What differentiates a good essay from a higher level essay
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Read chapter 14 in the textbook. For this assignment, choose a topic and write an original 400-500 word Classification essay in MLA format. Classification means to break a topic into groups, classes or categories.

For example, you might break drivers down into three types, grandma drivers, race car drivers, and distracted drivers. Please do not look on the Internet for this topic. Simply choose something that is relevant in your life or of interest to you, and break that down into groups or types. I might choose types of students, or different styles of parenting or classify people who work out.

For a 500 word essay, you will likely have 2-4 types or groups. Have fun with the essay, but ensure that you avoid intentional fragments and follow academic rules of grammar.


As found in the root of the word, a classification essay divides a subject into classes, categories, types, or groups. This can be as simple as it sounds: types of drivers, students, teachers. Classification essays offer students a chance to display their creativity, insight, and even humor.

What differentiates a good essay from a higher level essay really is the depth of the analysis. Yes, you can write a 500-word essay on the three types of teachers: hands-off teachers, caring teachers, and life-changing teachers.

How-ever, if you stick simply with the denotation or the surface level explanation, the essay remains rather obvious. However, if you add in personal examples, a call to action, or some personal insight and analysis of the groups when developing your categories this raises the level of analysis and improves the essay. As well, writers typically develop classification essays through a filter or an organizing principle. In the example of teachers (hands-off, caring, and life-changing) this is organized by interaction with students.

It would be off topic to include a paragraph on young teachers as that would be outside of the filter or organizing principle. A sample pre-writing might be to choose the broad category first. Students. Then, choose the organizing principle or filter. (This step sometimes just happens naturally.)

How students approach classwork. Next, choose the types or classes. Slackers, procrastinators, detail-oriented. It should be fairly obvious how the essay paragraphs will be structured, one for each category, so now you might prewrite on the details for each type.

Everyone knows these types, so as well as defining the categories attempt to add some personal insight, any consequences of each type, how to avoid or be one of the types-anything beyond an obvious definition makes the essay content better. The insight, call for action, moral can be placed in the conclusion and also scattered through the body paragraphs.

A note on writing different style essays is that not every essay needs to win the Pulitzer Prize, so to speak. Sometimes you might not connect with a topic or a style of writing. Sometimes, you just have to complete the assignment and move on to the next one. I'm not advocating turning in sloppy work-simply advising that you might not connect with every topic or every style of writing.

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