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161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 161 12 Classiﬁcation Writing That Sorts Things into Groups Understand What Classiﬁcation Is 161 Read and Analyze Classiﬁcation 170 Write Your Own Classiﬁcation 173 Understand What Classiﬁcation Is You Know This You have had experience Classiﬁcation is writing that organizes, or sorts, people or items into classifying various items: categories. • You see how movies in a video store are arranged. FOUR BASICS OF GOOD CLASSIFICATION • You group items into boxes when you move. 1. It makes sense of a group of people or items by organizing them • You sort laundry by color into categories. before washing it. 2. It uses a single organizing principle. 3. It applies useful categories. 4. It gives examples of what ﬁts into each category. ■ IDEA JOURNAL Write about the different kinds of students in this class or the In the following paragraph, each number corresponds to one of the Four different kinds of friends you Basics of Good Classiﬁcation. have. 1 Since I’ve been working as a cashier at Wal-Mart, I’ve discovered there are several kinds of 2 customers who drive me crazy. 3 First are the openly rude ones. 4 They frown and make loud, sarcastic remarks about how long the line is and how long they’ve been waiting. 4 They throw their money on the counter and never say hello or acknowledge me as anything but human scum. I’m embarrassed for myself, but I’m also embarrassed for them. 3 Second are the silent but obviously impa- tient customers. 4 Although they don’t say anything, you’ve been aware of them since the time they got in line. 4 They make faces, roll their eyes, and look at their watches every ten seconds. What do they expect? This is Wal-Mart; there are always lines. 3 The third kind is really my 161 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 162 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 162 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation least favorite: suspicious customers who watch my every move as if my goal in life is to overcharge them. 4 They turn the monitor so they can see every price, but that’s not enough. 4 After looking at the price there, they lean over the counter toward me and look at what price comes up on the register. 4 Then their heads snap back to look at the monitor. They clearly don’t trust me and are just waiting for me to make a mis- take, at which point they will jump all over me. This kind of customer make me nervous and a lot more likely to mess up. If you are one of these three kinds of customers, remember me next time you’re at Wal- Mart; I’m the one just trying to do my job, and you’re driving me crazy! — Joyce Kenneally Sometimes when you are writing a classiﬁcation (or reading one), it helps to think of classiﬁcation in diagram form. Here is a diagram of the pre- vious paragraph: TOPIC CUSTOMERS AT WAL-MART PURPOSE To describe the bad customers at Wal-Mart ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE Types of customers who drive me crazy Openly rude Silent but Suspicious CATEGORIES impatient EXAMPLES Frown Make faces Watch monitor Make sarcastic Lean over Roll eyes remarks counter Throw money Look at watch Check register You use classiﬁcation any time you want to organize people or items. Consider the following examples: COLLEGE In a criminal justice course, you are asked to discuss the most common types of chronic offenders. WORK For a sales presentation, your boss asks you to classify the kinds of products your company produces. EVERYDAY LIFE You classify your typical monthly expenses to make a budget. PROFILE OF SUCCESS: Classiﬁcation in the Real World: 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 163 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Understand What Classiﬁcation Is 163 PROFILE OF SUCCESS: Classiﬁcation in the Real World The following proﬁle gives more insight into a work application of classi- ﬁcation. In particular, it provides some information about a director of human services, including the kinds of writing she does at work and, speciﬁcally, how she uses classiﬁcation on the job. Following the proﬁle is an example of classiﬁcation Rosalind has done at work. BACKGROUND: At eighteen, I was a complete mess. I was a homeless single mother living in a shelter for abused women and children. I realized that things weren’t going to get any better unless I helped myself, so I en- rolled in a community college, where I met some teachers who encour- aged me. Going to school was hard because of my situation and location, but my teachers kept encouraging me. Once I’d taken a few courses, I got the hang of it and started to do better. I knew it was the only good way out for me. Rosalind Baker COLLEGE(S)/DEGREES: A.A., Massachusetts