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October 21, 2008

Classifying The Classification Essay

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7 October 2008

ENG 121 Students:

Using the information given to you in your . . .

. . . textbooks and the English-blog, begin writing a two-three full page “Classification” essay on one of the topics from the sign-up sheet (choose one in class) in the MLA format. If necessary, divide your chosen categories into groups and subgroups to fully clarify. In addition to organizing your essay as a classification rhetorical mode, bolster your writing with the tools of narration, description, and illustration (examples), as you’ve done in the previous three essays.

What is a Classification Essay?

An article by Capital Community College (full link HERE) states, "A classification essay will break a large subject into categories for the purpose of analysis. Often the most useful classification essay will take disparate elements, things don't seem to go together, and show patterns of connectedness that the reader would not have guessed were there. Many scientific treatises are classifications; it often seems that all of biology is a huge endeavor to make sure all living things fit into some neat category. Writing a successful classification essay will challenge your ingenuity in seeing connections between things."

It continues, "The number of categories we work with and how elaborately we describe each category will determine the pace of our essay. Breaking things down too fine will clog the machinery of our essay. Describing or defining one particular category for too long will unbalance the load, and our readers will lose track of our strategy and intent."

Finally, "The order of our categories is perhaps most important. Do we work toward the most important, the most telling category, the one that will make our major point for us, or do we start with that one and fill in the rest of the picture? The answer to that question will vary from essay to essay. One of the huge advantages of using a word processor is that you can experiment with the placement of categories and see which works best for you. Once you have written your classification essay, you can try a different paragraph order and try both orders on friends. Without telling them which one you prefer, elicit their opinion. (And while they're at it, they can look for other loose ends in your writing!"

The article ends with a sample classification essay entitled "The Geography of English 102" by Ima Ersatz HERE.

Another cogent explanation of the classification essay is given by Houston Community College-East HERE and a sample classification essay by Oya Ozagac can be found HERE at a site maintained by Istanbul's Boğaziçi University.

How Do You Write a Classification Essay?

See Sarah Brodie's e-zine article on this subject HERE.

How is a Classification Essay Different from the other Rhetorical Modes?

Once you have read the different university professor's definition/explanation of what a classification or division essay is, take this short 8 question quiz (HERE) to be SURE you understand how the focus of this essay is a bit different from the essays we have written so far in this course, e.g. Personal Narrative, Descriptive, Examples/Illustration, Expository/Process Analysis, etc.

Here is the full link: http://flang1.kendall.mdc.edu/acts/6/607/L607act1lec1Done/L607act1lect1DONE.htm

Can I See More Examples of Classification Essays by Student Writers?

Naturally, you SHOULD read the sample essays of classification/division in the AWG and AWR textbooks we use for the course. MOST of you could really benefit from working with the LRC (Learning Resoure Center). However, if you sti need to see a few student essays of division/classification (with comments from their professor), see the ones posted by Darren Chiang-Schultheiss on his "ENGLISH 100 Hybrid: COLLEGE WRITING COURSE " HERE: http://www.wiredprof.com/100h/SampleEssays/index.htm

*Although this is not an academic essay, here is a professional presentation that "classifies" different kinds of beer. Perhaps this will give some of you some ideas on how to approach your topic.

About Microbreweries & Beer Classification -- powered by ExpertVillage.com

How Will the Classification be Assessed?

I will use the same rubric that I used on essay 4 (the Expository Essay) on essay 5 (the Classification Essay). However, I will be looking for positive answers to the following questions. Use them as you proofread and revise your own work in preparation for the peer-review session:



1.     Does the introduction present the writer’s purpose and main idea?

2.     Does the introduction include the main points that the student will discuss?  If not, where can the reader find this?  Is it connected to the student’s essay?

3.     Are the divisions that the writer will use in his or her paper clearly identified in the introduction?  If not, where can the reader find them?

4.     Where is the thesis statement?   Aside from classifying, does it clearly express the point the writer is making?  Does the thesis or the paper need to be revised to clarify the writer’s position? Suggestions?




5.     Does each body paragraph cover one category or a related group of sub-categories? Does each topic sentence name the category and define it?

