How to Write a Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Essay

Standard academic essays and TOK essays have significant differences in their structure and purpose. You have to present your views asking a particular knowledge question and trying to find an answer to it. This kind of essays often discusses the nature of scientific disciplines and their influence on our lives. It may seem to be an easy task to write about some abstract notions; it’s like talking about everything and nothing at once. But in reality it’s much more difficult than that. Finding the logical and probable answers to universal phenomena is not that straightforward. The following tips may help you to make the things clear and stop being afraid of writing a TOK essay.

The Structure

It’s essential for you to prepare a TOK essay outline before you start writing your essay. It will help you to stay focused and organize every part of your paper in a logical and comprehensive way. As a rule, you will have 4 sections in a TOK essay – 3 body paragraphs and 1 paragraph for a conclusion. Each body paragraph should include the area of knowledge (AoK) or ways of knowing (WoK) statements. The algorithm you should follow when writing an essay is as following:

  • present a claim
  • draw a relevant example for the claim
  • include a counterargument
  • draw a relevant example for the counterargument

Pay your close attention to the first paragraph. It is as important in writing a TOK essay as any other essay type. You need to present a knowledge question (KQ) and the thesis of your paper. It is also pretty essential for you to include here an explanation of what you’re going to write about in the body paragraphs – the way you’re going to approach the KQ and what AoKs and WoKs you’re going to use.

Your concluding paragraphs should explain the significance of the discussed issues. It has to be clear for a reader why this information is important for her to know. You can introduce an alternative view and look at the phenomena from a different perspective. All in all, your conclusion should be a short summary, as always.

How to Get a Good Grade for Your TOK Essay

To succeed at writing a substantial TOK essay, you need to refer back to the TOK essay rubric criteria as you write it. Do your best to try reaching the maximum results at each of these criteria. Your outline will be of great help to include every point you’d like to mention and not to miss out anything important.

Remember that writing this type of essay requires you to use your own experience and knowledge. Don’t choose a topic you’re not interested in or find too difficult to write about. Define your strength and be objective. Don’t try to overestimate your abilities and write about arts if you’re gifted in science. This writing task is quite difficult already, so don’t try to make it even more complicated.

Another tip is to use the help of your instructors. They are aware of your talents and will be able to give guide you in the right direction. Make sure to discuss the title of your essay with them. It will save your time on writing something and then finding out it’s not relevant at all. And if you encounter some major (or minor) difficulties during the writing process, we’ll be glad to help you.

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