It’s a good day, and you’re sitting in your class waiting for your IB professor to come in. Just as your professor enters the room, they announce the Theory of Knowledge (ToK) Exhibition assessment.
At first, you feel like this might just be like another academic essay. But boy, were you wrong.
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As your professor explains the requirements, purpose, and procedure of completing your ToK assessment, you spiral into confusion. You wonder, “How do I write a ToK Exhibition essay?”.
Original: SourceDon’t panic. You’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll tell you how to write a solid ToK exhibition essay without losing your mind.
What is an IB ToK Exhibition
Theory of Knowledge is a crucial subject that allows you to score three extra points, which will be added to your final IB score. For this assessment, you are required to write an essay and give an exhibition which collectively will make your ToK score.
Writing the essay as well as the exhibition can get overwhelming because working on this assignment will require innate knowledge of multiple academic disciplines, helping you deliver a high-quality paper.
The crux of this assessment is finding innovative and unconventional examples or objects that support both the claim and the counterclaim for your essay and exhibition.
The purpose of the ToK essay and exhibition revolves around answering the ‘why’ behind all the research. You can derive vast awareness of the knowledge that is needed to have a perspective of the world beyond.
By the end of the assignment, you are sure to have a unique perception and will appreciate the diversity of thoughts and ideas.
Here’s a visual breakdown by Emiliano Ruiz-Ayala of what the ToK exhibition is all about.
How to Approach Your ToK Exhibition Essay
The ToK Exhibition weighs 33% of your total ToK grade. This process requires you to create an exhibition of three objects that come along with a commentary.
This commentary is added to help in highlighting the concepts that you have learned with these objects, in relation to your subject in school.
This exhibition is strict and students are to perform individually and not in groups. This ensures that your chosen objects don't overlap or mix with some other student in your class.
These three objects are picked out through the context of your assessment prompt, which you’ll narrow down from 35 different prompts given to you.
The complete process of finishing the essay includes
1. Preparing a file of the content of your exhibition
- a clear title regarding the IA prompt that you’ve selected;
- images of the three particular objects used;
- a typed commentary that includes the identification of the objects, their relation to the real world, their relevance of use in the exhibition, and their link to the chosen prompt;
- relevant references, citations, and examples.
2. The exhibition of your work
- A classroom exhibition.
- A virtual exhibition.
- An event that encourages parents and school members to view the exhibition.
How to structure your Exhibition Essay for IB
Before we dissect the essay into four parts, keep the following tips for writing a ToK essay in mind.
Tips for writing an exhibition essay in mind
1. Don't neglect what the ToK essay title is asking of you, and make sure you identify and understand the key terms. These terms will be your essay’s anchor and can help you write content that gravitates around them. Brainstorm with your ToK coordinator, if required.
2. Ask yourself what kind of knowledge is being showcased.
3. When choosing the areas of knowledge (AoK) and ways of knowing (WoK), be sure to find evidence that not just supports your evidence but also challenges your claims.
4. Just as you would write any other academic essay, keep in mind to generate a proper thesis statement and include topic sentences for an easier readability rate.
Your essay will constitute four broad segments
A strong introduction allows its readers to understand the knowledge question that you’re required to answer easily.
Introduce your ToK Essay title accurately and give a few interesting points about it. Next, you should write down the thesis statement clearly, as this statement is the basic gist of your entire essay where you’re defining key terms and interpreting the primal question.
Lastly, state your essay’s roadmap, as this can help your professors understand the direction of your essay.
The body paragraphs are further divided into three segments.
1st and 2nd segments
Here you research your first Area of Knowledge and draw parallels between it and your question.
Since these claims are general and do not need a particular area of knowledge as a reference, they can help you structure your essay and push you to investigate the question further.
You then need to further describe examples of real-life situations that support your stated claim.
State and expand on your counterclaim to show the other perspective on the topic. Reference real-life examples to show how they can support your counterclaim.
It is important to weave your WoK (ways of knowing) into your body paragraphs to take account of the source of your knowledge. Make it a point to question if your knowledge would have been different if you had acquired it in another way or through another source.
Add a mini conclusion after each segment of the body paragraph to analyze your examples in reference to your claims and counterclaims. These must connect to the thesis statement and the selected essay title.
This portion of your essay will consist of you comparing and contrasting various Areas of Knowledge. Connect them to your thesis statement and your chosen title showing how your arguments relate to it.
The conclusion of your essay is meant to tie all the arguments, evidence, and points in one paragraph. You need to:
- Include your reiterated thesis statement.
- Use the mini conclusions of each of the body paragraph segments to develop a final conclusion.
- Write down the significance of understanding the meaning behind the selected objects.
- Offer another perspective and how it can affect the claims/counterclaims you made in the essay.
Cite all your references, sources, and selected examples in a neat and organized MLA or APA-style bibliography.
What Makes a Good Exhibition Essay Object
If you are trying to find relevant objects or images of objects for the ToK Exhibition, it is important to take note that if these objects do not reflect in even one of the prescribed prompts that you’ll pick to write your essay on, you will get a failing grade.
To ensure your three objects are related to the essay prompt, you must
- Choose objects that have a real-world context.
- All three selected objects should be linked to your selected prompt.
- There should also be a proper link between the three objects.
- You should be able to draft a 950-word commentary set within the context of the objects.
Here are some tips to consider while choosing objects for your ToK exhibition
1. The chosen objects can be in a physical form or even digital -- such as images of an object, a tweet or comment by a person, a picture of a painting made by a famous artist, etc. However, IB recommends using digital objects because not every object can be produced in class physically.
2. The object that you’ve picked should be of personal interest to you and should showcase its significance or value at the exhibition.
3. A real-world connection should be present in all three objects, as well as they shouldn't be generic examples of something. Generality does not highlight the object’s value.
4. Creating new objects just for the exhibition is not allowed, whereas you can create something that has an older relevance to you. The very purpose of the ToK Exhibition’s objects is to relate the theory that’s studied in school to objects we see around us in everyday life.
5. Always remember to give an identification of the selected objects in the exhibition. Proper referencing and citing of the objects are necessary to be included.
6. You must include a typed commentary that identifies the objects you’ve chosen, justifying why you thought of including these specific objects in the exhibition and specifying their real-world context.
ToK Exhibition and Essay are an integral and challenging part of an IB student’s life, and just as it comprises a major grade of your final assessment, it is important to deliver a quality A-grade essay and a flawless exhibition.
We hope this guide will answer all your questions pertaining to writing ToK essays.
If you’re still confused, you can reach out to us at Writers Per Hour. Our professional IB writers can help you write a compelling ToK essay that leaves your professors impressed and gets you that coveted grade.
Last edit at Dec 25 2022