ib essay titles 2023

Let’s Unpack the November 2023 TOK Essay Titles Together!

November 2023 TOK Essay Titles

As someone who’s been through the IB program and written more TOK essays than I can count, I’m super excited to dive into the TOK essay titles for November 2023 with you. 

I’m hoping my insights will give you a fresh perspective and help you craft theory of knowledge essays that really stand out. So, are you ready? Let’s get started!

List of IB TOK Essay Prompts November 2023

November prompt 1  – are facts alone enough to prove a claim discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge..

This question invites us to explore the nature of facts and their role in validating claims. Consider the AOKs of Natural Sciences and Human Sciences. In Natural Sciences, facts are often seen as objective and reliable, but they are also subject to interpretation and can change as new evidence emerges. In Human Sciences, facts can be influenced by personal and cultural perspectives. For WOKs, consider Reason and Language. How do we use reason to interpret facts? How does language influence our understanding of facts? For a real-life situation (RLS), you could discuss a scientific theory that was once accepted as fact but has since been disproven.

November Prompt 2  – If “the mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s and the poet’s, must be beautiful” (G.H. Hardy), how might this impact the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and the arts.

This prompt is about the intersection of aesthetics and knowledge. Consider the AOKs of Mathematics and The Arts. How does the concept of beauty apply in these areas? For WOKs, consider Intuition and Emotion. How do these ways of knowing contribute to our perception of beauty? For an RLS, you could discuss how the beauty of the Fibonacci sequence has inspired research in various fields.

November Prompt 3  – In the acquisition of knowledge, is following experts unquestioningly as dangerous as ignoring them completely? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.

This question is about the role of authority in knowledge acquisition. Consider the AOKs of Human Sciences and History. How does the authority of experts influence our understanding in these areas? For WOKs, consider Memory and Faith. How do we rely on these ways of knowing when dealing with experts? For an RLS, you could discuss a historical event where the unquestioning acceptance of an expert’s opinion led to negative consequences..

November Prompt 4  – Is it problematic that knowledge is so often shaped by the values of those who produce it? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge .

This question is about the influence of values on knowledge. Consider the AOKs of History and Human Sciences. How do the values of historians or social scientists shape the knowledge they produce? For WOKs, consider Reason and Emotion. How do these ways of knowing interact with our values? For an RLS, you could discuss a historical narrative that has been influenced by the historian’s values.

November Prompt 5  – Is it always the case that “the world isn’t just the way it is, it is how we understand it – and in understanding something, we bring something to it”? Discuss with reference to history and the natural sciences.

This prompt is about the role of interpretation in knowledge acquisition. Consider the AOKs of History and Natural Sciences. How does our interpretation shape our understanding in these areas? For WOKs, consider Imagination and Perception. How do these ways of knowing contribute to our interpretation? For an RLS, you could discuss a historical event and how different interpretations can lead to different understandings.

November Prompt 6  – Faced with a vast amount of information, how do we select what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

This question is about the process of selecting information. Consider the AOKs of Natural Sciences and Human Sciences. How do we select significant information in these areas? For WOKs, consider Reason and Memory. How do these ways of knowing guide our selection process? For an RLS, you could discuss the process of conducting a literature review for a research project.

Remember, these are just suggestions to get you started. Feel free to explore other AOKs, WOKs, and RLSs that resonate with you. And if you need any help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at IB Writing Service . We’re here to support you in your TOK essay writing process.

Select Nov 2023 TOK Title Wisely

So, there you have it, folks! The November 2023 TOK essay prompts are a goldmine of ideas waiting to be explored. As you dive into these prompts, remember to think critically, question assumptions, and bring your unique perspective to the table.

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ib essay titles 2023

  • May 20, 2023

Unpacking the 2023 November TOK Titles: A Comprehensive IB Solved Guide

The November 2023 titles for the IB Theory of Knowledge Essay have been released! Let's face it – the TOK essay can be very intimidating. With so many topics to choose from and so many ideas bouncing around, it can be hard to know where to begin. That's where we come in. In this post, we'll take a closer look at each of the titles and give you some tips for approaching them.

General Tips to Unpacking a Title

Whenever we approach a prompt, we always want to think in terms of perspectives and counter-perspectives (for those who are familiar with the old syllabus, these were previously known as claims and counterclaims). This allows us to structure the essay within the two selected AOKs, creating four paragraphs directly addressing the title and with consideration of varying perspectives on the title. While the final conclusion that we draw will likely lie somewhere in the middle, or argue that each perspective is more/less correct in different circumstances, it is often helpful to think of the two extremes first before trying to come up with a more nuanced conclusion.

So let’s get into unpacking them – here is everything you need to know about each of the November 2023 TOK Essay titles:

Title 1: Are facts alone enough to prove a claim? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.

Recommended AOKs: Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, History

For this title, the perspective and counter-perspective are straightforward – either facts alone are enough to prove a claim, or they are not.

Some ideas to think about which support the first perspective:

Facts are objective – By providing objective evidence for a claim, facts can be a highly reliable form of evidence to support claims made by knowers. This objectivity allows for the same claim to be proven across time, in different cultures and by unique knowers.

Facts allow for conclusions to be drawn through logic – By combining an array of established facts, deductive reasoning can be utilised to draw conclusions about the world and produce new knowledge. Often facts form the premises from which knowledge claims can be made, allowing a knower to prove a claim by first establishing a series of interconnected facts.

Facts can be tested – This is particularly important for science-based AOKs which rely upon falsification as an important method of producing new knowledge. Since facts can be tested, the veracity of a knower’s claim is always available to be disproven by empirical evidence.

For your counter-perspective, you have a far greater degree of freedom in your discussion. This is where you can really differentiate your essay from others, as it is your job to decide which other important elements beyond facts alone may be necessary to prove a claim. Some ideas from us:

Opinions – Whilst opinions lack the objectivity of facts, they are often important to proving knowledge claims, as these claims are often unable to be proven by facts alone. Rather inferences must be drawn to create meaning from facts. This can be illustrated through a very simple claim: Imagine for instance that we were trying to prove the claim that Germany were responsible for World War I. Whilst we could drawn upon facts, such as the fact that they issued a blank cheque to Austria-Hungary or the fact that they invaded Belgium in August 1914, ultimately we rely upon the opinions of historians in making a judgement on how important this was in the context of the war.

Personal Experience – Whilst personal experiences only provide anecdotal evidence and cannot allow us to draw broader conclusions, they may be necessary to prove a claim which involves emotion or personal beliefs.

Creativity – Creative thinking may be necessary to prove claims, particularly in the sciences, where facts alone are insufficient. For instance, scientific theories, whilst based in fact, are often dependent on analogies, comparisons and metaphor to explain abstract concepts for which there may not yet be any measurable or empirical evidence.

Title 2: If “the mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s and the poet’s, must be beautiful” (G.H. Hardy), how might this impact the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and the arts.

This title is far more intricate than the others, relying heavily upon the definitions you impose upon key terms. The concept of the “mathematician’s patterns” and the term “beautiful” must be defined in the opening of the essay, as this will restrict the scope of your knowledge exploration. The way in which we would recommend splitting up this topic would be to first discuss the impact upon the production of knowledge in mathematics and then within the Arts. Some ideas for the perspectives and counter-perspectives which you may explore include:

Beauty in Mathematics – You will want to consider the importance of beauty in Mathematics. This is not referring to beauty in the traditional sense but perhaps considering other ways in which Mathematics may be considered beautiful such as in its way of transforming complex real-world problems into simple symbols which can be solved. This can impact the production of knowledge as mathematicians may choose to ignore solutions which are complex and rough – in other words, ‘mathematically ugly’.

Beauty in Art – In discussing this AOK, you may consider the debate between aestheticism and purpose within the Arts – In other words, is Art merely supposed to ‘look good’ or does it have a greater purpose, and how does this relate to the production of knowledge in and through the Arts.

Title 3: In the acquisition of knowledge, is following experts unquestioningly as dangerous as ignoring them completely? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.

Recommended AOKs: Human Sciences and Natural Sciences/History/Math

This title presents a very contemporary issue which is the questioning of experts and trust in the knowledge produced by experts. Nonetheless, there is a clear perspective and counter-perspective presented by this title – it is either more dangerous to follow experts unquestioningly or more dangerous to ignore them completely.

Some ideas relevant to the first perspective:

Evidence over Experts – By following experts unquestioningly, rather than examining the quality of their evidence and research methods, we fall into the trap of making arguments from authority without confirming that their conclusions are actually correct.

Subjective Experiences – While experts are helpful in drawing general conclusions/findings about the world, they do not account for subjective, individual experiences. This is particularly relevant in the Human Sciences, as theories and claims of human behaviour may not apply to all people due to the uniqueness of humans.

Lack of Progress – It is only by questioning established paradigms and claims made by existing experts that we are able to progress and acquire new knowledge. If all experts are followed unquestioningly, there can be no overhaul of existing knowledge when necessary.

Some ideas relevant to the counter-perspective:

Established Research Systems – Experts are trained in effective research methodologies and have systems to maximise the reliability of the claims they make. By ignoring experts, we are instead relying upon knowledge of laypeople whose claims have not been rigorously assessed for their veracity.

Manipulation and Logical Fallacies – By ignoring the claims of experts and instead acquiring knowledge through prominent figures such as celebrities and the media, we expose ourselves to manipulation and the array of logical fallacies employed by these individuals who have their own agenda beyond the dissemination of knowledge.

Knowledge Framework – Experts develop knowledge frameworks which can guide the production of new knowledge. By ignoring experts, we are often left to deal with problems on a case-by-case basis which can lead to a lack of consistency and structure within the knowledge which is acquired.

Title 4: Is it problematic that knowledge is so often shaped by the values of those who produce it? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.

Recommended AOKs: History, Arts, Human Sciences

This title has a focus on context and values, integral elements of the knowledge framework within the new syllabus. It also has two clear perspectives to be explored – the claim that it is problematic or the claim that it is not, keeping in mind that across both perspectives, it must be specified how knowledge is shaped by individual values.

Some ideas for the first perspective:

Bias – The shaping of knowledge by one’s individual values can create bias which may impede the reliability of knowledge produced through the lens of these values.

Subjectivity – If subjective beliefs founded in one’s values are imported into the production of knowledge which should be based on facts and evidence, this can be problematic for this knowledge.

