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November 2021 Titles

N21 prescribed essay titles

The N21 TOK prescribed essay titles are now being written by Southern Hemisphere schools, for a mid-September deadline. We’ll be discussing the titles in more depth in our N21 TOK essay webinar.

Below you’ll find the key words to pin down, links to the BQ framework (2015 syllabus), and consideration points.

Prescribed title 1

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

Make sure you pin down…
  • clear line
  • accepted
  • disputed
  • discipline
relates to…
  • BQ7 – the creation of knowledge has a close relationship with disputes over knowledge, and the path towards ideas and theories becoming accepted.
  • BQ8 – understanding that we can rarely be certain about knowledge is part of being an expert knower.
BEAR IN MIND…
  • What is a ‘clear line’?
  • ‘Accepted’ by whom?
  • ‘Dispute’ amongst which group of knowers?
  • The title is asking you to identify a ‘discipline’ within an AOK – not a whole AOK

Prescribed title 2

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

MAKE SURE YOU PIN DOWN…
  • direct experience
  • powerful 
  • problematic
RELATES TO…
  • BQ1 – Rational vs. empirical knowledge
  • BQ8 – Expert knowers understand the need to be skeptical about all knowledge – even that which is acquired via first-hand means
BEAR IN MIND…
  • Number of AOKs not stated – you’ll have to be careful about the scope of this essay
  • Defining ‘powerful’ is difficult

Prescribed title 3

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

MAKE SURE YOU PIN DOWN…
  • deceptive 
  • obvious fact
RELATES TO…
  • BQ5 – Knowledge expressed as being ‘obvious’ and ‘fact’ may mislead us about its true nature 
  • BQ6 – Our perspectives make ‘obvious facts’ far more elusive
  • BQ8 – We need to approach knowledge in a nuanced way; these two terms should be viewed as difficult
BEAR IN MIND…
  • Do ‘obvious facts’ actually exist?
  • This is a ‘discuss’ essay, but the statement is absolute

Prescribed title 4

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

MAKE SURE YOU PIN DOWN…
  • always
  • systematic process
  • aid
  • trial and error
RELATES TO…
  • BQ7 – This question deals with the production of (new) knowledge – is this always ‘systematic’?
BEAR IN MIND…
  • The question is absolute – because of that word ‘always’
  • Having said that, make sure you remember that word ‘aid’ – rather than just interpret this question as trial and error being the only way knowledge is produced

Prescribed title 5

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

MAKE SURE YOU PIN DOWN…
  • provisional 
  • confidence
  • claim to know
RELATES TO…
  • BQ7 – Relates to the creation of new knowledge
  • BQ8 – Again, confidence is problematic – expert knowers are aware that being certain about this is difficult
BEAR IN MIND…
  • Is all knowledge provisional?
  • Do we claim to ‘know’ provisional knowledge?

Prescribed title 6

The ideas you see here roughly correspond to the initial unpacking session you will have with your TOK teacher. You’ll then go on to have three face-to-face interactions with your teacher, in which you’ll discuss your progress in writing the essay, working through any difficulties and challenges you experience.

MAKE SURE YOU PIN DOWN…
  • rarely 
  • completely certain 
  • rarely 
  • certain enough 
RELATES TO…
  • BQ1 – Ascertaining certainty, perhaps via truth tests, etc.
  • BQ8 – Look at the relationship between expert knowers and certainty
BEAR IN MIND…
  • Are we ever completely certain (rather than ‘rarely’)?
  • Quite vague concepts – your essay introduction will need to be very tight

N21 essay webinar

This webinar will discuss the N21 titles, and how to begin writing the TOK essay. We look at the key words of the titles, link them to the BQs, and run over possible approaches. Purchasing a ticket gives access to the video recording, event presentation, and responses to FAQs.

  • Date of webinar: 30th March 2021
  • Group ticket – $39.99
  • Individual ticket – $19.99

Using the exploration points

The EPs enable you to develop a deeper understanding of the AOKs, via media sources and unpacking suggestions, links to TED talks, guidance on the 12 key concepts of TOK, and other features. Join us to gain access to this incredibly useful tool for supporting your essay arguments.

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