Division and Classification: These two principles of ordering often work together.

I. Classification: a way of ordering and giving meaning to the world. Here you are often dealing with more than one item, and grouping them according to a consistent principle—their similarities.

a. Arrangement of objects, people, ideas, places—you name it—into groups or classes.
b. For example, you can classify cars, busses, trucks as “motor vehicles”; apples, bananas, and grapefruit as “fruits”; monarchy and democracy as “political systems; “books” according to level of difficulty, etc.
c. Keep in mind that in classification you are taking two or more items (usually) and putting them into groups; you are moving your items into larger categories according to a principle.

II. Division: a way of breaking an object into parts or subclasses. Division takes one item and divides it into parts. You also need a consistent principle.

a. Take an item and divide it. For example, “fruit juice” can be divided into flavors: apple, orange, lemon, and so on.
b. In division, you break down your item into smaller parts or subclasses.

III. Introduction: make sure that your division/classification has a reason or a purpose behind it. You are not doing this exercise for the sake of doing it.

a. Make clear in your introduction why this subject is interesting and noteworthy. For example, dividing hip-hop music into several groups or classes may not be interesting in and of itself unless you are making a specific point.

IV. Body: The body of your paper should reflect the principle of division/classification. For instance, each paragraph might be accorded one of the subclasses or divisions. If you were working on dividing/classifying motor vehicles according to their uses: sports, suv, truck, family, etc., then each paragraph might reflect one particular category. However, a paper such as this would need a point. It’s not clear why you would want to divide/classify motor vehicles.

V. Conclusion: Think of the entire paper. Bring your ideas to a close by making very clear why this exercise is relevant.