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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Modes of Organization
Division or Classification Mode

Division or Classification Mode of Organization

In the division or classification mode of organization, writers divide broad information into smaller categories or groups based on shared characteristics or attributes.

By providing details and examples for each group or category, the writer makes it easier for the reader to understand the topic as a whole.


Topics or ideas that call for the division or classification mode of organization include, for example, “the types of animals/plans/people” or “the categories of people/things/animals.”

Types of Text Using the Division or Classification Mode

The division or classification mode is frequently used in in a variety of contexts, including academic writing, research papers, and business reports.

Transition Words Used in the Division or Classification Mode

Transitions commonly used in the division or classification mode include:

  • First, second, third, one group (is/consists of)…, the other group/category (is/consists of): These words and expressions identify each group or category.
  • In addition, furthermore, moreover, similarly: These expressions can be used to add information to the description of a group or category or to provide a new group or category.

Example division or classification mode of organization

The following paragraph is written using the division or classification mode of organization:

Animals can be classified into different groups based on their characteristics and behaviors. One way to categorize animals is by their habitat. There are aquatic animals, such as fish and whales, that live in water. There are also terrestrial animals, such as lions and elephants, that live on land. Another way to categorize animals is by their diet. There are carnivores, such as lions and tigers, that eat meat. There are also herbivores, such as cows and rabbits, that eat plants. Finally, there are omnivores, such as humans and bears, that eat both meat and plants.

The above paragraph organizes the following information:

  1. Habitat
    • aquatic animals
    • terrestrial animals
  2. Diet
    • carnivores
    • herbivores
    • omnivores

Note. The above paragraph is used for instructional purposes only. Search the topic for accurate information on it.

Note for Readers

When you read, it is important to identify the mode of organization as division or classification because it focuses your reading and improves comprehension.

You should pay close attention each category the writer is presenting, including the details that places something into one category or another.

If you are taking notes, your notes should have each category or division, the members of each category, and the details that cause each member to be in a particular category. (See the outline in the box above. Your notes should look something like that but include many more relevant details.)

Up Next: Cause and Effect Mode

Continue the lesson to learn about the cause-effect mode of organization.