Everything You Need to Know About a TOK Presentation

TOK Presentation at SolidEssay.comIf you are an International Baccalaureate (IB) student, you will be required to conduct a theory of knowledge (TOK) presentation. TOK presentations are done to demonstrate that analysis of knowledge can have real-life applications and they are usually done by identifying a knowledge topic and exploring them using real-life situations. As writing a TOK presentation is a must for all IB students, let’s look at how to do it.

TOK Presentation Structure

A TOK presentation outline has two main areas: 

  • Development section – This is where the knowledge question is assessed with regards to the areas of knowledge (AOK) and ways of knowing (WOK). For each AOK or WOK, students need to make a claim (what you want to prove), counterclaim (a problem with your claim) and mini-conclusion (bringing your claim and counterclaim together as a cohesive thought).
  • Use of evidence section – This is when you provide evidence for all your claims and counterclaims made for each AOK and WOK.

Your TOK presentation should have about 10 slides outlined as follows:

  • Slide 1 – Begin with a title page where you state the title of your TOK presentation and your name. You may also state what the real-life situation is and how it impacted you.
  • Slide 2 – Explain your situation using some TOK key terms.
  • Slide 3 – State your knowledge question, making sure to outline the AOKs and WOKs you will use to explore it and how they are related to it.
  • Slide 4 – 6 – In these slides, you will state your claim, counterclaim and mini-conclusion for each AOK and/or WOK related to your knowledge question.
  • Slide 7 – Conclude by explaining your final decision/conclusion and how you arrived at it. You may also give your thoughts on any possible flaws.
  • Slide 8 – Explain how your real-life situation is linked to your conclusion.
  • Slide 9 – Bibliography (if necessary)

Now that you have your theory of knowledge outline, it is time to look at what makes a good TOK presentation.

Here are 10 Tips for Writing Your TOK Presentation

  1. Start on a good note. Choose an issue about knowledge or a real-life situation that interests you. Whatever your choice, make sure you are able to speak on it in terms of TOK and it will be interesting to your audience as well.
  1. Choose the right knowledge question. Your knowledge question must be based on the construction or nature of knowledge. Your TOK presentation can be ruined if you have a poorly formulated the knowledge question.
  1. Make sure your real-life situation is real, relevant and you are genuinely interested in it.
  1. Don’t start your PowerPoint before making a plan of what you want to present. Make sure you have all your arguments and points ready before you even think about how to present them.
  1. An AOK is not the same as a TOK. Explaining what an area of knowledge says about an issue is not the same as writing a TOK essay; you must compare the AOK approaches to constructing knowledge.
  1. Your TOK presentation must teach your reader something new. These are opportunities for learning and expanding knowledge base, so make sure you present a topic that is new and will allow your audience to gain knowledge they didn’t have before.
  1. Own your TOK presentation. You don’t have to present a PowerPoint presentation as there are other ways to portray your TOK in a visual manner. But, if you must use PowerPoint, own it! Don’t just read from the slides, but rather use it as a guide that you occasionally glance at for the main points.
  1. Research how to effectively and efficiently conduct your TOK presentation. The art of presenting is not just standing in front of a crowd and reciting information. A good presenter is one who is engaging as well as informative. Use all the resources you have to find ways to add some spunk to your presentation, but without making it gimmicky.
  1. Practice how you plan to present. To perfect the art of presenting you must practice. Do this to get comfortable with the words and work on how best to relay the information to your audience. Regardless of your chosen method, you need to practice, practice, practice.
  1. Use a theory of knowledge presentation planning document to outline the key points of your presentation, as it is very useful to you and the moderators.

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TOK Presentation Topics

TOK essay topics are sometimes not very easy to craft. However, below we have a few that we believe are worthy of your thoughts and ideas. 

