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Unlocking the Potential of Brand Marketing through Creative Tok Tok Videos

In today’s digital age, where attention spans are shorter than ever, brands are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative ways to engage with their target audience. One such platform that has taken the world by storm is TikTok, formerly known as Musical.ly. With its user base of over 800 million active users worldwide, TikTok offers a unique opportunity for brands to showcase their products and services through creative Tok Tok videos. In this article, we will explore how brands can unlock the potential of brand marketing through these viral videos.

The Rise of Tok Tok Videos

TikTok’s explosive growth can be attributed to its highly engaging and addictive nature. Users spend hours scrolling through an endless stream of short videos, ranging from dance challenges to comedic sketches. This presents a golden opportunity for brands to tap into this massive audience and promote their products or services in a fun and entertaining way.

Captivating Your Audience with Creative Content

The key to successful brand marketing on TikTok lies in creating content that resonates with your target audience. Unlike traditional advertising methods, which often come across as forced or intrusive, TikTok allows brands to seamlessly integrate their message into the platform’s user-generated content. By leveraging popular trends or challenges, brands can effectively capture the attention of millions of users and generate valuable brand awareness.

One strategy that many successful brands have adopted is collaborating with popular influencers or content creators on TikTok. These influencers have already built a loyal following and possess a deep understanding of what resonates with their audience. By partnering with them, brands can not only tap into their existing fan base but also benefit from their creativity and expertise in creating compelling Tok Tok videos.

Leveraging User-Generated Content for Brand Advocacy

One unique aspect of TikTok is its emphasis on user-generated content (UGC). Users are encouraged to create their own videos and share them with the world. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands to leverage UGC as a form of brand advocacy. By encouraging users to create content featuring their products or services, brands can tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing and turn their customers into brand ambassadors.

For example, a clothing brand could launch a challenge asking users to showcase their best outfit using the brand’s clothing line. This not only generates user engagement but also creates a sense of community among users who share a common interest in fashion. By reposting or featuring the best user-generated content on their official TikTok account, brands can further amplify their reach and strengthen their connection with their audience.

Measuring Success and ROI

As with any marketing campaign, measuring the success and return on investment (ROI) of your TikTok brand marketing efforts is crucial. TikTok provides valuable insights and analytics tools that allow brands to track key metrics such as views, likes, shares, and engagement rate. By analyzing these metrics, brands can determine which types of Tok Tok videos are resonating with their audience and adjust their strategy accordingly.

It’s also important to set clear objectives for your TikTok marketing campaign from the outset. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, or boosting sales, having specific goals will help you measure your success more effectively.

In conclusion, TikTok presents a unique opportunity for brands to unlock the potential of brand marketing through creative Tok Tok videos. By creating captivating content that resonates with your audience, leveraging user-generated content for brand advocacy, and measuring your success through key metrics, brands can harness the power of this viral platform to boost their visibility and engage with millions of potential customers. So why wait? Get started on your TikTok journey today.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


how to start tok essay

How To Write a ToK Essay IBDP – Step-By-Step Guide

  • Created on October 3, 2019
  • Blog , IBDP , Learning Tips

Let’s learn how to write a ToK Essay with Tutopiya. The IB ToK Essay contributes to the overall score of a student’s IB Diploma. The award of points for the IB ToK Essay is in conjunction with the extended essay. A maximum of three points is awarded according to a student’s combined performance in both the TOK and Extended Essay. 

Tutopiya will help and guide our IB Diploma students on the following:

  • How to Start a ToK Essay
  • Cover the ToK Essay Structure
  • How to Write a ToK Essay Conclusion
  • Analysis of a ToK Essay Example 

Choosing Your Essay Title 

Before you can dive into structuring or writing your essay, you will need to spend time to decide on a topic you wish to write on. For the IB ToK Essay, you are required to compare and contrast different ways of knowing through perception, language, reason, emotion with different areas of knowledge (AOK). 

1 – Selecting your prescribed title and knowledge question

Before you hastily decide on a title you wish to write, take some time to read each title carefully on the list and brainstorm ideas. 

Tip #1: Brainstorming

Get some initial ideas you have of each and every title/ question down on paper. Ask yourself some simple questions when brainstorming for each title. 

Am I confident to write an essay about this? Is the question asking what I am thinking? Do I understand the keywords or concepts in the title?

You may not be clear on what the title is asking you to do. Go through the title and highlight any keywords and concepts you are unsure about or may have missed out. 

Do you have a strong interest in the title? We recommend that you should at least be interested since you will be spending time and effort on researching this topic, pick something you are willing to research more about!

Can you relate anything to the title? Though the IB Tok Essay should be as objective as possible, you can always inject the essay with personality and character.

You can always do so by adding in ideas or topics you have learned or studied in class or even personal experiences. 

Tip #2: Understanding the question in your own words

The titles of these essay questions can sometimes be long and difficult to grasp when you first read them so before you write the IB ToK Essay, consider paraphrasing the question in your own words.

You may struggle to understand the keywords and concepts in the title, you may even be unsure about the perspective, comparison and contrast of the title. 

To help our IB students, we recommend breaking down the question/ title by first, understanding the keywords in the title. Then, put the title together and understand what they are asking. 

This way, you will be able to understand the title more in-depth than before and able to answer the title sufficiently. 

Structuring your Essay

1 – knowing the assessment criteria .

Overall Assessment 

2 – Theory of Knowledge Essay 

The rubrics require students to be able to understand the knowledge questions and their quality of analysis of knowledge questions. View the TOK Essay Mark Scheme here .

You will have to choose two Areas of Knowledge (AOK) to explore.

There are 8 different Areas of Knowledge are as follows:

  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Humane Sciences
  • Religious knowledge systems 
  • Indigenous knowledge systems 

You can also use Ways of Knowledge (WOK) in your essay and the are as follows:

  • Sense Perception
  • Reason 
  • Imagination

Analysis of a Sample Essay 

Question: “Doubt is the key to knowledge (Persian Proverb). To what extent is this true in two areas of knowledge?

Important Keywords in the Title 

“To what extent” 

When keywords like this appear, note that you need to present 2 different perspectives to the question, a for and against argument in your essay. 

Paragraph 1: Introduction 

You would provide an explanation and interpretation of the title and identify the key terms in the title. You would also need to state your thesis and explain or identify the areas of knowledge you will be exploring in your essay.

1 – Start the essay by saying something relatable or interesting

By doing that, you can capture the reader’s attention and make them want to read more by evoking a sense of curiosity to find out more about your essay. 

2 – Your Thesis/ Stand

You can also state your thesis (that is different from mainstream ideas – to capture the reader’s attention). You can make the decision to be a for or against stand in your essay. If you decided 

In your own words , give an interpretation of the title and show that you are able to identify the key terms of the question.

“The problem with doubt as the key to knowledge is that doubt isn’t a way of knowing. Doubt is an emotion we feel that motivates us to seek knowledge.” 

3 – Outline of the paragraph

Give the readers an idea of what you will be going through in your body paragraphs , a sentence that gives the readers a preview. Let the readers know which AOKs you will be exploring, making it easier for the examiner to know what to look for. 

“However this motivation can manifest itself differently in contrasting areas of knowledge like Mathematics and Religion.” 

Your introduction should not be too long, use around 150 to 200 words for your first paragraph would be sufficient. 

Paragraph 2: First Area of Knowledge. 

1 – begin your paragraph with a claim or topic sentence.

This helps you to outline your argument about the title. 

“Mathematics is an area of knowledge that is only concerned with reason.” 

2 – Explain and Elaborate

Now, give explain and elaborate on your topic sentence/ claim. 

