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Classification and Division

Classification essays explore types of a subject (e.g. types of mothers, types of students). Division essays break a subject into its various parts and then describe and/or analyze those parts (e.g. parts of a custom car exhaust system, parts of a bee hive). You can learn to use these patterns here, here, and here.

All writers in this collection speak for themselves—and themselves alone.

A visual representation of this collection exists on Pinterest.


Beyond Salty and Sweet: A Budding Club of Tastes

New York Times contributor Peter Andrey Smith examines new ideas about the types of tastes we may be able to perceive.

Classification and Division Identity Third Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn

Carol S. Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, classifies mindsets as "growth" or "fixed" and explains how the differences either help or hinder student learning. (Watch Prof. Dweck's TED Talk on this subject.)

Classification and Division School Life Mixed Person Discussion Questions & Writing Prompts

If You Shouldn't Call It the Third World, What Should You Call It?

Marc Silver, blogger of National Public Radio's intriguingly titled "Goats and Soda: Stories of Life in a Changing World," considers how best to classify the countries of the world.

Classification and Division Times and Places Mixed Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Is There a Formula for a Good Book?

Award-winning writer and editor Jason Heller (of the science-fiction genres) evaluates a variety of formulas, or rules, for literary success.

Classification and Division Language and Writing Third Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Not Prestige, Not Trash: The Rise of “Mid-Reputable” TV

Pop culture expert Noel Murray describes some of the series currently considered "the best" on television as being "mid-reputable," a status between "prestige" and "trash."

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The Power of Two

Author Joshua Wolf Shenk classifies the attributes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney separately and then explains why they were even more gifted when pairing their creativity as a team.

Classification and Division Identity Third Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author

Why Time Travel Stories Should Be Messy

Blogger Charlie Jane Anders classifies the different types of time travel stories.

Classification and Division Times and Places Mixed Person Discussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author