Tok Essay Rubric 2011


The following episodes relate to the 'Internal Assessment' Category



Written on September 29th, 2010 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 11

TOK prescribed titles May 2011

Categories: All Articles, General TOK, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay



Careful: This is for the past May 2011 session! Here are some (possible) guiding questions to help you deal with the TOK Essay titles.


I have compiled a list of questions which should help students analyze their chosen prescribed title question (Nov 2010, and May 2011 session). The presented questions are meant as a source of inspiration. Some of you may think that simply answering these questions is enough for passing the TOK essay. Trust me, it’s not enough. And don’t say that you didn’t know. The purpose of these questions is to get you thinking about the prescribed title. I’m not saying that the questions are directly relevant for your particular approach to your chosen title question. I have to be honest with you: For many of these questions I myself do not even know an answer and maybe some questions do not even have a single, clear answer. Some of the questions may not even be relevant for your approach to the prescribed title! If you already have an approach to your prescribed title, then do not let these questions distract you. You must read these questions critically and reflect on them.
Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, General TOK, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay




Written on December 26th, 2009 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 1

Reflections on a TOK Presentation that made me think

Categories: All Articles, Ethics, Reflections, Science, TOK Presentation


A few days ago one of my students had her TOK presentation which sparked a thoughtful classroom discussion that filled nearly two periods. For me, as a TOK teacher, both the presentation and the follow-up discussion were a great enjoyment: both reflected the “TOK spirit” of a balanced insightful exploration of the topic.


It’s TOK presentation time. And this presentation started a thoughtful discussion in the classroom. The presentation analyzed different ethical approaches relating to the controversial Body Worlds Exhibition. There are several Youtube Videos online if you want to inform yourself a bit more (search for “Body Worlds”). As a matter of fact, I do recommend you to have a look at the exhibition’s Web site so that you know what I’m talking about. The exhibition shows preserved real human bodies, presented in an artistic way to the public. The corpses are “plastinated”. In this process the body liquids and fats are replaced by plastic. This is a way of preserving the body, and it is important to understand that they do not show plastic models. The specimens are displayed in a way that makes them appear very alive, engaged in various activities, such as sports. Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, anatomy, anthropology, dignity, Ethics, Ethics, human, Reflections, Reflections, Science, Science, TOK Presentation




Written on November 20th, 2009 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 0

Starting and Planning the TOK Essay

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, Teaching Advice, TOK Essay



Structuring the TOK essay is an essential component for obtaining many points on the essay. This post illustrates the first steps.


More info can be found here: TOK Essay and Presentation Help

You just received the list of the ten prescribed TOK essay titles. What are the next steps?

  • Read all of the prescribed titles: do this several times and take your time. You may not understand every title yet and you may not be certain on what the quesdtion asks you to do. You need to take your time to understand the titles.
  • Choose one prescribed title: Select one title based on your personal interest and previous knowledge on the issue. Be careful – you already may think that you know an answer to the title. Be aware that you have to answer the title question in a balanced way. Do not limit your options by focussing on one answer too early.
  • Highlight the relevant terms in the title: What are the key words of the title? What does the question ask you to do?
  • Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, essay, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, Teaching Advice, TOK Essay




Written on October 31st, 2009 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 11

What are Knowledge Issues or Problems of Knowledge?

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, Teaching Advice, TOK Essay, TOK Presentation


Here I’ll show you (yet again!) how to identify Knowledge Issues or Problems of Knowledge (KI/POK) for the TOK Presentation. It’s not easy to define what KI/POKs are, because the terms are so broad and can include many different aspects.


The TOK essay and presentation require you, the TOK student, to identify knowledge issues / problems of knowledge. And this is often not an easy thing to do, and it shouldn’t be – after all you get points for identifying them. In this post, I’ll refer to Knowledge Issues and Problems of Knowledge as KI/POK. Both of these terms mean the same thing.