Lack of Diversity/One-Sided Knowledge – When entire banks of knowledge are produced by individuals from the same background, culture, beliefs or school of thought, this can lead to the omission of other perspectives on an issue, which can limit the knowledge which is produced.

Individual Perspective are Important – It is often important for a knower to incorporate their own personal perspective in the production of knowledge as this is ultimately the only way in which interpretations and opinions beyond mere facts can be drawn.

Knowledge about the Knower – We can often learn more about a knower, their values and the social norms of their time when evaluating knowledge claims which are shaped by individual values, providing a second layer of ‘knowledge within knowledge’.

Specific Knowledge – Whilst not broadly applicable to people or contexts with different values, knowledge produced by those with particular individual values can be more specific and applicable to knowers within the same value system. This form of ‘insider knowledge’ may be shaped by the personal experiences of an individual, which is an asset to the production of knowledge rather than a hinderance.

Title 5: Is it always the case that “the world isn’t just the way it is, it is how we understand it – and in understanding something, we bring something to it” (adapted from Life of Pi by Yann Martel)? Discuss with reference to history and the natural sciences.

This title touches upon the debate between objective and relativistic views of knowledge and the world. The phrase ‘is it always the case’ allows us to derive two perspectives to explore – it either is always the case or it is not. The first perspective requires arguments which explain why this may always be the case, whereas the second only requires you to provide some exceptions/circumstances in which this would not be the case.

Interpretation creates Meaning – It may be argued that all elements of the world must be interpreted and doing so involves the unique lens of each individual knower. In this way, what we bring to the production of knowledge is our own distinct interpretation of the world around us.

Questioning creates Meaning – We could also consider how the questions which knowers ask are unique and based upon our own individual understanding of the world. This means that something new is created each time a new knower attempts to understand the world, as the questions asked and curiosity of each individual provides a distinct approach to knowledge.

Some ideas for the counter-perspective:

Objectivity Exists – It may be argued that there are some elements of the world which are fixed, unquestionable and objective. These components of knowledge are not dependent upon the interpretation of the individual, as there should be objective standards from which everyone should draw the same conclusion.

Repeatability – Particularly in the Natural Sciences, there are some elements of knowledge which are repeatable and not reliant upon the interpretation of the individual knower. This concept of repeatability is a foundational tenet of the sciences and the production of new knowledge of the world around us.

Title 6: Faced with a vast amount of information, how do we select what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

Recommended AOKs: Natural Sciences and Human Sciences/History/Arts

This title questions the way in which we determine whether a piece of information is significant for knowledge. Since this is a ‘how’ question, there are many perspectives which can be explored, rather than a clear binary of perspectives. Some ideas from us:

Selection through Merit – This concept is particularly relevant to the Natural Sciences, as the theories which are ultimately deemed as significant are those which are not falsified. This merit-based approach pits scientific theories against each other to determine which are significant for the acquisition of knowledge.

Selection through Structure and Processes – By establishing set systems and procedures for filtering the vast amount of information available within an AOK, we can make selections as to which knowledge is significant.

Selection through Applicability – When judging what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge, a knower may have to consider the vast amount of information and decipher which piece of information is most applicable to their context, values or specific circumstances.

So there you have it! By now, you should have a better idea about which TOK essay title stands out the most to you and maybe even a few ideas about what to write. But where do you begin? Don't worry, we understand that writing a Theory of Knowledge essay can be a daunting task, but with the help of our expert IB tutors, you'll be on your way to success in no time. Plus, with online IB tutoring available, you can get the help you need from anywhere in the world. Don't let the TOK essay stress you out – contact us today to learn more about our IB tutoring services and how we can help you succeed in your IB studies.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the complete ib extended essay guide: examples, topics, and ideas.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

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IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources you need to get an A on it.

If you're reading this article, I'm going to assume you're an IB student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum .

IB Extended Essay: Why Should You Trust My Advice?

I myself am a recipient of an IB Diploma, and I happened to receive an A on my IB Extended Essay. Don't believe me? The proof is in the IBO pudding:

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If you're confused by what this report means, EE is short for Extended Essay , and English A1 is the subject that my Extended Essay topic coordinated with. In layman's terms, my IB Diploma was graded in May 2010, I wrote my Extended Essay in the English A1 category, and I received an A grade on it.

What Is the Extended Essay in the IB Diploma Programme?

The IB Extended Essay, or EE , is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide) . I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.

For the Extended Essay, you will choose a research question as a topic, conduct the research independently, then write an essay on your findings . The essay itself is a long one—although there's a cap of 4,000 words, most successful essays get very close to this limit.

Keep in mind that the IB requires this essay to be a "formal piece of academic writing," meaning you'll have to do outside research and cite additional sources.

The IB Extended Essay must include the following:

  • A title page
  • Contents page
  • Introduction
  • Body of the essay
  • References and bibliography

Additionally, your research topic must fall into one of the six approved DP categories , or IB subject groups, which are as follows:

  • Group 1: Studies in Language and Literature
  • Group 2: Language Acquisition
  • Group 3: Individuals and Societies
  • Group 4: Sciences
  • Group 5: Mathematics
  • Group 6: The Arts

Once you figure out your category and have identified a potential research topic, it's time to pick your advisor, who is normally an IB teacher at your school (though you can also find one online ). This person will help direct your research, and they'll conduct the reflection sessions you'll have to do as part of your Extended Essay.

As of 2018, the IB requires a "reflection process" as part of your EE supervision process. To fulfill this requirement, you have to meet at least three times with your supervisor in what the IB calls "reflection sessions." These meetings are not only mandatory but are also part of the formal assessment of the EE and your research methods.

According to the IB, the purpose of these meetings is to "provide an opportunity for students to reflect on their engagement with the research process." Basically, these meetings give your supervisor the opportunity to offer feedback, push you to think differently, and encourage you to evaluate your research process.

The final reflection session is called the viva voce, and it's a short 10- to 15-minute interview between you and your advisor. This happens at the very end of the EE process, and it's designed to help your advisor write their report, which factors into your EE grade.

Here are the topics covered in your viva voce :

  • A check on plagiarism and malpractice
  • Your reflection on your project's successes and difficulties
  • Your reflection on what you've learned during the EE process

Your completed Extended Essay, along with your supervisor's report, will then be sent to the IB to be graded. We'll cover the assessment criteria in just a moment.

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What Should You Write About in Your IB Extended Essay?

You can technically write about anything, so long as it falls within one of the approved categories listed above.

It's best to choose a topic that matches one of the IB courses , (such as Theatre, Film, Spanish, French, Math, Biology, etc.), which shouldn't be difficult because there are so many class subjects.

Here is a range of sample topics with the attached extended essay:

  • Biology: The Effect of Age and Gender on the Photoreceptor Cells in the Human Retina
  • Chemistry: How Does Reflux Time Affect the Yield and Purity of Ethyl Aminobenzoate (Benzocaine), and How Effective is Recrystallisation as a Purification Technique for This Compound?
  • English: An Exploration of Jane Austen's Use of the Outdoors in Emma
  • Geography: The Effect of Location on the Educational Attainment of Indigenous Secondary Students in Queensland, Australia
  • Math: Alhazen's Billiard Problem
  • Visual Arts: Can Luc Tuymans Be Classified as a Political Painter?

You can see from how varied the topics are that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to picking a topic . So how do you pick when the options are limitless?

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How to Write a Stellar IB Extended Essay: 6 Essential Tips

Below are six key tips to keep in mind as you work on your Extended Essay for the IB DP. Follow these and you're sure to get an A!

#1: Write About Something You Enjoy

You can't expect to write a compelling essay if you're not a fan of the topic on which you're writing. For example, I just love British theatre and ended up writing my Extended Essay on a revolution in post-WWII British theatre. (Yes, I'm definitely a #TheatreNerd.)

I really encourage anyone who pursues an IB Diploma to take the Extended Essay seriously. I was fortunate enough to receive a full-tuition merit scholarship to USC's School of Dramatic Arts program. In my interview for the scholarship, I spoke passionately about my Extended Essay; thus, I genuinely think my Extended Essay helped me get my scholarship.

But how do you find a topic you're passionate about? Start by thinking about which classes you enjoy the most and why . Do you like math classes because you like to solve problems? Or do you enjoy English because you like to analyze literary texts?

Keep in mind that there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing your Extended Essay topic. You're not more likely to get high marks because you're writing about science, just like you're not doomed to failure because you've chosen to tackle the social sciences. The quality of what you produce—not the field you choose to research within—will determine your grade.

Once you've figured out your category, you should brainstorm more specific topics by putting pen to paper . What was your favorite chapter you learned in that class? Was it astrophysics or mechanics? What did you like about that specific chapter? Is there something you want to learn more about? I recommend spending a few hours on this type of brainstorming.

One last note: if you're truly stumped on what to research, pick a topic that will help you in your future major or career . That way you can use your Extended Essay as a talking point in your college essays (and it will prepare you for your studies to come too!).

#2: Select a Topic That Is Neither Too Broad nor Too Narrow

There's a fine line between broad and narrow. You need to write about something specific, but not so specific that you can't write 4,000 words on it.

You can't write about WWII because that would be a book's worth of material. You also don't want to write about what type of soup prisoners of war received behind enemy lines, because you probably won’t be able to come up with 4,000 words of material about it. However, you could possibly write about how the conditions in German POW camps—and the rations provided—were directly affected by the Nazis' successes and failures on the front, including the use of captured factories and prison labor in Eastern Europe to increase production. WWII military history might be a little overdone, but you get my point.

If you're really stuck trying to pinpoint a not-too-broad-or-too-narrow topic, I suggest trying to brainstorm a topic that uses a comparison. Once you begin looking through the list of sample essays below, you'll notice that many use comparisons to formulate their main arguments.

I also used a comparison in my EE, contrasting Harold Pinter's Party Time with John Osborne's Look Back in Anger in order to show a transition in British theatre. Topics with comparisons of two to three plays, books, and so on tend to be the sweet spot. You can analyze each item and then compare them with one another after doing some in-depth analysis of each individually. The ways these items compare and contrast will end up forming the thesis of your essay!

When choosing a comparative topic, the key is that the comparison should be significant. I compared two plays to illustrate the transition in British theatre, but you could compare the ways different regional dialects affect people's job prospects or how different temperatures may or may not affect the mating patterns of lightning bugs. The point here is that comparisons not only help you limit your topic, but they also help you build your argument.

