2Organize this closet into three categories: We have taken a big entity – closet – and divided it into some of its component parts, each with its own function.
3Objectives Why write this essay? Division is a helpful strategy in any prewriting stage, especially complex subjects:The structure of a filmMotivation of a characterControversy surrounding school prayer.Strategy is helpful for analyzing complex issues.Many college essays will veil this essay in a prompt:“From your observations, what kinds of appeals do television advertisers use when selling automobiles? In your view, are any of these appeals morally irresponsible?”
4What is classification? Writing a classification essay means dividing the members of a group.The members in any class must share basic similar characteristics.When classifying, you need a principle of classification.
5What is the basis of division? For example, we can divide the students in Advanced ESL byEthnic BackgroundHispanicsEuropeansAfricansAsiansWhich prayer iscategorically different?
6Don’t mix classifying principles! It’s confusing to have overlapping bases for classification.In dividing students by ethnic background, don’t use classes like “hard-working” or “easy-going.”After all, there are hard-working people in any ethnic background!Why would cats care toclassify types of rats?
8What are the principles of division? __1. SUV, pickup, sedan__2. land, air, water__3. short, wide, long__4. uppers, downers, pain-killers__5. private, public, religious__6. year-long, half-term, full-term__7. rooms, apartments, housestype of collegetype of housingtype of rivertype of transportationType of vehicleType of medicationType of semester
9Here are the principles of division: E 1. SUV, pickup, sedanD 2. land, air, waterC 3. short, wide, longF 4. uppers, downers, pain-killersA 5. private, public, religiousG 6. year-long, half-term, full-termB 7. rooms, apartments, housestype of collegetype of housingtype of rivertype of transportationtype of vehicletype of medicationtype of semester
10Suppose the writing prompt is “In what manner do people answer when given questions?”Don’t answer: “People answer in different ways, some of them take their time, others quick, still others kind of are, well, they’re between.”Instead, organize with parallelism:“Most people respond in one of three ways: eagerly, indifferently, or reluctantly.”Notice that each categorical word is in the same grammar form: adverbs.Don’t mix and match the terminology!
12Questions to ConsiderDo you use the most logical principle of division or classification for your purpose?Do you stick to one principle throughout?Have you identified components or categories that are comparable?Have you used the best order for your components or categories?Have you given specific examples for each of your components or categories?Have you made a complex subject more accessible to your readers?