Classification is an extension of grouping. It is the process of organizing information into groups or classes according to some proinciple of selection used by the classifier.
To write a classification in your writing, you need to have a solid topic sentence, good detailed body sentences and a strong conclusion. It is important to choose an interesting topic, a method to sort or break the topic into smaller categories, or groups, and three separate categories that connect to the topic.
You need to write with classification when you can sort a large idea or topic into at least two small sub-categories. For example, if you want to write a topic, computer hardware, you can have three categories of CPU, memory, and harddisk.
Once a topic has been selected, you need to come up with a method of how you want to sort or break the topic into smaller categories. If you choose music, you need to decide if you want to sort the topic by the following:
1. people who like jazz music
2. types of jazz music
3. female singers of jazz music
4. male singers of jazz music
5. jazz music TV stations
Once the method has been selected, three distinct categories need to be selected. For example,
Topic: jazz music
Method: types of jazz music
Three Categories: Bebop, cool jazz, and free jazz
Once the topic, method, and categories have been selected, you need to now write a topic sentence.
Example topic sentence: Today's jazz music has many types that can range from Bebop to cool jazz to free jazz.
Next, you need to work on the body of the paragraph. For each category, there should be equal amounts of detail sentences in the body of the paragraph. A basic amount would be two sentences to describe each category. Last, you need to write a concluding sentence to wrap up the paragraph.
The following are some classification writing tips:
1. First, define the overall unit. In a few paragraphs or a couple of pages, explain what the document is and for whom it is intended. In addition, understanding the overarching structure will help to put the pieces in context as they browse categories, either reading straight through or selecting areas for particular information.
2. Next, list sub-points derived from the main idea. Then you need to explain what you are doing in terms of the document's layout, then list each point succinctly and separately, whether on pages or paragraphs, so readers can find the information they need quickly.
3. Identify each category. Assign a name, if it doesn't have one already, and use it consistently throughout the document. If you use an abbreviation, keep that consistent, too.
4. Describe each category. Explain what the section is, how it connects to the whole, and what it does. Use examples that readers can relate to in order to illustrate the main point of each section. Avoid nebulous language that can let one section blend into another. Be clear about how each differs from the rest.
5. List support detail for each classified section. Supporting details should be thorough in outlining needed information to your readers.
6. Don't use too many categories. Page after page of one section after another will probably overwhelm a majority of readers. Of course, such lists make useful reference tools, but they are not effective training tools to teach new skills or desirable outcomes. Keep your classification simple and short.
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