2018 Essay Productivity and Submission

Tuesday – We will be in the computer lab.  Bring to class all handouts related to writing the essay (you’ll need to fish through your first journal).  This includes:

  • The 2018 essay prompts on the pink paper (or print it out again)
  • Notes and handouts on Knowledge Questions from September and October
  • Your first brainstorming of an essay prompt
  • Your January brainstorming of a prompt (I still have these)

Today, your objective should be to finish your brainstorming.  In your brainstorming, be sure to think through:

  • What knowledge questions you have identified to guide your essay
  • Multiple perspectives or approaches to knowing that you might include in your essay –
  • Consider also the knowledge framework (you wrote this on the essay prompt pink sheet)  Here are two examples from Mathematics and the Natural Sciences
  • The two or more Areas of Knowledge that you intend to develop in your essay
  • The examples that you will include in your paragraphs to illuminate your analysis
    • Avoid hypotheticals
    • Avoid simplistic examples (Darwin, Copernicus, Hitler, etc.).  Pick unique examples to show your independent thought.  Perhaps something like the Higgs Boson. (Thanks, Daniel)
    • Include personal examples of real experiences
    • Do refer to areas of your IB experience that are relevant to this prompt
      • Coursework, CAS, EE…
    • Do NOT feel like this essay is a review of our ToK curricuclum.  You do NOT have to include things/topics we have covered in ToK.  Doing so usually results in a very generic essay with minimal personal thought.

You should start a draft tonight.

Wednesday –  We will be in the computer lab.   You will need be working on your ToK essay.  Today, as you draft, you should consider the rubric, and the guidance that past assessors have given students and teachers as a guide to essay writing.  Aim to have an essay that is 1,500ish words.  No, citations and works cited do NOT count toward your total word count.  The maximum allowed is 1,600 words.  They will NOT read words 1,601 and beyond – so, don’t go long.

Only after you are done with your initial draft on your essay, it might make sense to see the assessor feedback Nils found on an essay that was submitted from a previous year on a different set of prompts.  Here is also a group of bad and good essays that students have submitted from previous years (on different prompts).  Please notice that several of the examples shown are POOR examples and that you should consider the score that assessors have given based on the rubric.

Thursday –  We will be in the computer lab.  You will need be working on your ToK essay.  In theory, you are done with the first draft and have met with Mr. Braman for some guidance regarding the direction you have taken and your approach.  When you finish this conversation with him, you can write your reflection as the second interaction (we will later put this into managebac).

Upload your draft of your essay for a progress grade.  Grades will be entered 10 minutes into class.  If you’re not done by that point, just keep working and then upload your essay when you can.  Eventually, you will need to get essay editing feedback on a complete draft of your essay – even if this means that you need to print it out and get peer editing on paper.  If you failed to enroll, here you go.


Today’s Peer Editing and (when you’re done) self editing will happen in class. You should aim to incorporate the peer feedback into your essay and work to improve the essays before Friday.

Friday – We will be in the computer lab.  Submit your essay to www.turnitin.com for your on-time bonus.  Essays submitted by 3pm on Friday, February 16th will earn full credit for on-time submissions.  Then you can enjoy your break.

Late submissions:  If you do not submit your essay by 3pm on Friday, February 16th, I cannot guarantee that you will be able to receive my feedback by March 5th.  Once you miss the due date, you should still work to complete your essay by Tuesday of break and submit to turnitin.com when you are done.  Late is better than never.

Once you have received my comments back on your essay(3/5), you should write your third interaction comments on managebac.  Then, you will have three evenings to make revisions before uploading these essays to IB.  ALL REVISED, BEAUTIFIED, AND AMAZING ESSAYS MUST BE UPLOADED TO IB with your process document verifying that you have met the process requirements by March 8th at Midnight.  Managebac submission will happen at the same time – you will need to upload this to IB.  I will help with this process.

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