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Writing a Classification and Division Essay

Students are often required to divide a variety of objects, classify these, and write an essay on the findings over the course of their studies. Irrespective of whether the assigned task involves dividing and classifying various types of clothing as part of one’s job, for the purpose of writing an essay, or to list one’s income and expenditure in a spreadsheet for the purpose of budgeting or completing tax returns, it is vital to properly understand the process of classifying and dividing various items.       

What Purpose Does a Classification and Division Essay Serve?

The main purpose of this genre of essay is to help students learn to think about a variety of things or types of items that relate in some way to one another. In fact, writing this type of essay is in many ways no different from writing other types of essays. Students may find it helpful to view classification as a way of allocating various items that are in no way related into categories or as separate parts of one whole thing. Likewise, division means separating a whole item or groups of items into a number of parts. Often, both tasks are so similar it is commonplace for teachers to use the terms interchangeably.             

Choosing a Good Topic and Making an Essay Writing Plan

The first thing for anyone tasked with writing a classification and division essay is to consider their essay’s purpose with a view to creating an effective plan upon which to base it. The topic is a good place to start. If the topic set by a tutor is a serious one, it is likely some outside research will be needed. So it can be useful to begin by thinking about the categories in your own field of study or discipline. A student taking a biology course could, for instance, think about devising categories into which to group modern-day types of dinosaurs. Hence, they might come up with the following categories:

  • Dinosaurs with reptile-style traits
  • Dinosaurs with bird-style traits
  • Dinosaurs with mammal-style traits. 

An alternative scenario may be that your tutor gives you an informal or amusing topic, whereby you could consider different things you see every day. For example, you could think about the clothing stores in your neighborhood and categorize them on the basis of type i.e. those that specialize in:    

  • Kid’s clothing
  • Adult clothing
  • Sportswear.   

From this point, you could then use your own observations to illustrate your different points.

The process of creating a plan for your essay involves deciding on the criteria for your classifications and divisions. For example, if your topic is related to modern art styles, you may first want to select the key features of each style. You could then choose famous contemporary artists from the different styles or movements.    

Writing Your Introduction Paragraph with Thesis Statement

The introduction paragraph in your classification division essay should say what the topic is and why the different categories are important. The thesis statement should explain the various classifications and divisions.   

Supporting Paragraphs – The Essay’s Main Body

Each one of your body paragraphs should be dedicated to a category mentioned in your thesis statement. Taking, for instance, the previous dinosaur classifications as an example, one body paragraph could discuss how certain species began developing and displaying reptile-style traits such as scaly skin and so on. It is important that all ideas or points are supported by outside sources except in cases where a tutor allows or requests personal recollections or hypothetical examples. 

Conclusion Paragraph

The conclusion of your essay should bring back together the various categories and/or divisions you established, and it should recap or explain again why they are important. For example, it is essential for readers to understand the evolution of certain types of dinosaur since this provides a greater understanding of how many of today’s species of animals have come into existence.

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