tim woods i sure will apply all these tips»
-Julie H. October 2012

To ask is the task

All ToK Essay advice on the internet should be treated with caution. The best source of advice is probably your ToK teacher, as the person who best knows your ‘ToK Style’ they can offer personalised suggestions.

The essay advice contained here are working documents that I have been using with my ToK Students (I have been teaching ToK for 10 years, and I’m a ToK Essay Examiner). What is written here is neither the definitive, nor only ways to answer the questions, these are formative teaching materials.

If you’re concerned about choosing your essay, planning it, etc then please see ToK FAQ’s at this link.

At this link there’s a short presentation on how to start your ToK Essay and how to structure your essay.

There are excellent explanations of each essay at Mr Stevens’ ToK Blog here.

A basic Essay Structure Diagram to help students who are finding it challenging is linked here.

KiS Supervision Process here – KiS Students please see your email for details of your personal supervisor etc.

Looking for help with the structure of your ToK Essay?

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