Moving Forward on your Title

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 in TOK

At this stage you are probably pretty anxious to get going on outlining your final essay and moving forward on your title. Like many things, success in this task is in the preparation. To that end there is still ample time for you to be able to flesh out the concepts and examples that will enable you to best address the title you choose. By the end of the class today you will have identified your final title, explored different thesis statement options, discussed knowledge issues and examples that relate to it and your thesis statement,

Step 1 (5 min) РWrite the area of knowledge and your title for your extended essay on our title share document (column 1). This is to help identify different areas of relative expertise in our class. This could be helpful in case you are in need of examples from these areas of knowledge or in related ways of knowing.

Step 2 (10 min) – Make sure you have completed thesis statements for each of the titles on the title share document (This should be done already). If you have done this already review your own thesis statements to make sure they are clear. Brainstorm some concrete examples that you could cite and use to address the titles and your thesis statements.

Step 3 (5 min)- Change the color (red or something equally noticeable) of the thesis statement you wrote for the title that you are planning to use for your final essay.

Step 4 (10 min) – Read all of the thesis statements for your title. Identify any thesis statements that are similar to yours. Select one thesis statement that is different to yours and make sure you understand what the author intended. If it is not clear to you, find that person and ask them to clarify it for you. This could help you identify other approaches or perspectives on your question so you avoid blind spots and your own bias.

Step 5 (10 min) РPrepare a central knowledge issue that relates to your title and, at least, one secondary knowledge issue for your title. If you are unclear on knowledge claims and knowledge issues (questions) review these ideas by reading this excerpt from the TOK guide.

Step 6 (20 min) – After you have your central knowledge issue and a secondary knowledge issue written you will be meeting with the people who have selected the same title for their essay as you have. Take notes of what you discuss as a group. In that small group follow these steps in turn.

  • each person share why you chose the title.
  • each person share your main knowledge issue and secondary knowledge issue/s.
  • as a group discuss the areas of knowledge and ways of knowing that are most relevant to this title and the various knowledge issues you have identified. Make sure to discuss why/how they are related.
  • as a group share different concrete examples that people in your group plan to research further (for citations) and use to support their analysis of the question.
  • remember to analyze different perspectives regarding your examples by asking questions such as:
    • Who holds a particular perspective and why are they involved?

    • Are there aspects of self-interest?

    • What assumptions have you made either based on your values, culture, perspective, etc.

    Be careful not to make generalized assumptions about a perspective or that the perspectives you explore are entirely distinct or without some overlap.

Step 7 (30 min or remaining time) – Begin outlining your essay using the template from the TOK Class Site. Share your outline with me as a google doc for input and feedback.

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