“In a right-angled triangle a²+b²=c² and that’s it. There are no alternative answers or personal interpretations. An answer to a mathematical problem is either right or wrong. This is because the main way of knowing in math is reason and evidence is required for a mathematical statement to be true or false.” 

3 – Give an example with an explanation

This helps you to further elaborate and explore your topic sentence or claim.

The example you give should be personal, specific, precise and real.

This way you can make your claim believable and relatable in some sense. This also helps to evoke a sense of authenticity in your essay. 

“When we first learned about negative numbers in math class it made no sense to me. How could a bigger number have a lower value than a smaller one? It was illogical and it contradicted all the math I had learned before that day….. Either the previous mathematical information was wrong or the new information about negative numbers were wrong. But he explained the concept of a number line with a central point 0 and that they were both right.”

4 – Linking back

Remember to link back to your claim and the question after you are done exploring this example. 

“My doubt led to understanding and was the key to my knowledge.”

Paragraph 3: Counter

1 – state your counterclaim.

This paragraph would focus on counterclaim . You are supposed to discuss 2 different perspectives to your claim, a for and against. You are to argue against your claim above this paragraph.

“On the other hand, doubt in mathematics can be detrimental to education.”

2 – Give an Example and Explanation

Add in an example and explanation to support your counterclaim. 

“For example, after I do a question from the International Baccalaureate mathematics textbook I always look at the back in order to check if my answers are correct because it has answers in the back. If I do not have the book and I am in class then I ask my mathematics teacher for the correct answer. I do this when I am uncertain of my answer to a question and my doubt allows me to gain knowledge i.e. whether my answer is wrong or right. My doubt also helps me to assess how much of the mathematical concept I have understood by marking myself. However, this can be detrimental to progress because I started to become dependent on the answers at the back of the book or my mathematics teacher. Every time I do a question I feel like I have to verify my answer with an authoritative source which I have now come to understand leaves no room for exploration or the development of my own methods.”

3 – Linking back

Link back to your prescribed title and your claim of this paragraph. 

“My doubt caused a loss of confidence in my mathematical abilities and dependence on authoritative sources.”

Now, follow this format and carry on writing for the next two body paragraphs, exploring on another Area of Knowledge, in this case, this student will have to write one more AOK on Religion and a counterclaim for it. 

Aim to write a maximum of 600 words for each Area of Knowledge (Paragraph 2 and 3, Paragraph 4 and 5). 

Paragraph 4: Second Area of Knowledge

  • Topic Sentence
  • Example + Explanation 

Paragraph 5: Counterclaim 

  • Topic Sentence (Counterclaim)
  • Example + Explanation
  • Link to prescribed title and your initial claim of this Area of Knowledge 

Finally, write your ToK Essay conclusion in one paragraph totalling 200 to 250 words .

Paragraph 6: Your conclusion

Explain the different insights you have gained or have come out of this essay. 

“As illustrated by the example of dependence on authoritative sources in mathematics doubt can be detrimental and cause a loss of confidence. Similarly, doubting conjectures has also proven to be unfruitful. However, within mathematics individual doubt can lead to the acquisition of knowledge.” 

Implications and significance

Tell the readers why it is important to know that and how does it matter that they understand this when you write your IB ToK Essay.

Perspectives and Extension

If you can, try to input a very different perspective on your conclusion. Perhaps recognizing a different way of approaching the question, which could have resulted in different insights. 

You can mention the limitations of your essay saying there are one or two unresolved questions that this essay has revealed. It’s about showing the readers that the conversation is not over yet. And that, there is more to the question and more rooms that you can explore. 

“Furthermore, in areas like religion where we do not yet have the tools to prove it one way or the other simply doubting something by itself is a step towards acquiring knowledge because by suggesting that certain view is not absolute it makes room for new knowledge.”

A Quick Tip for writing a ToK Essay

Tip: try not to use dictionary definitions in your essay.

You want to show the examiners that you are writing a reflective essay, not a textbook definition heavy essay. Don’t rely too much on dictionary definitions to prove your argument or support a counterclaim. This will demonstrate that you did not engage with the topic and bypassed complexities around the topic. 

Instead of using standard answers or cliche examples, you can try to use your own personal experiences to make it original and insightful for your readers. Though the essay should be objective, your essay should still have a personality and character. 

Try Getting Expert’s Help

Tutopiya is a 1-1 Live Online Tutoring for all students aged 8 to 18 years old. Tutopiya offers the IB Diploma Program curriculum to all students, visit our IB curriculum page to find out more about the subjects we teach here. We also have a blog full of useful IB resources for our students, why not read another sample essay for IB TOK ?

Interested to try our online learning with our expert IB tutors? We provide FREE 60 minutes trial lesson to all new students. You can sign up or simply fill up a trial form application here to begin learning with Tutopiya! Come learn how to write a ToK essay with Tutopiya today!

I am currently a full-time student studying at a local university in Singapore while freelancing as a writer. I enjoy writing and sharing useful education-related tips with my fellow studying peers. During my leisure time, I enjoy doing creative arts and volunteering work. I am passionate about sharing my experience as a student! ☺

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Writing a TOK essay

TOK Home > TOK essay guidance > Writing a TOK essay

how to start tok essay

Writing your TOK essay

After you’ve understood the essay rubric , followed our advice about choosing a title , and are aware of the importance of the interactions , you’re ready to start writing your essay.

Check out our short video explainer for the TOK essay; you can find more explainers about other aspects of the course in our TOK explainer playlist .

Tips for writing your essay

Get started.

The most important part of writing your essay is getting started. You can procrastinate for ages, thinking about whether you’ve chosen the right title, which areas of knowledge to explore the question in, key thinker and ides to draw on, and so on. Obviously you need to choose the right title, and have an effective plan, but this means nothing until you have put your thoughts down on paper. You will find that many of your uncertainties start to resolve themselves when you start writing.

The introduction is all important

Your introduction should begin with a ‘hook’ to engage the reader, offer your interpretation of the key words or ideas from the title (don’t just copy a definition out of a dictionary – give your take on what the title means), outline the scope of the essay. Get your introduction right, and you will have set up the foundations for a great essay. If you rush it, or not view it with the importance it really requires, you’ll struggle to develop clear ideas in the main body of the essay.

Follow a clear essay plan

By two, you should have formulated a clear essay plan. This means knowing which  AOKs  you are using as the context of the essay, the arguments and counterarguments you’ll be presenting, the real-life examples you’ll be drawing on to justify discussion points, how you’ll indicate the implications of your arguments, and the way in which you’ll challenge assumptions in the question. Agree with your teacher on this plan, and let them know if you are deviating significantly from it.

Justify each point you make

Each of the discussion points you make should be supported by a real-life example. These can come from your own experiences as a knower (inside, and outside of the school), or from events, issues, and topics you’ve read about or encountered from the news and other media sources.

Don’t jump straight into your examples

A common mistake made by students is to move straight onto real-life examples without offering a proper discussion about knowledge questions related to the title. Discuss your own take on the question, perhaps referring to a key thinker or theory, before relating this all to a real-life situation.

Consider counterarguments

You need to offer a consideration of different points of view, and the way to do this is via counterarguments. For each of your claims or arguments, you should offer a counterclaim or counterargument, weighing up how the issue could be considered from another point of view. Make sure you evaluate these counterarguments, and don’t just mention them.

Find your own voice

Make sure that you offer your own opinions, give your own interpretation of the title, and offer your own experiences to support your arguments. This will demonstrate your skills as a critical thinker, and distinguish your essay from those that rely on generic and cliched discussions.

Make full use of the interactions

In order to develop your ideas, and ensure that you’re on the right track with your essay, make sure you make full use of the with your teacher. It’s during these one-to-one sessions that you can discuss your arguments, evaluate your examples, and consider which key thinkers and concepts work in your essay.

