Part 1: Essay on a prescribed title



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Part 1: Essay on a prescribed title

The following diagram shows the question underpinning a global impression judgment of the TOK essay. This question is to shape the reading and assessing of TOK essays.



The judgment about the TOK essay is to be made on the basis of the following two aspects:



1. Understanding knowledge questions

This aspect is concerned with the extent to which the essay focuses on knowledge questions relevant to the prescribed title, and with the depth and breadth of the understanding demonstrated in the essay.

Knowledge questions addressed in the essay should be shown to have a direct connection to the chosen prescribed title, or to be important in relation to it.

Depth of understanding is often indicated by drawing distinctions within WOKs and AOKs, or by connecting several facets of knowledge questions to these.

Breadth of understanding is often indicated by making comparisons between WOKs and AOKs. Since not all prescribed titles lend themselves to an extensive treatment of an equal range of AOKs or WOKs, this element in the descriptors should be applied with concern for the particularity of the title.

Relevant questions to be considered include the following.



  • Does the essay demonstrate understanding of knowledge questions that are relevant to the prescribed title?

  • Does the essay demonstrate an awareness of the connections between knowledge questions, AOKs and WOKs?

  • Does the student show an awareness of his or her own perspective as a knower in relation to other perspectives, such as those that may arise, for example, from academic and philosophical traditions, culture or position in society (gender, age, and so on)?

2. Quality of analysis of knowledge questions

This aspect is concerned only with knowledge questions that are relevant to the prescribed title. Relevant questions to be considered include the following.



  • What is the quality of the inquiry into knowledge questions?

  • Are the main points in the essay justified?

  • Are the arguments coherent and compelling?

  • Have counterclaims been considered?

  • Are the implications and underlying assumptions of the essay’s argument identified?

  • Are the arguments effectively evaluated?

TOK essay assessment instrument (beginning 2015 sessions)

Does the student present an appropriate and cogent analysis of knowledge questions in discussing the title?

Aspect

Level 5

Excellent

9-10

Level 4

Very Good

7-8

Level 3

Satisfactory

5-6

Level 2

Basic

3-4

Level 1

Elementary

1-2

Irrelevant

0

Understanding knowledge questions

There is a sustained focus on knowledge questions connected to the prescribed title and are well chosen-developed with investigation of different perspectives and linked effectively to areas of knowledge and/or ways of knowing.



There is a focus on knowledge questions connected to the prescribed title- developed with acknowledgement of different perspectives and linked to areas of knowledge and/or ways of knowing

There is a focus on some knowledge questions connected to the prescribed title- with some development and linking to areas of knowledge and/or ways of knowing.

Some knowledge questions that re connected to the prescribed title are considered, but the essay is largely descriptive, with superficial or limited links to areas of knowledge and/or ways of knowing.

The essay has only very limited relevance to the prescribed title- relevant points are descriptive.

The essay does not reach a standard described by levels 1-5 or is not a response to one of the prescribed titles on the list for the current session.

Quaility of analysis of knowledge questions

Arguments are clear, supported by real life examples and are effectively evaluated; counterclaims are extensively explored; implications are drawn.

Arguments are clear, supported by real-life examples and are evaluated; some counterclaims are identified and explored.


Some arguments are clear and supported by examples; some counterclaims are identified.

Arguments are offered but are unclear and/or not supported by effective examples.

Assertions are offered but are not supported.




CHARACTERISTICS

Cogent

Accomplished

Discerning

Individual

Lucid

Insightful

Compelling

Pertinent

Relevant

Thoughtful

Analytical

Organized

Credible

Coherent


Typical

Acceptable

Mainstream

Adequate

Competent


Underdeveloped

Basic

Superficial

Derivative

Rudimentary

Limited

Ineffective

Descriptive

Incoherent

Formless




Part 2: Presentation

The following diagram shows the question underpinning a global impression judgment of the TOK presentation.





TOK presentation assessment instrument

Level 5
Excellent
9–10

Level 4
Very good
7–8

Level 3
Satisfactory
5–6

Level 2
Basic
3–4

Level 1
Elementary
1–2

Irrelevant
0

The presentation is focused on a well-formulated knowledge question that is clearly connected to a specified real-life situation. The knowledge question is effectively explored in the context of the real-life situation, using convincing arguments, with investigation of different perspectives. The outcomes of the analysis are shown to be significant to the chosen real-life situation and to others.

The presentation is focused on a knowledge question that is connected to a specified real-life situation. The knowledge question is explored in the context of the real-life situation, using clear arguments, with acknowledgment of different perspectives. The outcomes of the analysis are shown to be significant to the real-life situation

The presentation identifies a knowledge question that has some connection to a specified real-life situation. The knowledge question is explored in the context of the real-life situation, using some adequate arguments. There is some awareness of the significance of the outcomes of the analysis.

The presentation identifies a knowledge question and a real-life situation, although the connection between them may not be convincing. There is some attempt to explore the knowledge question. There is limited awareness of the significance of the outcomes of the analysis.

The presentation describes a real-life situation without reference to any knowledge question, or treats an abstract knowledge question without connecting it to any specific real-life situation.

The presentation does not reach the standard described by levels 1–5.

Sophisticated
Discerning
Insightful
Compelling
Lucid


Credible
Analytical
Organized
Pertinent
Coherent


Relevant
Adequate
Acceptable
Predictable


Underdeveloped
Basic
Unbalanced
Superficial
Derivative
Rudimentary


Ineffective
Unconnected
Incoherent
Formless






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