Comparisons are not the only way to get a grade-A EE, though. If after brainstorming, you pick a non-comparison-based topic and are still unsure whether your topic is too broad or narrow, spend about 30 minutes doing some basic research and see how much material is out there.

If there are more than 1,000 books, articles, or documentaries out there on that exact topic, it may be too broad. But if there are only two books that have any connection to your topic, it may be too narrow. If you're still unsure, ask your advisor—it's what they're there for! Speaking of advisors...

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Don't get stuck with a narrow topic!

#3: Choose an Advisor Who Is Familiar With Your Topic

If you're not certain of who you would like to be your advisor, create a list of your top three choices. Next, write down the pros and cons of each possibility (I know this sounds tedious, but it really helps!).

For example, Mr. Green is my favorite teacher and we get along really well, but he teaches English. For my EE, I want to conduct an experiment that compares the efficiency of American electric cars with foreign electric cars.

I had Ms. White a year ago. She teaches physics and enjoyed having me in her class. Unlike Mr. Green, Ms. White could help me design my experiment.

Based on my topic and what I need from my advisor, Ms. White would be a better fit for me than would Mr. Green (even though I like him a lot).

The moral of my story is this: do not just ask your favorite teacher to be your advisor . They might be a hindrance to you if they teach another subject. For example, I would not recommend asking your biology teacher to guide you in writing an English literature-based EE.

There can, of course, be exceptions to this rule. If you have a teacher who's passionate and knowledgeable about your topic (as my English teacher was about my theatre topic), you could ask that instructor. Consider all your options before you do this. There was no theatre teacher at my high school, so I couldn't find a theatre-specific advisor, but I chose the next best thing.

Before you approach a teacher to serve as your advisor, check with your high school to see what requirements they have for this process. Some IB high schools require your IB Extended Essay advisor to sign an Agreement Form , for instance.

Make sure that you ask your IB coordinator whether there is any required paperwork to fill out. If your school needs a specific form signed, bring it with you when you ask your teacher to be your EE advisor.

#4: Pick an Advisor Who Will Push You to Be Your Best

Some teachers might just take on students because they have to and aren't very passionate about reading drafts, only giving you minimal feedback. Choose a teacher who will take the time to read several drafts of your essay and give you extensive notes. I would not have gotten my A without being pushed to make my Extended Essay draft better.

Ask a teacher that you have experience with through class or an extracurricular activity. Do not ask a teacher that you have absolutely no connection to. If a teacher already knows you, that means they already know your strengths and weaknesses, so they know what to look for, where you need to improve, and how to encourage your best work.

Also, don't forget that your supervisor's assessment is part of your overall EE score . If you're meeting with someone who pushes you to do better—and you actually take their advice—they'll have more impressive things to say about you than a supervisor who doesn't know you well and isn't heavily involved in your research process.

Be aware that the IB only allows advisors to make suggestions and give constructive criticism. Your teacher cannot actually help you write your EE. The IB recommends that the supervisor spends approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.

#5: Make Sure Your Essay Has a Clear Structure and Flow

The IB likes structure. Your EE needs a clear introduction (which should be one to two double-spaced pages), research question/focus (i.e., what you're investigating), a body, and a conclusion (about one double-spaced page). An essay with unclear organization will be graded poorly.

The body of your EE should make up the bulk of the essay. It should be about eight to 18 pages long (again, depending on your topic). Your body can be split into multiple parts. For example, if you were doing a comparison, you might have one third of your body as Novel A Analysis, another third as Novel B Analysis, and the final third as your comparison of Novels A and B.

If you're conducting an experiment or analyzing data, such as in this EE , your EE body should have a clear structure that aligns with the scientific method ; you should state the research question, discuss your method, present the data, analyze the data, explain any uncertainties, and draw a conclusion and/or evaluate the success of the experiment.

#6: Start Writing Sooner Rather Than Later!

You will not be able to crank out a 4,000-word essay in just a week and get an A on it. You'll be reading many, many articles (and, depending on your topic, possibly books and plays as well!). As such, it's imperative that you start your research as soon as possible.

Each school has a slightly different deadline for the Extended Essay. Some schools want them as soon as November of your senior year; others will take them as late as February. Your school will tell you what your deadline is. If they haven't mentioned it by February of your junior year, ask your IB coordinator about it.

Some high schools will provide you with a timeline of when you need to come up with a topic, when you need to meet with your advisor, and when certain drafts are due. Not all schools do this. Ask your IB coordinator if you are unsure whether you are on a specific timeline.

Below is my recommended EE timeline. While it's earlier than most schools, it'll save you a ton of heartache (trust me, I remember how hard this process was!):

  • January/February of Junior Year: Come up with your final research topic (or at least your top three options).
  • February of Junior Year: Approach a teacher about being your EE advisor. If they decline, keep asking others until you find one. See my notes above on how to pick an EE advisor.
  • April/May of Junior Year: Submit an outline of your EE and a bibliography of potential research sources (I recommend at least seven to 10) to your EE advisor. Meet with your EE advisor to discuss your outline.
  • Summer Between Junior and Senior Year: Complete your first full draft over the summer between your junior and senior year. I know, I know—no one wants to work during the summer, but trust me—this will save you so much stress come fall when you are busy with college applications and other internal assessments for your IB classes. You will want to have this first full draft done because you will want to complete a couple of draft cycles as you likely won't be able to get everything you want to say into 4,000 articulate words on the first attempt. Try to get this first draft into the best possible shape so you don't have to work on too many revisions during the school year on top of your homework, college applications, and extracurriculars.
  • August/September of Senior Year: Turn in your first draft of your EE to your advisor and receive feedback. Work on incorporating their feedback into your essay. If they have a lot of suggestions for improvement, ask if they will read one more draft before the final draft.
  • September/October of Senior Year: Submit the second draft of your EE to your advisor (if necessary) and look at their feedback. Work on creating the best possible final draft.
  • November-February of Senior Year: Schedule your viva voce. Submit two copies of your final draft to your school to be sent off to the IB. You likely will not get your grade until after you graduate.

Remember that in the middle of these milestones, you'll need to schedule two other reflection sessions with your advisor . (Your teachers will actually take notes on these sessions on a form like this one , which then gets submitted to the IB.)

I recommend doing them when you get feedback on your drafts, but these meetings will ultimately be up to your supervisor. Just don't forget to do them!

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The early bird DOES get the worm!

How Is the IB Extended Essay Graded?

Extended Essays are graded by examiners appointed by the IB on a scale of 0 to 34 . You'll be graded on five criteria, each with its own set of points. You can learn more about how EE scoring works by reading the IB guide to extended essays .

  • Criterion A: Focus and Method (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 points maximum)
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking (12 points maximum)
  • Criterion D: Presentation (4 points maximum)
  • Criterion E: Engagement (6 points maximum)

How well you do on each of these criteria will determine the final letter grade you get for your EE. You must earn at least a D to be eligible to receive your IB Diploma.

Although each criterion has a point value, the IB explicitly states that graders are not converting point totals into grades; instead, they're using qualitative grade descriptors to determine the final grade of your Extended Essay . Grade descriptors are on pages 102-103 of this document .

Here's a rough estimate of how these different point values translate to letter grades based on previous scoring methods for the EE. This is just an estimate —you should read and understand the grade descriptors so you know exactly what the scorers are looking for.

Here is the breakdown of EE scores (from the May 2021 bulletin):

How Does the Extended Essay Grade Affect Your IB Diploma?

The Extended Essay grade is combined with your TOK (Theory of Knowledge) grade to determine how many points you get toward your IB Diploma.

To learn about Theory of Knowledge or how many points you need to receive an IB Diploma, read our complete guide to the IB program and our guide to the IB Diploma requirements .

This diagram shows how the two scores are combined to determine how many points you receive for your IB diploma (3 being the most, 0 being the least). In order to get your IB Diploma, you have to earn 24 points across both categories (the TOK and EE). The highest score anyone can earn is 45 points.

body-theory-of-knowledge

Let's say you get an A on your EE and a B on TOK. You will get 3 points toward your Diploma. As of 2014, a student who scores an E on either the extended essay or TOK essay will not be eligible to receive an IB Diploma .

Prior to the class of 2010, a Diploma candidate could receive a failing grade in either the Extended Essay or Theory of Knowledge and still be awarded a Diploma, but this is no longer true.

Figuring out how you're assessed can be a little tricky. Luckily, the IB breaks everything down here in this document . (The assessment information begins on page 219.)

40+ Sample Extended Essays for the IB Diploma Programme

In case you want a little more guidance on how to get an A on your EE, here are over 40 excellent (grade A) sample extended essays for your reading pleasure. Essays are grouped by IB subject.

  • Business Management 1
  • Chemistry 1
  • Chemistry 2
  • Chemistry 3
  • Chemistry 4
  • Chemistry 5
  • Chemistry 6
  • Chemistry 7
  • Computer Science 1
  • Economics 1
  • Design Technology 1
  • Design Technology 2
  • Environmental Systems and Societies 1
  • Geography 1
  • Geography 2
  • Geography 3
  • Geography 4
  • Geography 5
  • Geography 6
  • Literature and Performance 1
  • Mathematics 1
  • Mathematics 2
  • Mathematics 3
  • Mathematics 4
  • Mathematics 5
  • Philosophy 1
  • Philosophy 2
  • Philosophy 3
  • Philosophy 4
  • Philosophy 5
  • Psychology 1
  • Psychology 2
  • Psychology 3
  • Psychology 4
  • Psychology 5
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 1
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 2
  • Social and Cultural Anthropology 3
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 1
  • Sports, Exercise and Health Science 2
  • Visual Arts 1
  • Visual Arts 2
  • Visual Arts 3
  • Visual Arts 4
  • Visual Arts 5
  • World Religion 1
  • World Religion 2
  • World Religion 3

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IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: November 2023

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EXPLAINED: May 2024 TOK Essay Prescribed Titles

What happened to this post? HackIB has been acquired by MyIBTutor . All content is now available on the MyIBTutor Blog with more exciting IB content to come! Click here to see it for yourself!

TOK Essay Titles – May 2024 Examination Session

The titles for May 2024 are released! Here they are below:

Make sure to bookmark this page as I explain and provide examples for each of these titles in depth! UPDATE: Title 1, 2, 5 and 6 are now available. Stay tuned for more! For general guidance on how to write a good TOK essay, check out my TOK Essay advice collection .

Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts but unfairly condemned in history? Discuss with reference to the arts and history.

How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge.

Nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, so why are areas of knowledge often so slow to adopt them? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.