Don’t neglect the non-assessed elements

 Make sure that you format your essay in the right way, offer a decent bibliography, hit the word limit (without going over it), and follow all the other protocols for submitting your TOK essay. This will present a great impression to examiners, and show that you are ready and willing to follow the IB requirements for the assessment task.

TOK essay pages

how to start tok essay

The TOK essay rubric

Learn about how the essay is marked, and the skills you are expected to demonstrate in order to succeed. Read more here .

how to start tok essay

Choosing your TOK essay title

Find out how to evaluate the six prescribed essay titles, and decide on which one will work best for you. Read more here .

how to start tok essay

The three TOK essay interactions

Learn about the three interactions with your TOK teacher, and what you should be discussing in each one. Read more here .

Gain a few tips on how to structure your TOK essay, how to articulate your ideas, and ways to justify your claims. Read more here .

how to start tok essay

Find out about how to fill in the essay PPF, and why this is an important indication of your engagement with TOK. Read more here .

More support for the TOK essay

Make sure that your TOK teacher has given you access to all the documents and online material that support the essay. These include the TOK Subject Guide, the TOK essay rubric, and exemplar TOK essays (found in ‘MyIB’, which is accessible to teachers).   Make sure you go through our other pages on writing the TOK essay. You’ll find help on understanding what the is looking for, that works for you, what each of the should focus on, how to an effective TOK essay, and how to fill in your .   If your school is a  member  of theoryofknowledge.net, we have designed a series of lessons on the essay, with two formative assessment tasks. These will familiarize you with the essay rubric, knowledge questions, real-life situations, how to deal with perspectives and implications, and structuring an essay. If you are signed into the site, you can access these lessons  here .   You can also find out our thoughts on the TOK essay (and the TOK exhibition) in several webinars that we have delivered. The main one is the TOK Assessment 2022 webinar, but we also consider this form of assessment in our free webinars on the 2022 course. You can see these webinars on  this page  of the site.

FAQs about the TOK essay

Can i meet my teacher outside the three interactions.

You shouldn’t expect to meet you teacher for long discussions, but you can ask specific questions about aspects of your essay. You can check the suitability of examples, the validity of points you’re trying to make, and the key thinkers and ideas you’re using to explore ideas.

Where do I record what we discussed in the three interactions?

Write a short account of what you have discussed in the interactions straight away. If your school uses  ManageBac , this will make your life slightly easier; otherwise, you should fill in the fields of the PPF, which we discuss on.

Can I change my essay title?

Yes, you can change your chosen prescribed title at any point during the essay-writing process, but obviously the longer you leave this, the less time you’ll have to complete it. This is one of the points of the interactions – to identify any problems early on, and, if they can’t be resolved, think about which alternative to move onto.

how to start tok essay

How to write a TOK essay: webinar

This 80-minute webinar video and presentation gives you a clear, engaging, step-by-step guide to the task, helping you to understand the assessment rubric, choose the right PT, and produce an essay that hits all the assessment targets.

The video is supported by a presentation, and a Q&A debrief answering some of the most common questions asked about writing a TOK essay. Purchase your ticket here .

how to start tok essay

Get real with TOK by subscribing to the newsletter

Step into the real and unpackaged world by subscribing to our unique monthly TOK newsletter. You’ll receive links to great media sources from all over the world that place the TOK themes and areas of knowledge into an authentic context.

You’ll meet great thinkers and ideas, hone your understanding of key TOK concepts, and build up a library of examples for the essay and exhibition. Subscribe HERE !

Stay in touch

How To Write A ToK Essay - Updated 2023

Ace your ToK Essay with our expert tips & tricks! Get the latest and greatest techniques on "How To Write A ToK Essay" and impress the IB examiners.📝💡

How To Write A ToK Essay - Updated 2023

Table of content

Purpose of tok, assessment of tok, the game plan, execution of the gameplan, planning for tok essay, structure of tok essay, introduction, conclusions, bibliography.

How to write a TOK Essay? 

To answer that, you must familiarise yourself with what a TOK Essay is about.

Before you start reading this article,  Amanda  has some excellent TOK tips for you!

Theory of Knowledge is one of the most meta subjects that IB offers. Despite its complexity, TOK helps in providing a base for holistic learning and allows students to have a multidisciplinary experience. 

To understand TOK is to understand the essence of IB, a task that most people consider unattainable.

But not for you! 

Thank your lucky stars who made you land on Nail IB. How exactly will Nail IB help you? 

Well, nailing International Baccalaureate is something we will discuss later. 

Let's focus on cracking your TOK essay, shall we?

TOK demonstrates how students  can apply their knowledge  with  greater awareness  and  credibility .

Big words, huh? 

Now that we know that we cannot just slide through the Theory of Knowledge, let's understand how we can conquer this battle all guns blazing.

ToK essay’s primary objective is to answer the  why  behind our studies. 

It makes one aware of the real-life implications of their subjects. The students gain greater awareness of their personal and ideological assumptions and appreciate the diversity of different perspectives. It helps the students find their unique perception, a prerequisite for excelling in the IB TOK essays.

Before we dive into our gameplan, let’s overview the rules of the game.

There are two assessment tasks in the TOK: an essay and a presentation . While a presentation encourages students to explore a real-life situation through the lens of TOK, an essay is written on the basis of the various questions provided by the International Baccalaureate Organisation.

  • The presentation is to assess a student’s ability to apply TOK thinking to a real-life situation whereas IB TOK essay is more conceptual.
  • The essay is externally assessed by IB and must be on any one of the prescribed TOK essay titles issued by the IB for each examination session.
  • Word limit of a TOK essay is 1600 words ( excludes extended notes, footnotes, bibliography).

Now that we have unleashed the game, let’s move ahead towards the gameplan of acing both, your presentation and your essay.

One of the fundamental tasks of TOK is to examine different areas of knowledge and find out their similarities and differences.

The TOK essay requires the students to investigate two Areas of Knowledge (AOK)  and two Ways of Knowing   (WOK) . AOKs and WOKs are investigated via questions such as:

  • How do we know what we know? (WOK)
  • What counts as evidence for X? (AOK)
  • How do we judge which is the best model of Y? (WOK)
  • What does theory Z mean in the real world? (AOK + WOK)

The aforementioned are  Knowledge Questions  which help combine the Areas of Knowledge and the Ways of Knowing that they are using. This eliminates the superficial way of learning and makes an individual sensitive to the nature of the information.   Our acquisition of Knowledge can be broadly divided into Shared Knowledge and Personal Knowledge.

Shared knowledge: What WE know It is the product of more than one individual. Although individuals contribute to it, shared knowledge does not solely depend upon the contributions of a particular individual—there are possibilities for others to check and amend individual contributions and add to the body of knowledge that already exists.

Personal knowledge: What I know It is essentially dependent on the experiences of a particular individual. Also known as procedural knowledge, it is gained through experience, practice and personal involvement and is intimately bound up with the particular local circumstances of the individual such as biography, interests, values, and so on.

The best hack to ace TOK essay is to develop a habit of making connections between the construction of knowledge, its acquisition and its relevance in the real world. 

After that one needs to develop an interest in understanding the difference between diversity and cultural perspectives and personal assumptions.

One also needs to critically reflect on their own beliefs and assumptions, leading to more thoughtful, responsible and purposeful lives.

Yes, this is what you signed up for. It may sound a little intimidating but once you get the hang of it you will be able to see the matrix and understand this beautiful world a little better.

