What is the TOK essay?

No one really knows. It is a thing that exists, and is made up of words. I’m not sure if anyone actually understands what TOK is, let alone the assignments. I wrote one, and I’m still not sure what it was. But here’s what you need to know. You will have to write an essay. You will be given a list of pre-determined international prompts. You pick one and write an essay using at least 2 WOKs or AOKs. (If you don’t know what these are, I assume you haven’t started the class yet. Don’t worry your teacher will cover them).

Let’s go over a few Do’s and Don'ts, shall we?


  1. Include relevant personal stories. It makes the grader like you more, and think you are trying to relate this madness to your life.
  2. Cite any facts you might decide to add. This is especially important if you use any scientific examples.
  3. Follow all formatting guidelines.
  4. Clearly express all of your ideas. Be very sure that you link your examples to your arguments to your claim.
  5. Create a thesis and defend it throughout the essay.
  6. Get someone to read your essay and make sure it makes sense.

Do not:

  1. Make up facts and figures to support an argument.
  2. Spend a lot of time describing personal details.
  3. Go over the word limit, or fall ridiculously short.
  4. Use grandiose language and convoluted sentence structures to cover up the fact you have no point and about three sentences ago forgot what you were supposed to be arguing about.
  5. Use the same arguments and examples as other students in your class or online.
Trying to explain TOK to Non-IB students...

“What do you learn in TOK?”

“… Okay, so what about those things, the ‘Ways of Knowing’? What’s that all about?”

“So, does this means that 'emotion, language, perception and reasons’ are …”

“I’m still confused… by all of this… and I’m already super stressed and sleep deprived…”

… you’re doing the IB ~ !

:3 Basically.

(Enchanted © Disney)