Do we underestimate the challenges of taking knowledge out of its original context and transferring it to a different context? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Do we need custodians of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

Are we too quick to assume that the most recent evidence is inevitably the strongest? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

This title attempts to challenge students on the main school of thought that you learn over the TOK course. The gist of your TOK teaching on both of these AOKs probably boiled down to something like: everything is art and it’s just whatever the artist wants to create, while history is always biased because the winners always write all of history. However, this eliminates much of the nuance in each of these AOKs that are worth exploring. That’s what makes this prompt interesting.

Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts? I will be honest, I never thought we really ‘celebrated’ subjectivity. It just, was. Inherently, art is a subjective exercise – you can think about this point a little further. You will find some heated discussion on whether art is subjective or could it be objective on the internet and I won’t delve into that here, because it isn’t the point of this title. The key here is to focus on the EXTENT of subjectivity and is it to the detriment of the area of knowledge itself. Then, we have to consider, whose subjectivity are we talking about: is it the artist’s subjectivity, or the audience’s subjectivity. For example, the Mona Lisa wasn’t that well known when it was first painted. I’m sure the Da Vinci thought it was quite a nice piece, but it seems like we didn’t really celebrate his subjectivity. It wasn’t until a certain audience found it subjectively good, that we accepted it as one of the greatest pieces of art in the world! That is an example of how subjectivity is relevant in the dissemination of artistic knowledge. For a more modern example, what about your favourite YouTuber? Do they truly make what they want? NO! They are often beholden to sponsors, and you – the audience! What you want to see, is what they will make! So it is YOUR subjectivity that drives their decision to produce art, not necessarily purely their subjectivity. Subjectivity by definition is just a person’s opinions, emotions, thoughts. This connects well with the TOK concept of values. What VALUES and WHOSE values are determining what art is created (in a variety of contexts), how art is perceived, and how art changes in its reception over time? These are all good questions to ponder. For more unconventional examples about art, think about how museums choose what art to display, what constitutes good art for prizes like the Nobel Prize for Literature, or why some art is considered more expensive than others? Are there systematic ways to think about our subjectivity and how we apply it to art? Is it really overly celebrating subjectivity or simply a necessity to make sense of the abundance of artistic knowledge in a sea of information today?

History gets a bad rep in the TOK classroom. Students like to trash on History calling it biased and unreliable. In this prompt, I don’t want you to refute these claims, but just think about how they aren’t necessarily catastrophic as we might think. We aren’t denying that biases in history could be problematic. I would be suspicious too, if the only accounts of the Rohingya Genocide came from the Myanmar military. However, the word condemned in the title suggests that we might be too harsh on historians when they get things wrong. We should focus on how the historical method recovers itself from failures in biases from its sources. Yes, it might be biased, but is it better than no history? Furthermore, does subjectivity actually ADD value to the way we produce, and interpret historical knowledge? While I’m sure a completely objective, news story like report of what happened in 1886 would be a historian’s dream, that isn’t the case! No matter how objective we try to be, we colour the events we experience by our own opinions, feelings and emotions. But isn’t that history in itself? In an almost cliched way, history’s subjectivity tells us more about what happened in the past and their beliefs and values more than words could ever say.

In both the historical and artistic discussions, you should focus more on the methodologies of these AOKs and how they achieve their AOK’s purpose. Subjectivity manifests in different ways in these AOKs and their methodology reflects that. In the overt awareness of subjectivity in the Arts, its method to produce knowledge is characteristically defined by subjectivity. In History, the method is to identify the covert influences of subjectivity, then to produce the most truthful knowledge possible. You can see that the goals of these two are different, and hence they deal with subjectivity differently. Don’t fall in the trap of focusing your discussion too much on your examples, but generalise to the patterns of how subjectivity manifest in your AOKs and whether their treatment of it is problematic.

It is crucial, when writing the essay for this prompt, to clearly define in your introduction what specialisation and generalisation means. DO NOT use the dictionary definitions here – since this is a TOK Essay, you want to make a TOK version of specialisation and generalisation, in terms of how these two things differ in the production of knowledge. Clearly defining the two in this way will form a solid foundation for you to have a nuanced discussion on this process of reconciliation between the two. The prompt hints at the competing demands on knowledge of specialisation and generalisation – i.e. you might not be able to produce knowledge in the same way if you were aiming for specialisation versus generalisation. So, this provides a point of contrast for you to choose examples and frame your discussion. Remember, the idea of competing demands is an ASSUMPTION, not an argument posed by the question. You should focus on how your chosen examples demonstrate a way to balance the interests of both and reach a ‘middle-ground’ rather than arguing that specialisation or generalisation are compatible with each other. TLDR: Don’t challenge the assumption.

For the first AOK of Mathematics, you should have encountered many personal examples just from your study of IB Maths. Most of your learning has been on generalisation, and the application of such generalisations. For instance, you learn about Calculus, a general topic within Mathematics, and then apply it in various contexts. Mathematicians love generalisations – that Calculus you learned? Well, the definition of a derivative generalised for all functions could be summarised by the first principles of derivatives function that HL AA students learn. You would have less interaction with specialisation of Mathematical knowledge. In a broader sense, the specific components of mathematics, cannot be separated from the general. You can’t solve calculus problems without the fundamental theorem of calculus. However, you could argue that the fundamental theorem of calculus didn’t need calculus problems to exist. Thus, an interesting dilemma arises in Mathematics – the generalisation could be produced, without a particular need for specialisation, but specialisation often calls for generalisation to first exist.

Looking at the latest mathematics research, you will find that applied mathematics is most common. Rarely do you see people get excited by new discoveries of solutions to elliptical curves, but more do when you tell them a new mathematical model to improve our prediction of the weather. We may place greater value on specialisation of knowledge, because we could see its usefulness more immediately, but, the Area of Knowledge does not require such specialisation to produce knowledge. So, do we encourage people to produce knowledge with the goal of specialisation in mind, or do we tell them to produce whatever theoretical generalised mathematical knowledge they can? Look to how mathematics is applied to Quantitative Finance, Econometrics, and Actuarial Science. They specialise mathematical knowledge and provide for some of the most lucrative careers. Does that speak to our preference and demand for specialised knowledge? But then again, what of the interdependence between generalisation and specialisation? How do we balance the two and how does the methodologies of the AOK contribute to this balancing act?

For the second, complimentary AOK, you could have discussions with all of the AOKs. For the Sciences, you could present a similar argument about needing to have some general theories before you could specialise. The scientific method is essentially one big generalisation process – you take specific observations and you make inferences so that you can generalise about some natural process. However, the knowledge that produces need not be general, it can still be specific. If we take specialisation as the goal, then we could pose narrow hypotheses to test. If we take generalisation as the goal, then we might need multiple of these narrow hypotheses to form a full picture, testing each individual case. Thus, specialisation could lead to specialisation alone, but more often, generalisation is the result of many specialisations.

One last question you might want to consider and attempt to answer in your essay is, do you want to know something about everything or everything about something? The answer to that will depend on your AOK. While we want to know about everything on everything, that is simply not reality. So, what trade offs do we make in each AOK, and how does each AOK decide on what we need to know more on?

You might be able to appreciate how long it takes ideas to actually be implemented in reality by looking at the recent Nobel Prize winners for Economic Sciences. The winner of the 2017 prize was Richard H. Thaler, for his contributions to behavioural economics. He explored the impacts of limited rationality, social preferences and the lack of individual self-control on economic decision making on an individual and market level. He started these findings from the 1980s, but it is only recently, in the 2022 revision of the IB syllabus that Economics students learn about the field of Behavioural economics in any detail! So why is it so?

To some extent, it is hard to criticise things for moving slowly. After all, new discoveries like behavioural economics represents a fundamental paradigm shift towards the way research is conducted in the particular AOK. Often times, fresh ideas are left to “ferment” so that their truthfulness can be tested with time. Nothing is more embarrassing than going down a rabbit hole only to find that your assumptions turned out to be monumentally incorrect. Even if we are making a big shift in light of new ideas towards the way we produce knowledge, doing so takes time! For many years and still now, we rely on strong assumptions of rationality to make economic models function. While the psychology of such behaviours are well researched, applying them to an Economic setting may not be. That is to say, it is important to consider how these new ideas arise, and what effect it has on existing knowledge, and the way we produce future knowledge. New ideas is simply new knowledge, but with the added implication that it has some effect on the existing knowledge within an AOK. It could potentially change how we view current knowledge, or how we conduct research given a particular discovery.

In the AOK of the human sciences, which broadly follows the scientific method, you could drawn some inspiration from the philosopher Thomas Kuhn’s view of scientific progress. He argues that within a period of “normal science” where we make incremental progress under the assumption of an overarching model, but there comes a point where we notice accumulation of imperfections with such a model that leads to new paradigms – new ideas, that fundamentally change how we do science. Then we undergo a sort of scientific revolution, where there are debates and decisions made over what sort of model we need to follow, until everyone eventually accepts the new paradigm and returns to a normal science period so that continual small improvements are made to knowledge, until another paradigm shift happens again. While you are not expected to demonstrate such strong philosophy knowledge within the TOK Essay, it is helpful to consider how each AOK handles such ‘revolutions’. For instance, it is harder to irrefutably find falsities in human sciences given the difficulty in replicability and corroborative studies compared to natural sciences.

As for complimentary AOKs, any would suit here, as each AOK has a very different way to handle new ideas. Many factors influence the way new ideas is accepted. For this title, we need to take the assumption that their acceptance is slow, not argue with it. Instead, you should consider what factors influence this slowness, and how different AOKs have different factors in mind when deciding how to accept new ideas. This relates to the nature of the AOK (what is its purpose) and the methodology guiding knowledge production in them.

Have you ever said something that sounds very weird out of context? That might have just been something silly with no real consequences, but in the realm of knowledge, we need to be careful about the consequences of knowledge taken out of their original context. This article highlights how the context of medical treatment matters a lot! As you can imagine, something that works in one field, doesn’t always apply in a straightforward manner to another. This is why there are whole research teams dedicated to what we call “translational research”. That is, trying to “translate” what you get from something like a lab setting, into actual products, like life-saving medications.