Possible reasons why it is difficult to identify knowledge issues

From my experience, a difficulty can be found on several levels:

  • The terms “knowledge issue” or “problems of knowledge” are rather broad and there is no single, easy definition. And if there is a definition, then this definition itself my cause confusion. Essentially many people do not know what they should be looking for in a KI/POK. The TOK Guide from the IB states that Knowledge Issues include “everything that can be approached from a TOK point of view.” Now what is a “TOK point of view”? Essentially KI/POKs (and thus TOK itself) address all these aspects where we ask ourselves “How do I know?”, “Can I be certain?”, “What are my assumptions?”, “Am I biased?”. The motto of TOK is: “It depends how you see it.” KI/POKs address these aspects.
  • Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, General TOK, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, Teaching Advice, TOK Essay, TOK Presentation




Written on August 18th, 2009 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 8

TOK Essay Prescribed Titles – May 2010

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay



Here are some (possible) guiding questions to help you deal with the TOK Essay titles.


I have compiled a list of questions which should help students analyze their chosen prescribed title question (Nov 2009, and May 2010 session). The presented questions are meant as a source of inspiration. Some of you may think that simply answering these questions is enough for passing the TOK essay. Trust me, it’s not enough. And don’t say that you didn’t know. The purpose of these questions is to get you thinking about the prescribed title. I’m not saying that the questions are directly relevant for your particular approach to your chosen title question. I have to be honest with you: For many of these questions I myself do not even know an answer and maybe some questions do not even have a single, clear answer. Some of the questions may not even be relevant for your approach to the prescribed title! If you already have an approach to your prescribed title, then do not let these questions distract you. You must read these questions critically and reflect on them.
Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, essay, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, tok, TOK Essay




Written on June 14th, 2009 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 2

TOK Essay FAQ

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay


 

This post addresses several Questions in relation to the TOK Essay.


Disclaimer: The following advice is my personal advice to my students and not approved by the IB (or by anybody else). TOK examiners may have a different opinion on these issues. Use the information at your own risk.

1. Can I use the word “I” in the essay? Can I write the essay in first person?
The TOK essay is a personal essay. Yes, you can use the word “I”, but you do not have to. As a matter of fact, this may even be useful if you give personal examples. Still, do not forget that the TOK essay is a formal essay. Do make sure that the essay uses a formal language nevertheless.

2. Do I have to do research? Do I need a bibliography?
No, research is not required according to the criteria, but it may be helpful. The TOK Essay is not a research essay, it is an argumentative essay. You will not get points for only summarizing other people’s ideas. You get points for analysis and for understanding of these ideas. If you do use quotes or other people’s ideas, then you must give a proper bibliography, of course (as a matter of fact, points will be taken off otherwise).
Continue reading »

Tags: All Articles, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay, TOK Essay




Written on December 10th, 2008 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 1

TOK Essay Checklist

Categories: Internal Assessment, TOK Essay


 

Here is a short checklist of points to watch out for when writing the TOK Essay.


Here is a short checklist of points to watch out for when writing the TOK Essay. Over the years I have proof-read uncountable essays, and there are often similar issues that appear. Many of these issues are addressed below:
  • Introduction: You must give it a clear introduction that allows the reader to understand in which direction the essay is going. The introduction must also contain your thesis statement (“knowledge issue”). What is the problem of knowledge? You must answer the essay title and not modify it. As there are several ways to answer the essay title, you must make it clear in the introduction which way you are going.
  • Terms: You must define the terms of the essay question, but do not simply give dictionary definitions! How do you interpret these terms? If you do use dictionary definitions, then you must critically reflect on them to get points.
  • Structure: The essay must be divided into separate paragraphs, each paragraph must relate to the point that you make. The paragraphs answer should directly answer your thesis and the title question.
  • Continue reading »

Tags: essay, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, TOK Essay




Written on December 3rd, 2008 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 0

Newspaper Articles – Does Size Matter?

