July 7, 2022


This guide will teach you how to write a TOK Exhibition commentary step-by-step.

We’ll cover everything you need to know to get the full marks, from choosing an IA prompt and objects to structuring the commentary and some important tips to help you handle the assignment.

A Theory of Knowledge Exhibition is a two-part assignment.

The first part is the presentation aspect of the project, which your teacher doesn’t grade.

The second part is the commentary, which is what counts in your final grades.

Do you need help with your TOK Exhibition commentary? Our TOK experts are here to help you get the work completed fast. 

What is a TOK Exhibition Commentary?

A TOK Exhibition Commentary is a 950-word assignment worth 33% of your final TOK grades.

Unlike the presentationwhich you can do in a group of up to five students, the exhibition is an individual project, which you should do on your own.

In writing a TOK exhibition commentary, you’ll have to choose an IA prompt the 35 prescribed titles, select 3 real-world objects, or images of the objects, and then use them to answer the prompt.

6 Steps to Writing a TOK Exhibition Commentary

1. Choose an IA Prompt 

The first step is to choose an IA prompt from the 35 prescribed titles.

Link the prompt to either the core theme or optional themes and to the format of the course designed by your teacher.

2. Choose Three Objects 

Choose three objects, which you’ll use to demonstrate how the Theory of Knowledge manifests itself in the world around us within the context of the IA prompt.

Your objects should not only be independent of those of your fellow students, they should also have you personal interest attached to them.

3. Plan Your Project 

While you aren’t allowed to discuss your projects with your fellow students, you can get sufficient guidance from your teacher and plan your project.

Discuss the prompt you’ve selected and why.

Talk about your objectives and the links you have to them as knowers, the context of your exhibition, and how you intend to demonstrate the manifestation of TOK in the world around you.

4. Write Your First Draft 

Write the first draft of your commentary.

The 950-word commentary should mention the three objects picked in step two and identify their real-world contexts.

Your explanation should show the link between the objects and the IA prompt, include reasonable evidence for the points you’ve made, and show the justification for the inclusion of each object in the commentary.

5. Submit the TOK Exhibition File 

Submit your exhibition file, which should include the following:

  • A title, as appearing on the IA prompt
  • Objects, or image of object
  • Your commentary
  • Sources, references, and citations

6. Do a TOK Exhibition Presentation 

This is not part of the assessment and your teacher won’t award you marks for it.

But it’s a great way to promote the TOK to your learning community.

How to Structure (or Outline) a TOK Exhibition Commentary

Start with the Title

The title of your TOK Exhibition is the IA prompt you selected from the 35 prescribed TOK titles.

Write the title exactly as it is, and make sure it includes the prompt number you picked.

Write Your Introduction (30 Words)

While a TOK Exhibition commentary doesn’t require an introduction, including one can help to frame your exploration.

It doesn’t have to be long; usually, 30 words are enough. 

If you choose to include this section in your commentary, make sure you state what you understand the prompt to mean and why it’s such a good IA prompt from the prescribed questions.

Work on Your First Object (290 Words)

Include the image of your first object immediately after the introduction.

It should take about a quarter of the page and placed on the center of the page.

Under the image, include a description of what the object is and mention its real-life context.

If you’re talking about an object that you don’t use yourself, such as a tweet from a famous personality, mention the real-world context that the object exists in.

Make it clear to the reader that the object in question is real, you know about it, and you have actually used it to a certain capacity.

You should link the real-world context of your object to the IA prompt included in the title.

In particular, you should explain why, and in what way, your object answers the prompt question.

Show how the real world context of your first object is a good example of what you’re trying to achieve.

Finally, there should be clear links between the IA prompt in the title and the object, with a very clear explanation for these links.

Work on Your Second Object (290 Words)

Work on your second object the exact same way you do your first object. Include the image about a quarter in size on the center of the page.

Not only should you describe what your object is, you should also describe its real-world concepts and develop your explanation.

In addition to linking your explanation of the object to the context of the IA prompt, you should make sure the point you make isn’t the same as the one you’ve made in your first object.

Work on Your Third Object (290 Words)

Here, you’ll show the image of your third object.

Again, it’s should take a quarter of the page and centered. Under the image, explain what the object is, its real-world context, and a clear explanation.

Make sure the explanation you give easily links back to the  IA prompt you selected from the prescribed titles.

Also, the points you make about the prompt shouldn’t be anything you have made with the first and the second object.

Write a Conclusion (50 Words)

The conclusion is where you tie everything together, so it shouldn’t be as hard to write.

Describe what your objects show as the answer to the Internal Assessment Prompt from the selected prescribed titles.

Use the objects you picked for the prompt question to show your readers, or teacher, how the Theory  of Knowledge manifests itself in the real world around you.

TOK Exhibition Commentary Tips

The following are some important tips that will help you write a good Theory of Knowledge Exhibition commentary.

1. Make Sure Your Images are Unique

The objects, or images of objects, you include in the Theory of Knowledge Exhibition commentary should be unique and independent to you.

Therefore, you shouldn’t discuss your project with another student.

Also, don’t download images from the internet; capture them yourself instead.

2. Remember, Objects Can’t Be Generic 

Your exhibition objects shouldn’t be generic. Instead, they must belong within a given place and time.

Also, the image can be physical or digital, provided it creates bridge between your commentary and the IA prompt selected.

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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