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.
Classification essays rank the groups of objects according to a common standard. For example, popular inventions may be classified according to their significance to the humankind.
Classification is a convenient method of arranging data and simplifying complex notions.
When you select a topic, do not forget about the length of your paper. Choose the topic you will be able to cover in your essay, do not write about something global or general.
Consider these examples:
- Evaluate the best to worst methods of upbringing.
- Rate the films according to their influence on people.
- Classify careers according to the opportunities they offer.
You should point out the common classifying principle for the group you are writing about. It will become the thesis of your essay.
It is important for you to use clear method of classification in your essay, especially when you are dealing with subjective categories such as "quality" or "benefit". Make sure you explain what you mean by this term.
To organize a classification essay, the writer should:
- categorize each group.
- describe or define each category. List down the general characteristics and discuss them.
- provide enough illustrative examples. An example should be a typical representative of the group.
- point out similarities or differences of each category, using comparison-contrast techniques.