Working on your essay


Some advice I have in terms of how to proceed and write your essays. At this point, most of us are not ready to start writing an introduction. You need to solidify your understanding of the title you have chosen, identified two appropriate Areas of Knowledge along with good examples and identified relevant Ways of knowing. Decide what you want to say about each AOK and example. How do the WOKs fit in?

I think that many of us are excluding the value of using a personal example in our essays, particularly in the introduction. Rather than jumping straight into defining a term, you could use a personal example that helps raise the relevant questions you want to talk about or raise the central conflicts or definitions you want to include. This would be far more compelling than simply rattling off dictionary definitions.

If you don’t feel like you have a solid footing on an AOK or WOK, go back to the TOK guide linked here:

or a website like:

Go back to the beginning

You should also look back at the assignment sheet (first page of the packet I gave you when we started this) itself which lays out the IB’s expectations for what is expected of you.

If you haven’t filled out the “unpacking the title” sheet yet. Please do so. We only worked on completing the first page of that sheet. You should have completed the rest of it as well which emcompasses what I wrote about above.

Essay Outline Websites

The link below lays out what it states is a “fool proof” way to organize an essay. I think this is a format you could definitely follow but it may not necessarily suit what you want to say or be the best format for your particular essay but it is helpful nonetheless.

Another basic outline

And some more…

More detailed information on writing the essay

The link below is to some textbook pages that discuss things to consider when writing a TOK essay. One important thing it says is to avoid having an introduction that is overly definition heavy.

Sample Essays

This one I gave you in class but notice how it presents arguments clearly, starts with a personal example, and discusses complex ideas in a clear and consistent way

Sample Essay D

Below are 3 more samples that received a perfect 10/10 from the IB.

Sample Essay M

Sample Essay N

Sample Essay O

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