Understand that to provide the best version of your writing, it will take you more than one or two drafts. First and foremost, you need to pick your essay topic diligently. Try to choose an essay topic that best interests you. The topic should also allow you to explore the Areas of Knowledge towards which you are naturally inclined. Here are a few sample questions:

a) 'Ways of knowing are a check on our instinctive judgments.' To what extend do you agree with this statement?

b) With reference to two areas of knowledge discuss the way in which shared knowledge can shape their personal knowledge.

c) How can we know if knowledge is produced more through 'Passive Observation' or 'Active-Experiment' within the Human and Natural-sciences under a Mathematical-Perspective?

d) "The whole point of knowledge is to produce both meaning and purpose in our personal lives". Assess the validity of this statement.

Great things take time. It took me more than a couple of weeks to finalize this TOK essay guide. It is completely okay if the first few drafts may not look pleasing or award-winning to you. You will require sharpening your perspective towards the topic each time you polish your draft. Your writing journey from a dull draft to a masterpiece will be a whole process that you will have to be patient with. Have faith in yourself and proceed stepwise.

You need to consider the opinions of others who have devoted hours of research and a lifetime of dedicated studying the topic that surrounds your writing. Unravelling the realms of your mind palace is so Sherlock but let’s not deny the fact that at times, Watson is the one whose expertise helps Sherlock through pretty difficult times. I mean even Batman needs a Robin. In support of my awesome sauce examples, the point I am trying to make is that  finding support for our claims and counterclaims through research is a good thing .

Use real-life examples to support your claims and counterclaims. These examples need to be documented researched examples like studies, experiments, articles, presentations by well-known people, etc. Examples that stem from your diploma subjects are highly encouraged, but those will need to be supported by research as well.   

It is suggested that you choose a title, stick to it, tackle it and not be afraid. Do not change your mind unless there is a good reason. Also, try choosing Areas of knowledge that you truly enjoy. You know slaying a known devil is much easier than an unknown one. Allot a TIMELINE to your essay. Start with creating an outline of your essay. This will help you to track your progress and accomplish your goals

You can use tools like  Trello  to organize your ideas and plan your TOK essay.

Areas of Knowledge (AOKs): TOK distinguishes between eight areas of knowledge. They are mathematics, the natural sciences, the human sciences, the arts, history, ethics, religious knowledge systems, and indigenous knowledge systems. It is suggested that students study and explore six of these eight.

Ways of knowing (WOKs): TOK identifies eight specific WOKs- language, sense perception, emotion, reason, imagination, faith, intuition, and memory. It is suggested that studying four of these eight in-depth would be appropriate. WOKs underlie the methodology of the areas of knowledge and provide a basis for personal knowledge.

Moving ahead, let us discuss the structure of your TOK essay.

Your essay will consist of 4 broad segregations

Before breaking down further on the pillars, keep the following in mind

  • Please note what the TOK essay title is asking you. (Read it a couple of times. We highly recommend that you brainstorm ideas with your TOK coordinator)
  • Make sure you understand the command term and the question it is asking.
  • What kind of knowledge is being elicited?
  • When choosing your areas of knowledge (AoK) and ways of knowing (WoK) make sure that you are able to draw contrasts and comparisons, that is, you are able to find evidence that supports as well as challenges your claims.
  • Identify key terms in your TOK essay title. Make sure you define them. Your essay will gravitate around them. Key terms/words in your titles are your essay anchors. Your response should be built around them.
  • Your writing skills come in handy while you work on your IB TOK essay. Like any other essay make sure you have proper thesis statements and topic sentences to guide the evaluator through your work.
  • Respect the TOK essay title. Rephrasing the topic is not encouraged . Your main job is to address the title.

Introduce your topic accurately and state your thesis statement for the essay carefully.  A thesis statement is like a teaser to your entire essay wherein you define your key terms and introduce your interpretation of the question. Make sure that you do not reword the prescribed title in your thesis. Instead, it needs to, as the word says, INTRODUCE your readers to what your essay is about. A strong introduction allows the reader to deduce what knowledge question(s) you are trying to answer.

So, in a nutshell

  • Write interesting things about the given TOK essay title .
  • Define key terms
  • Narrow in on the particularly interesting aspect
  • State your thesis statement . This will be your short answer to your given title if you don't know how to write a killer thesis statement check out this blog from SparkNotes .
  • State your Roadmap. This will help the readers in understanding the direction of your essay.

The body can be mainly divided into 3 segments.

Body (1st Segment)

  • AoK Claim:  Here you investigate your first Area of Knowledge and draw parallels between your AoK and the question. This is done by stating your claim. Claims can be general in nature and need not reference a particular area of knowledge. They help you shape your essay and investigate the question further. 
  • Evidence: Example of a real-life situation, describe thoroughly and accurately, which supports your stated claim. (AoK)
  • Counter-Claim: State your counter-claim: like claims, those can be general and need not reference a particular area of knowledge. Counterclaim helps you show the other side the coin and gives your essay a holistic nature. 
  • Evidence: A referenced real-life situation/example. Describe thoroughly and accurately, show how this supports your counterclaim (AoK ).
  • Don’t forget to weave in your WoKs:  You need to take into account the source of your knowledge. Here you can also investigate if your nature of acquiring the knowledge has, in any way, affected it. It is good practice to question if your knowledge would be different had it been acquired through a different source/method
  • Mini-conclusion: Here you analyze your examples in reference to your claims and counterclaims. You must connect to your thesis statement and the prescribed title. How does your proposed argument, in this particular part of the body, connect to the prescribed title and the knowledge questions you are trying to answer?

Body (2): Follow the above process for your second AOK.

  • Use this part of your essay to compare and contrast your varying AoKs. You need to connect them to your thesis and your prescribed title clearly showing how your arguments respond to the PT.

Your conclusion section will make your essay come together. It is the glue that will make your essay stick together. Herein, you need to

  • Reiterate your thesis (initial response).
  • Use your mini conclusions to write a final conclusion.
  • Tell the reader what the significance is for knowing what we know in this particular PT.
  • Discuss implications as well.
  • Offer another perspective, how will the perspective of a different person affect the claims/counterclaims you make in the essay?
  • Don’t forget to make the end strong.

We recommend all the ib students use the  citation machine  (It's FREE) to organize or generate a bibliography for your TOK essay. Please go through this extensive guide provided by the IB before you start working on your citations.

If you are still struggling heaps with your TOK essay feel free to subscribe to our tok notes bundles or get access to more than 500+ IBDP notes and past papers here .

Nail IB is your virtual companion that helps you hustle through your diploma and provide you with the right resources at the right time. To know more about acing IB, click  here .

I hope this article will become the foundation for figuring out how to write a TOK Essay.

Remember to have faith in yourself.

I hope you NAIL your TOK essay!

Quoting the great Napolean Hill

"Whatever the mind of a man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."

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How to Write a TOK Essay In One Night: The Complete Guide 2023

Author Image

by  Antony W

October 21, 2023

how to write a tok essay

This is the complete guide on how to write a ToK essay in one night.

Whether you still have time left or you’re in the last minute race, this guide shows you exactly how to complete the assignment in the shortest time possible.

Key Takeaways 

  • Read the essay prompt carefully to understand what the assignment requires.
  • Choose a prescribed title.
  • Select two of the most appropriate areas of knowledge.
  • Develop an outline relevant to the Theory of Knowledge essay.
  • Write the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
  • Proofread your work. 
  • Submit your ToK essay for assessment.

If you already understand the fundamentals of writing a ToK essay but you’re already running late, Help for Assessment can get the paper done for you. Get our  ToK essay writing service   and benefit from the convenience of our custom writing. 

Otherwise, continue reading this guide to learn how to develop a comprehensive essay from start to finish, even if you have only 24 hours left.

How to Write a ToK Essay in One Night

The Theory of Knowledge essay is a 1,600 words assignment based on an already pre-determined title.

It requires you to compare and contrast the different ways of knowing with the different areas of knowledge.

