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:
- Your thesis statement and introduction will need to explain why these divisions/ classifications should matter to your reader.
- 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.)
- 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
A classification essay is organizing or sorting things into different categories. Three steps are used in creating a classification essay: First, sort things into useful categories. Next, make sure all the categories are following an organizing principle. Provide examples for each of the categories. The thesis statement should state the topic and the categories. Basically, the classification essay organizes supporting details into three or more groups with each having their own identifying characteristics.
A Sample Paragraph of a Classification Essay about Classifying Animals
Determining the classification of animals can be as simple as deciding whether they have bones or not. Every animal fits into one of the classifications of the Animal Kingdom. The first two groups are the vertebrates and invertebrates. A simple way of knowing what the term invertebrates means is to remember it has no bones. Some examples of these are insects, spiders, and other groups such as crabs, jellyfish, and earthworms. A simple way to explain vertebrates is to remember they have bones. There are five main groups of vertebrates but they can be divided into two groups of warm-blooded and cold-blooded. One of the warm-blooded animals is a human.
This is a sample paragraph of a classification paragraph classifying the animal kingdom. It begins by sorting the invertebrates and the vertebrates. The next step is discussing the two types of vertebrates of warm-blooded and cold-blooded. The next step would be to divide this even more.
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