Essential Tips on Choosing your TOK Essay Topic

Theory of Knowledge is one of the most critical aspects of the IB Diploma Program. It encourages students to formulate a “How” mind rather than just the “What” mind.

TOK aims to create connections between critical approaches to the construction of knowledge, the academic discipline and the wider world. It plays a significant role in developing self-interest and self-awareness about the knowledge leading to commitment and actions.

Big words, huh?

Indeed TOK is not something you can just slide through, it’s a battle to conquer with purpose. Here are some tips on how to take the first step of your TOK journey.

Tip #1: Think Think Think

Deciding on a TOK Essay topic is not a piece of cake. It needs some very critical and thoughtful moments.

The simple and best way to approach it is to make a laundry list of any initial ideas you have. Once you have the list, brainstorm deeper on each idea you wrote, ask yourself some critical questions:

  • Am I interested in this topic?
  • Do I comprehend the keywords or concept in the Title?
  • Do I understand the underlining concept and theory behind it?
  • Can I relate anything to this Title?

Questioning yourself these basics would make you feel stronger for the Title and encourage deeper thinking, eventually leading your way to the strong interesting and relatable TOK Title.

Tip #2: Comprehend but just Compose

Usually, students fall into the trap of having a fancy, heavily worded TOK Essay Title. But it’s a big NO-NO!

Again the simple way to get it right is to understand the question first, not only write the wording but comprehend what is the concept behind it? Be sure of the perspective, comparison, and contrast of the title.

Break down the title into smaller concepts and then put it together once again and analyse whether all the pieces make sense together.

Last but not the least, keep in mind the TOK assessment criteria, and make sure you tick all the boxes while finalizing your TOK Title.

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