Categories: All Articles, General TOK, Internal Assessment, Sense Perception, TOK Presentation, Ways of Knowing


 

How does the optical appearance of a newspaper article, the size of the headlines, the size of the pictures, influence its perception of its content by the readers? How does the context in which a newspaper article appears influence its perception by the readers?


I like to keep myself informed and I therefore like to read newspapers. Now with the internet being so widespread, I do not buy newspapers anymore, but rather visit my favorite newspapers online. Usually I start out with the computer news to keep myself updated on new products and developments, followed by science (deep in my heart I am a scientist, after all!) and politics and economics. The sports section I usually skip, I have to admit to you that I am not very competent in this particular area of knowledge. But I do read the sports section during the Olympics.
Continue reading »Tags: All Articles, bias, General TOK, General TOK, Internal Assessment, opinions, Presentation, Sense Perception, TOK Presentation, Ways of Knowing, Ways of Knowing




Written on October 27th, 2008 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 0

The TOK Presentation – Possibility 2

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, TOK Presentation


 

The TOK Presentation: A second possible approach for planning the presentation.


For some of you my previous recommendation on the TOK Presentation (“The TOK Presentation – Possibility 1”) may be a bit formal and rigid. Not all of you may find it easy to identify a (good) knowledge issue from a real life situation. I would like to therefore introduce to you an alternative approach.
  • Step 1: Start off by trying to find a knowledge issue / problem of knowledge right from the start. Knowledge issues often start with the words: “How do we know that….” or “How can we know that…..”, but it is not limited to this. Make sure that your knowledge issue is directly TOK related. Continue reading »
Tags: All Articles, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, knowledge issues, Presentation, TOK Presentation




Written on October 26th, 2008 by Oliver Kim

Comments: 2

The TOK Presentation – Possibility 1

Categories: All Articles, Internal Assessment, TOK Presentation


 

The TOK Presentation: A 7-step approach for planning the presentation. This approach is suitable for students who have no idea where to start.


Where should you start with the TOK presentation? The following section should help you out. I recommend that you try to find the required “real life problems” with the help of newspapers, but this is not an IB requirement. The following system is only one approach of many to tackle the presentation. I admit that it is a bit rigid and formal, but maybe it helps those students who have absolutely no idea on how to start off.
  • Step 1: Get yourself several newspapers and a few (news) magazine covering current events.
  • Step 2: Flip through the pages and try to find articles that deal with controversial issues. A controversial issue is an issue on which different people have different opinions. Continue reading »
Tags: All Articles, Internal Assessment, Internal Assessment, knowledge issues, Presentation, TOK Presentation


My full ToK Essay Mastery course is here (step-by-step videos, templates and tips) if you’d like a big boost with your essay– including the May 2016 Prescribed Titles.

The following structure is a foolproof, step-by-step method you can use on any ToK essay to get very high marks.

It works really well, to give you a strong foundation for your essay. And once you have this in place you can challenge your own thinking and consider ways you can make your essay as insightful as possible.

(I’ve also done this for the TOK presentation, here).

Before you can begin your real/final essay, you’ll need to take the title (something like: “What is it about mathematics that makes it convincing?” and come up with a Knowledge Question (KQ) that turns the title into a question of knowledge. For example, “To what extent is math more reliable than other areas of knowledge?”).

In my ToK Mastery Course I encour­age you to begin the KQ with words like: “To what extent…”,” “How do we know that…,” “How reli­able is…,” “How cer­tain is…” These kind of open questions allow you to pull in multiple perspectives (AoK’s and WoK’s, as we’ll talk about), so you can show your TOK think­ing. Also, make sure that your ques­tion is directly related to know­ing–that it is a question about knowledge (not about Sociology, for example).

Second, take your KQ and choose three aspects of knowledge you’re going to relate it to: any of the Areas of Knowledge (Mathematics, Human sciences, Natural sciences, the Arts, Ethics, and History) or the Ways of Knowing (Sense perception, Reason, Emotion, Language). Then you can explore these in your essay.