Bay Community College; B.S. in Director of Human Services history from Suffolk University, with a minor in public policy EMPLOYER: City of Marlborough, Massachusetts ■ RESOURCES: For a discus- sion of how to use the pro- WRITING AT WORK: Reports, proposals, summaries, letters, requests for pro- ﬁles in Part Two, see Practical posals, memos Suggestions. HOW ROSALIND USES CLASSIFICATION: Many of the grants and proposals I write classify people, projects, or funding into different categories. Break- ing things down into categories helps other people understand the whole project and who it beneﬁts. COMPUTER SKILLS: PowerPoint, word processing, and spreadsheet programs TEAMWORK ON THE JOB: The Human Services Department is a government agency, so part of my job is to coordinate programs with other agencies in the city. Often a program is sponsored by two or more cooperating organizations, and people in all of them have to band together to imple- ment a program. A TYPICAL PROBLEM AT WORK: Because Human Services is a municipal agency, there are often other government bureaucracies to work with. Sometimes it seems to take forever to get through all the red tape in order to create necessary programs that will help real people. ROSALIND BAKER’S CLASSIFICATION This paragraph was part of a grant proposal that Rosalind Baker com- pleted at her job. The grant application requires the applicant to describe how the funds will be spent, who will receive the money, and what the outcome will be. In the paragraph that follows, Rosalind classiﬁes the population that will be served by the grant program. The funding from this grant would subsidize training programs and child-care arrangments for three types of currently unemployed resi- dents of this city, making it possible for them to become self-supporting. One group consists of those who were laid off when Johnson Rubber closed its factory here. Many workers who had been employed at John- son Rubber for decades have been unable to ﬁnd other work and need (continued) 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 164 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 164 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation to learn new skills. Another group consists of recent immigrants to this country who are eager to work but need instruction in English-language skills in order to ﬁnd jobs. The third major group targeted for funds from the grant are single mothers, many of whom are presently on welfare because they cannot afford child care. Our agency has already identiﬁed and interviewed many people from each of these three groups, and they are very eager to do whatever they can to ﬁnd suit- able jobs in our area. 1. Double-underline the topic sentence. 2. What is the main point? that the grant would help unemployed residents become self-supporting 3. How many categories are there? three What are they? unemployed factory workers, recent immigrants, single mothers 4. Underline the examples of people or items in each category. Main Point in Classiﬁcation The explanations, examples, and practices in the next two sections will help you develop a good main point and support for your classiﬁcation. The main point in classiﬁcation depends on the system, or organizing prin- ciple, you use to sort information about your topic for your readers. First think about your purpose: What do you want to help your readers do or un- derstand? That will help you decide on the best way to organize (or sort) your topic. To help you discover the organizing principle for your classiﬁcation, complete the following sentences: My purpose for classifying my topic is . . . It would make most sense to my readers if I sorted this topic by . . . The organizing principle is the single guideline you use to sort the group of people or items, not the categories into which you group the information. Imagine the following situation in your college bookstore. The purpose of sorting textbooks is to help students ﬁnd them. The best way to organize the books is by subject area or course number. But not in this bookstore . . . You walk into the bookstore looking for an algebra text and expect to ﬁnd it in the math textbook area, classiﬁed according to its subject area. Instead, the books on the shelves aren’t classiﬁed in any way you can make sense of. When you ask the sales clerk how to ﬁnd the book, he says, “What color is it? The right half of the store has them arranged by color: blue 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 165 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Understand What Classiﬁcation Is 165 over there, green in the middle, and so on. The left half of the store has them arranged by author.” You may never ﬁnd your book. The ﬁrst problem is that books are not shelved according to a