TOK Essay Preparation

March 28th:

1) If you have not yet decided which TOK essay prompt you will choose, go to Theory of knowledge prescribed titles: November 2011 and May 2012 and review them again.

2) You will need to decide the best way for you to save and organize the research you do on the Web. I would like you to make that decision before the end of today. I am going to recommend one of two sites:

* Tizmos is very, very simple. Go to Tizmos and create an account. Be sure to open it on a new tab. You may choose to make it private or public, though I would recommend you make it private to guard against accidental plagiarism. This is an easy tool for you save the url addresses of any website you find that would be useful to your writing. Under “tag” you are given space to write notes.

* WebKlipper is also very simple, but, because it has more options than Tizmos (WebKlipper actually lets you make virtual post-it notes on webpages and allows highlighting), is a little more complicated.

If you don’t like either of those two sites, you can find more options here.

Every Friday, I will ask you to show me both the online notes you take and the notes you take on paper when we review the textbook and older hand-outs from earlier in the year.

3) Go to the “Perception” section on the sidebar of this blog, and take notes on anything you see or read that could be helpful to your essay.

4) Go to Mr. Ferlazzo’s TOK Delicious links and, on the right side, click on “perception.” Take notes on anything you see or read that you think could be helpful to your essay.

Though today may be a little hectic because you have to decide on your online bookmarking tool as well as your TOK essay prompt (if you haven’t already decided), our regular schedule for the next two weeks will look like this:

When we’re in the computer lab or have laptops:

* You will start by going to the sidebar to see the Ways Of Knowing or Areas Of Knowledge that we are focusing on that day and review those resources.

* Then you will go to Mr. Ferlazzo’s Delicious links for the same topic.

* Then, after twenty minutes (the time may vary — depending on how it goes, we may spend most of each period on only one topic and share at the end of class), you will share what you learned with someone who has chosen a different essay topic.

* Then we will repeat the same process with a different Way of Knowing or Area of Knowledge.

When we’re in the classroom:

* You will review your notes and hand-outs from the particular Way of Knowing or Area of Knowledge we’re reviewing that day.

* You will review that section of the textbook.

* You will share what you learned with a student writing on a different essay prompt.

* Repeat

TOK Essay Calendar

TOK Essay Calendar

March 21st Review Essay Rubric and grade sample essays

March 28th Continue reviewing sample essays; Decide on Essay prompt by March 29th; review textbook chapters & class materials(include blog).Mr. Ferlazzo checks notes on Friday


April 4th Continue to review textbook chapters & class materials. Mr. Ferlazzo check notes on Friday.

April 11th Begin class “lessons” again; essay outline due on April 15th – no exceptions!

April 18th Spring Break

April 25th Lessons continue – one day prep and one day to teach in small groups; outlines returned on April 25th; begin work on first draft. This is the routine we will continue for the rest of the year.

May 13th First draft of essay due

June 3rd Final essay due – no exceptions

ToK Essay Sentence Starters and Sentence Frames

Mr. Coey developed these helpful sentence starters:

ToK Essay Sentence Starters and Sentence Frames

Understanding Knowledge Issues:

  • “When I read the prescribed title, I can see that the issue with knowledge is that …”
  • “Of the ways of knowing, I know that ______________ and _______________ are two important ways of knowing related to the prescribed title because_______________________.”
  • “The relationship between these ways of knowing can be described as ___________________.”
  • “The strengths of these ways of knowing could be described as ___________________________
    ______________________________, and the limitations could be described as _____________
  • “When I look at the prescribed title, it makes me think of the following questions:”

Knower’s Perspective:

  • “As I begin thinking about my knowledge issues, I want to tell you about the time …”
  • “In my _______________ class, we were learning about ________________________, and I can see how that experience relates to the knowledge issue for the following reasons:”
  • “This knowledge issue reminds of the __________________________ theory I read about in _________________________________________ and it relates to the prescribed title by illustrating the idea of ___________________________________.”
  • “I feel like I have developed as a critical thinker because I now know that _________________.”

Analysis of Knowledge Issues:

  • “The prescribed title actually has this assumption about knowledge: ____________________”
  • “My thesis statement is argumentative and it implies that knowledge is ____________________
  • “From the example of ___________________________________, it can be claimed that we know that ____________________________________________________________________.”
  • “Although ______________________________________________________ claims that knowledge is _______________________________________, we should consider that knowledge is actually _______________________________________________________.”


  • “What I really meant to say is ________________________________________.”
  • “In conclusion, I am left with this question: _________________________________.”

“To understand knowledge, we must consider how knowledge ___________

TOK Essay

First, please go to the sidebar of this blog under “Essay Links” and visit as many websites there as you can. Make a list of the six most important things you feel you’ve learned from them, and at least three questions you have (more are preferable).

Second, here are two potential outlines for you to use to prepare your essay. Please pick the one that looks the best and print it out (you may also print out both if you would like).



You must use one of these forms to guide the outline to both your practice essay and your final essay. You do not necessarily have to actually fill out the form, but you must use it as a guide. Your practice essay outline will be due two weeks from the day we complete the introduction to the essay unit.

Third, look at this Planning Sheet and, if you decide it can be helpful, please print it out.

Fourth, look at these two TOK essays written by former students. Write down five things you notice about each.

Essay 1

Essay 2

Four, review these older Essay topics and choose one for your practice essay:


2009 – 10


Fifth, pick the title you will write for your final essay from this list.

Sixth, go to this TOK blog and download and print-out Six steps to a ToK essay 2.

Seventh, review this preparation sheet. Write down what you think are the five most important points and why you think they’re important.