Furthermore, your work must reflect on the nature of knowledge and clearly demonstrate why you know what you claim to know.

So here's what you need to do: 

1. Choose Your Prescribed Title

prescribed title tok

Choose a title from one of the prescribed essay titles provided by IB. 

You shouldn’t just pick a topic because it appears simple. We recommend that you read each title and make a careful consideration of your topic selection.

Look at the title you’ve select and try to understand the command terms and the underlying knowledge question .

Ask yourself the following:

  • What question does the prescribed title ask?
  • Does the title require me to focus on shared or personal knowledge?

2. Choose Two Areas of Knowledge

Keep in mind that Theory of Knowledge is comparative in nature.

Thus, when choosing your areas of knowledge ,  ensure you can easily draw relevant comparisons and contrasts to the WoKs you write.

Take note on whether the title requires you to handle two disciplines or AOK before you start writing.

And except for Math and History, you should be clear about the -discipline of the AOK that you choose.

3. Read the Essay’s Instructions Carefully

Note the keywords in the essay’s instructions.

The question might ask you to “assess” or “evaluate” a perspective, which implies that you should consider for or against the title.

Also, factor in any grey area or ambiguity linked to the title.

  • If the title asks “in what way” or “to what extent”, it means you provide an argument for or against the statement.
  • Where the title asks a direct question, you should address in what way or the extent to which you support or don’t support a position or argument.

4. Understand the Grading Criteria

IB assesses Theory of Knowledge essays based on four criteria, and each carries equal weight:

  • Understanding Knowledge Issues: Your essay should show relevant between two knowledge issues, links and compares the issues, and demonstrate a unique comprehension of the issues. 
  • Knowers Perspective: Demonstrate independent thinking. Have at least two different perspectives, a few supporting examples, and show self-awareness.
  • Analyzing Knowledge Issues: Demonstrate insight and depth. Present counter-arguments and arguments, and justify key points, and show implications and assumptions of the selected prescribed title.
  • Organizing Ideas: You should structure your essay properly. Ensure factual accuracy, explain key concepts, and, where applicable, cite sources.

5. Brainstorm Ideas for Your Prescribed Title

The Theory of Knowledge essay is inherently reflective. It requires you to demonstrate your thoughtful consideration of the title and your readiness to analyze and reflect upon it.

So brainstorm the title you’ve selected. Write all the thoughts that come to mind, and allow your ideas to flow freely.

Next, review your notes, making sure you identify interconnected ideas, as well as those that present conflicting viewpoints.

If the title presents a perspective to assess or evaluate, create two columns, one for supporting the perspective and another for opposing it, and allocate the ideas you have generated into the respective columns.

Additionally, create a third column to capture ambiguities or areas where the answer is not clear, and assign relevant ideas to this column.

Look at instances where you can use concrete examples to support the ideas you recorded. These examples will serve to enhance your arguments and add depth to your essay.

6. Create Your Theory of Knowledge Essay Outline

We’ve written quite a lot about TOK essay outline already, and we strongly recommend that you check out that guide for an in-depth teardown of the structure.

However, for the sake of this guide, here’s the summary of the format that you should follow:

First, understand that the purpose of the outline is to guide your essay, so you can easily organize your points to achieve a logical flow of information.

If you can follow this specific outline to a tee, you’ll end up with a more comprehensive essay based purely on the selected prescribed title.

Here’s the outline to use:

Write the Introduction

The introduction of your Theory of Knowledge essay sets the stage for the paper. It should be between 100 and 150 words long.

Paragraph 1

Your introduction goes here, usually in 100 to 150 words. Your description should show at most two things about the prescribed title and a few words to show that you understand the knowledge question.

Give a clear definition of one or two key terms from the prescribed title. The definitions are usually important, especially because they can give you some clues for perspectives and evidence. 

Complete the paragraph by giving your readers a clear roadmap for the essay.  By doing this, you make it easy for the reader to know exactly what to look for in your work.

Develop Your First Area of Knowledge

The second and third paragraph will cover your first area of knowledge. This area should be no more than 600 words.

Paragraph 2

  • State the Claim: Write the topic sentence. Remember, a perspective is the argument about the prescribed title you selected in the first step.
  • Give an Example: Give an example of the perspective, which can be anything based on your experience, as long as it’s real and specific.
  • Explain: Give a clear explanation on how your example supports the perspective. For the sake of grabbing the reader’s attention, state something interesting about your example and explain what it state about the title.

Paragraph 3

  • State Counterclaim: Here is where you argue against the perspective that you make in the second paragraph.
  • Give an Example: Here is where you give a concrete support for the perspective that you just made.
  • Explain the Example: Give a clear explanation about how the example you provided supports your perspective. Remember to write what you believe is interesting about the example. Also, mention what the example says about the selected prescribed title.
  • Summary: Sum this section by linking to the prescribe title and ensuring you’ve highlighted the insight that you have had about this area of knowledge.

Develop Your Second Area of Knowledge

This is the section where you develop your second area of knowledge. Again, this part should be no more than 600 words.

Paragraph 4

  • State your perspectivefor the second AOK.
  • Give a solid example.
  • Explain your example, making sure you show exactly how it supports the perspective.

Paragraph 5

  • State the perspective for the second AOK.
  • Give an example that’s good enough to support the perspective.
  • Explain how the example you’ve provided supports the perspective you’ve given.

Write the Conclusion

The conclusion is the final paragraph of the ToK essay. In terms of length, it should be between 200 and 250 words long.

Paragraph 6

  • Conclusion: Here, write what insights you’ve gathered, making sure it relates to the prescribed title question. Also, ensure you synthesize the main insights that you’ve gathered about the two areas of knowledge.
  • Implication and Significance: Explain the impact and importance of your essay in relation to the prescribed title. Go the extra mile to give clarity on why it’s important to understand these insights.
  • Perspectives and Extensions: Is there a different way that you would have approached the question? Would the approach have given a different outcome or insight than that already reflected on your essay?

Note that the Theory of Knowledge essay has changed a bit. So as to the number of paragraphs in a TOK essay , the maximum you should have now is 6, not 9.

The TOK is often assessed through a 1200-1600-word essay and an oral presentation.

The essay asks you to reflect on the nature of knowledge, as well as how you know what you claim to know. It is usually a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma and is compulsory for all students.

Every TOK essay is different. To pass your essay, you will need to prepare thoroughly.

Treat it as you would any type of research and take some time to create an outline and write your thesis statement. After writing, make sure you cite your work properly and proofread it.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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In short, I can’t recommend this article enough. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in topic above. Good work to the writer, you have truly outsmart yourself! Keep the good content coming.

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How to Write a TOK Essay

Last Updated: January 28, 2023

This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA . Stephanie Wong Ken is a writer based in Canada. Stephanie's writing has appeared in Joyland, Catapult, Pithead Chapel, Cosmonaut's Avenue, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Creative Writing from Portland State University. This article has been viewed 248,569 times.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Theory of Knowledge essay is a 1200–1600 word essay on prescribed topics or titles created by the IB. As the name suggests, your Theory of Knowledge (TOK) essay should focus on knowledge issues (what is knowledge? why and how do we know things?) and link to other areas of knowledge as well. About two-thirds of your final TOK grade is determined by your score on your TOK essay.

Choosing Your Essay Title

Step 1 Understand the structure of a TOK essay.

  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences
  • Human sciences
  • Religious knowledge systems
  • Indigenous knowledge systems

Step 2 Ask your teacher for the prescribed titles for the TOK essay.

  • “Compare the roles played by reason and imagination in at least two Areas of Knowledge.”
  • “When mathematicians, historians and scientists say that they have explained something, are they using the word ‘explain’ in the same way?”

Step 3 Select a title carefully.

