August 20, 2021

TOK Essay Prescribed Titles

The TOK Essay Prescribed Topics (May 2019)

The following are the prescribed TOK essay titles for 2019. Students will have 1600 words to answer these titles.

1. “The quality of knowledge is best measured by how many people accept it.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

2. “The production of knowledge is always a collaborative task and never solely a product of the individual.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

3. Do good explanations have to be true? (Click to see sample)

4. “Disinterestedness is essential in the pursuit of knowledge.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

5. “The production of knowledge requires accepting conclusions that go beyond the evidence for them.” Discuss this claim.

6. “One way to assure the health of discipline is to nurture contrasting perspectives.” Discuss this claim.

The TOK Essay Prescribed Topics (November 2020)

1. "If a disagreement about knowledge claims needs to be resolved, then it is essential to give equal attention to both sides.” Under what circumstances is this good advice?

2. “Understanding something requires being able to answer ‘What if…?’ questions about it.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

3. “Too much of our knowledge revolves around ourselves, as if we are the most important thing in the universe” (adapted from Carlo Rovelli). Why might this be problematic?

4. “The process of gaining knowledge is more valuable than reaching an end result.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

5. “The questions we can ask depend more on what we already know than on what we do not know.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

6. “Reliable knowledge can lack certainty.” Explore this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

The TOK Essay Prescribed Topics (May 2021)

1. “Accepting knowledge claims always involves an element of trust.” Discuss this claim with
reference to two areas of knowledge.
2. Within areas of knowledge, how can we differentiate between change and progress? Answer with
reference to two areas of knowledge.
3. “Labels are a necessity in the organization of knowledge, but they also constrain our
understanding.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.
4. “Statistics conceal as much as they reveal.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas
of knowledge.
5. “Areas of knowledge are most useful in combination with each other.” Discuss this claim with
reference to two areas of knowledge.
6. “Avoiding bias seems a commendable goal, but this fails to recognize the positive role that bias can
play in the pursuit of knowledge.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.


The November 2021 TOK Essay Prescribed Titles

1. Why is it so difficult to identify a clear line between accepted and disputed knowledge within a discipline? Answer with reference to two disciplines, each taken from a different area of knowledge.

2. “Knowledge gained through direct experience is powerful but problematic.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

3. “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact” (Arthur Conan Doyle). Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

4. “Areas of knowledge always rely on a systematic process of trial and error to aid the production of knowledge.” Discuss this claim with reference to two areas of knowledge.

5. “If all knowledge is provisional, when can we have confidence in what we claim to know?” Answer with reference to two areas of knowledge.

6. “We are rarely completely certain, but we are frequently certain enough.” Discuss this statement with reference to two areas of knowledge.

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About the author 

Antony W

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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