single organizing principle. Instead there are two: by color and by author. The other problem is that the categories of organiza- tion (color and author) are not useful for the purpose of helping you to ﬁnd the text you want. Even if you know the color of the book, you still won’t know whether you will ﬁnd it in the color section; it might be in the author section. The following diagram shows how you would expect textbooks to be classiﬁed. TOPIC TEXTBOOKS PURPOSE To help students find TO textbooks for courses ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE Sorted by subject area CATEGORIES English Mathematics Business EXAMPLES Composition Algebra Intro. to Business Literature Calculus Marketing PRACTICE 1 USING A SINGLE ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE For each topic that follows, one of the categories does not ﬁt the same or- ganizing principle as the rest. Circle the letter of the category that does not ﬁt, and write the organizing principle the rest follow in the space provided. Answers may vary. EXAMPLE: TOPIC: Shoes CATEGORIES: a. Running c. Golf b. Leather d. Bowling ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE: by type of activity 1. TOPIC: Relatives CATEGORIES: a. Aunts c. Sisters b. Uncles d. Nieces ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE: female relatives 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 166 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 166 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation ■ COMPUTER Have students 2. TOPIC: Jobs type in a topic and write one example of a category. Then CATEGORIES: have them move to the next computer and write another a. Weekly c. Monthly category that would ﬁt that b. Hourly d. Summer topic. They should keep moving and adding categories until ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE: pay period each topic has ﬁve categories. Then have students return to their original computers and 3. TOPIC: Animals see if the categories all follow one organizing principle. Have CATEGORIES: students read the categories aloud, and let the class decide a. Dogs c. Rabbits whether they ﬁt. b. Cats d. Whales ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE: pets; four legs In classiﬁcation, writers may go right to the categories themselves instead of stating their organizing principle in a topic sentence or thesis statement. Read the examples that follow: one that states the organizing principle, one that states both the organizing principle and the categories, and one that states only the categories. Topic Organizing principle Students at this college represent a wide range of races . Topic Organizing principle Categories Students at this college represent a wide range of races, including white, African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American. Topic Categories This college has a diverse student body composed of white, African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Portuguese Amer- ican students. Support in Classiﬁcation In classiﬁcation, support consists of the categories you sort information into and the examples of things that ﬁt into each category. First you need to choose useful categories; then you need to ﬁnd the best examples for these categories. Choose Useful Categories The categories you choose for your classiﬁcation will tell your readers how you are organizing your topic. First, though, you need to ﬁnd useful categories. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 167 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Understand What Classiﬁcation Is 167 Suppose, for example, that you work in an office and need to sort the stack of papers on your desk. Before making random piles, you decide on some useful categories: papers that can be thrown away; memos you need to take action on; articles you need to read; information that can be passed on to others; paperwork that you’ve seen and that needs to be ﬁled; and so on. Deciding on such categories is the ﬁrst step in classiﬁcation. PRACTICE 2 CHOOSING USEFUL CATEGORIES ■ TEACHING TIP Walk stu- dents through this step. Use a simple topic (stores in town or In the items that follow, you are given a topic and a reason for sorting. For a local mall, clothing students each item, list three useful categories. (There are more than three correct are wearing, courses offered at categories for each item.) the college) and demonstrate how you would classify it. Or break the class into small EXAMPLE: groups and give each group a topic. Then call on students TOPIC: Pieces of paper in my wallet from each group to tell what they did. REASON FOR SORTING: To get rid of what I don’t need CATEGORIES: a. Things I need to keep in my wallet b. Things I can throw away c. Things I need to keep, but not in my wallet 1. TOPIC: