Classification & Division Essay
Classification and division is a rhetorical style that, in essay format, takes a whole and splits it up into parts and then places the divided information into various categories. While you may see this rhetorical style used within a single paragraph, it’s not uncommon to write an entire essay using a classification and division format.
A classification and division essay combines two different techniques. First, you would divide a complex and difficult topic into subtopics for clarity and explanation purposes. Next, you would determine what categories are needed and what information fits into those categories. Think of a newspaper. All of the information is divided into different parts: news, advertisements, and classifieds. Then the information is classified into different categories. For example, news may be categorized as sports, international, local, lifestyle, etc.
NOTE: You have to be very clear in a classification and division essay. Your reader needs to understand how you came up with your categories and why information fits into these categories. Therefore, be sure that you make the guidelines for your categories clear to the reader and that you don’t merge, confuse, or have superficial categories.
Division and Classification Essays
A division and classification essay can be defined as breaking a large subject into smaller ones so a person can understand the subject more clearly. The division part of the essay looks at how one big project or subject can be broken into several smaller parts. Classification is taking the items and putting them into different categories. The writer must decide how he/she wants to classify the items. What are the most important elements of the subject? How can these be classified?
Sample Paragraph of a Classification and Analysis Essay
A teacher sets a paper clip, a pen, some markers, some old magazines, some construction paper, and two one dollar bills on top of her desk. How are these objects alike? Could these be classified together? The teacher plans on giving two of her students a reward if they can do something useful with all six of the items. She explains to the students she wants them to divide the objects into different categories. She challenges the students to divide these into one classification of how these objects could be used for one project or purpose. The students begin by dividing and classifying the objects. The first objects would be the pen and markers because a person writes or draw with these. Also, the construction paper can come into this classification because a student could write or draw on it. Pictures could be cut out of the old magazines. The paper clips could be used to place the magazine pictures on the construction paper. Paper clips could be used to hold the money on the construction paper too. Seeing all the objects together might be overwhelming for elementary students but dividing the objects would make it easier. While each of the items is different they all could fit into the classification of art objects. What was the purpose of the teacher challenging the students with these objects? The goal of the teacher was to see how creative the students were. She wanted the students to use their higher thinking skills.
This is a brief sample paragraph of a classification and analysis essay. It begins by listing five different objects. The challenge was to find a way to classify these together. The next step was deciding why the teacher asked the students to do this. The teacher was challenging the students to use their higher thinking skills.
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