The obvious links to AOKs here are the Natural and Human Sciences. For Natural Sciences, we often start off knowledge production in a lab setting, or in a controlled environment. However, the application of such knowledge is rarely as controlled! So an interesting point to consider is how natural scientists have to account for the fact that their findings won’t ever be used in as perfect a setting as their research. Sure, you might have developed bullet proof wood , but how is that going to work in practically when it comes to mass manufacturing it for the army or the police? This is one of the biggest challenges that natural scientists face. It’s not that we aren’t trying to produce exciting knowledge, but that the application of such knowledge in a practical and appreciable context is often very difficult. Something like the mRNA technology (which recently was awarded a Nobel) took a long time to be developed into actual vaccines. The question then is, do we underestimate this process? Often it depends on the goal of the scientist. If the knowledge producer set out with an idea to commercialise in mind, then they would often consider the practical implications of findings. However, people studying theoretical physics for example, would struggle to immediately find very accessible real life implications. That doesn’t mean the knowledge is worthless, but certainly, the challenges are there.

What about non-scientific disciplines? Recently, I went to an art exhibition that trend Van Gough’s paintings into a 3D digital display. There was a Banksy exhibition that took the original murals he painted on the street, into this museum environment. Does changing the context of how art work is shown, and the manipulation of artistic knowledge change its meaning? What is the goal of transforming art into a different context? There are many reasons. Sometimes, it is to create satire (have a look at the parodies of the Mona Lisa), bringing old art onto a new audience (like VR exhibitions of Da Vinci), or simply making it more accessible to people (by making art works digitally available). The producers of these adapted forms of knowledge take great care in considering how this impacts the meaning of the art in its changed form. When artwork is so subjective, the context of art is often required to understand the artist’s meaning and intention, to ‘interpret’ works accordingly. At the same time, as we know art is quite subjective, is a ‘correct interpretation’ always required? If we are to remain artistic purists, then many of the joys of art could be lost! Imagine if you were admonished for listening to Taylor Swift through Spotify on your AirPods because it isn’t the original uncompressed music file with all the details, and you aren’t listening to it on the exact set of thousand dollar speakers it was created with? It would be ludicrous to assume that artistic knowledge is always going to be disseminated in the same context. Thus, this must be a consideration of artists. Is this consideration more or less difficult for different types of art? How is this consideration different to science considering there is no ‘right’ answer to interpreting art?

When thinking about this title, we aren’t arguing whether it is difficult. I think we all agree it is. However, it is about whether we underestimate just how difficult it is! Center your focus on how each AOK’s methodology highlights the consideration of being able to change contexts, and whether that affects the interpretation of the knowledge in question.

The term ‘custodians of knowledge’ is not something TOK students have likely heard of before, but this concept is relatively simple to understand. If you think positively about it, it could be protectors of knowledge, people who preserve knowledge, keeping it for generations to come – for example, some people might consider the Indigenous Peoples’ in Australia to be custodians of their unique cultural knowledge and what they call dreamtime stories. In this way, they keep culture alive, even if most people nowadays speak English and don’t readily tell their history. However, thought about negatively, it could also mean “gatekeepers’ (pardon the Gen Z language) of knowledge. The idealogical “protection” of knowledge could also be seen as a way to prevent some forms of knowledge from becoming knowledge in the first place. Talk to any university academic, and they will tell you how many times their research papers have been rejected. That’s why there is a bias towards statistically significant results, while research that showed that nothing significant has happened doesn’t often get published. Thus, these two contrasts provide for interesting discussion, particularly when considering how each AOK has different forms of custodians of knowledge and how they “gatekeep” or “protect” knowledge in different ways.

Take the AOK of the arts as an example. The career of artists are laughed upon because it is so hard to “break in” to the fine world of art. Many artists aren’t acclaimed until they are long dead. Perhaps most famously, the Mona Lisa wasn’t very well known until several hundred years after it was made. Thus, artists are often at the mercy of custodians of artistic knowledge like art curators and critics, who decide what merits acknowledgement as knowledge. After all, knowledge is only knowledge when there is consensus it is. And if the big wigs in the art industry doesn’t think it’s worth a mention, your art, however brilliant it seems to you, would not reach the consensus required to be considered knowledge. Of course, there are debates on the necessity of custodians in such a subjective AOK. After all, there were many times I questioned how some “artworks” even made it into the modern art museum when it’s literally splashes of paint on a canvas. I digress. However, there is something to be said about maintaining some form of standard to art. We judge whether some art is good or bad, but not in a very rigorous way. Custodians of knowledge supposedly have a framework to make such judgement in a way which preserves the nature of the AOK, and the knowledge within it. Therefore, discussion about the necessity of the custodians should focus on how they contribute to the purpose of the AOK, and whether it is compatible with the nature and methodologies of the AOK.

To further illustrate what I mean, you could see that Natural Sciences might present a stronger argument to the necessity of such custodians. We implicitly “trust” science, for better or for worse, because we know that there is a level of credibility imbued by the scientific method. It is the custodians’ role to maintain the standard of adherence to the scientific method that keeps this credibility alive. This is why, when flat earthers argue that they can’t see the curvature of the earth from the horizon, that it doesn’t get published in a scientific journal as fact! This is why, when research emerges that denies the existence of climate change, custodians have a responsibility to retract such research . However, at the same time, it also places much pressure on producers of such knowledge to create something worthy in the eyes of custodians. You might have heard of the data manipulation scandal that forced Stanford’s president to resign. Thus, custodians do appear quite important in this AOK, when we value the truthfulness of knowledge so much, but that isn’t without its consequences.

I recommend picking two contrasting AOKs that value much different things when writing the essay. While comparison is not a requirement for the essay, it gives you a more nuanced understanding of the question and thus a more reflective piece. For instance, we have just demonstrated that art is relatively subjective, while the sciences are less so. Thus, this influences the role which custodians need to play in each AOK.

The framework to answering this title for many students will follow a similar structure: an example of when novel evidence was accepted and had groundbreaking impacts, and another example where such evidence was problematic and disputed. Repeat this for the second AOK you choose and you’ll have 4 contrasting examples. This is not the only way to approach this title, but is my personal preference considering the structure I suggest to most students that ensures firstly, you will pass the basic criteria of a TOK Essay, and secondly, you will have a strong foundation to succeed. However, since everyone will have a similar style and collection of examples, it is even more important for this title, that you tease out the meaning and the effect on each area of knowledge, and knowledge in general, that your examples represent.

To demonstrate what I mean, let’s focus on two natural sciences examples. First, consider the case of “Cold Fusion”, a theory that you could supposedly have nuclear fusion at room temperature, discovered and subsequently debunked in 1989. A contrasting example, could be recent Nobel Prize winner of Medicine and Physiology, for the research on mRNA vaccines. Immediately, it is obvious that one shows where recent evidence isn’t the strongest, while the latter shows that it could be. But the focus should be on are we TOO QUICK in assuming so, not whether we should or not. Well, what are the reactions and timelines for each example? While Cold Fusion was met with excitement from the general public for the potential it holds for energy production, I wouldn’t say we ‘assumed’ it to be strong. Looking at the news reports from that time, you can see that there was great anticipation about the discovery, leading to lots of sudden funding and interest to investigate it and replicate it. As for mRNA, that discovery took a long time! First the technology, and the getting it to not appear foreign to the human body was very tricky. Even after it was discovered, we waited quite a while, with many people’s first experience with mRNA to be their COVID 19 vaccine. What you need to draw from these two examples is the methodological similarities and differences which reflect the NATURE of Science, and thus, the purpose of science. You see in both how there is an emphasis on replication which corroborates or falsifies, and only after doing so for a long time do we accept it to be true, otherwise it is debunked. So yes, there are moments where Natural Sciences provides strong compelling evidence that ends up false, there are many hurdles with in the methodology of the Natural Science that prevents us from being TOO QUICK to assume it to be true.

For this prompt, it is too easy to fall into the debate of why something was true or why something was false and tricked the population. This is not the point of the essay. You should avoid talking about the specifics of your examples at length. You need to demonstrate how your examples reflect the wider methodologies of the Natural Sciences (and similarly, for your second AOK) that either encourages or discourages our assumptions that novel evidence is always best. As you can see from my examples above, I focused on how such assumption does not happen too quickly because there are many ways we verify scientific knowledge to be true. I don’t discuss the specifics of the actual science behind Cold Fusion or mRNA as that isn’t required. You are better off focusing on the methodologies behind the AOKs themselves and answering the question.

Some interesting complements to the Natural Science AOK could be History (particularly focusing on revisionism and how historical events could be interpreted differently over time), Mathematics (how could the methodologies differ and are there ‘mistakes’ in Maths), or even Human Sciences (replication is a bit more difficult with that!).

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20 responses to “explained: may 2024 tok essay prescribed titles”.

Brandon Avatar

Hi, when will you deconstruct #6? Much appreciated.

hackib Avatar

I just did! Hope it helps.

Brandon Avatar

Thank you so much!

dora Avatar

hello! when will you deconstruct #2? would really really appreciate it !!!

Just posted!

Mathias Ndinya Avatar

Hi when will you deconstruct No. 5? Much appreciated.

Tim Habay Avatar

Could you please deconstruct no5. ?

Check it out!

alisha wang Avatar

Please Please deconstruct 5 ASAP, first draft due in 5 days!!!! Thanks!

I just did! It’s a very interesting title.

sally Avatar

Hi, when will you deconstruct #3? Much appreciated.

I have just posted this. Thanks!

TOK2024 Avatar

Hi, when will you deconstruct #4? Thanks!

Just updated!

Jais Avatar

Hi, is there more in depth analysis of title 4 coming?

Sorry it took a while, but it’s here now!

anis ayuni Avatar

I have a question, for PT3, so what will be our possible counterclaim? is it another factor that will make it slow? or find another RLS that show sometimes fresh ideas can be adopted fast ?

I would reread the prescribe title. The title is asking you “why”. So all you need to do is propose different sorts of reasons as to why this slowness occurs. You don’t need to challenge the assumption within the title that it is slow. Accept that it is slow, and propose various ideas for why that is the case according to the properties of your chosen AOK.

MS Avatar

Could you explain how you would format number One. Would I only be talking about two examples one for each AOK and what about them? Introduction, aok 1 and aok2 and conclusions

For sure! You should refer to my article on structuring for TOK Essay for more details. In general though, you can approach this prompt with two examples for each AOK, with one example about subjectivity being overly celebrated, and one not in the arts, while for history, it would be one where it is condemned unfairly vs not.

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May 2023 TOK essay prescribed titles

The prescribed titles for the May 2023 TOK essay have been released. Check with your TOK coordinator / teacher for the official document.