Animals in a pet shop REASON FOR SORTING: To decide what kind of pet to get CATEGORIES: Answers will vary. Possible answers: a. Dogs b. Birds c. Fish 2. TOPIC: College courses REASON FOR SORTING: To decide what I’ll register for CATEGORIES: Answers will vary. Possible answers: a. English b. Accounting c. Math 3. TOPIC: Stuff in my notebook REASON FOR SORTING: To organize my schoolwork CATEGORIES: Answers will vary. Possible answers: a. Homework b. Notes c. Doodles 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 168 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 168 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation 4. TOPIC: Wedding guests REASON FOR SORTING: To arrange seating at tables CATEGORIES: Answers will vary. Possible answers: a. Family members b. Neighbors c. Friends 5. TOPIC: Clothing REASON FOR SORTING: To get rid of some clothes CATEGORIES: Answers will vary. Possible answers: a. Out of style b. Don’t fit c. Good Give Examples of People or Items That Fit in the Categories Your readers need speciﬁc examples of things that ﬁt into each category. After you ﬁnd useful categories, look for examples.You will also need to add facts and details about your examples to make them clear for your readers. To ﬁnd examples and details, you might want to use some of the prewriting strategies discussed in Chapter 2. PRACTICE 3 GIVING EXAMPLES In the spaces provided for each topic, give at least two examples of people or items that ﬁt into each category.Then add a fact or detail about one example. EXAMPLE: TOPIC: Pieces of paper in my wallet REASON FOR SORTING (PURPOSE): To get rid of what I don’t need a. CATEGORY: Things I need to keep in my wallet EXAMPLES: money, license, phone numbers FACT OR DETAIL: I always keep at least ten dollars in my wallet. b. CATEGORY: Things I can throw away EXAMPLES: ticket stubs, old receipts, old grocery lists FACT OR DETAIL: Sometimes I find ticket stubs from movies I can’t even remember. c. CATEGORY: Things I need to keep, but not in my wallet EXAMPLES: bank receipts, addresses on slips of paper FACT OR DETAIL: I’ll add the addresses to my address book and throw the slips away. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 169 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Understand What Classiﬁcation Is 169 1. TOPIC: Animals in a pet shop REASON FOR SORTING: To decide what kind of pet to get a. CATEGORY: Dogs EXAMPLES: Answers will vary. FACT OR DETAIL: b. CATEGORY: Birds EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: c. CATEGORY: Fish EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: 2. TOPIC: College courses REASON FOR SORTING: To decide what I’ll register for a. CATEGORY: English EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: b. CATEGORY: Accounting EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: c. CATEGORY: Math EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: 3. TOPIC: Stuff in my notebook REASON FOR SORTING: To organize my schoolwork a. CATEGORY: Homework EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: b. CATEGORY: Notes EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: c. CATEGORY: Doodles EXAMPLES: FACT OR DETAIL: 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 170 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 170 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation Read and Analyze Classiﬁcation ■ READING SELECTIONS Reading examples of classiﬁcation and analyzing their structure will help For further examples of and you understand what good classiﬁcation looks like before you write your activities for classiﬁcation, see Chapter 44. own. The ﬁrst example is paragraph-length, and the second is essay-length. Your instructor may ask you to read and answer the questions for one or both of these. Classiﬁcation: Paragraph Test questions generally fall into two categories, depending on how they are answered: objective and subjective. The ﬁrst kind, [objective ] questions, have deﬁnite right and wrong answers. Multiple-choice, matching, and ﬁll-in-the-blank questions are objective. Although objec- tive questions can be tricky because of their wording, most students prefer such questions, particularly multiple choice and matching. The answers are already there, and the student just has to choose the right ones. The questions in the second category are tougher.