  • Do you understand the keywords or concepts in the title? You may not be clear on what a title is asking you to do. Go through the title and highlight any words or concepts you are unsure about. Some titles will use keywords from TOK courses, such as “belief”, “knowledge” “truth”. You may want to check back on your class notes and consider what these words mean in the context of the title.
  • Do you have a strong interest in the title? The title should play to your interests and you should feel you can write about the title with care and diligence. For example, if you are skilled or interested in the arts, you may choose a title like “Compare the roles played by reason and imagination in at least two Areas of Knowledge” and pick the arts as one area of knowledge. Keep in mind, however, you should balance your passion for the title with an objective perspective.
  • Do you have something relevant to say about the title? It’s important that you relate the question to the ideas you have covered in your TOK course, as well as the topics you have studied in class, and your own personal experiences or thoughts. The essay should have an objective tone, but you will still need to inject it with personality, passion, and clarity.

Step 4 Put the title in your own words.

  • For example, in a title like: “When mathematicians, historians and scientists say that they have explained something, are they using the word ‘explain’ in the same way?”, you may rephrase it into two sentences. The title refers to three AOK: mathematics, history, and science. It is then asking you to compare and contrast the way these three AOK use explanation as a way of knowing about a topic or issue.
  • By breaking down the title into short sentences, you now have a clearer picture of what the title is asking you to do and how you might go about answering the title sufficiently.

Structuring the Essay

Step 1 Note the assessment criteria.

  • Understanding the knowledge issues: your essay must be focused on the knowledge issues, link and compare at least two knowledge issues, show relevancy between at least two knowledge issues, and demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the knowledge issues.
  • Knower’s perspective: your essay must demonstrate independent thinking, self-awareness, at least two different perspectives, and several supporting examples.
  • Analysis of the knowledge issues: your essay must show insight and depth, justify your main points, present arguments and counter-arguments, and explore any assumptions and implications of your topic.
  • Organization of ideas: your essay must be well structured, explain key concepts, be factually accurate, and cite references where applicable.

Step 2 Read the essay instructions.

  • You may also be asked “to what extent” or “in what way” a statement is justified. You will then need to present for and against arguments for the statement.
  • If you are asked a direct question, your essay should address to what extent or in what ways you are for and against an argument or position.

Step 3 Brainstorm ideas around the essay title.

  • Start by doing a general, open brainstorm. Write down everything that comes to mind when you think about the title without passing judgement on any of the ideas, or stopping to read over your brainstorm.
  • After five minutes of brainstorming, read over your notes. Identify ideas that relate to each other or that contradict each other. If you are evaluating or assessing a claim in the essay title, create a for column and an against column. Group your brainstorming ideas into either column. Create a third column for grey area ideas, or ambiguities, and place ideas in that column.
  • Note any examples of the ideas that you wrote down. For example, you may be addressing a title like: “When mathematicians, historians and scientists say that they have explained something, are they using the word ‘explain’ in the same way?” You may create a brainstorm for each area of knowledge (mathematics, history, science) in relation to the idea of explaining something. You may then use examples of “something” that can be explained in each AOK: a mathematical equation, a historical moment in a battle or a trial, and a scientific theory.

Step 4 Identify the knowledge issue in the essay title.

  • You should also identify the areas of knowledge you will be discussing in your essay. For example, for a title like: “Compare the roles played by reason and imagination in at least two Areas of Knowledge” you may choose two AOK: the arts and science. You may then compare and contrast the function of “reason” and “imagination” in the arts and in science.

Step 5 Create an outline.

  • Paragraph 1: Introduction. You would provide an explanation and interpretation of the title and identify the key terms in the title. You would also state your thesis and explain or identify a knowledge issue related to the title.
  • Paragraph 2: First Area of Knowledge. For example, the arts. Discuss how the arts answers the title and provide supporting examples. You should also note any counter-arguments against the title or any limitations of the supporting examples.
  • Paragraph 3: Second Area of Knowledge. For example, mathematics. Note how mathematics answers the title and provide supporting examples. You should also note any counter-arguments against the title or any limitations of the supporting examples.
  • Paragraph 4: Third Area of Knowledge (if applicable)
  • Paragraph 5: Conclusion. Summarize your main ideas and restate your thesis. Conclude by answering the title fully, taking into account the counter arguments and limitations of the areas of knowledge.
  • You may also decide to structure your essay based on a main argument and a main counter-argument. Your outline may contain four paragraphs total:
  • Paragraph 1: Introduction and explanation of the knowledge issue.
  • Paragraph 2: Main argument, with justification and one to two supporting examples.
  • Paragraph 3: Main counter-argument, with justification and one to two supporting examples.
  • Paragraph 4: Conclusion.

Step 6 Create a thesis...

  • Some students find it useful to draft their thesis statement once they have finished writing a first draft of the essay. By this point, you will likely have a better sense of the main arguments in the essay and be able to write a clear, concise thesis statement.
  • For example, you may need to create a thesis statement for this title: “Compare the roles played by reason and imagination in at least two Areas of Knowledge.” You have chosen two AOK: the arts and mathematics. Consider how reason and imagination function in the arts and in mathematics, as well as the different ways they function in each AOK. Your thesis may be: “Through reason and imagination play an important role in both mathematics and the arts, the imaginative thoughts of mathematicians must be provable, while the imaginative thoughts of artists need only be reasonable.” [6] X Research source

Writing the Essay

Step 1 Use your essay outline as a guide.

  • You may want to also refer back to your brainstorming notes to identify the supporting examples for your two areas of knowledge, or your main argument and your main counter-argument.

Step 2 Avoid using dictionary definitions in your essay.

  • For example, you may be discussing the use of reason and imagination in the arts. Rather than discuss a familiar artist, like Picasso, or a familiar example of imaginative thinking, like the Sistine Chapel, use supporting examples that feel original and insightful. Though the essay should be objective in nature, it should also feel reflective and personal. Using a supporting example that you feel passionate about, like Pollack’s kinetic movement paintings, or Rodin’s sculptures, will show you have taken the time to explore unique examples.

Step 3 Cite all external sources using MLA style citations.

  • Reference surprising or little known claims, but not well known facts or commonly held opinions. For example: “The sun is the center of the solar system” is a well known fact you will not need to cite. But “Rodin was a traditionally-schooled artist and had a craftsman-like approach to his work” will require a citation as it is maybe a little known fact.
  • Reference any sentences or sections where you are closely following someone else’s train of thought or argument, even in your own words.
  • Reference exact quotes, and use quotation marks.
  • Be consistent with your citations and the way you reference certain sources.

Step 4 Read your essay out loud.

  • As you read your essay out loud, make sure there are no vague or abstract sentences or terms. You want to ensure you use your 1600 word count in a clear and concise way. Every word will count in your TOK essay.
  • Confirm you have addressed knowledge issues in your essay. Your essay should answer the question “How do you know?” and assess the strengths and weaknesses of knowledge claims in at least two areas of knowledge. You should also use arguments and counter-arguments to support your thesis statement, as well as strong supporting examples.

Step 5 Correct any spelling or grammatical errors.

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  • ↑ https://ibpublishing.ibo.org/exist/rest/app/tsm.xql?doc=d_0_tok_gui_1304_1_e&part=2&chapter=4
  • ↑ http://www.dirk-solies.de/TOK/how%20to%20write%20a%20ToK%20essay%20cambridge.pdf
  • ↑ http://www.toktalk.net/2009/11/20/starting-and-planning-the-tok-essay/

About This Article

Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA

To write a TOK essay that compares several areas of knowledge, start with an introductory paragraph that explains your title and states your thesis. Then, write 2-3 main body paragraphs, discussing in each a single area of knowledge and how it relates to your title. Try to provide supporting examples in each case, and address any potential counter-arguments, as well. Finally, end your essay with a conclusion that summarizes your main ideas and restates your thesis. When you’re done, check to be sure that you’re within the 1,200-1,600 word limit for the essay. To learn from our English reviewer how to choose an essay title and create your thesis statement, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing a TOK essay is very different from other pieces of writing you will do. Don’t worry: Here is a step by step guide and a full example essay to get you through it!