6.     Is each category handled with equal emphasis, the same amount of space, a similar number of examples?

7.     Has the writer considered the audience’s opinions?  After reading the essay would a reader feel enlightened? or informed?  Entertained?  Persuaded?

8.     Is there evidence and reasoning to support the points?   Are there examples or facts? Does the writer tell stories?  Include dialogue? Does the writer give enough detail that to hear or see what he or she is describing?

9.     Do all the points clearly support the position?  Are the connections made clearly?     Which unconnected ideas or facts can be cut or need to be tied into the thesis?

10.  Are transitions used to clarify the relationship of ideas? Are more transitions needed?   Where?




11.  Does the conclusion follow logically from the points made in the essay?

12.  Does the concluding paragraph summarize and reinforce the main idea




13.  Does the paper have mechanical or grammatical problems?  Punctuation?

14.  Are there any AWK, RS, CS, or Frag?

15.  Does the paper have good sentence variety?

16.  Does the paper have well-developed paragraphs?


 DO YOU HAVE ADVICE ABOUT how the paper might be improved?

Until our peer-review session, read, study, comprehend, engage, practice.

Dr. Hobbs

Posted by lhobbs at October 21, 2008 09:09 PM

Readers' Comments:

Raymond Ferrara
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
English 121 section 14
22 0ctober 2008
I. Intro
A. The Learning resource center is there for students in need of help.
B. This resource center is an opportunity to use the colleges’ resources.
II. Body 1 (Tutors)
A. Friendly tutors
B. Different subject tutors
C. Very helpful

III. Body 2 (printing available)
A. Free printing
B. Unlimited Printing
C. Can set up printer on your own laptop
IV. Body 3 (Info Offices)
A. Greek Life Office
B. Info Offices
C. CAB office(campus activities board)

V. Conclusion
A. A great center to stay on track to be successful.

Posted by: Raymond Ferrara at October 23, 2008 09:19 AM

Ray Ferrara
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
English 121 section 14
30 Oct 2008

Double Negatives
Using a double negative is an error in with sentences that a large number of people make. I know I have and usually it’s not very easy to catch the mistake. There are some cases where it’s acceptable to be used and this takes place in some countries. Many times if someone uses doubles negative often then they could be classified as an uneducated person. I know the use of these sentence errors can’t be completely dealt with they should not be used repeatedly by a speaker. There is a certain error that makes a double negative stand out from a grammatically correct sentence.
When the sentences have two negatives that are close together it is usually a double negative. This fault can be spotted because two negatives are in the same sentence. It doesn’t just come in pairs; there are other cases where it comes in three’s or more. For the most part the negatives come a couple words after one another. If I wanted to point out a double negative in my writing my best bet would be to make sure everything in my paper is sensible.
There are many instances where the speaker with know that he or she is making a double negative sentence. An example I found was in the rules for writers’ sheet that says “Don’t use no double negatives.” The problem with this sentence is the words “don’t” and “no” because these are right after one another it makes the sentence say to use double negatives. If they wanted to change this to mean something different then I would take out either don’t or no. In most cases it can seem hard to figure out a double negative sentence is being said, but reading the sentence out loud helps to realize the problem. In my language it is not accepted often, but when dealing with other countries for the fact that their rules for grammar are different from mine.
There are times that using double negatives are accepted and can be used, making perfect sense. I have used this term in these sentences when I’m speaking informal to my friend at the park. At the time I was young and had no recollection that I was using double negatives. When we were talking I’m sure neither of us cared that we used a double negative. There are certain countries that don’t view double negatives as an incorrect sentence.
The problems many face are not being educated to know that a double negative sentence has taken place. If they have used these kinds of sentences often it wouldn’t seem like anything’s incorrect with it. There are times that a speaker uses a double negative to explain or show what he or she is saying. Double negatives are very easy to correct and to find a way to cut out the unnecessary negatives in a sentence. Double negatives should be avoided because it can confuse the reader and switch up everything I’m trying to say.

Posted by: Raymond Ferrara at October 30, 2008 07:46 AM

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