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 2017

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Notes on Structure and Layout

The use of examples in Essays and Presentations

A student recently complained about the problem of using examples in the TOK essay: 'Do I make up my own examples or do I use TOK examples?'

I pictured him working out what a 'TOK' example was and screwing up his face in despair!

The simple answer to his question is: there is no such thing as a 'TOK' example. The distinction he made is a false one.

The best examples come from your personal experience of learning on the IB course or from things that you've read or researched. Often, good examples can originate from surveying current affairs: what's going in the world right now.

ANY examples you can think of, whether they are situations you've personally experienced or whether they are events happening in the world or recorded in books, count as relevant examples, but only if you can identify a KNOWLEDGE ISSUE within them. This, if anything, is what makes them 'TOK' examples.

What are the knowledge issues involved here?

Example 1:
"The present global financial crisis is cause by the credit crunch."

Example 2:
"The political unrest in Bombay make it unfeasible for the English cricket team to complete their test matches in India."

Example 3:
"Obama's Presidential reign will revolutionise the moral status of the U.S.A."

Example 4:
"Quantum theory suggests that there must have been an 'observer' at the point at which the universe began."

When you've identified the KIs embedded in these examples, try to explore both sides of the argument.

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