Constructing convincing arguments

Constructing convincing arguments

Your TOK presentation is all about constructing convincing arguments, which means supporting ideas with solid evidence, and using the language of TOK. Although it’s hard to give generic advice on tackling your knowledge questions, there are a few rules that you should keep in mind.

Getting the knowledge question right

The key to success is getting your knowledge question right. Check with your teacher that it works, making sure it can’t be answered with a simple yes or no, and it really is a question about knowledge, rather than something too narrow and specific. On the other hand, make sure it is answerable. ‘What is the meaning of life?’ may be an engaging topic, but it’s far too big to be properly considered in 20 minutes or so.

Basing it on the WOKs and AOKs

Try to base your presentation as much as possible around the ways of knowing and areas of knowledge. Make sure you interlink and compare these – for example, which way of knowing is more effective in allowing us to understand the issues raised? Is one area of knowledge more relevant to this topic than another?

Use the language of TOK

Use the language and terms that you have learnt during the course to express your answer. This will not only give you a convenient framework to answer the knowledge question, but it will also demonstrate that you are applying the concepts of TOK to the real world – which is the big question your teacher will be asking as they assess your work.

Have a position

Keep in the back of your mind the idea that you are trying to enrich our knowledge and understanding of something. Don’t arrive at a conclusion that hedges its bets – give your definitive opinion on what you are discussing.

Use a clear structure

Structure your presentation clearly. This is easy to do if break up the structure of your presentation into different segments, each one exploring a different (but related) knowledge question, and supported by a separate real life situation. Sandwich this in between a clear and engaging introduction, and a concise conclusion, making sure that you state your position (positions) clearly.

Ask a question about the TOK presentation

If you have a question about the TOK presentation, either write to us using the form below, or post it on our Facebook forum. We will respond to the best questions we receive.
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Cite this page as: Dunn, Michael. Constructing convincing arguments (8th May 2013). Last accessed: 19th March 2018


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