Classification & Division Paper Ideas

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In a classification essay, a writer groups related ideas or items into categories. A writer crafting a division essay chooses a topic and separates it into its constituent parts. The first step in writing either paper is to come up with a subject you are interested in exploring. If you are studying a topic that is better understood by examining its parts, you are writing a division paper; if you better communicate and understand your topic by writing about it in regard to related topics, you are writing a classification paper, according to educators in the Anchorage School District.

1 Friendships

Consider different kinds of friendships for a classification paper. For example, you can have same-sex friendships, opposite-sex friendships, new friendships, old friendships, troubled friendships, trustful friendships or casual friendships. Devote an essay to categorizing the types of friendships you have in your life and the relationships you observe others have with friends. Think of both the positive and negative sides of each kind of relationship when delving into each category.

2 Coffee

Coffee -- or tea, if you prefer -- makes an ideal division essay topic. Divide coffee into different components, such as Arabica, Robusta, caffeinated, decaffeinated, and the types of grinds, from very fine espresso to automatic drip grinds. For teas, you can divide teas into those known for their properties, such as healing, energizing, digestion or detox along with the flavor options.

3 Hairdressers

Write a classification paper explaining the personality types of hairdressers, being careful to eliminate stereotypes. For example, you can break hairdressers into professional and highly trained, lackadaisical, energetic and creative, traditionalist, experimental, rigid or friendly. In each classification, instead of harping on stereotypes you have heard or experienced, develop the classifications so that you open to readers a diverse picture of a group of people that was, before your paper, limited to one or two “types.”

4 Poem

While poetry would make an ideal classification essay, concentrating on the parts of a poem can make a strong division essay. Focus the essay on breaking a poem into its many parts that create a whole effect. All poem forms are very different, but there are some things that remain similar, such as tone, narrative, musicality/or lyric, rhyming or unrhyming lines or line breaks and imagery. Include examples of each poetry technique in your essay, and one or two completed poems.

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.