The Body

Each body section will look at another area of knowledge or way of knowing. To explore the KQ we came up with above, let’s use Mathematics, Natural Science and Ethics as our three aspects. Each of these parts can be thought of as arguments you’re making. Think of a court case. Your lawyer will make the case that you can’t be guilty of robbing the bank (her thesis), by using several arguments (claims); she’ll show that A-you weren’t there, B-you’re are a moral person and C-you don’t have the technical knowledge to pull off a job like that. However, if your lawyer was a ToK student they would also be explaining reasons why you might be guilty (the counterclaims). A-someone said they saw you there, B-you did lie to your mom about candy one time and C-you are pretty good at computers. The lawyers would use evidence to support each of these claims and counterclaims. Making sure your evidence actually supports your claim is one of the toughest aspects of the essay.

The Formula

The formula has 4 sections and 7 paragraphs overall and specific aspects need to go in each. Section 1: The Introduction 150-200 words

Paragraph 1

Give your KQ. For example, “To what extent is math more reliable than other areas of knowledge?”

State your thesis. What is your short answer to the KQ (your question of knowledge). “While looking at mathematics, natural science and ethics, we will see that mathematics isn’t necessarily more reliable; however, we will see that knowledge is different in different fields.”

Give us a roadmap, a sentence that gives us a preview, showing us what you’re going to do in your body paragraphs. Make it clear how you are going to explore the KQ, which Ways of Know­ing and/or Areas of Knowl­edge you’re going to use. This will make it easy for the marker to know what to look for. An example: “Mathematics can be seen as more reliable because it uses reason. Natural science can be less reliable because it relies on observation. And ethics can be less reliable because it is related to the norms of a person’s society. ”

Section 2: Two paragraphs totalling 600 words

Paragraph 2

Claim. A claim a topic sen­tence that outlines your argument about the KQ. For example you could claim that, “Mathematics can be relied on because it is a purely logical system.”

Explain. Elaborate and clarify your claim. “Mathematics is axiomatic and independent of subjective experience.“

Example. A real life example, to clar­ify and sup­port the claim from your own experience. Examples should be personal, specific, precise and real. Did something happen in your Science class? Did you have a conversation with your or hear a story from your grandfather? These are evidence from your own life rather than examples from Darwin or Lincoln. So you could talk about how, “In mathematics we learned that the inside angles of a triangle, in Euclidian space, sum up to 180 degrees.”

Paragraph 3

Counter-claim. Argue against your claim above. “However, it is possible to come to different conclusions using different systems of mathematics.”

Example. An example that supports your counter claim. “There are different It is not possible to demonstrate that the interior angles of a triangle equal 180 degrees in Euclidian space, this cannot be proven within other systems, such as spherical geometry or hyperbolic geometry.”

Link to KQ. Quickly sum up the (complicated) insights of this section. “It is therefore clear that mathematics is reliable to an extent, but often it can only show something to be true within one fixed system or approach.”

Section 3: Another two body paragraphs, looking at your second AoK or WoK. Write these using the same approach you saw in paragraphs 2 and 3. 600 words

Paragraph 4

Claim.

Explain.

Example.

Paragraph 5

Counter-claim.

Example.

Link to KQ.

Section 4: Conclusion with two paragraphs totalling 200-250 words

Paragraph 6

Implications and significance. Why is it important that we know about this?

Perspective. Explain another view that someone may have (i.e. an older person, someone who’s had different life experiences than you)

Paragraph 7

Sum up the argument. The thesis again, in short. What have we learned?

(My full ToK Essay program is here if you want/need a lot more help. It’s only available outside of Singapore Click Here. It expands on everything in this essay and takes it up a few levels. My online students are giving it great reviews. Feel free to join if you’d like. Or you can join our Facebook group for ToK students.)

Here are some more ToK Essay tips you might want to consider. (A big thank you to my ToK mentor, John Hell­ner who has helped me and encouraged me to develop and share this structure).

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