[Subjective test ] items, such as short-answer and essay questions, have no single correct answer. There is a range of possible responses. Students have to know the information in order to answer each question, and they have to pre- sent it in their own words. For most people, the more concrete, objec- tive questions are less intimidating than the subjective ones. You can make a lucky guess on an objective question, but a subjective question doesn’t offer much hope for a student relying on dumb luck. 1. The topic sentence of a classiﬁcation paragraph usually includes the topic being classiﬁed and how it is being classiﬁed — the organizing principle. Sometimes the categories themselves are named. Remem- ber: In classiﬁcation, the organizing principle is usually (but not al- ways) the main point. Topic + How classiﬁed + Courses are classiﬁed according to the reason for taking them: Categories (sometimes) = Topic sentence basic requirements, concentrators’ requirements, and electives. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 171 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Read and Analyze Classiﬁcation 171 Double-underline the topic sentence in the example paragraph. 2. The support in a classiﬁcation paragraph consists of the categories used and the examples of items in each category. In the sample para- graph, what examples does the writer give of each category? Put brack- ets around the [categories] and underline the examples. 3. Writers of classiﬁcation paragraphs can use time, space, or importance order. They use transitions to guide the reader from one category to another. COMMON CLASSIFICATION TRANSITIONS another the ﬁrst type the third group the ﬁnal the second group the third kind the ﬁrst group the second kind the third type the ﬁrst kind the second type Circle the transitions used in the sample paragraph. 4. Does the paragraph have the Four Basics of Good Classiﬁcation (see p. 161)? Why or why not? Yes. Specific answers will vary, but students should be able to give examples of the Four Basics. Classiﬁcation: Essay Blood Type and Personality Danny Fitzgerald In Japan, the question “What’s your blood type?” is as common as ■ TEAMWORK If most stu- dents know their blood type, “What’s your sign?” in the United States. Some Japanese researchers form groups according to blood type and have students deter- claim that people’s personalities can be classiﬁed by their blood types. mine if they have the traits dis- cussed in the essay. They could You may be skeptical about this method of classiﬁcation, but don’t judge then write a classiﬁcation essay on their own blood type’s char- its validity before you read the descriptions the researchers have put acteristics. together. Do you see yourself ? If you have blood type O, you are a leader. When you see something you want, you strive to achieve your goal. You are passionate, loyal, and self-conﬁdent, and you are often a trendsetter.Your enthusiasm for proj- ects and goals spreads to others who happily follow your lead.When you want something, you may be ruthless about getting it or blind to how your actions affect others. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 172 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 172 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation Another blood type, A, is a social, “people” person. You like people and work well with them.You are sensitive, patient, compassionate, and affectionate. You are a good peacekeeper because you want everyone to be happy. In a team situation, you resolve conﬂicts and keep things on a smooth course. Sometimes type A’s are stubborn and ﬁnd it difficult to relax. They may also ﬁnd it uncomfortable to do things alone. People with type B blood are usually individualists who like to do things on their own.You may be creative and adaptable, and you usually say exactly what you mean. Although you can adapt to situations, you may not choose to do so because of your strong independent streak.You may prefer working on your own to being part of a team. The ﬁnal blood type is type AB. If you have AB blood, you are a natural entertainer. You draw people to you because of your charm and easygoing nature. AB’s are usually calm and controlled, tactful and fair. On the downside, though, they may take too long to make deci- sions. And they may procrastinate, putting off tasks until the last minute. Classifying people’s personalities by blood type seems very unusual until you examine what researchers have found. Most people ﬁnd the descriptions fairly accurate. When you think about it, classiﬁcation by blood type isn’t any more far-fetched than classiﬁcation by horoscope sign. What will they think of next? Classiﬁcation by hair color? 1. The thesis statement of a classiﬁcation essay usually includes the topic being classiﬁed and how it is being classiﬁed — the organizing principle. Sometimes the categories themselves are named. Categories Thesis Topic + How classiﬁed + (sometimes) = statement The kinds of music that I like best are rap, reggae, and jazz. Double-underline the thesis statement in the example essay. 2. In a classiﬁcation essay, the categories are usually presented in the topic sentences. Underline the topic sentence for each paragraph. