How to Structure your TOK Presentation

Here are some general guidelines about how to structure your presentation. Please remember that this is just a guide and that your actual presentation may be quite different depending on your topic, format or personal presentation style. The timings are based on a 10 minute presentation.


Each presentation should have two clear stages:

¡P         (1-2 mins) An introduction, this is where you will briefly describing your real-life situation and introduce the ¡¥knowledge question¡¦ question that you have extracted from it ¡V this will usually involve asking a very ¡¥high level¡¦ question about knowledge and explaining why this is a significant or important question to ask.

¡P         (8-9 mins) The development, a detailed exploration of the knowledge question / TOK question that you have extracted from the real-life situation, this will usually involve you looking at different ways in which your question might be answered and the implications that these have. In addition, although it is not as important here as it is in the essay, you might want to consider what people would say to argue against you and how you might respond ¡V all of this must be clearly linked back to your original knowledge question.



¡P         briefly state what the presentation is about, give an overview of the real life situation you have chosen to look at but do not go into great detail ¡V you should aim to have just enough so that people understand what¡¦s going on;

¡P         it is usually a good idea to have a clear title and this might be your knowledge question ¡V e.g. ¡¥How can we know that ¡K¡¦ or ¡¥What role does emotion play in ¡K.¡¦ or ¡¥How is the concept of proof different in the human and natural sciences?¡¦;

¡P         clearly state why your issue is significant;

¡P         you might briefly introduce the perspectives that you will be exploring in the presentation;

¡P         remember to keep all of this really brief because overly long intros can lead to some really boring presentations.


Development: You have two main choices when structuring your presentation, neither method is better than the other and both can allow you to access the top marks:


¡P         Argumentative ¡V you can structure your presentation as an argument between two sides (this is usually more effective if you are working in a pair) and in this case one person may begin by outlining a perspective on the knowledge question and the second might then interrupt and argue back or offer an alternative view or interpretation to which the first person might then respond ¡K and so on. If you choose this structure you have to be careful to ensure that it doesn¡¦t just descend into a yes / no debate but that each step in the argument reveals new ideas and issues.


¡P         Step by Step ¡V alternatively you might like to assign each member of the team one particular perspective on the knowledge question and they can then explore this perspective by themselves completely before moving on to the next member of the team and their perspective. This means they will be responsible for identifying and responding to any flaws, limitations or alternative views and interpretations of their perspective in response to the knowledge question.


Regardless of the structure that you choose you will need to do the following:


  1. Explore a number of perspectives on your knowledge question;
  2. Remember that ¡¥perspectives¡¦ could mean a different person¡¦s opinion or point of view on the topic but a more sophisticated view of perspectives might include considering your question from the ¡¥perspective¡¦ of different AOKs or WOKs and comparing these with one another;
  3. Remember also that a good ¡¥knowledge question¡¦ will be complex and might include exploring how a certain knowledge word like truth, proof, beauty or certainty works in the different AOKs or how the different WOKs work together to create knowledge in different situations;
  4. Explore each perspective on your knowledge question in detail ¡V this will involve going beyond simply explaining the perspective itself and you will also need to go on to consider any problems, issues, flaws, shortfalls or implications that are raised when considering that particular perspective; you should also attempt to respond to or evaluate the seriousness of these problems or issues;
  5. As part of your exploration you will want to include other examples or real life situations to support your points. Linking to these examples can be a good way of considering implications, assumptions or of demonstrating the significance of  your knowledge question / the answer to that question
  6. As you are doing this make sure that you explicitly point out any similarities or differences that exist between the perspectives that you are exploring;
  7. Make sure you avoid falling into simple stereotypes such as ¡¥All Catholics think x,¡¦ or ¡¥All art is based just on emotion,¡¦ or ¡¥Historians always z;¡¦



¡P         you should offer a clear, probably balanced, answer to the question;

¡P         you might consider the significance of the answer to your question (instead of just the significance of the question, which is what you outline in the intro)

¡P         you might consider the implications of your overall answer to the knowledge question.