IB TOK Essay Guide

Theory of Knowledge is one of IB’s most important subjects. TOK provides students with a solid foundation for holistic learning, and allows them to experience multidisciplinary learning.

To understand TOK is understanding the essence of IB, which many people consider impossible.

But not for us! Your lucky stars have brought you to NailIB. We’ll be discussing how NailIB can help you nail International Baccalaureate. Let’s focus now on how to write a TOK essay.

TOK is a demonstration of how students can apply their knowledge with more awareness and credibility.

Big words, huh?

We know now that Theory of Knowledge can’t be just a slide-through. Let’s learn how to conquer this battle.

  1. The purpose of TOK

TOK essay’s primary aim is to answer why we study. It allows tokessayexample.com one to be more aware of the practical implications of their subject matter. The students are more aware of their ideological and personal beliefs and learn to appreciate different perspectives. It allows students to see the world in a unique way, which is important for IB TOK essay success.

  1. Assessment of TOK

Before we dive into our gameplan lets review the rules.

TOK comprises two assessment tasks: an essay (or presentation) and a presentation (or both). While a presentation encourages students explore real-life situations through the lens OF TOK, essays are written using the International Baccalaureate Organisation’s questions.

The presentation assesses a student’s ability to apply TOK thinking into a real-life situation, while IB TOK essays is more conceptual.
Externally evaluated by IB, the essay must be on any of the TOK essay titles IB issued for each examination session.
The word limit for TOK essays is 1600 words. This excludes footnotes, extended notes and bibliography.

Now that we’ve unleashed our game, let’s move forward towards the gameplan to win both your presentation and essay.

  1. GamePlan

TOK’s primary task is to look at different areas of knowledge and identify similarities and differences.

TOK essays require students to examine two Areas of Knowledge, (AOK), and two Ways of Knowing, (WOK). The questions that are asked about AOKs and the WOKs can be used to help you determine which one is correct.

1) How can you know what you know? (WOK)

2) What evidence is sufficient to support the claim? (AOK)

3) What is the best way to determine which model is the most suitable for Y? (WOK)

4) What does theory Z in the real world mean? (AOK + WOK)

The Knowledge Questions aforementioned help combine the Areas of Knowledge, and the Ways of Knowing they’re using. This reduces the superficial approach to learning and makes the individual more sensitive to the nature the information. The two main categories of knowledge we acquire are Shared Knowledge and Individual Knowledge.

Snapshot from TOK Basics

Shared knowledge: What are WE learning?
It is the result many people have made. Even though individuals contribute to it in their own ways, shared knowledge doesn’t depend solely on one person. Others can also check individual contributions and add to what is already there.

Personal knowledge: I know what it is
It is largely dependent upon the individual’s experience. It is also known by the term procedural know-how. It is acquired through practice, experience, and personal involvement.

  1. Execution and implementation of the Gameplan

To succeed in TOK essay writing, the best trick is to make connections between knowledge acquisition, knowledge construction, and relevance in the real-world.

After this, one must be interested in understanding the differences between diversity and cultural perspectives as well as personal assumptions.

It is also important to reflect critically on one’s own beliefs and assumptions. This will help you live more thoughtful, responsible, purposeful lives.

Yes, that is what you signed-up for. While it might sound intimidating at first, once you become more familiar with the process you will soon be able to see the matrix clearly and better understand this beautiful world.

  1. Planning For TOK Essay

You must realize that you need to make several drafts in order to produce the best version possible of your writing. Your essay topic should be chosen carefully. Pick the essay topic that interests and is most appealing to you. It should also be possible to explore the Areas of Knowledge you are naturally inclined. Here are some sample questions:

a) “Ways are of knowing are a control on our instinctive judgments. To what extent do you agree?

b. Refer to two areas of knowledge and discuss how sharing knowledge can influence your personal knowledge.

c) How can we know if knowledge is produced more through ‘Passive Observation’ or ‘Active-Experiment’ within the Human and Natural-sciences under a Mathematical-Perspective?

d. “The whole point and purpose of knowledge are to provide meaning and purpose for our personal lives.” Consider the validity of these statements.

Great things take time. I took more than two weeks to finish this TOK essay-guide. It is okay if your first drafts don’t look appealing or award-winning. Each draft you polish will help you sharpen your viewpoint on the topic. The writing journey from a draft that is dull to a masterpiece is a long one. You must be patient. Believe in yourself and keep moving forward.

You should consider the opinions, research hours and lifetimes of dedication to the topic of your writing. Sherlock can be so helpful in unravelling the depths of your mind. But let’s not forget that Watson can also help Sherlock through some very difficult times. Robin is a must, even Batman. As I support my fantastic sauce examples, I am trying make the point that researching can help us find support for our claims as well as counterclaims.

You can use real-life examples as evidence to back up your claims. These examples need to be documented with research such as articles, research studies, articles, or presentations by well-known figures. These examples can be drawn from your diploma subject, but they should also be supported by research.

It is recommended to pick a title, stick by it, tackle it, and not be afraid. Keep your word unless you have good reason to. Consider choosing knowledge areas that you really enjoy. It’s easier to kill an established devil than an unknown one. A TIMELINE is a time limit for your essay. Create an outline of the essay. This will help to track your progress towards your goals.

Trello allows you to organize your thoughts, plan your TOK essay and use tools such as Trello.

TOK Basics Snapshot

Areas Of Knowledge (AOKs). TOK can distinguish between eight areas. They include mathematics and the human sciences. It is suggested that students investigate six of these eight.

Ways of knowing: TOK defines eight specific WOKs. These include language, sense perception and emotion. Faith, intuition, intuition, memory and faith. It would be appropriate to study four out of eight of these WOKs in-depth. The methodology of the area of knowledge is based on WOKs. They provide a foundation for personal learning.

  1. Structure of TOK essay

We will now move on to the structure and content of your TOK essay.

Your essay will contain 4 broad sections.


Before we get to the bottom of the pillars further, please keep these in mind:

Please pay attention to the TOK essay title. Read it a few times. We strongly recommend that you brainstorm with your TOK coordinator.
It is important to be familiar with the command term and the question.
What kind information is being gathered?
When choosing your areas and knowledge (AoK), make sure you can draw comparisons and compare them. That is, find evidence that supports and challenges what you claim.
You should identify the key terms that you use in your TOK essay title. Make sure they are defined. They will guide your essay. Your essay anchors should be the key words/key terms you use in your titles. Your response should revolve around these key terms.
When you write your IB TOK essay, you will need to be able to use your writing skills. Just like any essay, you should have clear topic sentences and thesis statements to help the evaluator understand your work.
Respect the TOK essay title. You are not allowed to rephrase the topic. Your main responsibility is to address your title.

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