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 173 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Write Your Own Classiﬁcation 173 3. The support in a classiﬁcation essay consists of the categories used and the examples of items in each category. In the sample essay, what examples does the writer give of each category? type O: leader, trendsetter; type A: peacekeeper; type B: individualist; type AB: entertainer 4. Writers of classiﬁcation essays can use time, space, or importance order. They use transitions and transitional sentences to guide the reader from one category to another. (For a list of common classiﬁca- tion transitions, see p 171.) Circle the transitions used in the sample essay. 5. Does the essay have the Four Basics of Good Classiﬁcation (see p. 161)? Why or why not? Yes. Specific answers will vary, but students should be able to give examples of the Four Basics. ■ TIP Look back at your idea- Write Your Own Classiﬁcation journal entry (p. 161) for ideas. In this section, you will write your own classiﬁcation paragraph or essay based on your (or your instructor’s) choice among three assignments. To complete your classiﬁcation, follow this sequence: 1. Review the Four Basics of Good Classiﬁcation (p. 161). 2. Choose your assignment. 3. Read the Critical Thinking box on page 175. 4. If you are asked to complete Assignment 3, read Using Problem Solv- ing and Teamwork in Writing (Chapter 8, pp. 109–11). 5. Write your classiﬁcation using the Checklist: How to Write Classiﬁca- tion (pp. 175–76). ASSIGNMENT 1 WRITING ABOUT COLLEGE, WORK, ■ TIP If you use the Writing AND EVERYDAY LIFE Guide Software with this book, you’ll ﬁnd step-by-step guid- ance for writing classiﬁcation Write a classiﬁcation on one of the following topics. paragraphs and essays. COLLEGE PARAGRAPH ESSAY Types of Types of • Teachers • Courses offered • Students in your class • Degree/certiﬁcate programs • Assignments • Resources in a college library 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 174 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 174 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation ■ TEACHING TIP Suggest to WORK students that they make jour- nal entries on some of the top- PARAGRAPH ESSAY ics that they don’t write about for this assignment. Types of Types of • Bosses • Positions at your company ■ ESL Suggest to students that they write about some- • Work you like • Work beneﬁts thing unique to their native cultures: foods, holidays, stores, • Skills needed to do your last job • Workers/employees vacation spots, housing, and so on. EVERYDAY LIFE PARAGRAPH ESSAY Types of Types of • Monthly expenses • Drivers • Fast food restaurants • Friends • Cars • Responsibilities you have ASSIGNMENT 2 WRITING ABOUT IMAGES Write either a paragraph or an essay about what is being classiﬁed in the series of photos and what the categories are. ASSIGNMENT 3 WRITING IN THE REAL WORLD/SOLVING A PROBLEM PROBLEM: Every month you ﬁnd yourself short on money, and you realize that as a ﬁrst step you need to manage your ﬁnances better. You decide to make a monthly budget that categorizes the kinds of expenses you have. ■ TEAMWORK For more de- ASSIGNMENT: Working with a group or on your own, break your monthly tailed guidance on group work, expenses into categories, thinking of everything that you spend money on. see Practical Suggestions. Then review the expenses carefully to see which ones might be reduced. Next write a classiﬁcation paragraph or essay that classiﬁes your monthly expenses, with examples, and end with suggestions about how you might re- duce your monthly spending.You may want to refer to the problem-solving steps on p. 110. 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 175 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Write Your Own Classiﬁcation 175 Before writing, read the Critical Thinking box that follows. ■ TEACHING TIP Walk stu- dents through the Critical Thinking guide, explaining the CRITICAL THINKING: WRITING CLASSIFICATION importance of asking and an- swering the questions. FOCUS Think about what you want to classify and the categories you could use. ASK YOURSELF • What is my purpose? What do I want to help my readers under- stand? • How should I sort my topic according to my purpose and my readers’ needs? What is my organizing principle? • What categories will help my readers understand my topic? • What people or items will ﬁt into each category? WRITE Write a classiﬁcation that demonstrates your main point by sorting items into useful categories and giving detailed examples. ■ RESOURCES All chapters in Part Two have writing check- lists, which are reproduced in Additional Resources. You can photocopy and distribute them Use the checklist that follows to help you write your classiﬁcation. if you want students to hand in Check off the steps as you complete them. If you need help completing a the checklists with their assign- step, read the information in the right-hand column. ments. CHECKLIST: HOW TO WRITE CLASSIFICATION STEPS IN CLASSIFICATION HOW TO DO THE STEPS 1. Narrow and explore ❑ Narrow the topic to one that you are familiar with and can your topic (see Chapter break into groups. 