Essay Outline For May, 2020 TOK Essays

Here is a downloadable copy of the outline we shared the Prompt Deconstruction Meetings for Diploma Candidates.

Here is a version designed for you to fill-in if you’d like to submit it to Mr. Ferlazzo or Mr. Perryman.

You must complete this: Essay Planning Document. That link is to the PDF version. Here is the Word version, which our students should use.

Here is the TOK Essay Rubric from IB

You can find all the TOK essay resources we used last year here.

TIMELINE:

Send decision on prompt and outline by October 1

First draft by November 1

Second draft by December 1

Final by after Winter Break

 

ADDENDUM: This could be useful:

Essay Outline For May, 2019 TOK Essays

Here is a downloadable copy of the outline we shared the Prompt Deconstruction Meetings for Diploma Candidates.

Here is a version designed for you to fill-in if you’d like to submit it to Mr. Ferlazzo or Mr. Perryman.

You must complete this: Essay Planning Document. That link is to the PDF version. Here is the Word version, which our students should use.

Here is the TOK Essay Rubric from IB

You can find all the TOK essay resources we used last year here.

TIMELINE:

Send decision on prompt and outline by October 1st

First draft by November 1st

Second draft by December 1st

Final by after Winter Break

 

ADDENDUM: This could be useful:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/21673641942665152/

TOK Essay Prompts For May, 2018

IB has asked us to not publish the six titles on a website accessible to the public. Students can contact Mr. Ferlazzo directly to get copies, if needed.

You can find additional information about each title here.

Your essay should be between 1,200 and 1,600 words. It must be double-spaced and typed in size 12 font. It must have the essay prompt at the top.

You must complete this: Essay Planning Document

Here is the outline Mr. Ferlazzo’s students have used for their essay: Essay outline

Here is the TOK Essay Rubric from IB

You can find all the TOK essay resources we used last year here.

Four key points that IB Examiners made in essays from last year were:

* Don’t use hypothetical examples. In other words, when you support your thesis with stories related to different Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, make sure they are real. Don’t say something like, “Suppose this was the case and that happened.”

* Make sure that ALL of your examples and points are explicitly connected to answering the prompt. End every example or point making that explicit connection.

* Make sure that you include counter-claims in your essay. In other words, what would people say who disagreed with your thesis and what would be your response to them?  These should have a source. In other words, don’t just write “Some people might say…”

* You can use TOK concepts from the book, but don’t use specific examples cited there to illustrate them. Instead, come up with your own examples.  It’s okay to use some personal examples, but a majority should be more “academic” ones.

TOK Essay Schedule

NOTE: Final essay due 10:00 PM on Wednesday,June 10th.

Here is the assignment schedule, if possible:

1. Review materials in Weeks One & Two and submit your essay prompt by May 15th – just the prompt you’ve decided to use

2. Submit your first draft no later than May 29th

3. Submit your final essay no later than June 10th

FIRST WEEK

Goals for this week:

* Students gain a basic understanding of the Essay

* Students analyze previous essays

1. Review TOK Essay Writing Guide It’s slightly outdated, but most of it is still very useful. Identify three pieces of information in it that you think will be useful to you, along with at least one question.  If we do this in class, we’ll go through it two pages at a time.

2. Here’s an extra chapter to our textbook on writing a TOK essay.  Identify three pieces of information in it that you think will be useful to you, along with at least one question. If we do this in class, we’ll use it as a “jigsaw”

3. Six Steps To Writing A Good TOK Essay. Identify three pieces of information in it that you think will be useful to you, along with at least one question.

4. Here is an outline students should use for their essay (NOTE: You also have the option of using this outline instead)

IMPORTANT! Here is an essay written by a student in 2017.  The other essays in this post are good, but students had several months to write them in their senior year.  This one, on the other hand, was written in four weeks, is very well-done, and I would suggest you regularly re-visit it as your model.  It carefully follows the outline.

5. Model of Completed Outline from 2015

Here is what the completed essay using that model looked like in 2015 (you don’t need to look at it for right now)

6. Second model of completed outline

7. Here is what the completed essay using that model looked like in 2015 (you don’t need to look at it for right now)

8. Read the following essays from former students and note:

* How many Ways of Knowing are discussed and what were they?

* How many Areas of Knowledge are discussed and what were they?

* How many explicit textbook connections did you find and what were they?

* How many non-personal examples came from the textbook and how many were original ones?  What were they?  Were they used in the style of a story – beginning, middle, end.

* How many personal examples were used and what were they?

* Were there any hypothetical examples used (“Suppose this was the case and that happened”)?

* Were the examples explicitly connected to the thesis statement?   Did every example or paragraph end with making that connection to the thesis statement?

* How many counter-claims were used?  What were they?  Did they have a source, or did they just use “Some people might say….”

