IB Theory of Knowledge: Sample TOK Essay + Tips

tok sample

Many IB students have a tendency to panic when it comes to writing an essay for English paper two. However, with good preparation, a few memorized quotes, and a solid knowledge of the themes of your novels, it is very much possible to score a 7 on the English Paper 2 examination.

The IB ToK is part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme core and it is compulsory for all IBDP students to take this. It asks for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.

We would first like to give you a basic outline on how to structure an essay and also organize all-inclusive quotes effectively for the books that are being read by you. Tutopiya also has a step-by-step guide for students to help guide them for their TOK Sample Essay.

Read also: How To Write a ToK Essay IBDP – Step-By-Step Guide


Tips to Structure Your Essay 

1 – Motivator (Address the question or statement)

2 – Background Summary (brief background to the texts and authors)

3 – Thesis

4 – Focus (how will you prove your thesis? This is where you state your arguments)

To bring you a better understanding of how to write an essay up to the IB standards, we have noted a TOK Sample below for you to download. 



TOK Sample Essay

fountain pen on spiral book

In the sample TOK, we will be exploring this question:


“There are only two ways in which humankind can produce knowledge: through passive observation or through active experiment.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 


What is knowledge? Oxford Dictionary states that ‘Knowledge is facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject’ (Oxforddictionaries.com, 2014). 

From this definition we can clearly relate that knowledge is produced through active experimentation as well as passive observation both of which humankind can for example ‘acquire through experience’ and hence we can refer to both these terms for producing knowledge.

Furthermore, passive learning is when the learner is inert to the knowledge surrounding them and has no power nor control over the knowledge that revolves around them which has already been produced, whilst active learning is when the learner questions the world surrounding them, to seek the knowledge needed or required.


Open the PDF version of our sample here (you can also download it!):

tok sample
Download Here!

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