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Classification and Division Outline

Classification and division is similar to exemplification in some ways, but there are other things that you will want to make sure that you are doing when composing your paper.

1. Structural Similarities

  • Stated thesis
  • At least five paragraphs
  • The larger purpose of the paper should be evident in the first paragraph. Answer the following question with your thesis: Why is your classification and division important?
  • You ¬†might try to start with some sort of anecdote or example in the opening of this paper. Work on the hook.
  • Closure (conclusion)

2. Kinds of categories

Pre-existing: Race (Reggie Whit Example)

  • Pre-existing: Already defined (Race)
  • Pre-exisitng, with new meaning: Bars/pubs/hangouts (N,S,E,W)
  • Your own: In some ways this is the most difficult, as you will want to make sure that you complete the subject (see below).However the payoff is greater!

3. Completing the subject

Make sure that anything in the larger category can be classified into one of the categories that you have named. Also make sure that there is a logical relationship between your categories:

Remember our discussion about monkeys and hammerhead sharks. There is really no way to classify them together and complete the subject (or at least it would be very difficult). Choose your larger topics carefully. Just as importantly, select the division of that category carefully.

  • Avoid binary classifications (uninteresting and often self evident: People can be divided into two types: men and women)
  • Avoid the most evident: small, medium, and large dogs. The classifications can sometimes work, but you need to redefine the categories if you are using them.

Class Exercise

Problem (Topic): Types people (Americans)
Division based on: Race and their strengths

Completing the subject. Think about the division above and try to make sure that any friend would fall into one of the categories.

Answer the following: how would this classification system help the reader?

Group work

Problem: Types of friends
Division based on:

Complete the subject: Your division (groups)

How is this helpful to the reader? (Your thesis)

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