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Real-Life Situation in IB TOK Essay | Choosing a RLS

The TOK essay is a part of the IB program that many students find quite challenging. They spend a lot of time trying to learn more about it to increase their chances of scoring well. One of the very important parts of the IB TOK essay is the real-life situation (also known as RLS). In this guide, you will learn about a real-life situation and how to choose one. This is a crucial part of a TOK essay, which means you must learn all about it before you start writing your essay!

What is a TOK Real-Life Situation?

A real-life situation is anything like an experience or an event that has happened recently. This has to be one that exists in the real world. Not just that, but it should also be very concrete and identifiable, not something super conceptual, real, like the REAL real, if you know what I mean 😉

It can be from a personal experience or something that you have learned over time. This situation should be one that you are very clear about, and it should not be ambiguous at all. You should be able to write about it in your TOK essay.

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What Should a Real-life Situation Be Like?

There are several ways in which you can choose a real-life situation. Here are a few of them:

  • It should be very specific

The real-life situation you choose should be something you have a lot of clarity on. It cannot be something that is vague. You have to base your entire essay on that, so you need to make sure that it is very relevant to what you are doing. At the same time, it also has to be concise. You cannot take up too many words explaining it, so you need to be sure that it is to the point.

  • It should be compelling

Your real-life situation should be very strong because it should interest you, the audience, and the examiner. If you choose something that is not intriguing for your TOK presentation or essay, the examiner will also not like reading about it.

  • It should be relevant

The real-life situation should be very relevant to what is going on around in the world; you should be able to defend it in all ways possible, in terms of the fact that it should be related to the topic. You need to expand on it and refer to it several times.

  • It should be controversial

Your real-life situation should be as such that you should be able to give several viewpoints on it. It is only when that is the case that you can actually speak about it in different ways, looking at it from different angles.

How to Choose a Real-life Situation?

There are several ways in which you can choose a real-life situation.

  • Search the Internet

You can search the internet to find out more about current affairs happening in the world. Like searching for the latest TOK presentation topics, when you do that, you will get to know more about this, which is, again, very important. You need to make sure that what you search for is highly relevant to current affairs.

  • Academic Subjects

You learn a lot from the subjects you study at school as well. So try to remember some essential things that you might have learned. This can also really help you analyze situations well.

  • Read

Reading gives you more general knowledge than ever. So you must try to inculcate a habit of reading. It will allow you to understand so many things in detail. Maybe you could try to read the newspaper every morning or anything else that interests you.

Real World Situations Examples

Here are a few everyday life situations examples based on different areas of knowledge and ways of knowing that can help you better understand what is being said.

Areas of knowledge

Real-life Situations

Ways of Knowing

History

How Mao Zedong played a part in changing China for the better or worse

Memory

Human Sciences

Several celebrities suffering from depression in the current day and age

Emotion

Mathematics

How several problems in mathematics are still unsolved to date

Reasoning

Natural Sciences

The discovery of gravity and how Isaac Newton discovered this just by an apple falling on his head so many years ago

Reasoning

Arts

Art is a way of expression that so many people today use

Sense perception

History

How Hitler ruled the whole world with his stringent strategies

Sense perception

Human Sciences

Several celebrities are suffering from anxiety issues in the current times

Reason

Mathematics

Deciphering complex equations in current times

Imagination

Natural Sciences

Photosynthesis and its effect on the environment

Reasoning

Art

The expression of one’s self through music

Faith

Final Thoughts

So if you want to write a good TOK essay, you need to make sure that you write things in accordance with real-life situations. These situations have to be thought through first so that you can work your way through your essay very well. Without the usage of RLS in your essay, high chance that IBO will say that it doesn’t follow the IB TOK essay marking rubric, so high chance that you will not get a good grade.

Now the choice is yours and I wish you to select the most exciting RLS for your TOK essay. Good luck, plan your time well and do not miss the deadline, my friend 😉

Vasy Kafidoff

Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and the ways modern technology makes it easier. As an educational specialist, he wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities. When not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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