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Ethics Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Ethics note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Ethics notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to join IBMastery.

Ethics Quotes

  • "Everything has been figured out, except how to live." (Jean-Paul Sartre)
  • "Happiness is good health and a bad memory." (Ingrid Bergman)
  • "The foundation of morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying." (Thomas Henry Huxley)
  • "A moral being is one who is capable of comparing his past and future actions or motives, and of approving or disapproving them." (Charles Darwin)
  • "Every man, in his own opinion, forms an exception to the ordinary rules of morality." (William Hazlitt) 
  • "Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness." (Immanuel Kant) 
  • "A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the...
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Emotion Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Emotion note helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Emotion notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to try IBMastery for free.

 Emotion Quotes 

  • "Feelings are not supposed to be logical. Dangerous is the man who has rationalised his emotions" (David Borenstein).
  • "Emotions are not just the fuel that powers the psychological mechanism of a reasoning creature, they are parts, highly complex and messy parts, of this creature's reasoning itself." (Martha Nussbaum)
  • "Anger is never without a reason but seldom a good one" (Benjamin Franklin).
  • "Nothing great is accomplished in the world without passion" (Georg Hegel).
  • "Man is a rational animal who always loses his temper when called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason." (Oscar Wilde)
  • “Anyone can be angry – that is easy. But to be...

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History Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK History notes helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full History notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation. Click here to join IBMastery.

History Quotes

  • “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging the future but by the past.” (Edward Gibbon)
  • "We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." (Stephen Hawking)
  • “Men think themselves free because they are conscious of their actions, but ignorant of their causes.” (Baruch Spinoza)
  • "History is but the register of human crimes and misfortunes." (Voltaire)
  • "History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it." (Winston Churchill)
  • "Historians are dangerous people. They are capable of upsetting everything." (Nikita Khrushchev)
  • ...
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Human Science Notes - Theory of Knowledge

I know you'll find this TOK Human Science notes helpful, but there is an even better version available to our supporting members here (the full Human Science notes) --along with some very helpful TOK videos and other sources for your TOK essay and presentation.

Human Sciences Quotes 

  • "The social sciences are good at accounting for disasters once they have taken place"  (Claude T Bissell)
  • "If it cannot be expressed in figures, it's not science; it is opinion." Lazarus Long
  • "Life is heredity plus environment." (Luther Burbank)
  • "An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday did happen today." (Laurence J Peter)
  • "Human behaviour makes most sense when it is explained in terms of beliefs and desires, not in terms of volts and grams." (Steven Pinker)
  • "We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself." (Carl Jung)
  • According to Eric Schmidt of Google, every two days now the...
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How to Answer IB Business Management Questions

For some reason students find the longer IB Business Management questions very hard to master.

Actually I know why this is.

Just have a look at the list of things you have to do to get full marks in a 10-mark Business Management question.

Or don't. It's a bit overwhelming!

You don't need to read this paragraph, but... (For a 9 or 10, you need to show: "Good understanding of the demands of the question, including implications, where relevant. • Relevant business management tools (where applicable), techniques and theories are explained clearly and applied purposefully, and appropriate terminology is used throughout the response. • Effective use of the stimulus material in a way that significantly strengthens the response. • Evidence of balance is consistent throughout the response. • The judgments are relevant and well substantiated.")

Do all of those things, while also answering the question. How are you supposed to remember to do all of that? 

¯

...

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Examples to Avoid in ToK Essays

In Theory of Knowledge we always encourage you to use original evidence. It's always more interesting when a student uses an example (a quote, a story, a fact) that we haven't heard of before.

Original "evidence" in your essays doesn't necessarily make them better essays, but it does suggest that you've taken some time with your research and not just using the first thing you found in a last-minute Google search.

The best examples can be the worst --because they're just so darn good.

So again we do tell our students to use "original evidence", but for the student it can be hard to know what is original. As teachers we might see some of the same examples used every year. But it would be hard for a student who is new to the subject to know to know which examples to avoid. 

Good examples of bad examples

The May 2016 ToK Subject report has come to the rescue, with a list of some common examples you might want to avoid. It's not mandatory to avoid these examples, but it could...

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How to Change Your Habits in Three Simple Steps

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit" (Aristotle).

A lot of what we do every day is habitual. Obviously, some of our habits are good and some aren’t, but they all work in the same way.

Think of how powerful it would be if you did the things you knew you should: If you didn’t procrastinate; if you did you got in the habit of getting ahead in your homework, if you always asked questions in class; if you did extra questions from the textbook.

A lot of times we see our habits as something we simply have to deal with, something we have or don’t have, a result of undisciplined childhood. But changing habits isn’t so hard when you understand how they work. I just finished Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, which explains the psychology and social science behind habits and outlines the simple, three step process involved in all habit.

Let’s take one of Duhigg’s examples: alcoholics anonymous. The...

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Words That Don't Have An English Equivalent

This post is the result of the work of my Theory of Knowledge classes at the Overseas Family School. The idea here is that we want to pull into the English language some of the richness of other languages. Other languages have words that simply do not translate easily into English. These are sometimes called "untranslatable" words, but of course any word can be translated. More accurately they are words that don't have equivalents in other languages.

Often these words show us something unique or special about a culture --they might have a word for something that people in other cultures may have never thought about. Some students also think that to fully understand these words you need to understand the culture or how people think about things a little differently in that part of the world.

Please share words that you know in your language (in the comments below), that we should (or could) start using in English. Don’t forget to provide an example. 

Unique Words from...

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How to Make a Good Theory of Knowledge Essay Great

The purpose of this article is to help you strengthen the logic and argument of your ToK essay. This is great for making final touches to your work and to help you spot some common mistakes. And it will, of course, pull your mark up. I’m just going to assume that you’re already using my Essay structure (click here if you're not sure). (It’s a 7 paragraph, 2 section structure which works with just about every question). It will make a lot more sense if you are following this approach

Getting Started

When you first get assigned your real ToK essay, you’ll have a few “titles” to choose from. You choose a title, and then you have to come up with a KI for it and then a thesis. The thesis is your brief answer to your KI (or your hypothesis).

The Approach

In general your essay is about claims (with examples), counterclaims (with examples) and conclusions. It’s important that you understand that your claims always support your thesis and your...

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How to Structure an HL Business Management Internal Assessment

Here is a layout you can follow for your HL Business Management IA. The layout has changed a bit recently, for example in terms of the cover sheet requirements, but this is up-to-date.

(If you're looking for the SL Business IA structure that is right here). 

The Proposal and the IA should be included in a single document, using double-spaced Arial, sized 12 font. 

Please remember to include all of your sources (preferably using MLA) as you go. This goes for every fact that you include or any opinion that you write, which was informed by something you read. Citing your sources is VERY important. Be careful with it.  

Pre-Research Proposal Material

Title page 

Include:

  • Your Research Question (Here is more help for members refining your question).
  • Intended Audience (i.e. To Company X)
  • The IB Number (Something in the format "abc123" (i.e. fjk932)
  • Session (i.e. May 2019)
  • Proposal word count and IA word count. (Note that the Executive Summary is...
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