Polishing up your essays

Posted on Dec 8, 2011 in TOK

Today in class we actually have a fair amount to do.

Presentation – The first order of business is for Shohei and Hifumi to present a retake oral presentation. We will be peer scoring these as well so you may want to take a look at the criteria again (click). Remember you can ask them questions at the end to help them score higher on the assessment criteria. Pay attention and do them a favor by asking them something insightful.

Essay – After that we will dive back into the essay again. If you are not done with your draft you will need to work on that during the time remaining. If you have finished your draft I would like you to sit down with another person in the class and read each other’s essays. As you go through it I’d like you to check that the following aspects are present in the essay.

a) That you are clear about the knowledge issue/s that will be treated in the essay by the end of the first paragraph.

b) That there is some effort to clarify terminology early in the essay.

c) That as part of each example some analysis takes place with regard to knowledge issues.

d) That multiple perspectives are considered – for/against/neutral parties/etc.

e) That the examples are unique and are not cliche – ie the world is round but we used to think it was flat.

f) That ToK terminology is present in the essay – ie WoK and AoK are mentioned and the terms are accurate.

g) That paragraphs are not excessively long. If you find some that are, read them more carefully and explore if the ideas mightn’t be better off broken up into small more concise paragraphs.

h) That you can point out where in the essay the writer has mentioned an implication of their major argument. For example, “If this conclusion is accepted, then it may hold implications in other areas of knowledge. In history, for instance, where a historian may have access to a first person source they still need to be aware of the influence of their own perspective and the perspective of their source when forming conclusions. An effective option for managing this may be to draw tentative conclusions in history, explicitly state the biases that have influenced it, and acknowledge other possible interpretations.”

i) That there are in text citations and the reference list is complete.

Here are the essay criteria again in case you need them (click).


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