Essay 2016-17

1. “It is only knowledge produced with difficulty that we truly value.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

2. “Facts are needed to establish theories but theories are needed to make sense of facts.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

3. Should key events in the historical development of areas of knowledge always be judged by the standards of their time?

4. “In the production of knowledge, traditions of areas of knowledge offer correctives for ways of knowing.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

5. Given access to the same facts, how is it possible that there can be disagreement between experts in a discipline? Develop your answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.

6. “Humans are pattern-seeking animals and we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not” (adapted from Michael Shermer). Discuss knowledge questions raised by this idea in two areas of knowledge.

General Guidelines

TOK essay 2015 ppt_Page_1

TOK essay 2015 ppt_Page_2

Introduction Guidelines

The following formula is a useful guide / checklist for your introduction. Do not deviate from this.

  • Introductory quote or hook involving a real life situation (2-3 sentences);
  • Unpack the question. Acknowledge contested or ambiguous terms. Rewrite it in your own words to show you understand the key issues;
  • Nail your knowledge question;
  • Explain how you will address the KQ. Set the parameters and direction of your essay;
  • Briefly give your thesis.

@toktutor twitter acct with resources linked to each essay question

Examples of essays with marks and comments.

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