Picking a title Firstly, pick a title. One that immediately sparks something. When reading them through, there will typically be one or two that do not make sense to you at all (it happens to everyone), cross those off straight away. There will usually be one that seems easy, you can go with that one, but in my experience, pick one that also challenges you to think. The easiest one doesn’t always result in the best essays. With the remaining ones, spend a few minutes for each thinking what you could possibly extend it too. Do you have any personal experiences or interests you could possibly relate them too? Did you have any areas of knowledge (AOKs) you would like to use? How would they fit in?

The title will go on top of your document in bold. Well done, that is about 1% of your essay written! Keep reading to score those percentages!

The title chosen is:

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

Set a Knowledge Question (KQ) Some more abbreviations for you! A knowledge question is the question you derived from the title, and this will be the question your essay is going to answer. Ideally, create something that incorporates large parts of the prescribed title. TOK knowledge questions typically start with: “To what extent …”. Choosing an open ended question as such will really help you in your conclusion!

A good way to start your introduction would be by introducing the knowledge question, for example like this:

“My knowledge question is as follows: To what extent does the development of knowledge resemble natural selection?”

And well done, that’s another 1% of your essay written! (Of course you can keep finetuning your question as you go along, you never know what some research will bring!)

Picking AOKs Chosen a title? Great! Let’s get started! Next up is picking Areas of Knowledge (AOK). Typically the title will require you to pick at least two. In order to go in enough depth, I would advise to stick with two and not go with too many or too little. The AOKs are: indigenous knowledge systems, the arts, mathematics, human sciences, natural sciences, religious knowledge systems, history and ethics. Pick two that relate to the title (if any), or ones that you find interesting. I would recommend picking two that can give very different viewpoints too, so that you can have a nice debate going on. For example picking a science and ethics or religion. In this essay, I have chosen to go into the natural sciences and the arts.

Defining the terms The prescribed titles tend to use some words that are not used on a daily basis, or can have multiple meanings. Even if you are comfortable using some terms, it is important to define them, so that the examiner is on the same page as you are. It could also function as a kind of disclaimer, to make sure the examiner cannot criticise you on not going into certain aspects of the concept or not following his/her idea of the concept. Defining your terms can also help you with the structure of your arguments, as will become clearer shortly. Setting definitions and explaining your interpretation of the concepts thus really helps you, so don’t forget to write them down! This actually makes up a large part of the introduction. A way of doing this is for example:

“I define a discipline as an area of knowledge, and in this essay, natural science and arts will be evaluated. Moreover, it is important to define natural selection. Darwin’s theory of evolution, is based on three main principles: (1) organisms produce offspring with inheritable traits, (2) organisms produce more offspring than can survive due to limited resources and (3) offspring whose traits better suit the environment, survive and reproduce (APS). In my opinion, these principles amount  to the main idea: survival of the fittest. In the case of knowledge, offspring would be the knowledge derived from earlier discoveries/knowledge, which would be the organism. ‘Fittest’ could be interpreted as how much we value certain knowledge based on its applications, provided that it is proven or justified knowledge. Therefore, the ‘fittest’ knowledge is the knowledge that survives.”

In this case, that’s another 8% for the essay writing. Of course you don’t have to write it down in this format first, just make sure you have a good idea and maybe some notes before you get started, so that you have an idea of what you are going to do.

Also note how I have introduced the areas of knowledge very briefly here!

Claims and counterclaims Next up in the introduction is giving the reader an idea of where you are going to go with your arguments. Make sure you briefly introduce every claim and counterclaim. The next paragraph will go into how to write those claims and counterclaims, but in order to write them, we first need to come up with some. So how do we do that?

We need to make sure we use both of our AOKs in this, and also involve some Ways of Knowing (WOKs), such as imagination, reasoning and intuition. The structure I would recommend is:

  • Introduction
  • Counterclaim AOK1
  • Counterclaim AOK2

This would mean that for every AOK, we need an argument/claim that answers our KQ/title, and a counterclaim that gives us a different perspective or way of answering it, both within the same AOK. Coming up with such a claim would require you to think about the question critically, and relate it to your personal experiences, things you read, saw on tv, heard, etc.

An example claim and counterclaim relating to the above KQ for the natural sciences (AOK) is:

Knowledge does develop according to the principle of natural selection because the best ways to explain a phenomenon are passed on.

However, when there are two explanations which are equally good, both will be passed on.

After you have created your claims, continue to find examples, real life situations, etc. to back them up. More about writing the paragraphs themselves below.

To introduce these claims and counterclaims, neatly link them up in a logical order to outline where you will go. For example:

“Within the natural sciences, one could argue that it develops according to the principles of natural selection because the best ways to explain a phenomena are passed on. However, it can also be said that two explanations are equally good and therefore both passed on. Within the arts, it can be argued that what we see and think of art is influenced by the applications of the knowledge by our ancestors. However, it can be said that nowadays art is a free medium, which is about personal development, and with social media, everyone can make art. Several perspectives in relation to the natural sciences and art will be discussed, in order to answer the knowledge question.”

And voila, that is your introduction written! The word count for this part will roughly be equal to 250 to 300 words, so that is the first 15% completed!

Writing claims and counterclaims Writing up the claims and counterclaims can be a bit of a maze, as it is easy to side track on your thoughts. Here is a framework you can follow, which will help you elaborate enough (for those who tend to skip some explanations) and limit yourself from side tracking too much (for those who like to write a lot).

Key sentence:  For every claim/counterclaim, start with a key sentence: one sentence that sums up your whole paragraph. This is a good point to start writing your body paragraphs. Make sure to use appropriate signposts too, for example using words like ‘however’, ‘furthermore’, ‘moreover’, etc. Also make sure to mention the AOK you are writing about. An example of such a key sentence would be:

“Knowledge within the natural sciences develops according to the principles of natural selection, as the best models are passed on and used, best being defined as the most valid and simplest.”

Example:  Give an example, a theory, a real life example, etc. about this statement to back it up. This shows you have done some research and thinking to relate this argument and validate it. For example:

“Within the natural sciences, multiple theories exist on the same topic, and these theories can be represented by multiple different models, however, only valid theories and the simplest models will be passed on. There is a principle by a philosopher Ockham (Duignan), called Occam’s razor, stating: “Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily” (Bylikin, Horner and Murphy).”

Explain:  Now go on to explain this example and how it can help to answer the KQ. Make sure you end every paragraph with a concluding sentence summing up your claim. An example of an explanation on the example:

“This means that, if competing theories, both valid and containing the same predictions, the simplest one is better, until new discoveries show otherwise.”

Now, you can bring up multiple examples within your claim. The rest of the paragraph has been worked out below.

Also have a look at involving some WOKs here (see diagram above). These are all possible ways of how we can obtain knowledge. The easiest way to look at them is to imagine yourself in the centre of the diagram, with your AOK on the outside ring. Imagine the ring in between being water with the WOKs being rocks you could jump on to reach your AOK. What rocks will apply to your AOK? Which ones will you need to use and why? Try and incorporate these too!

