Precepts to use in everyday life

1. Think for yourself, 2. Be yourself, 3. Speak up, 4. Feel free to agree and disagree, 5. Be honest with yourself and others, 6. Be open-minded, 7. Avoid being judgmental and 8. Question everything - even your own thinking.

TOK Essay Titles Nov 2019

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Notes on Structure and Layout

The TOK Essay: How to write an introduction

Suppose you're writing an essay on this question:
"For some people science is the supreme form of all knowledge. Is this view reasonable or does it involve a misunderstanding of science or of knowledge?"

Your introduction should be brief and precise and attempt to 'unpack' the essence of the question. It should comprise FOUR key sentences:

Sentence 1: Give a real life example (RLE) that relates immediately to the main essay Q or title.

For example:
"I have seen numerous television advertisements in which the makers claim that their product is 'scientifically proven' to perform its function better than other leading brands."

You could be more precise and give the actual advert (or put this in a footnote).

Sentence 2: Express the common assumptions or presuppositions implicit or embedded in the example.

For example:
"Their assumption is that the majority of people will believe their claim to be true because it is supported by scientific evidence."

Sentence 3: State the knowledge issues (KIs) that are embedded in the RLE and related to the Q - these will be in the form of key questions that you will explore in the main essay.

For example:
"This raises several important questions concerning knowledge and science: do we know that science does indeed lead to knowledge that is true? Does believing the makers' claim involve a misunderstanding of the knowledge science is capable of providing?"

Sentence 4. State the approaches or perspectives which you will use to explore the KIs.

For example:
"This essay will consider the Natural as opposed to Social Sciences."

You can choose 3-5 different approaches depending on the word count you have left.

Keep an eye open for more 'Notes' - they'll help you to organise your essay in stages...

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