The Essay V The Rules


You must:

P         write a 1600 word essay in response to one of the six set questions that will be provided to you at the beginning of Grade 12;

P         the word count includes the main part of the essay and any quotations but it does not include the footnotes, any maps, charts, diagrams, annotated illustrations or tables used and the bibliography;

P         footnote every reference used and include a bibliography at the end. In cases where factual claims are fundamental to the argument such claims should always be checked and a proper, traceable source supplied.


You should:

P         plan thoroughly using one of the detailed Planning Forms that are available on this webpage;

P         fill in the Official Planning Form that can also be found on this webpage

P         take great care over structuring your essay carefully and expressing your ideas clearly when you are writing, the main problem facing most TOK examiners is that it is just not clear what the student is trying to say or that there essay jumps all over the place without following a sensible, clear train of thought;

P         make sure that you dont just answer the question in an abstract philosophical manner or by just referring to the answers given by an external source or expert, the examiners are looking for your personal and well considered response to the questions and the essay should express your own conclusions, not anybody elses;

P         explore carefully and in detail the knowledge questions raised by a your chosen title, a detailed exploration will require you to consider the claims for a given argument, the counterclaims against it, any potential responses to this and an evaluation of the seriousness of the problem and the success of the response;

P         support your claims (and counterclaims) with convincing evidence coming from a variety of sources, e.g. researched examples, examples from other cultures or credible personal experiences (e.g. internal assessments that you have undertaken, your EE or elements of your CAS programme;

P         ensure you identify connections between different areas of knowledge and ways of knowing;

P         ensure you consider different perspectives, such as the perspective that experts from the different AOKs would have on the same question, different cultural perspectives, the perspectives of different philosophers or thinkers, the perspective of thinkers from different schools of thought K etc