“Secondly, knowledge within the natural sciences can evolve. As not everything within the sciences can be observed through sense perception (for example, not everything in astronomy can be experimented with or observed, and neither can science be studied on atomic levels), there are a lot of theories which are not proven yet. However, as time progresses (along with technological discoveries), so does science and using new technology and techniques, we can study science to a higher degree of accuracy. This already lead to falsification of theories that scientists of the past came up with. Only the best theories, which are falsifiable, repeatable and justifiable, will develop further (numerous scientific journals are not approved and published). An example is the evolution of the atomic model. The original theory by Dalton in 1808, stating that atoms were tiny balls, was elaborated by Thomson, who discovered atoms were made of smaller things, like protons. More research by Rutherford showed that atoms were mainly empty space and had a dense nucleus. This was taken further by Bohr, who showed there were negatively charged particles around the nucleus in shells. Later, Chadwick in 1932 showed there were neutrally charged neutrons as well (Evolution of the Atomic Model). These discoveries show that knowledge evolves and only the best knowledge survives. Other theories that arose but where proven to be false, like the plum-pudding model by Thomson, are less known and in the first place not taught to the next generation, and is not used for further research.”

Writing the counterclaim follows a similar structure. After you have written both the claim and counterclaim on the AOK, finish the counterclaim paragraph with a mini conclusion. This can be a sentence or two, weighing the claim and counterclaim, stating which one is more powerful and why. These mini conclusions combined will help you with your overall conclusion! An example of such a mini conclusion:

“However, this counterclaim is weaker compared to the claim, since it cannot be definitely concluded which theory will survive. More discoveries might be done in the future, which will falsify one or prefer one theory over another.”

The full paragraph and remainder of the body of the essay, including the claim and counterclaim for the second AOK, can be found below.

The conclusion Well done on completing most of your essay! Before starting to write the conclusion, first check all the key and concluding sentences: only read the first and last sentence of every body paragraph. Do these include all the main points and are they relevant in answering the KQ? Yes? Great! Now start on the conclusion. Evaluate all your claims and counterclaims and link up the mini conclusions. Think of how valid they are and how strong or weak they are. Use this to formulate an answer to the KQ. Then link this answer to the prescribed TOK title.

“To conclude, knowledge within the natural sciences develops according to the principles of natural selection because the best theories and models survive and develop in further generations. Within the arts this is different. While the most useful knowledge survives, the development of knowledge does not resemble ‘survival of the fittest’, as multiple art styles can exist at the same time, especially in the presence of social media. There are many perspectives to this, like Palmen, and therefore artists, scientists and people with professions in other disciplines, might have opposing ideas. The concluding answer to the question to what extent the development of knowledge resembles the principle of natural selection, could therefore be that the extent depends on the area of knowledge and the freedom within that discipline. An area of knowledge that can easily be falsified, is more likely to develop according to natural selection, as has been discussed for the natural sciences.”

Next, extend your answer to other AOKs than the ones covered in your essay. For which ones does your conclusion apply? For which ones may it be different?

“This could count for subjects like history. However, areas with a lot of freedom that depend more on emotional and personal perspectives, like the arts and ethics, are less likely to develop according to Darwin’s principle.”

Then, relate the conclusion to your own life. How is it significant to you and the world to know about this and to know what you have concluded?

And then you are ready to round off! Just one final concluding statement to link it to the prescribed TOK title, and you are done! (just make sure you stick to all the formal regulations such as spacing, word count, fonts, etc.)

“Knowing this is surely significant. It made me aware of why I know what I know and how knowledge progresses. In conclusion, the metaphor is better applicable to natural science than arts.”

Every TOK essay is different and some titles may lend themselves well to this structure and others not as much so whilst this is a good outline, don’t worry if you feel like you need to deviate from it. This is based on my own experiences in the IB. You are welcome to read this example essay and learn from it, as long as you don’t plagiarise of course.

Want to get your essay checked or get some help writing it? Contact us at [email protected].

To read the full essay, click  here .

  • Theory of Knowledge

how to start tok essay

  • Knowledge and the knower Total 1,521 Words
  • What is knowledge? Total 1,227 Words
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  • What is perspective? Total 1,291 Words
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  • TOK essay title 4 - Scorecard Total 337 words
  • TOK essay title 5 - Scorecard Total 333 words
  • TOK essay title 6 - Scorecard Total 328 words
  • Lesson Plan 1
  • Lesson Plan 2
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  • Lesson Plan 4
  • Lesson Plan 5
  • Lesson Plan 6
  • Lesson Plan 7
  • Lesson Plan 8
  • Lesson Plan 9
  • Lesson Plan 10
  • Teachers/Schools

how to start tok essay

  • How to write a TOK essay
  • November 22, 2023


is one of the most crucial and arguable questions especially after the new TOK 2022 update. This article describes the TOK essay outline.

The TOK essay is an external component that carries 67% weightage.

So, a student chooses to answer one of the six pre-released Tok essay titles May 2022. The word count is 1600 as the examiner will stop reading after that.

The TOK essay requires dissecting the prescribed title. My experience as an examiner helps me to claim that most students do mistakes in making the initial arguments clear. It is important to be original and convey what they think about the title. DO NOT get influenced by what others think about the title. Instead, pen down your thoughts and then seek evidence as supporting links to your arguments.

Further, connect the title by defining the keywords. The important keywords in the title must not be defined separately but should be weaved in such a way that presents your original thoughts.


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For more details, you can check TOK essay requirements and  TOK essay structure .

It is important to understand that each title must have been answered through knowledge questions mentioned in the Tok guide. The knowledge questions are helpful in creating arguments based on 4 frameworks; scope, perspectives, ethics, and methods and tools.

Students must see the title through the lens of each framework and look for compelling, analytical, and lucid arguments that help them to move above the rubrics.

Knowledge questions are a great way to move forward as they prompt students to think in the right direction. They are open-ended and students’ essays may shape up well. The knowledge questions in the TOK essay help in shaping up and connecting to the title as real-life examples can be a good linking pin.

It must be noted that not all frameworks and the respective knowledge questions may suit a particular Tok essay title. Therefore, each Tok essay will have a unique Tok essay requirement yet Tok essay structure will be the same. The TOK essay requirement is title-specific. Therefore, unpacking the TOK essay title based on key terms is essential.

Furthermore, knowledge is not simple and it comes along with multiple problems. Therefore, TOK concepts have been introduced in the current TOK 2022 syllabus. The concepts are the linking pin to connect examples from real-world contexts to explore knowledge questions. Such arguments through weaving the concepts to seek answers to knowledge questions make the whole process of completing and submitting a quality Tok essay easy.

If you like what you read, you might consider reading the  TOK essay

  • Knowledge and the knower
  • What is knowledge?
  • What is bias?
  • What is truth?
  • What is perspective?
  • Knowledge and indigenous societies
  • Knowledge and language
  • Knowledge and politics
  • Knowledge and religion
  • Knowledge and technology
  • Human Sciences
  • Natural Sciences
  • TOK Exhibition
  • TOK exhibition sample
  • TOK Exhibition examples
  • 35 IA Prompts
  • IB Tok Essay
  • TOK essay examples
  • TOK Essay Title 1
  • TOK Essay Title 2
  • TOK Essay Title 3
  • TOK Essay Title 4
  • TOK Essay Title 5
  • TOK Essay Title 6
  • TOK Essay Title 1 – Scorecard
  • TOK Essay Title 2 – Scorecard
  • TOK Essay Title 3 – Scorecard
  • TOK Essay Title 4 – Scorecard
  • TOK Essay Title 5 – Scorecard
  • TOK Essay Title 6 – Scorecard
  • 100 Classroom Activities
  • Teachers Schools

how to start tok essay


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  2. TOK Annotated Essay

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  3. Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a TOK Essay

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  5. TOK Essay Advice & Comments from 2011 Subject

    how to start tok essay

  6. Final ToK Essay

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  1. Mr. Carley Takes on TOK Essay Prompt 3 (2023)

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  3. ToK Essay 2 M24: Specialization intro #shorts

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