2). ❑ Jot down a few ideas about the possible categories and things that might ﬁt into the categories. 2. Write a topic sentence ❑ The main point of a classiﬁcation usually (but not always) (for a paragraph) or a includes the organizing principle. thesis statement (for an ❑ Use one of the following structures for your topic sentence or essay) (see Chapter 3). thesis statement: topic + organizing principle topic + organizing principle + categories topic + categories 3. Support your main ❑ Use a prewriting technique (see Chapter 2) to ﬁnd possible point by choosing use- categories and detailed examples of items. ful categories and giv- ❑ Review your categories to make sure they all follow the same ing detailed examples organizing principle. of items that ﬁt into ❑ Find examples of people or items that ﬁt into each category those categories (see and add details about them so your readers understand the Chapter 4). items as you do. (continued) 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 176 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS 176 Chapter 12 • Classiﬁcation STEPS IN CLASSIFICATION HOW TO DO THE STEPS 4. Make a plan (see ❑ Arrange the categories in the order you think will best explain Chapter 5). the topic to your readers. 5. Write a draft (see FOR A PARAGRAPH: Chapter 6). ❑ Write a paragraph using complete sentences, including your topic sentence, the categories you are using, and examples of those categories. ❑ Write a concluding sentence that reminds your readers of your main point and makes an observation based on what you have written. ❑ Write a title that previews your main point but doesn’t repeat your topic sentence. FOR AN ESSAY: ❑ Write topic sentences for each of the categories. ❑ Write paragraphs that explain each category in detail. ❑ Consider using one of the introductory techniques described in Chapter 6 (pp. 71–73) for your introductory paragraph. ❑ Write a conclusion (see Chapter 6, pp. 73–75) that reminds your readers of your main point and makes an observation based on what you have written. ❑ Write a title that previews your main point but doesn’t repeat your thesis statement. 6. Revise your draft, ❑ Get feedback from others if possible (see Chapter 7, pp. 81–82). making at least ❑ Review for unity: Ensure that the categories all follow a single four changes (see organizing principle. Chapter 7). ❑ Review for support: Ensure that you provide enough speciﬁc de- tail about each category. ❑ Review for coherence: Make sure that the categories are arranged logically and that transitions help the reader understand when you are moving from one category to another. Consider repeat- ing a key word. ❑ Read your introduction and conclusion to make sure they are related, speciﬁc, and ﬁrm. 7. Edit your revised draft ❑ Find and correct problems with grammar, spelling, word use, (see Parts Four or punctuation. through Seven). ❑ Print out a clean copy. 8. Ask yourself: ❑ Does my paper include the Four Basics of Good Classiﬁcation (p. 161)? ❑ Is this the best I can do? ❑ Is the paper ready to be graded? 161-177_CH.12_61613 9/8/03 3:36 PM Page 177 WRITING DIFFERENT KINDS OF PARAGRAPHS AND ESSAYS Chapter Review: Classiﬁcation 177 Chapter Review: Classiﬁcation 1. Classiﬁcation is writing that organizes/sorts people or items into categories. ■ IDEA JOURNAL Reread your idea-journal entry (p. 161) 2. The organizing principle is how you sort the group of people or items. on the kinds of students in this class or the kinds of friends you have. Make another entry 3. The topic sentence in a classiﬁcation paragraph or the thesis statement on the same topic, using what you have learned about classiﬁ- in a classiﬁcation essay can include what elements? The topic being cation. classified and how the topic is being classified. ■ RESOURCES A blank dia- gram of a classiﬁcation (big 4. What are the Four Basics of Good Classiﬁcation? enough to write in) is in Addi- tional Resources. You may want It makes sense of a group of people or items by organizing them into categories. to copy it and give it to stu- dents to plan their writing. It uses useful categories. It uses a single organizing principle. It gives examples of what fits into each category. What Will You Use? List some situations in college, work, or in everyday life where you will use classiﬁcation.
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