Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques

Let's Get Started with Your Essay Today!

Division Classification Essays

Students will face many writing assignments while in school, but one of the easiest assignments is the division and classification essay. It allows the writer to write the essay following the three-part thesis statement; this has been the preference of many teachers because it has to straightforward to structure that makes it easy to grade. However, it comes to a share of downside with the first one being that all essays tend to lend themselves to three divisions. Secondly, the students sometimes force the essay into artificial decisions as they try to create three divisions.

The reasons why the classification and division essays lend themselves three-part thesis include:

  • The two-part classification or division is usually simplistic
  • Classification or division that supposes five are often unwieldy to discuss within the limits of a good essay.
division classification essay

The purpose of classification and division essays

Classification or division essays are meant to encourage the student to apply critical thinking on the relationship that exists between the categories or items in those categories. Both classification and division essays are similar. With classification, the writer assigns disparate items into different categories or parts of an entirety. In a related manner, a division essay separates an entire group into different and separate parts. These are both similar strategies, and it makes both terms be used interchangeably by instructors and professors.

Classification essays

This essay organizes the evidence into three or more categories with each category having its identifying traits. As such, classification essays rely heavily on description ad example as supporting evidence. The description provides the means of identifying the distinguishing characteristics and examples that illustrate the embers of each category. It also uses anecdotal evidence to support or illustrate a category.

Elements of classification essays

Classification essays follow three elements which are:

  • The set of the things under the classification
  • The scheme or the principle of selection to classify the set
  • Classes in which the set is divided

The set

Any set that is being considered for classification must have similar traits or distinguishable characteristics from other things that fall outside the set. For instance, biology classifies the living organisms with non-living organism falling outside the set. Some of the set considered for classifications can be vacation spots, pets, students or other generic nouns that can prove to be a set for possible classification.

The scheme/ principle of selection

It refers to the quality, standard, type, or function into which the elements of a set are classified. In other words, they are the principles of selection for creating groups. For instance, the classification of living organism hinges on life processes and qualities. Rocks are classified into sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. This is premised on the process of each rock formation. In order to have an effective scheme, there must be a significant, relevant, or valuable way to fathom the set of things that are under consideration.


Every time you are describing each class, you have to start with an elucidation of the descriptor. You also have to consider the characteristics that are used to identify members of that class from the members of other classes. You then incorporate representative examples of a specific class. While you are discussing a class, it is important you evaluate the worth of this class or do a comparison and contrast of this class in relation to other classes within the scheme. Biologists make frequent references to the ways in which members of a class are distinct from members of other classes. The models used within classification include narration, description, definition, example as well as comparison and contrast.

book references 2

Organization of a classification essay

Choosing the topic and planning

When you are planning your essay, you have to consider the purpose that you want it to serve. You can start by considering the type of your essay. If the essay topic requires you to engage in outside research, you have to think about the categories of items within your major. Come up with the criteria for your classification.

The introduction

This is the lead-in to your classification essay. It has to identify the set being considered for classification and give a general indication of significance, relevance, and value of the principle of selection that is to be applied. Remember to identify the classes in the sets in your thesis statement.

The body paragraphs

When you are writing your classification essay, every topic sentence in the body paragraph should identify the class or group under consideration. It should also show the relationship of that class to the scheme used to create the classes. You can use more than one principle of selection when classifying a set. However, this depends on why you are classifying the set and the gains from that scheme. Each essay is supposed to focus on one scheme for classifying the set.

The conclusion

They often reiterate the significance, relevance, or value of the scheme. It can also re-emphasise o the most significant grouping.

Possible pitfalls

At times students will confuse the classification essay with examples essay. The classification essay includes the examples that illustrate the class. Provide a clear definition of the class that had been explained I the first place. At this point then, you can include the examples that illustrate the class.

For your essays to be effective, you must identify the class. You have to use description to describe the unique traits of the class that is supposed to be a discrete group with each member belonging to one class. When you are setting up the classes, each should have more than one member. When you are writing your body paragraphs, ensure that the topic sentences identify the class that is being considered and how that group fits with the scheme used to create the group. Supporting sentences should describe the class or its members, provide examples of members that fit that class or tell stories that concern the members of the class that depict connection of the members within a class.

Division essays

Division essays break down the subject into parts to enhance the understanding of the subject. The writer then explains the relationship of these parts to the entire phenomenon. With division essays, the writer deals with systems and subsystems. The breakdown goes beyond the list of parts. For instance, an engine made up of cylinders gears, bolts nuts and other parts. A division essay on a car will not focus on individual parts of the car but the subsystems of the car and their relation to the entire functionality of the car.

Division essay uses three elements just like the classification essay. The three elements include the system, principle of analysis and the subsystem. For example, in a division essay examining a car, the car serves as the system. To understand how it works forms the principle of analysis and when a mechanic divides the car into separate parts, they for the subsystem. These subsystems include transmission, exhaust, and engine, electrical and so on. Now, to understand the whole system, the writer will need to elucidate on the functionality of each subsystem, and how that functionality relates to other subsystems and how it functions with regard to the entire system. If you want to understand how a car uses energy, the physicist can divide the system into a subsystem of mechanical, electrical, and chemical energy. This is the principle of analysis.

The most noticeable difference between the division and classification essays

In classification essays, the members of a class must be distinct from members of other classes. No member can belong to two or more classes. In division essays, individual parts can belong to more than one subsystem. However, the functionality of the part must be scrutinised since it relates to each subsystem. If you divide the human body into subsystems, you will have the circulatory, the respiratory, and the excretory subsystems. The blood is an element in each of these subsystems, and the interpretation of its function is different and hinges on the subsystem being discussed. Division essays examine functionality, and as such, they use the process as a method. The difference between the two is that division essay focusses on the interrelation of processes within both the subsystem and the entire systems.

Besides using the process, division essay uses description, narration, and definition as methods. When using description and narration in division essays, the idea is to illustrate the subsystems or parts after they have been defined and their relation to the entire system established. The topic sentences for division essays paragraphs must define the part and its functions about the whole system.

Once you finish your division and classification essay, go through it to ascertain that it remains true to its purpose. Ensure that sentences are complete to make the idea reach home. Follow the rules of formatting that are preferred by your instructor and avoid using the second person pronoun. Once you are sure the essay is clean, you can submit it to your instructor.

Let's Get Started with Your Essay Today!