1. Make sure you understand the markscheme and what is expected of you.
2. Do not use dictionary definitions.
3. Interpret the title, but do not change the title.
4. Be analytical and write your essay with TOK language e.g. WOK, AOK, certainty, evidence, progress etc.
5. Discuss arguments, counter-arguments, different perspectives and the implications of the arguments you present.
6. Avoid generalisations e.g. all scientists believe... every historian is… Using words like sometimes instead of always, could instead of will, supports instead of proves, will help to prevent over-generalising.
7. Use only real-life examples – not hypothetical or anecdotal examples.
8. Be original in your selection of examples i.e. the death penalty, abortion, euthanasia and the geocentric model of the universe are well-used examples!
9. Discuss your ideas with your Diploma teachers and family.
10. Do not be tempted to have an online tutor write your essay as you risk failing your Diploma.
Check out this great resource from IB review which contains more excellent advice.
Review your draft using the following tips:
Look at your essay:
1. Underline your knowledge questions (there should be two or three)
2. Underline any examples you have used (there should be at least two or three)
3. In bold, identify your first argument in response to each KQ
4. In italics, identify your counter-argument or different perspective of reach KQ
5. In green, highlight any definitions or descriptions of any examples
6. In blue, highlight any explanations or analysis; 50% should be blue
- I have read last year’s subject report on the TOK essays.
- I have read at least two of the example TOK essays.
- I have defined the key terms in the introduction in my own words.
- I have written my essay using TOK concepts and language.
- I have used real-life examples to support my arguments.
- I have discussed arguments and counter-arguments.
- I have included different perspectives.
- I have discussed the implications of some of my arguments.
- My essay is analytical and not descriptive.
- I have acknowledged my sources e.g. citations, works cited page.
- I have removed my name, the school name and candidate number from all pages.
- I have tried reading my essay using only the first and last sentence from each paragraph
- My essay has been proofread.
- My essay is less than 1600 words.
- My essay is double-line spaced, Arial font and less than 50mB in size
- I have submitted a completed Planning and Progress form to my teacher.