AP English Notes

Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC)

What problem does the Dewey Decimal Classification System solve?

The Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC) solves the basic problem that plagues all researchers: too much information on too many different topics in too many different formats. The DDC solves the problem of finding relevant information fast and effectively by classifying the world’s knowledge.

How does the DDC organize the world’s vast amounts of information in an effective classification system?

The DDC classifies the world’s information into a hierarchal classification system. This system divides knowledge from the broadest to the most specific topics.

Who founded the DDC?

The DDC was founded by Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey in 1876.

How many editions of the DDC have been released?

Twenty-two editions of the DDC have been released since it was created in 1876.

In what formats is the DDC available?

The DDC is available as an unabridged four-book series, an abridged single volume book, a CD-ROM for Windows, and a online subscription service known as WebDewey.

Why is the DDC the most widely used classification system in the world?

The DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world because it is the most effective at organizing the world’s information. No other classification system is able to organize such diverse ranges of information as effectively as the DDC.

Why is the DDC an effective classification system?

The DDC is so effective because it organizes similar information into similar categories, and then further subdivides those categories into even more subcategories. Thus, when one looks for information on a certain topic, other similar and useful topics will be only an arm’s reach away.

How is the DDC useful to students?

The DDC can help students to quickly find information for a research project. Once they find the correct DDC number, they will gain access to a wealth of knowledge about their research topic.

How can the principles of the DDC be applied to aid with the organization of one’s life at work, school, or home?

The DDC can help organize one’s daily life in may ways. Take project management, for instance. When coordinating a large project—whether it be a school project, a work project, or a project around the house—one can learn a lot from the DDC. Organizing a “to do list” into more specific categories can help to identify exact steps that need to be taken to complete the project. This type of organization also helps to avoid confusion by explicitly categorizing every goal into it own category to ensure that each person does his own job and no job is done twice.

Has the DDC become obsolete with the onset of more modern classification systems like search engines like Google and Yahoo?

The DDC is unpractical for organizing web pages because of the chaotic nature of the Web. It would take years to classify every web page on the internet using the DDC. And even when this feat is complete, new pages are springing up all the time, and old pages disappear. It is only through the use of complex algorithms and tireless computer “bots” that the sprawling Web can be effectively organized. So, yes, the DDC is obsolete at classifying web pages. However, it is still the most effective way to classify books, newspaper articles, and periodicals.


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How to cite this note (MLA)

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Dewey Decimal Classification System (DDC)" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 21 Oct. 2019. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/english/bonus/dewey-decimal-classification-system-ddc/>.
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