May 2021 TOK essay titles

The May 2021 TOK essay prescribed titles – for DP schools in the Northern Hemisphere – will be released in September 2020, and we’ll offer some guidance on what they’ll be looking for on this page. These thoughts will align to other aspects of our support for the TOK essay.
We’ll think about the key words we think need pinning down in the introduction of your essay (see to help you with your introduction), the links to the BQ framework that we use to teach the course, and one or two consideration points to bear in mind as you write your essay.
These ideas will roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session that you’ll have with your TOK teacher. After you have chosen a PT, you’ll then go on to have three face-to-face with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

Support for the TOK essay

Make sure that your TOK teacher has given you access to all the documents and online material that support the essay. These include the TOK Subject Guide, the TOK essay rubric, and exemplar TOK essays (found in ‘MyIB’, which is accessible to teachers).
Make sure you go through our other pages on writing the TOK essay. You’ll find help on understanding what the is looking for, that works for you, what each of the should focus on, how to an effective TOK essay, and how to fill in your .
If your school is a member of, we have designed a series of lessons on the essay, with two formative assessment tasks. These will familiarize you with the essay rubric, knowledge questions, real-life situations, how to deal with perspectives and implications, and structuring an essay. If you are signed into the site, you can access these lessons here.
You can also find out our thoughts on the TOK essay (and the TOK exhibition) in several webinars that we have delivered, which you can access on this page of the site.

Ask a question

We’ll also be happy to respond to questions you might have on the TOK essay. We can’t, unfortunately, reply to all of these, but we will try our best to offer answers to the most frequently asked. Use the contact form to get in touch.