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Rhetorical Functions in Academic Writing: Classifying / categorising

When we classify, we arrange members of a group. For example, if we take the following list: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, French, German, Spanish. It is quite clear that we have two different types of word. We have science subjects and languages. So it is simple to divide the list into two: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, AND French, German, Spanish

When we are classifying, we often need to say what our classification is and how we are making it.

Read the following text. Lavas may be divided into two contrasting types, acid and basic. Acid or siliceous lavas have a high silica content, about 70 to 75 per cent, and are stiff or viscous. They move slowly over the surface and solidify close to the vent. Basic lavas have a silica content of about 50 per cent. Dark colored and fluid, they flow more easily at lower temperatures and reach a greater distance from the crater than do acid lavas. This earth of ours, p. 3 .

What is the text classifying? Lavas. How many types are there? 2 What are the two types? Acid and basic. How do we make the distinction? The amount of silica present.

Look at these examples: ROCKS Scientists group rocks into three main types: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. IGNEOUS rocks are produced by white-hot material deep inside the earth which rises towards the surface as a molten mass called magma. If the magma stops before on it reaches the surface, it cools and forms rocks such as granite. If the magma erupts, it forms a red-hot stream called lava. When the lava cools it becomes rock. One of the most common lava rocks is called basalt. Igneous rock is used in the formation of the other two main types of rocks - sedimentary and metamorphic. SEDIMENTARY rock is formed by small particles or sediments such as sand, mud, dead sea animals and weathered rock. These are deposited in layers and become solid rock over millions of years as they are squeezed by the weight of other deposits above them. The word metamorphosis means 'change'. Rocks which have been changed by heat and pressure are called METAMORPHIC rocks. They are formed deep inside the earth. Slate for example is formed from compressed mud or clay. Marble is another type of metamorphic rock. It is produced from limestone which has undergone change through heat and pressure,

The chemical elements in the earth's crust are classified in two major groups - metals and nonmetals. Elements are classified as metallic or nonmetallic, according to their physical and chemical properties. Metals, for example, are usually good conductors of heat and electricity; nonmetals usually are not. Most metals are malleable; they can be hammered into flat sheets; nonmetals lack this quality. Some metals are also ductile; they can be drawn out into thin wires; nonmetals are not usually ductile. Metals usually have luster, and are able to reflect light. They also have a high density. Nonmetals usually do not exhibit these properties. A few elements, such as arsenic and antimony, exhibit both metallic and nonmetallic properties and are sometimes referred to as metalloids. Inquiry into earth and space science, by William J Jacobson, p 104-105.

Try this exercise: Exercise 1 Exercise Read the following texts and answer the questions below:

Eruptions of volcanoes may be divided into three main types: (1) the explosive type, in which rock fragments are thrown out with explosive violence; (2) the quiet type, in which hot liquid rock quietly flows on the surface; (3) the intermediate type, in which eruptions are at times violent and at other times consist of the quiet outflowing of lava. This earth of ours. p. 5-6 Bipods and tripods There are two sorts of people in this world, says Alistair Mant, and one of them ought never to be promoted to high rank. One sort thinks of life, and success, in terms of his or her relationships with other people - the object being to control, dominate or seduce the other in the interest of personal survival. These are the bipods, or raiders. The other sort are tripods or builders (ternary thinkers as opposed to binary thinkers). For them the question is not so much Shall I win? but Whats it for? For these people there is a third corner to all relation-ships - the task or the purpose. They can, says Mant, run personal risks in pursuit of some high purpose and can observe themselves in their relationships. They can, as it were, see the joke. Mant argues that the raider or bipod mentality may thrive for a time but that this form of flawed leadership eventually self-destructs, while if you ask people for examples of great leaders in their own experience they will speak of teachers, managers, fathers (or, more likely, mothers) who were uncompromising in the pursuit of a task or a vision (the third corner). Transforming leadership (the term used by James MacGregor Burns) is tripod thinking, while transactional leadership is closer to the bipod mode. Similarly, Adornos idea of the authoritarian personality fits the raider, not the builder. We need more builders and fewer raiders in our homes, schools, politics and businesses, but the British tradition fosters the raider, not the builder. A. Mant, Leaders We Deserve. 1984 Blood Type Blood Type, in medicine, is the classification of red blood cells by the presence of specific substances on their surface. Typing of red blood cells is a prerequisite for blood transfusion. In the early part of the 20th century, physicians discovered that blood transfusions often failed because the blood type of the recipient was not compatible with that of the donor. In 1901 the Austrian pathologist Karl Landsteiner classified blood types and discovered that they were transmitted by Mendelian heredity. The four blood types are known as A, B, AB, and O. Blood type A contains red blood cells that have a substance A on their surface. This type of blood also contains an antibody directed against substance B, found on the red cells of persons with blood type B. Type B blood contains the reverse combination. Serum of

blood type AB contains neither antibody, but red cells in this type of blood contain both A and B substances. In type O blood, neither substance is present on the red cells, but the individual is capable of forming antibodies directed against red cells containing substance A or B. If blood type A is transfused into a person with B type blood, anti-A antibodies in the recipient will destroy the transfused A red cells. Because O type blood has neither substance on its red cells, it can be given successfully to almost any person. Persons with blood type AB have no antibodies and can receive any of the four types of blood; thus blood types O and AB are called universal donors and universal recipients, respectively. Other hereditary blood-group systems have subsequently been discovered. The hereditary blood constituent called Rh factor is of great importance in obstetrics and blood transfusions because it creates reactions that can threaten the life of newborn infants. Blood types M and N have importance in legal cases involving proof of paternity. Microsoft Encarta Type A and Type B Friedman and Rosenham first distinguished between Type A and Type B people. Individuals with certain behavioural traits were found to be more susceptible to coronary heart disease (Type A) than the low-risk Type B individuals. Type A people are characterized by extreme competitiveness, striving for achievement, aggressiveness, haste, impatience, restlessness. hyperalertness, explosiveness of speech, tenseness of facial musculature and feelings of being under pressure of time and under the challenge of responsibility. Type B were more laid back. A national sample in the United States of 3,400 men (without heart disease) was judged by a panel of psychiatrists and rated A or B. Two and a half years later Type A men aged between 39 and 49 had 6.5 times the incidence of coronary heart disease of the Type B men. Between 50 and 59 the incidence was 1.9 times higher. When a similar study was done on Benedictine and Trappist monks the same sort of difference emerged! In 1976 Howard et al. looked at 236 managers and found that extreme Type A behaviour was associated with a range of known risk factors (high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, uric acid, smoking and lack of fitness).

What is the text classifying? How many types are there? What are the different types? How do we make the distinction?

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The tables below show some of the most common language used in sentences which have classification as their purpose. There are types : acidic and basic. kinds . These are acidic and basic. classes two of lava categories are acidic and basic. sorts varieties


categories consists of classes . These are acidic and basic. Lava comprises two kinds : acidic and basic. can be divided into types varieties classes kinds Acidic and basic are types of lava. categories varieties according to Lava may be classified on the basis of amount of silica present. depending on

Exercise Answer

Classifying / categorising
Read the following texts and answer the questions below: Eruptions of volcanoes may be divided into three main types: (1) the explosive type, in which rock fragments are thrown out with explosive violence; (2) the quiet type, in which hot liquid rock quietly flows on the surface; (3) the intermediate type, in which eruptions are at times violent and at other times consist of the quiet outflowing of lava. This earth of ours. p. 5-6

What is the text classifying? Volcanic eruptions How many types are there? 3 What are the different types? Explosive, quiet and intermediate How do we make the distinction? What is released from the volcano and how it is released.