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Reading a Classification Paragraph and Essay

This lesson lets you discover how another student explored categories in a classification paragraph and essay.

Reading a Classification Paragraph

A classification paragraph has three main parts. The topic sentence names the broad topic and gives a thought or feeling about it. The body sentences break the topic down into categories. The ending sentence sums up the topic and its categories. This paragraph tells about the parts of a medieval suit of armor.

Sample Paragraph

Head-to-Toe Protection

Topic SentenceKnights in shining armor had protection from their heads to their toes. The helmet and gorget protected the head and neck of the knight. Body SentencesShoulder pieces and brassards protected the upper arm, while elbow pieces and gauntlets protected lower down. A breastplate and back plate kept the knight's torso from harm. Then, from the skirt of tasses at the hip down to the jambeaus and sollerets at the ankles and feet, the knight became a metal-clad man. Did you notice that many of the unfamiliar words were French? Ending SentenceThat's because the ruling class in England were Norman invaders who spoke French, and they were the only ones who could afford full plate armor!

Respond to the paragraph.

Answer the following questions about the paragraph. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. How did the writer break down the parts of the suit of armor?

    The writer described the parts from head to toe.

  2. What context clues can you use to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words like gorget and brassards?

    (Answers will vary.) You know what part of the body these protected, and you can imagine a suit of armor with those parts.

  3. Given that many of the unfamiliar words were French, what can you infer about medieval England based on other words with French roots: government, soldier, legal, and bank?

    (Answers will vary.) The French-speaking Normans must have been in charge of the government, the army, the laws, and the money.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Classification Essays unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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