Resources for the May 2023 TOK essay prescribed titles will be published shortly.

  • Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  • For artists and natural scientists, which is more important: what can be explained or what cannot be explained? Discuss with reference to the arts and the natural sciences.
  • Does it matter if our acquisition of knowledge happens in “bubbles” where some information and voices are excluded? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.
  • Do you agree that it is “astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power” (Bertrand Russell)? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.
  • Are visual representations always helpful in the communication of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and mathematics.
  • To what extent is the knowledge we produce determined by the methodologies we use? Discuss with reference to history and one other area of knowledge.

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ToKToday

Unpacking ToK Essay Titles

Daniel Trump

  • December 8, 2023
  • Student Support , ToK Essay

Introduction to Unpacking Essay Titles

I’m reading lots of essays from May 24 students at the moment, a common challenge that I see students face is effectively unpacking the Prescribed Title (PT) in their Theory of Knowledge (ToK) essays. Unpacking the PT is a crucial step in the essay-writing process, and this post aims to guide you through this task to improve the clarity and coherence of your essay.

Unpacking ToK Essay Title

What Does Unpacking the PT Mean?

Unpacking the PT involves explaining your interpretation of the essay title at the start of the essay, typically in the introductory paragraph. Although the ToK Essay marking rubric doesn’t explicitly require this, it significantly aids the examiner in understanding the direction and focus of your essay. It sets the stage for a “ clear, coherent and critical exploration of the essay title. ” (ToK Essay Assessment Instrument, IB 2020)

Examples of Unpacked ToK Essay Titles (May 24 Session)

To illustrate, let’s examine unpacked versions of three titles from the May 2024 session:

A possible unpacking of PT 1 May 24

Unpacking as a Prelude to the Thesis Statement

The unpacking of the title should lead into your thesis statement, which is the main argument of your essay. It provides a wider perspective on your more focused thesis statement. Ideally, this unpacking should form the opening sentence or sentences in the introduction of your essay.

Unpacking PT helps develop thesis statement

Further Resources

For more detailed insights into crafting your ToK essay introduction, refer to the earlier video on this topic. Additionally, the ebook “ How to Write the ToK Essay in 6 Easy Steps ” and the detailed guidance notes for each Prescribed title in this season offer invaluable assistance in navigating the complexities of ToK essays.

ToK Essay Help e-book

In conclusion, unpacking the Prescribed Title at the beginning of your ToK essay is a critical step that frames your argument and provides clarity to your exploration of the essay title. By carefully defining and contextualising your approach to the title, you set a solid foundation for a coherent and critically engaged essay.

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November 2023 TOK Essay Prompts Explained + SAMPLES

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The TOK essay prescribed titles for November 2023 are finally out. Since many students struggle with TOK essays, it’s quite good news that IB students have a lot of time to check those TOK prompts.

No more general words, and dry theory, I’m sharing a list of the TOK titles. I will start with a general list and move further to detailed explanations of each and give you examples. This can help you understand which one you will go for.

Moreover, I believe this can help you get started so that you know what exactly is required of you to work. 

November 2023 ToK essay titles list

  • Are facts alone enough to prove a claim? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.
  • If “the mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s and the poet’s, must be beautiful” (G.H. Hardy), how might this impact the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and the arts.
  • In the acquisition of knowledge, is following experts unquestioningly as dangerous as ignoring them completely? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.
  • Is it problematic that knowledge is so often shaped by the values of those who produce it? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.
  • Is it always the case that “the world isn’t just the way I is, it is how we understand it – and in understanding something, we bring something to it” (adapted from Life of Pi by Yann Martel)? Discuss with reference to history and the natural sciences.
  • Faced with a vast amount of information, how do we select what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

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If you need assistance with your IB ToK essay , press on the picture above and order your paper. Now let’s move to the explanation part.

Title 1: Are facts alone enough to prove a claim? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.

This seems to be one of the easiest prompts to work on. But in some cases, when things seem too simple, there is a lot that has to go behind that. The keyword in this case is ‘facts.’ The title asks if facts alone are enough to help prove a claim. Another word that also needs to be focused on is ‘alone.’ The idea is to explore if only facts can help you prove a claim or if there are other factors that are needed as well. 

 A lot of us think that we know what ‘facts’ stand for. In some fields of interest, like math, it is very easy to chalk out what facts are. Say one plus one is two, is a fact in mathematics. But how does one decide what facts are in areas of knowledge like arts and human sciences?

These areas of knowledge are subjective in nature, which means that it can be very hard to differentiate facts in these areas of knowledge. Every area of knowledge that we talk about has a different way of classifying facts.

For example, when we talk about math, we can see that the Pythagorean theorem is based on hard facts, where we talk about how the summation of the square of the base and the perpendicular equals to the sum of the hypotenuse. So we can see that while facts are indeed sufficient in some areas of knowledge , there is indeed more probing needed in other areas of knowledge to help understand things better.

Sample of November 2023 TOK Essay Title 1

Below you can find an example of the November 2023 TOK essay sample on Prompt 1: Are facts alone enough to prove a claim?

tok essay title 1 example

To understand this better, it is highly advised that you also go through the different stages of knowledge that exist to help you understand how knowledge is produced here. Does it come solely from facts, or do you also need other types of evidence to help you reach a reasonable conclusion about things? 

Title 2: If “the mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s and the poet’s, must be beautiful” (G.H. Hardy), how might this impact the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to mathematics and the arts.

This title is very specific. Actually, I’m finding it super confusing and I guess it will be one of the less-selected November 2023 TOK prompts. Agree? Leave your comments below 😉

It is one that talks about the importance of math and how contrary to popular belief, it shares characteristics that are very similar to arts. Many a time, you must have heard that math is a very creative discipline on the whole. The idea behind this concept is that while the subject is highly objective, it does take into account many different factors, and all of these factors are ones that need to be taken into consideration when we talk about this.

One interesting example that we can see here is the concept of fractals. If you read up more about this, then you will find out that this has a lot to do with the artistic representation of mathematics. This raises a very valid question, which is whether art has only to do with how beautiful something is or is there more to it as well. 

On the contrary, we can also see that there is a lot of evidence that shows that art is not all about being pretty. There is a lot more to it as well. An example can be seen in terms of the paintings and photographs that depict famous wars that happened in the world. While these aren’t pretty pictures, they are pretty much valid and prevalent, and they really help us understand more about different situations in terms of what we think or believe about them.

So the idea is to explore that does mathematics really have any value is the knowledge is produced but does not add any value? So if you go for this prompt, then you have to dispute the notion of this quote, giving your own two cents to the situation to actually explore what this is all about and how you can work your way toward things in the best possible way. 

Title 3: In the acquisition of knowledge, is following experts unquestioningly as dangerous as ignoring them completely? Discuss with reference to the human sciences and one other area of knowledge.

Many students would find this title very appealing. The idea here is to explore to what extent exactly can we trust experts in any field to give us information about things so that we can base our behavior on them. The best way we can look at this is with the help of the Coronavirus pandemic that took the world over by storm.

Health experts told us that we have to get ourselves vaccinated and stay at home for our own safety and the safety of our loved ones. We did exactly so because we realized that this was the best thing to do for people because we trust experts in terms of the knowledge that they have and the advice that they give us about things. 

But what is also important to note here is that experts are not always right. They can also go wrong based on what they think and also have it in them to make mistakes. So this raises a very important question, which is what makes an expert?

So the idea is to explore this in a lot of detail. It would be very interesting to explore this with reference to human sciences, because the nature of the subject is highly subjective, which means that it can help understand what all it constitutes. You can explore this better by looking at what economists have to say about different situations and how that seems to be wise or not.

This is a very interesting prompt if you choose to go about it wisely and have sound examples to support your viewpoint about things. 

Title 4: Is it problematic that knowledge is so often shaped by the values of those who produce it? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge.

This is a very interesting prompt to work on if you take into account the fact that knowledge is produced according to the values of producers. We need to work toward understanding what the main problem is and how knowledge is influenced by different values.

Let’s look at this with the example of slavery. There was a point in time when people didn’t see anything wrong with slavery. They knew that slavery is prevalent and at that time, it was also very common to have slaves. But if we look at how problematic this is today, then you can see that no one takes into account slavery today. In fact, it is looked upon as something that is extremely bad.

So what we can see here is that the knowledge that we have is greatly influenced by different thought processes that make us understand things a certain way. The value system that we rely on here is something very important that we have to take into account if we wish to work a certain way. 

At the end of the day, the knowledge that you have is dependent on what all you have learned so far and what this has taught you. Your lens might become outdated in the future,  but the idea is to help you understand all of this in a much better way. An accurate depiction of things can only happen when you take all of that into account and try to understand things for the better. For some areas of knowledge, the issue of values is not very prominent, while for others, that is not the case.

So it depends entirely on what you choose to work with and how you think that affects the way that you think and work toward things. 

Title 5: Is it always the case that “the world isn’t just the way it is, it is how we understand it – and in understanding something, we bring something to it” (adapted from Life of Pi by Yann Martel)? Discuss with reference to history and the natural sciences.

While this prompt may seem to be a little complicated at first, it is not really that hard to understand. In simple words, you are expected to work toward bringing your own perspective and interpretation of knowledge. It asks you how you understand things and how your interpretation of things makes you add value to the world. The idea here is that all of us have our own thoughts and ideas about things. The knowledge that we acquire is very different, and our value systems are very different as well. So this is something that we have to explore and try to understand in all ways. There is also a very wide spectrum that makes you understand what it means to bring something to the things that you learn. 

With some areas of knowledge, this can be very easy to explain. Say if you talk about art, you can see how artists have their own thought processes when they paint a picture. Even if we talk about an abstract painting, we can see that there is a lot that goes behind all of that, and the main reason for that is that they have a specific thought process that they follow. But how we interpret that painting depends entirely on what our lookout toward things is.

So this is what we need to understand very well. So basically, how well you explore this prompt depends on the type of examples that you come through with and what all you help explain in the best way. So this is something that is very important and is something that you need to pay a lot of attention to, when working. 

Title 6: Faced with a vast amount of information, how do we select what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge.

This title basically talks about big data and how there is so much information in the world that we actually find very hard to understand. You might have experienced a lot of this in your entire student life. When there is too much that you have to understand and study, it becomes really hard for you to retain all of that.

So the idea is to understand what information you will actually understand and retain, and what you will not. The idea is to know that some information is more valuable than others, so you have to be very mindful about what you think and do in this situation. 