TOP 10 TOK Presentation Topics for IB Students

  1. Drug testing should be mandatory for athletes of all ages, whether a student or professional.
  2. Is professional wrestling a sport or is it for entertainment?
  3. Human cloning should be allowed. What do you think?
  4. Do you think the current ways of categorizing violent video games are sufficient to protect our children?
  5. Is refusing to accept refugees into your country inhumane?
  6. What are your thoughts on the exponential growth of Black Friday Sales?
  7. Narcissism is increasing in our population. Do you agree?
  8. Love is the end result of a series of chemical reactions between hormones in the body. What are your thoughts?
  9. Sex offenders cannot be rehabilitated. Do you agree?
  10. China’s one child policy is a great way to control population growth. What are your thoughts? 

Frequently Asked Questions About TOK Presentations

Theory of Knowledge is an interesting topic and students often have many questions about it. Here we have answered some of the most popular questions.  

What is a ‘good’ knowledge question?

A good knowledge question is one that is open-ended, allowing for several answers, focusing on knowledge and is expressed in general terms, allowing the opportunity to look at several aspects of the topic rather than a specific case.

A good knowledge question is one that is open-ended, allowing for several answers, focusing on knowledge and is expressed in general terms, allowing to look at several aspects of the topic rather than a specific case.
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What is a TOK presentation outline?

A TOK presentation outline is a roadmap or guide to how your theory of knowledge presentation will flow. Doing a TOK presentation outline allows you to organize your thoughts and ideas better, enabling you to present your information in a more cohesive and logical manner.

How would you define the following TOK terms?

  1. Knowledge issues. A knowledge issue is a question about knowledge or a real-life situation that can have two possible answers.
  2. ‘Derived / Sub-’ Knowledge Issues. Derived or sub knowledge issues are a category of a knowledge question or real-life situation; that is, it is a derivative of the main knowledge issue.
  3. Claims and Counter-claims. Claims are something you believe to be true and plan to prove via discussion and debate. A counterclaim is an alternative argument to the knowledge claim made. As TOK aims to explore other ideas and options, a counterclaim is needed to “balance” the theory of knowledge discussion.
  4. Real Life Situation. Real-life situations are the basis or foundation of a TOK. They are used as examples of proof in the essay and are often a topic that is of great interest.

How to Understand a TOK presentation rubric?

TOK presentation rubric aims to determine if the presenter has demonstrated how TOK concepts can have real-life, practical applications. The TOK presentation rubric should have three main parts:

  1. Knowledge question formulation. The presenter must show that the knowledge question is well formulated and derived from a real-life situation.
  2. Exploration of knowledge question. This is where the presenter must show how the TOK concepts can have practical applications, making sure to use the tools and language of TOK.
  3.  Outcomes of analysis. This is the end result or conclusions about how to answer the knowledge question and it must link back to the real-life situation.

Is there a specific format for TOK presentations?

TOK presentations have two main sections: development and use of evidence that are organized into a complete presentation of at least ten slides.

Do I need to acknowledge the sources in the TOK presentation?

Any source used for a TOK presentation must be appropriately referenced in the usual manner and according to the IB Academic Honesty Principles.

What should I know about TOK oral presentation?

TOK oral presentation is an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and ideas on their chosen topic. They may present it in a format comfortable to them and suited to their topic. This includes but is not limited to a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, lecture, dramatization or debate. Supporting materials such as costumes, props, projectors, videos, pictures, posters or songs can be used to help illustrate the main points. The TOK oral presentation must include: 

  1. An introduction that explains the real-life situation and knowledge question, making sure to link it to one or more knowledge issues.
  2. An exploration of the nature of the knowledge issues and how these relate to the real-life situation.

TOK presentations range in time from 10 minutes for individual presenters to 30 minutes for groups.

TOK presentations range in time from 10 minutes for individual presenters to 30 minutes for groups.
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So, you just received an earful about theory of knowledge presentations. With the detailed information given, there is more than adequate guidance for you to put forward a stellar TOK presentation. Good luck and happy writing!

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