What Does It Look Like?

Select the video below to see a presentation which will provide you with a basic outline for developing a classification and division essay.

Video Transcript
Outline for a Five Paragraph Classification & Division Essay

In a basic five paragraph classification and division essay, you will follow a traditional structure common to most academic essays. You will have an introduction, plus body paragraphs, plus your conclusion.

In this example outline for a classification and division essay, we will use the topic Higher Education and Technology. A classification and division thesis that might work well within that topic would be: Many students would not be able to achieve the dream of a college education without the advances of technology which allows them to take courses in various formats.

Now we will take a look at how we could outline our introduction using our thesis with the goal of writing a classification and division essay. A good introduction provides background on a topic, transitions to the thesis, and then presents the thesis.

In this example, we would first provide background on the topic of technology and higher education.

Next we would transition to our thesis and make the divisions for our essay clear by providing a summary of various course formats.

We would then describe the choices within those formats the students have.

Finally, we would transition to our thesis. It is important to note as you think about creating a classification and division essay, you should think about the major divisions for your essay and then potential sub-categories within those divisions. When you think about division, think about how you might divide your whole topic, then think about possible additional categories within those divisions.

The body paragraph for our essay on technology and education could easily be organized into the different major divisions for the essay: courses in person, courses at a distance, and courses that combine both face to face and distance instruction.

However, it is important to remember we are not simply going to list everything we know about these divisions. Instead, we should remember that our body paragraphs should focus on proving our thesis about how each category uses technology to help make college possible.

A good conclusion will generally reinforce information from the body of the essay and remind readers of the thesis. In the outline for our conclusion, we might begin by summarizing the impact of technology, make connections to each of our categories, and then reaffirm our thesis. When we reaffirm our thesis, we will not state the same sentence exactly, but we will emphasize our point using different words.

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