ENGL 101
English Composition I
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This is the actual essay assignment. The information sheet explaining the type of essay is here.

Simply put, a writer needs to use classification whenever they have a large group of similar items that need to be sorted and/or analyzed. Think of the task as having a database full of items or information, and now you have to figure out what it all adds up to and means. Anytime somebody analyzes the stock market trends or poll numbers or summarizes an accounting ledger, they are doing a form of classification. Anybody who takes their cassettes, albums or CDs and organizes them according to some principle that makes sense to them is classifying/dividing.

To produce an acceptable classification/division essay, the writer should:
-- use grammatically appropriate sentence structures
-- Organize the essay according to the categories used to classify/divide the subject
-- Use appropriate paragraph breaks to control the flow of information
-- Use transitions both within and between the paragraphs
-- Develop and explain the essay content completely
-- Communicate a clear and specific purpose to an audience

Option 1: Traditional

Students deal with things that are categorized all the time: after all, the very notion of taking a body of knowledge and dividing certain ideas or information into different classes or majors is classification. Use this knowledge to your advantage. Explain to the students coming after you how some aspect of school is organized so that they can make sense of it. Some examples might be: types of teachers, study styles, student types, etc. Basically anything that can be broken into categories and explained is a workable subject.

Remember to make this USABLE information for the reader. It doesn't tell us much to describe the different types of math class unless you also add the analysis that helps us see which one we should take instead of another.

Option 2: Business

Analyze the people at a place of business that you are VERY familiar with. It may be where you work now, or have worked, or simply a business that you spend a lot of time at. You need to be very familiar with the people who work there and use the business as customers. For the essay, divide some group of people according to their characteristics: types of customers, types of supervisors, types of employees, etc.

You need to make absolutely sure with this essay that you are discussing TYPES, not specific individuals. Use specific examples to explain the types and show us how they are different from each other, but don't use specific names or anything that could make people upset.

Again, remember that there needs to be an analysis of the divisions, a purpose. Okay, we have these five types of customers. So what? Be sure to indicate how these divisions help us better understand what these customers want, or why these different types of customers mean that we need more front counter help, or whatever you are arguing. There has to be a purpose.

Option 3: Fun

This is a wild card. Pick any subject that you know a lot about: rap music, cartoons, model railroading, counted cross-stitch, shoes, etc. Use classification to help us see that there is MORE to this subject than the average person understands. Remember to add the analysis so that we understand the importance of these distinctions. If you do this form of the assignment correctly, the reader should leave the essay with a more complete and revised understanding of the complexities of your subject.

For example: Let's suppose that I'm a huge Batman fan. I would write an essay explaining that there have been many different versions of The Batman over the years: The early, violent Batman, the always smiling best friend of Superman, the world's greatest detective, the goofy TV Batman, the brooding obsessed avenger of his parents' deaths, the rubber suit movie Batman, and the most recent urban legend version of the Batman.

Most of you are probably surprised to know that you can even make this many divisions about Batman. However, explaining the difference in the divisions isn't enough. As a writer, I would also have to have a purpose or meaning. Maybe my purpose is to show that Batman is a powerful character because so many styles of story fit the character. Maybe I want to explain that most people don't understand Batman as a powerful character because they only know the TV or movie version. Maybe I want to argue that certain approaches are better than others. Whatever the purpose, the divisions are the starting point, but the extra analysis and explanation are what make it a successful argument and actually show the reader the meaning of what you've set up.

However you approach this essay, remember, remember, remember that the division aspect is only the first part of writing this essay.

Any essay turned in for this assignment that does not also include the analysis or have a clear purpose/meaning to the divisions/categories will receive a lowered grade.

Whenever possible, use your own labels and terms for your categories. The process of explaining what the label means and how it applies is a cheap and easy way of adding extra explanation or analysis to the paragraph. This also helps personalize the divisions and moves them away from just re-presenting the same old generic divisions that everyone already knows. If, for some reason, you feel the need to use the standard labels or divisions, make sure that you are re-defining or explaining them and not just telling us information that we already know.