Similarly, in the real work, there is a lot of information that we have in front of us. It depends entirely on us what we choose to pick out as more important, depending on what our world view is and what we think is important for the acquisition of knowledge. Search engines have also given us access to so much information that it actually becomes very hard for us to pick and choose what we want to pay the most attention to.

TOK Essay Title 6 Example

Below you will find a link to the November 2023 TOK essay prompt 6 – Faced with a vast amount of information, how do we select what is significant for the acquisition of knowledge?

tok essay title 6

When we choose some knowledge, and we miss out on some other, it gives us a feeling of whether we are missing out on something important. So the idea is to understand this best and think about what interests us the most so that we can pick and choose very wisely. 

Other TOK essay prompts from previous years with samples

In case you have overlooked any of the past TOK essay titles, along with their examples or topics from previous years, I am providing the links below.

The year 2023:

  • May 2023 TOK essay titles

The year 2022:

  • November 2022 TOK essay prompts
  • May 2022 ToK essay titles

Previous years’ prompts:

  • November 2021 ToK Essay titles
  • May 2021 Theory of Knowledge essay prompts

Ready to select your 2023 November TOK essay prompt?

With a better idea of what you have to touch upon in each of these, it will become much easier for you to choose things so that you understand all of it better and make a very wise choice. 

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Every year, students who started IBDP are waiting for IB to share the list of specific prescribed titles for Theory of Knowledge essays. Like in all the previous years, IB opened a list of six topics for TOK essays for the next semester.

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Example essays

The International Baccalaureate® (IB)  programme resource centre,  a key resource for educators at IB World Schools, includes several examples of  extended essay titles .

These highlight the diverse range of topics covered by International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students during their extended essays.

Some examples are:

  • “An analysis of costume as a source for understanding the inner life of the character”
  • “A study of malnourished children in Indonesia and the extent of their recovery after a period of supervised improved nutrition.”
  • “Doing  versus  being: language and reality in the Mimamsa school of Indian philosophy.” 
  • “The effects of sugar-free chewing gum on the pH of saliva in the mouth after a meal.”
  • “To what extent has the fall in the exchange rate of the US dollar affected the tourist industry in Carmel, California?”
  •  “What level of data compression in music files is acceptable to the human ear?”

Also available in the programma resource centre , the Diploma Programme Assessment Procedures has guidance on choosing a subject for the extended essay.

The PRC is only available to existing IB World Schools.

You can also purchase examples of essays in the IB Store . These essays fulfil the requirements for an ‘A’ grade in the extended essay.

If your school is not one already, learn how to become an IB World School  in order to implement the DP.

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May 2024 TOK Essay Titles Guide. Short Descriptions & Writing Tips

Hello, IB scholars! As someone deeply immersed in the International Baccalaureate (IB) world for years, I’m thrilled to share my insights on the May 2024 TOK essay titles. Understanding these complex topics can be daunting, but fear not! I’m here to guide you through each one, offering my seasoned perspective on approaching them effectively.

What Are TOK Essay Prescribed Titles?

As an experienced IB writer and advisor, I’ve guided numerous students through the intricate world of the IB Theory of Knowledge essays. In my years of involvement, I’ve understood the essence of TOK essay titles and their significance in the IB curriculum.

TOK essay titles are a unique set of essay questions the IB organization releases annually. They are designed to challenge students to reflect critically on the nature of knowledge and how we come to know what we claim to know. So, each title poses a unique question that encourages deep thinking. As you contemplate your TOK essay, consider these key elements:

  • Clarity of Understanding . Ensure you fully comprehend the nuances of the prescribed title.
  • Select AOKs and WOKs . Choose relevant Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing that align with the title.
  • Real-Life Examples . Include practical situations to illustrate your arguments vividly.
  • Critical Thinking . Analyze and evaluate your examples and arguments from multiple perspectives.
  • Personal Insight . Reflect on your views and experiences concerning the title.

After choosing your focus, it’s time to structure your essay. A well-organized essay presents your ideas clearly and demonstrates your ability to think logically and coherently. Also, remember about word count . Start with an introduction outlining your understanding of the title and thesis. In the body, develop your arguments systematically, using your chosen AOKs and WOKs. Each paragraph should present a unique point supported by real-life examples and critical analysis.

Concluding your essay is just as important. An excellent conclusion summarizes your key points and reflects your argument’s broader implications. It’s a chance to leave a lasting impression on your reader, showing how your research contributes to a deeper understanding of knowledge.

May 2024 TOK Essay Titles: Detailed Breakdown

The May 2024 TOK essay titles cover intriguing and challenging topics that encourage critical thinking and deep analysis of knowledge:

  • Is subjectivity overly celebrated in the arts but unfairly condemned in history? Discuss with reference to the Arts and History.
  • How can we reconcile the opposing demands for specialization and generalization in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to Mathematics and one other Area of Knowledge.
  • Nothing is more exciting than fresh ideas, so why are areas of knowledge often so slow to adopt them? Discuss with reference to the Human Sciences and one other Area of Knowledge.
  • Do we underestimate the challenges of taking knowledge out of its original context and transferring it to a different context? Discuss with reference to two Areas of Knowledge.
  • Do we need custodians of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two Areas of Knowledge.
  • Are we too quick to assume that the most recent evidence is inevitably the strongest? Discuss with reference to the Natural Sciences and one other Area of Knowledge.

For a successful TOK essay, it’s essential to blend personal insights with academic viewpoints, create a clear and cohesive argument, and effectively address counterarguments. Remember, it is about presenting facts, researching, and reflecting on the nature of knowledge and key TOK concepts . Take this opportunity to engage critically and creatively with the topics. Now, I will guide you through each title and offer my perspective on addressing them.

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May 2024 TOK essay titles

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  • IB TOK Essay Structure in Detail
  • How To Structure A Theory Of Knowledge Exhibition

1. Subjectivity in Arts and History

The debate over subjectivity’s role in arts versus history is fascinating. Often, we see a celebration of personal interpretation in the arts, whereas history demands objectivity. But should this be the case? Consider Arts and History as your Areas of Knowledge (AOKs) as you write this essay. For Ways of Knowing (WOKs), Emotion and Reason can provide deep insights. Real-life situations (RLSs) might include the analysis of a historical event or an art movement. My advice? Highlight the contrast in how subjectivity is perceived in these fields. Additionally, reflect on whether this difference is justified due to cultural bias.

2. Specialization vs. Generalization in Knowledge

Balancing the tension between specialization and generalization in knowledge production is a challenge. Mathematics is a perfect example of specialization, while Ethics can represent generalization. Logic and Intuition, as WOKs, play significant roles here. Consider using examples like mathematical theories for specialization and ethical dilemmas for generalization. To write a compelling essay, balance the two sides, providing arguments and examples from both Mathematics and another AOK of your choice.

3. Adoption of New Ideas in Knowledge Areas

Why are some knowledge areas slower to adopt new ideas? It is a question of cultural and academic inertia. Consider using Human Sciences and perhaps Natural Sciences AOK to research this. Imagination and Memory, as WOKs, are crucial in understanding this phenomenon. Use examples like breakthroughs in scientific research or new sociological theories as RLSs. Your essay should examine the resistance to new ideas and hypothesize why this occurs.

4. Knowledge Contextualization Challenges

One of the most underestimated aspects of knowledge is its context. Whether it’s Indigenous Knowledge Systems or Religious Knowledge Systems, the challenges of transferring knowledge to a different context are immense. Ways of Knowing, like Faith and Sense Perception, can be crucial in understanding these challenges. Use examples from different cultural contexts or religious texts to illustrate your points. Your essay should investigate these complexities and offer insights into how context shapes understanding.

5. The Role of Custodians in Knowledge

The question of whether we need custodians to safeguard knowledge is intriguing. Ethics and History can serve as your AOKs here, with Language and Emotion as WOKs. Consider using examples like ethical guidelines in research or preserving historical documents as RLSs. In your essay, debate the necessity of having custodians in knowledge, providing arguments for and against their role.

6. Evaluating Recent Evidence in Knowledge

Finally, the assumption that recent evidence is inherently more substantial is worth examining. Natural Sciences and Arts are suitable AOKs for this discussion. Use Reason and Perception as WOKs, and look at examples like the latest scientific findings or contemporary art trends as your RLSs. It’s essential to question the validity of new evidence compared to established knowledge. Your essay should balance this evaluation, presenting a nuanced view of how we perceive and value new information in different AOKs.

TOK Essay Titles: Common Mistakes to Avoid

With the May 2024 TOK essay titles announced, I want to share some common pitfalls to avoid, ensuring you can write a well-thought-out and engaging paper. Be sure to pay attention to these mistakes.

1. Misunderstanding the Title

A standard error involves failing to understand the essay title fully. Each TOK prompt is intricately designed to provoke deep thinking. Make sure you grasp the nuances of the question and understand its connection to the Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing.

2. Lack of Personal Engagement

While TOK essays require academic rigor, they also demand personal reflection. Students often miss the opportunity to express their perspectives and experiences. Relate the title to your insights, ensuring your essay reflects your unique understanding.

3. Over-Reliance on One Area of Knowledge

Frequently, essays become unbalanced by focusing too heavily on a single AOK. Discussing multiple AOKs where applicable is crucial, showing a broad understanding of how the title applies across different areas.

4. Ignoring Counterarguments

A good TOK essay presents a balanced view. You must acknowledge and investigate counterarguments to strengthen your essay. Demonstrate your ability to consider different perspectives and their implications.

5. Inadequate Structure and Flow

Essays often lose marks due to poor organization. A well-structured TOK essay with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion makes your argument more persuasive and accessible.

6. Insufficient Evidence and Examples

TOK essay without concrete examples lacks depth. Use relevant real-life situations and examples to support your points, making your arguments more compelling.

7. Neglecting the Criteria

The IB provides specific criteria for TOK essays. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and ensure your TOK essay aligns with them. Pay attention to aspects like knowledge questions, analysis, and implications.

8. Plagiarism and Inaccurate Citations

Originality is key in TOK essays. Avoid plagiarism by properly citing sources and presenting your analysis. TOK is about your interpretation of knowledge, not just repeating others’ ideas.

The Bottom Line

This guide aims to spark your interest and offer a direct path for tackling the TOK essay topics. A remarkable essay achieves its essence by balancing your perspectives with thoroughly researching the Areas of Knowledge and Ways of Knowing. I encourage you to incorporate real-world instances that substantiate your viewpoints.

