Instructions to candidates
Your theory of knowledge essay for examination must be submitted to your teacher for authentication. It must be written on one of the six titles (questions) provided overleaf. You may choose any title, but are recommended to consult with your teacher. Your essay will be marked according to the assessment criteria published in the Theory of Knowledge guide. The focus of your essays should be on knowledge questions. Where appropriate, refer to other parts of your IB programme and to your experiences as a knower. Always justify your statements and provide relevant examples to illustrate your arguments. Pay attention to the implications of your arguments, and remember to consider what can be said against them. If you use external sources, cite them according to a recognized convention.
Note that statements in quotations in these titles are not necessarily authentic: they present a real point of view but may not be direct quotes. It is appropriate to analyse them but it is unnecessary,even unwise, to spend time on researching a context for them.
Examiners mark essays against the title as set. Respond to the title exactly as given; do not alter it in any way.
Your essay must have a maximum of 1600 words, it must be double spaced and typed in size 12 font.
1. There is no such thing as a neutral question. Evaluate this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. “There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
3. “There is no reason why we cannot link facts and theories across disciplines and create a common groundwork of explanation.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
4. With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape personal knowledge.
5. “Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?
6. “The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?