How to Write a Good TOK Essay, The First Draft
Review the Ways of Knowing. A TOK essay revolves around the question of what people know, how they know, how they test what they know, and the parts that experience, study, analysis and sensation play in human knowledge systems. Before doing anything else, review your understanding of this material for it will form the basis on which your entire essay will be judged. o
Review the grading criteria. Many students think of the criteria as a barrier to overcome. The smart ones, however, think of grading criteria as a clear road map guiding them to the variety of form, substance and style of essay desired. Your school should provide a clear statement of grading criteria. Request a copy, take it home and study it. Discuss it with parents, teachers and fellow students to be sure that you understand what that road map actually says. o
Give yourself time for planning. Starting your essay plan a week before the due date can work for some students, but most students will do better if they select a topic and begin their plan several weeks ahead. That allows time for outlines, discussions with others, and the exploration of alternate lines of reasoning. o
Choose a topic with clear boundaries, a focus on knowledge in the title, and a question that can be kept in sight at all times. A TOK essay offers you only 1,600 words to work with to do a reasonable job of examining the various approaches to the topic under discussion. The more ambiguous, broad and poorly detailed the topic the harder the work of providing a good essay. o
When you have chosen your topic, create an outline. There are many choices of structure, but use the Ways of Knowing as a checklist to ensure that you are covering the subject fully. That and the grading criteria can keep your outline on track. o
Your goal is to work with basic essay structure, rather than against it. A good essay will first present the topic and...
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