Essay 8

Essay 7

Essay 6

9. If you want (but you don’t have to), you can also review these other essays by former students, along with the essays connected to the outline examples listed earlier in this post:

Essay 1

Essay 2

Essay 3

Essay 4

Essay 5

10. Here is the TOK Essay Rubric from IB

SECOND WEEK

Goals for this week:

*Students choose their essay prompt and begin work on their outline

1. Review the potential essay “titles” that can be found here and pick one. They cannot be prompts that have been covered on any of the ten sample essays on this post, so you want to take a quick look at all the essays to see what prompts they use.

May, 2016

May 2015

November, 2014

May, 2014

May, 2013

2013

2012

2011-12

2010-11

2009 – 10

2006-07

* Review TOK Essay Tips

* Begin work on your outline. The first draft will be due by Friday

*Here is specific advice based on recent feedback from IB Examiners to our students:

Four key points that IB Examiners made in essays from last year were:

* Don’t use hypothetical examples. In other words, when you support your thesis with stories related to different Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, make sure they are real. Don’t say something like, “Suppose this was the case and that happened.”

* Make sure that ALL of your examples and points are explicitly connected to answering the prompt. End every example or point making that explicit connection.

* Make sure that you include counter-claims in your essay. In other words, what would people say who disagreed with your thesis and what would be your response to them?  These should have a source. In other words, don’t just write “Some people might say…”

* You can use TOK concepts from the book, but don’t use specific examples cited there to illustrate them. Instead, come up with your own examples.  It’s okay to use some personal examples, but a majority should be more “academic” ones.

 

THIRD WEEK

* Work on outline and complete a revised draft by Friday OR a first draft of your essay by that time.

 

FOURTH WEEK

*Work on essay.

FIFTH WEEK

Final essay due 10:00 PM on Wednesday,June 10th.

 

May, 2016 Writing Prompts Are Here For The TOK Essay!

Important tentative dates:

November 15th for an outline; December 15th for a draft; and February 1st for a final.

1. “In gaining knowledge, each area of knowledge uses a network of ways of knowing.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

2. “Knowledge within a discipline develops according to the principles of natural selection.” How useful is this metaphor?

3. “The knower’s perspective is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.” To what extent do you agree?

4. “Without application in the world, the value of knowledge is greatly diminished.” Consider this claim with respect to two areas of knowledge.

5. To what extent do the concepts that we use shape the conclusions that we reach?

6. “In knowledge there is always a trade-off between accuracy and simplicity.” Evaluate this statement in relation to two areas of knowledge.

Here is an outline my students should use for their essay

ToK Essay Planning and Progress Form (you may have to open this in Firefox)

You can find more of the resources we used to learn about writing the essay here.

Four key points that IB Examiners made in essays from last year were:

* Don’t use hypothetical examples. In other words, when you support your thesis with stories related to different Ways of Knowing and Areas of Knowledge, make sure they are real. Don’t say something like, “Suppose this was the case and that happened.”

* Make sure that ALL of your examples and points are explicitly connected to answering the prompt. End every example or point making that explicit connection.

* Make sure that you include counter-claims in your essay. In other words, what would people say who disagreed with your thesis and what would be your response to them?  These should have a source. In other words, don’t just write “Some people might say…”

* You can use TOK concepts from the book, but don’t use specific examples to illustrate them. Instead, come up with your own examples.  It’s okay to use some personal examples, but a majority should be more “academic” ones.

ToK Prescribed Essay Titles (May 2015)

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?

 


Thanks TOK.net

Support Resources For The May, 2014 Essay Titles

Here are three useful resources for the May, 2014 Essay Titles:

Theory of Knowledge Dot Net has some good guidance on each question.

IB TOK Spot also has some good resources.

TOK Tutors continue to regularly send out new resources for each question:


ToK Prescribed Essay Titles (May 2014)

1. Ethical judgments limit the methods available in the production of knowledge in both the arts and the natural sciences. Discuss.

2. “When the only tool you have is a hammer, all problems begin to resemble nails” (Abraham Maslow). How might this apply to ways of knowing, as tools, in the pursuit of knowledge?

3. “Knowledge is nothing more the systematic organization of facts.” Discuss this statement in relation to two areas of knowledge.

4. “That which is accepted as knowledge today is sometimes discarded tomorrow.” Consider some of the knowledge issues raised by this statement in two areas of knowledge.

5. “The historian’s task is to understand the past; the human scientist, by contrast, is looking to change the future.” To what extent is this true in these two areas of knowledge.

6. “A skeptic is one who is willing to question any knowledge claim, asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic and adequacy of evidence” (adapted from Paul Kurtz, 1994). Evaluate this approach in two areas of knowledge.

TOK Essay Prompts For May, 2013 Released!

May 2013

Theory of knowledge prescribed titles

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 below. 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 issues. 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 be between 1200 and 1600 words in length, double spaced and typed in size 12 font.

1. In what ways may disagreement aid the pursuit of knowledge in the natural and human sciences?

2. “Only seeing general patterns can give us knowledge. Only seeing particular examples can give us understanding.” To what extent do you agree with these assertions?

