How is a classification essay best defined?
The writer of a classification essay will need to activate his/her left brain, for it is in this hemisphere that the ability to analyze and organize occurs. Classification, at its simplest, is the dividing of items, events, people, concepts, or ideas into categories based upon specific criteria for each category. The most commonly found example of classification on a large scale is in the work of biologists who classify every animal and plant on the planet. Classification is important in all academic disciplines; however, it is quite likely that a student will be assigned a classification essay in almost any course. Prior to writing a classification essay, the student must go through a mental process, so that the classification is based upon appropriate and logical criteria.
There are three steps involved in the classification process.
1. Creation of meaningful categories based on specific criteria and placing the items in question into the proper categories
2. Be certain that the categories are related to each other
For example, it is acceptable to divide things into different color categories. When writing a classification essay, it is not acceptable to have the following categories: red items, blue items, and cold items since there is no relationship involved between color and temperaturure.
3. Examples of items that fit within each category should be provided with a justification for placement into that category
Defining categories when writing a classification essay.
The first step in writing a classification essay is to create a list of categories. The best place to begin is by finding similarities in the items being classified. These similarities can help ensure that the classifications are related to each other. On the other hand, finding differences between the items can also ensure the same. For example, if it is determined that the items being classified are all works of literature, a common defining element has been defined. Then, determining the differences can help define the categories. In this case, types of literature (comedy, gothic, Science fiction, Historical fiction, etc.) are perfectly viable categories. As these categories are being determined, remember that the primary requirement in writing a classification essay is that the writer must justify the categories and the placement of elements into each category.Now it is time to write the division and classification essay. The first paragraph in a division and classification essay should contain the thesis. The thesis produces the categories and the criteria for categorization. The reader must also be told what the essayist intends when making the classifications. Subsequent paragraphs in the division and classification essay should support the main idea. This support will come by way of providing category details, examples of elements within each category, justification for the classification, and possible subcategories.
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