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Division And Classification Essay On Religion

How should I go about choosing my topic?

Begin by reading the explanations below.  Examples of each are provided below!

  • Division Essay: find a topic that people might tend to underestimate or over-simplify.  In other words, choose something that the average person might not know much about, and therefore can't really understand how complex or interesting that topic really is.  Your job in the essay will be to break your topic down into meaningful and important categories.

  • Classification Essay: think about the categories we place things in everyday and the characteristics of those categories.  The topic you choose should allow you to argue that something has been misplaced.

How should I organize this essay?

As you write, keep these guidelines in mind: 

  1. Your thesis statement and introduction will need to explain why these divisions/ classifications should matter to your reader.
  2. Your thesis statement and introduction MUST define or explain the category you plan to discuss (i.e. A sport is a competitive, physical activity therefore cheerleading should be considered a sport.)
  3. You should organize your body paragraphs so that each division or category has it's own paragraph or section. (i.e. cardio exercise is paragraph 1 and weightlifting is paragraph 2, etc.)

Division Essay Examples

If you want to lose weight, simply saying that you're going to "exercise" everyday may not be the most effective way to do so.  Exercising is more complex than many people realize--attaining your goals will involve understanding how different types of exercise can help you achieve your goals.   

Types of Exercise

  • cardio: burns calories and strengthens your heart (running, using an elliptical or stair-stepping machine, etc.)
  • weight lifting: tones muscles, increases physical strength, burns fat (using weights or weighted machines)
  • recreational/sports: depending on the sport, can provide both cardio and toning benefits (cycling, tennis, kayaking)

We could also narrow this topic down a bit further and write about the important differences between different types of cycling.

Types of Cycling:  stationary (exercise) biking, road biking, mountain biking, recreational biking

Classification Essay Examples

To write this type of essay, we'll need to think about things that should or should not be placed in a particular category.

Example: Batman (that's our topic!) is not a superhero (category people place him in), but is simply a local vigilante (category he belongs in).

Ask yourself: Why do I think that...?

  • Does not possess super powers (powers most humans don't possess).  
  • Chooses to be a hero, rather than being "chosen" by others/other forces.

Example: Cheerleading (That's our topic!) should be considered a sport (It belongs in the category, "sports"). 

Ask yourself: Why do I think that...?

  • cheerleaders go to "practice" and must be in good physical shape
  • cheerleaders work together toward a common goal
  • cheerleaders must "try out" for their squad and often compete against other squads

Sample Papers

Your guide to writing a Classification and Division Essay

Classification and division essay

In real life, students are often called upon to classify and divide categories of items. Whether they are classifying and dividing types of jeans for a display at their job, or if they are sorting their expenses into categories for a spreadsheet or for tax purposes, knowing how to classify and divide is an essential skill.

Purpose

The purpose of classification and division essays is to encourage students to think critically about the ways in which items or categories of items relate. Classification and division essays are similar in most regards. Classification can be looked at as assigning disparate items into distinct categories or parts of a whole. In a related manner, division is separating a whole group into separate parts. These strategies are so similar that the terms are often used interchangeably by professors and instructors.

Choosing a Topic and Planning

To plan the essay, consider the purpose. A good place to start is by considering the tone of the essay. If the professor asked for a serious topic that employs outside research, you could begin by thinking about categories of items within your major. For instance, if you are a biology major, you might write about categorizing different types of dinosaurs into modern categories. For example, some dinosaurs exhibit bird-like characteristics, some exhibit characteristics most like reptiles, and some may have been warm-blooded like mammals.

On the other hand, if the professor asked for humorous topics or informal topics, think about some of your observations from everyday life. For example, "Three types of clothing stores at the mall: hipster clothing stores, children's clothing, or clothing that appeals to the elderly." Then, use personal observations or examples to illustrate the points.

To plan the essay, decide upon the criteria for division or classification. For example, if your topic is artistic styles within modern art, you would write down the major characteristics of each of the styles and then divide the most famous modern artists within each style or movement.

Introduction and Thesis

The introduction should explain the overall topic and why understanding the categories is important. The thesis should explain the topic as well as the classifications or divisions. For instance, "Dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period displayed characteristics of reptiles, birds, or mammals."

Supporting Paragraphs

The supporting paragraphs should each discuss a category of items mentioned in the thesis. In the dinosaur example, one paragraph would discuss how some species of dinosaurs developed feathers and displayed many of the characteristics of modern birds. In general, outside sources should be used to support these points, unless the professor or instructor gives permission to use hypothetical examples or examples from memory.

Conclusion

The conclusion should bring the categories or divisions back together and explain their importance again. For example, "Understanding how dinosaurs evolved into distinct categories is important because it helps to illuminate our understanding of how dinosaurs evolved into modern species of animals."

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