3. “The possession of knowledge carries an ethical responsibility.” Evaluate this claim.

4. The traditional TOK diagram indicates four ways of knowing. Propose the inclusion of a fifth way of knowing selected from intuition, memory or imagination, and explore the knowledge issues it may raise in two areas of knowledge.

5. “That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” (Christopher Hitchens). Do you agree?

6. Can we know when to trust our emotions in the pursuit of knowledge? Consider history and one other area of knowledge.

2013 TOK Essay Schedule

As we’ve discussed, IB has recently decided to delay providing essay “prompts” until September 1st. The essay you write this year will not be sent to IB, but will still count as half of your semester grade in this class. The process we go through will be invaluable for those of you who are continuing in the IB Diploma process and whom will be required to write an essay in the fall. Those of you not in going for a Diploma will not have to write a second essay.

Here is the schedule for our TOK “practice” essay:

Week of May 6th:

Monday:

Review schedule

Review “”IB Theory of Knowledge Essay Writing Guide”

IB TOK Essay Guides

Review “Six Steps to a Really Good Theory of Knowledge Essay” and Six steps to writing a good TOK essay:A Student Guide.

Here’s an extra chapter to our textbook on writing a TOK essay.

Write a total of twelve things you learn that might assist you write your essay.

Tuesday:

Review the potential essay “titles” that can be found here. You should pick two, just in case we review sample essays responding to one of them.(NOTE: Diploma Candidates can only choose from the ones in May, 2013 — those are the same choices being offered to Mr. Coey’s class. Non-Diploma candidates can pick any one other than the prompts used by the student sample essays below)

November, 2014

May, 2014

May, 2013

2013

2012

2011-12

2010-11

2009 – 10

2006-07

Wednesday:

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 three potential outlines for you to use to prepare your essay.

Here is an outline that I have created and I think is the best.

Model of Completed Outline

Here is what the completed essay using that model looked like…

Second model of completed outline

TOK ESSAY OUTLINE NUMBER ONE

TOK ESSAY OUTLINE NUMBER TWO

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 four TOK essays written by former students. Write down five things you notice about each.

Essay 1

Essay 2

Essay 3

Essay 4

Essay 5

Essay 6

Essay 7

Also note:

* How many Ways of Knowing are discussed and what were they?

* How many Areas of Knowledge are discussed and what were they?

* How many explicit textbook connections did you find and what were they?

* How many personal examples were used and what were they?

* How many non-personal examples were used and what were they?

* How many “stories” were used and what were they?

Thursday:

Go to this TOK blog and download and print-out Six steps to a ToK essay 2. Review it.

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

Friday:

This will be a “catch-up” day if we are running behind schedule.

Week of May 13th:

Your outline is due on Friday of this week.

Monday:

We will review A, B, and C essays, including one titled ““Are reason and emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?”

What differences do you notice between the A, B, and C essays; What can you apply to your own essay?

Tuesday:

Work on outline

Wednesday:

TOK research as described previously.

Thursday:

Work on outline

Friday:

Essay outline is due. Review these notes from last year prior to turning in your outline.

Week of May 20th

The first draft of your essay is due on Friday of this week. You will have all week to work on it. Email it to me.

Week of  May 27th

Work on the final version of your essay. Remember, the field trip is May 29th.

Your final version is due on June 3rd. Email it to me.

Theory of knowledge prescribed titles: November 2012

Theory of knowledge prescribed titles (Note: these are not for us, but they will give you an idea of what to expect)

November 2012

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 below. 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. Remember to centre your essay on knowledge issues and, 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 have been spoken or written by an actual person. 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 be between 1200 and 1600 words in length.

1.Can we have beliefs or knowledge which are independent of our culture?

2.“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts” (Arthur Conan Doyle). Consider the extent to which this statement may be true in two or more areas of knowledge.

3.“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” (Albert Einstein) Do you agree?

4.What counts as knowledge in the arts? Discuss by comparing to one other area of knowledge.

5.“Habit is stronger than reason.” To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

6.“The ultimate protection against research error and bias is supposed to come from the way scientists constantly re-test each other’s results.” To what extent would you agree with this claim in the natural sciences and the human sciences?

What Is A Knowledge Issue?

Review these links on knowledge issues. Please takes notes and respond in the comments section:

1) What is a knowledge issue?

2) What are key ideas to remember when you are trying to write one?

3) Write two or three knowledge issues.

4) Which resource was the best in helping you understand knowledge issues?

Knowledge issues, knowers and knowing

Understanding Knowledge Issues

What is a knowledge issue?

More on Knowledge Issues

How do I formulate my own Knowledge Issues for a presentation?

Knowledge Issues, Knowers and Knowing

Extracting Knowledge Issues

What Are Knowledge Issues?

How do I evaluate/ analyse knowledge issues?

More On Knowledge Issues