Above all, take pleasure in the process of dissecting these intricate questions. The experience gained in engaging with TOK is as valuable as the result itself. Also, you can contact our IB Writing Service specialists for guidance or assistance. We provide top-quality help in writing TOK essays so that you can focus on what’s essential — studying!

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's " Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization ," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

ib math aa

Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches IA Topics

Writing the Internal Assessment (IA) for IB Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches is a crucial step for any IB student, combining challenge and opportunity in equal measure. This article highlights the diverse and intriguing IA topics available to Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL) students, helping them to use their mathematical skills in creative and meaningful ways.

Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA

Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA Topics

Writing your Internal Assessment in IB Sports, Exercise and Health Science marks an important stage in your education. This in-depth course offers a range of fascinating topics for your research, each of which provides an opportunity to combine scientific study with your enthusiasm for sport and health. A carefully chosen IA topic can make or break a student’s engagement and understanding of this broad subject.

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Design Technology IA Topics: SL and HL Topic Ideas

This article provides a wide array of Design Technology IA Topics, offering both Standard Level and Higher Level students a range of creative and innovative ideas to choose from. From sustainable innovations to advanced technological applications, these topics are selected to challenge and enhance your design and technical skills.

World Religions IA Topics

World Religions IA Topics: SL and HL Ideas

In this detailed guide, we offer a wide array of World Religions IA Topics, carefully selected for both SL and HL IB students. Covering a range of themes from the intricate theological comparisons to the impact of religion in modern cultures, these topics are crafted to engage and provoke thought. Ideal for students aiming to create meaningful and insightful Internal Assessments.

Philosophy IA Topics

Philosophy IA Topics and Research Tips

In this article, we introduce a range of engaging Philosophy IA topics, ideal for IB students seeking inspiration for their assessments. Accompanying these topic ideas are practical research tips, aimed at enhancing students’ approach to their philosophical inquiries.

May 2024 TOK essay titles

Get a head start on the May 2024 TOK essay titles with our detailed guide. This article offers succinct descriptions and targeted tips for writing each essay. It’s designed to assist IB students in understanding complex topics and developing persuasive essays. Learn how to approach these titles with confidence and articulate your thoughts effectively, enhancing your TOK essay writing skills.

ib essay titles 2023

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ib essay titles 2023

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ib essay titles 2023

TOK ESSAY TITLE MAY 2023

Tok essay title 1, is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge..

Title 1 of the May 2023 TOK essay prompt centers around the concept of “replicability” and its role in determining the quality of knowledge. The essay explores the significance of reproducing the same knowledge within a consistent framework, particularly in the natural sciences. While replicability often ensures credibility and the ability to obtain consistent results, it is important to evaluate whether this act of reproduction is necessary for knowledge production.

This prompt also prompts an examination of whether replicability holds the same importance in other areas of knowledge. Additionally, it raises questions about how replicability can be distinguished from plagiarism.

By delving into the realm of the arts, the essay considers the possibility of replicating artwork to create indistinguishable pieces. However, it challenges the notion of whether the knowledge produced by each replicated art piece remains the same.

To excel in the May 2023 TOK essay and achieve a perfect score, it is advisable to start early and seek guidance from TOK experts throughout the essay writing process.

ib essay titles 2023

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Why Data Breaches Spiked in 2023

  • Stuart Madnick

ib essay titles 2023

And what companies can do to better secure users’ personal information.

In spite of recent efforts to beef up cybersecurity, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023. There are three primary reasons behind this increased theft of personal data: (1) cloud misconfiguration, (2) new types of ransomware attacks, and (3) increased exploitation of vendor systems. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the impact of each of these factors.

For many years, organizations have struggled to protect themselves from cyberattacks: companies, universities, and government agencies have expended enormous amounts of resources to secure themselves. But in spite of those efforts, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from 2022 to 2023 . Some of the trends around this uptick are disturbing. For example, globally, there were twice the number of victims in 2023 compared to 2022, and in the Middle East, ransomware gang activity increased by 77% in that same timeframe.

  • Stuart Madnick  is the John Norris Maguire (1960) Professor of Information Technologies in the MIT Sloan School of Management, Professor of Engineering Systems in the MIT School of Engineering, and Director of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan (CAMS): the Interdisciplinary Consortium for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. He has been active in the cybersecurity field since co-authoring the book Computer Security in 1979.

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  1. The May 2023 TOK Essay Titles

    The May 2023 TOK Essay Titles Here you'll find the Theory of Knowledge Essay prescribed titles for the May 2023 session. The video analysis of these titles is also available already in the member's area .--which you can watch using a free trial! (Just click the " subscribe " tab at the top of this page.

  2. IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: May 2023

    IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: May 2023 Here are links to ideas and suggestions relating to the the six May 2023 IB ToK Essay topics: Topic 1. Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge. Topic 2.

  3. November 2023 TOK Essay Prompts

    Order Now Let's Unpack the November 2023 TOK Essay Titles Together! As someone who's been through the IB program and written more TOK essays than I can count, I'm super excited to dive into the TOK essay titles for November 2023 with you.

  4. Theory of knowledge

    Last updated: 12 September 2023 Theory of knowledge (TOK) is assessed through an exhibition and a 1,600 word essay. It asks students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know. TOK is part of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, and is mandatory for all students.

  5. Extended essay

    Last updated: 12 September 2023 The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper. One component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. Read about the extended essay in greater detail.

  6. Unpacking the 2023 November TOK Titles: A Comprehensive IB Solved Guide

    So let's get into unpacking them - here is everything you need to know about each of the November 2023 TOK Essay titles: Title 1: Are facts alone enough to prove a claim? Discuss with reference to any two areas of knowledge. Recommended AOKs: Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, History

  7. PDF Theory of knowledge prescribed titles

    Instructions to candidates • Your theory of knowledge essay must be written on one of the six essay titles (questions) provided overleaf. These essay titles take the form of knowledge questions that are focused on the areas of knowledge. You may choose any of the titles but are recommended to make your choice in consultation with your teacher.

  8. Example essays

    Last updated: 06 June 2023 As part of theory of knowledge (TOK), each student chooses one essay title from six issued by International Baccalaureate® (IB). The titles change in each examination session. Upcoming and past questions include: "To what extent are areas of knowledge shaped by their past?

  9. The Complete IB Extended Essay Guide: Examples, Topics, and Ideas

    The IB Extended Essay, or EE, is a mini-thesis you write under the supervision of an IB advisor (an IB teacher at your school), which counts toward your IB Diploma (learn more about the major IB Diploma requirements in our guide). I will explain exactly how the EE affects your Diploma later in this article.

  10. 2023

    The prescribed titles for the November 2023 TOK Essay has been released! Here are all the titles with detailed explanation and examples to get you started: Below are the explanations. ... students focus on the themes learned during the first year of the IB Diploma Programme, while the TOK Essay focuses on the Areas of Knowledge (AOK) primarily ...

  11. November 2023 TOK Essay Titles! : r/IBO

    This subreddit encourages questions, constructive feedback, and the sharing of knowledge and resources among IB students, alumni, and teachers. Note that the subreddit is not run by the International Baccalaureate. Members Online • djtech2 . November 2023 TOK Essay Titles! ToK/EE ... as TOK titles go. Lots of clear paths to good essays and ...

  12. IB ToK Essay Titles and Topics: November 2023

    The November 2023 ToK essay titles will not be released until March of 2023. The following social media will post immediate news of the November 2023 TOK titles when they become available. They also provide regular links to free TOK study resources, so it's worth following or liking them.

  13. May 2023 TOK Essay Prescribed Titles + SAMPLES & Suggestions

    September 3rd, 2023 IB Topics Every year, students anxiously wait for the IB to announce the TOK essay topics. So this year is not an exception; IBO has also announced 2023 May titles for IB TOK essay. The TOK essay can be quite a challenging one to write for most students.

  14. EXPLAINED: May 2024 TOK Essay Prescribed Titles

    The titles for May 2024 are released! Here they are below: Make sure to bookmark this page as I explain and provide examples for each of these titles in depth! UPDATE: Title 1, 2, 5 and 6 are now available. Stay tuned for more! For general guidance on how to write a good TOK essay, check out my TOK Essay advice collection.

  15. May 2023 TOK essay prescribed titles

    The prescribed titles for the May 2023 TOK essay have been released. Check with your TOK coordinator / teacher for the official document. Resources for the May 2023 TOK essay prescribed titles will be published shortly. Is replicability necessary in the production of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.

  16. Unpacking ToK Essay Titles

    It sets the stage for a "clear, coherent and critical exploration of the essay title." (ToK Essay Assessment Instrument, IB 2020) Examples of Unpacked ToK Essay Titles (May 24 Session) To illustrate, let's examine unpacked versions of three titles from the May 2024 session: Unpacking as a Prelude to the Thesis Statement. The unpacking of ...

  17. ToK Essay Prompts November 2023 + Samples & Explanations

    The TOK essay prescribed titles for November 2023 are finally out. Since many students struggle with TOK essays, it's quite good news that IB students have a lot of time to check those TOK prompts. No more general words, and dry theory, I'm sharing a list of the TOK titles.

  18. Examples

    These highlight the diverse range of topics covered by International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) students during their extended essays. Some examples are: "An analysis of costume as a source for understanding the inner life of the character". "A study of malnourished children in Indonesia and the extent of their recovery ...

  19. May 2024 TOK Essay Titles: Guide & Writing Tips

    TOK essay titles are a unique set of essay questions the IB organization releases annually. They are designed to challenge students to reflect critically on the nature of knowledge and how we come to know what we claim to know. So, each title poses a unique question that encourages deep thinking.

  20. Tok Essay Title 6

    Title 6 of the May 2023 TOK essay prompt draws attention to the methods and tools used in the TOK knowledge framework. The essay explores the extent to which the observations collected and evaluated through the use of methodologies impact the nature of newly produced knowledge.

  21. Tok Essay Title 1

    Title 1 of the May 2023 TOK essay prompt centers around the concept of "replicability" and its role in determining the quality of knowledge. The essay explores the significance of reproducing the same knowledge within a consistent framework, particularly in the natural sciences. While replicability often ensures credibility and the ability ...

  22. Why Data Breaches Spiked in 2023

    In spite of recent efforts to beef up cybersecurity, data breaches — in which hackers steal personal data — continue to increase year-on-year: there was a 20% increase in data breaches from ...