TOK Essay :Self and Peer Review

Welcome back Seniors!


In doing a preliminary review of your Prescribed Title Essays, I think it would be helpful to do a brief  Self and Peer Review.

Below is the link to the Google doc we’ll be using:

After you annotate your own essay, identifying the Knowledge Issue Questions, the thesis, the claims and evidence to support your thesis, the counterclaims to your claim, the perspectives, the AOK and WOK used, and  the significance and implications (15-20 min), you will then exchange papers with a a peer (hopefully tackling a different question than you).

That person will:

a. read the first and last paragraphs and skip the middle. Does it make sense? Do you get a good sense of what they are trying to say?

b. play the devil’s advocate – try to make counterclaims if you see a chance. Make the “yeah…but..” statements.

c. Ask the “so what?” Ask other questions, too.

d. check for a reader, are the transitions smooth? Does the structure make sense?

e. point out any glaring errors.

…and you will do the same for someone else. (20 min)


Wednesday, Jan 8 (N): periods 7, Lunch, and 5     [self and peer edit essay]

Friday, Jan. 10 (A): periods 6, 7, 5(at lunch)     [self and peer edit essay period 6; per. 7 work on revisions or film; per 5 presos]

Tuesday, Jan. 14 (D): periods Lunch, 6   [studio time to work on revisions and film ]

Thursday, Jan. 16 (N): periods 7,Lunch, and 5   [studio time to work on revisions and film; period 5 might need to finish presos]

Wednesday, Jan. 22 (A): periods 6,7, 5 (at lunch)  [studio time to work on revisions and film]

Friday, Jan. 24 (D): periods Lunch, 6    [studio time to work on revisions and film]

Tuesday, Jan 28 (N): periods 7, Lunch, and 5  [LUNCH group final party and Disruptus game; studio time for periods 5 and 7]

Thursday, Jan. 30 (A): periods 6, 7, 5 (at lunch)   [final parties and Disruptus game]


Final Presentation: Individual, Free Choice Topic, Video

We have done 2 of 3 required TOK presentations thus far: one related to Language as a Way of Knowing and one free choice (any Area of Knowledge or Way of Knowing)

Your final presentation will be INDIVIDUAL – that is, you will create a presentation by yourself and for a total of at least 10 minutes.

Since presenting orally takes a long time, we will be doing this one as a video (of any sort).

Choosing your topic: One suggestion is to choose an AOK or WOK you enjoy, then narrow in on one of the open-ended questions available on the Unit Plans (which can be accessed as files in ManageBac for this course).


– How has technology changed the functioning and role of the senses? (Sense Perception as a WOK)

– Can a machine have emotion? (Emotion as a WOK)

– How do stereotypes and prejudice relate to reason? (Reason as a WOK)

– What role does remix and mashup – collective creativity and transformation – play in the ARTS?

– Are humans the only species who make and appreciate ART (including music)? How do we know?

– How does LITERATURE (ARTS) help us understand human nature?

– How should HISTORY be taught?

– What does symmetry have to do with notions of beauty (MATH)?

– How has technology affected the NATURAL SCIENCES?

– How do HUMAN SCIENTISTS identify patterns in human behavior and what are the implications of understanding those patterns?

– Does History show we’ve made MORAL progress (ETHICS)?

THINK OF TOK TERMS LIKE: reliable, belief, evidence, truth, certainty, interpretation, bias, technology…

Examples of types of videos (RSA animate-style, Common craft, stop-motion, voiceover with images or video clips, dramatic re-enactment, Vlogbrothers-style vlog, involvement of friends, etc.)


Access this G Spreadsheet for artefact types/ examples / tips from a MOOC I was in (some are films)

Access my Diigo CREATE folder

Access this “Video Styles for Projects” I’ve compiled

OUTSIDE LJA EXAMPLES (ones I’ve found, for better or worse…)


How reliable are language and emotion as WOKS?




Does the Possession of Memory Preserve Our Identity”

What sorts of Truths to the Arts allow us to discover?

How do we know what principals should be used to judge ART?

How do Reason, Emotion, and Perception play a role in justifying “What is Art”?

Should we use the science of de-extinction if we have the power to?

Where is the line between good mistakes and bad mistakes? (What knowledge do mistakes and serendipity give us?)

To what extent can an artist’s work be truly original?

What is the relationship between art and perception (cinematography)

DUE DATE FOR ALL CLASSES: Thursday, Dec. 12 by 11pm posted to blog

***late or not posted- you will need to physically come in Dec.17,18, or 19 until complete

Presentation Planning document: Check MB or access the Google doc here:

Final Videos: last day to post YouTube video to blog= Friday, Jan. 31

Planning your TOK Prescribed Title Essay

Now that you have (hopefully) chosen your favourite of the 6  Essay Titles, it is time for you to start planning your essay.

We’ll be using the PLANNING DOC linked HERE and at the left-hand side menu.

There are some other important and helpful resources (see screen shot)

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 3.37.27 PM

Please do Steps 1-6 of The “STEPS TO YOUR ESSAY” 

2 Great Resources:

Ric Sims (@sharpcomposer ) is the Chief Deputy Assessor and my trainer for TOK. HERE ARE HIS GUIDELINES (includes timeframe)

also check out Tim Woods’ Top 10 Tips for Scoring High on the TOK Essay AND “How to Structure a TOK Essay” , and “How to Meet all TOK Essay Requirements”

You will be given class time in which to work on this, particularly when  I’ll be in Canada presenting, and Mrs. Uherek will be your sub. 


You can read the amazing pdf. written by Richard van de Lagemaat (author of the main TOK book and curriculum writer for TOK).

It’s located under “Essay Resources”, a submenu in the Prescribed Title link to the left

I’ve pulled out the main points and created 6 vlogs (major topics above each video) – (created in 2012)

Vlog #1: Overview

Vlog #2: Introduction, Paragraphs, Conclusion, Citations

Vlog #3: Content, Making it Personal, Definitions

Vlog #4: Arguments, Evidence, Counterarguments, Avoiding Major Errors

Vlog #5: Depth and Breadth

Vlog #6: Examples to Avoid, Quotations, Plagiarism