How to Write a Classification Essay: Tips and Secrets

How to Write a Classification Essay

Classification is a process we face daily in various situations: making a list of products to buy (and categorizing them like “Vegetables”, “Sweets” etc.) or telling your friend about the types of your workmates (for example, there are eggheads, upstarts, trainees, and gurus). Moreover, classification is a crucial part of almost all more or less serious research papers regardless the subject, type or volume. That is why it is quite important to get to know how to write a classification essay and to understand its main rules.

Classification essay: topics for college students

Before talking directly about writing, it’s pertinent to consider how to choose a proper topic, because it impacts the whole result. Everything can be classified: from furnishing to organs of human body, from music to plants. The question is what the subject of your study is, and what the requirements of your instructor are. However, if you have multiple choice, try to find a topic that has several major categories – not few and not many, otherwise, it will be an intricate task to distinguish the core ones.

But it can be difficult to define the categories at first glance, and in this case, there are some tips for you.

  • Select the criteria for categorizing. Maybe you will be shocked when realize how many criteria exist for dividing clothes into categories, for instance. Historical period, style, fabric, weather for wearing, purpose, brand, price, place of origin, way of production… So select just one, and keep it in mind while dividing something into the groups.
  • If the categories you have created are your own idea, make sure there is logic in your categorizing, and check if the groups are at least approximately equal. A bad example is if someone divides houses into small (up to 500 square feet) and large (all others), missing any intermediate options.
  • Sometimes the categories are utterly different because of special topic (e.g. if you categorize animals according to genetic color deviations, the most numerous and significant group will be the one without any deviations, and others will be quite small – animals with albinism and melanism, and a couple of even smaller groups). In such case provide arguments for your classification.
  • Try to choose criteria and categories that are not too complicated for the average person without special knowledge, otherwise you will need to give expanded explanations.

For example, if you have to write a classification essay about food, first you should narrow the topic so that it would be clearer: a cooked food, or raw food, or oriental food. Or, if the topic is just “food”, try to choose the most comprehensive criteria like “the origin of food” or “the main tastes of food”.

Classification essay about movies can also seem daunting because of the versatility of this subject, but it would be reasonable to focus on main criteria like genres, film studio, period of production, presence of special effects etc.

Classification essay topics can surprise with their diversity, so try to select the one you are really interested in.

Writing tips

Supposing now you will not ask “What is classification essay”, and do not need classification essay definition, let’s move to more important part: writing.

The steps of creating this kind of essays are rather common:

  • Determine a topic.
  • Work on your classification essay outline.
  • Create the classification essay thesis statement.
  • Write the essay, consisting of three ordinary parts – introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Proof-read for errors and typos, and ask friend to read the essay in order to be sure it is logical, readable and engaging.

Creating the outline is similar to creating a map to make your way easier and clearer. Jot down some notes of what will be in the introductory part, which categories you are going to reveal in the body, and what is the main idea you would like to emphasize in the conclusion. Move down the outline while writing, and do not forget about some transition phrases to make your essay smooth and absorbing.

Your thesis statement will help to concentrate on one core idea which all the essay obeys, instead of being merely a group of scattered thoughts.

The structure: what to write about inside every part

Introduction has to disclose your topic, describe the general principle of classification you will consider in the body, and just list the categories. Classification essay introduction paragraph examples can be found anywhere, even in Wikipedia, when explaining some notions. The main goal of introduction is to show to the reader a bright image of what he/she is about to read and grab attention.

The body should answer all the question the reader could have: why this kind of classification was singled out, what each category looks like, how it helps to understand your topic and so on. It may resemble the content of analytical essay – you are also dividing something big into small parts for better sorting out. Try to be brief but comprehensive and convincing – however, this applies to any essay.

A conclusion is a chance to sum up all you intended to say, to make it more transparent and well-packed. It is customary not to present new ideas within the conclusion, but only give another reflection to the ones had been disclosed in the body.

Where to get ideas?

If you have never written this kind of essay, you will likely try to seek for classification essay examples, and this is a pretty smart approach. Maybe you will need help with defining classification essay format, choosing a topic or even writing – sometimes there are really more important things in life than academic writing, no matter how rebellious it may sound. Many websites provide such services, where you can get everything you need – from examples for viewing to practical help. Some students appeal to such services just the first time they face a new kind of academic paper to write so that they could get an individual sample for their further work.

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