How to write a classification essay

How to write a classification essay

Writing a classification essay can seem like another boring class assignment. It can be a tedious process without proper planning. This type of essay involves arranging, shifting, rearranging, thinking, and researching.

Writing your classification paper does not have to be boring. It can be a fun process if you select the right topic. Make sure your subject is something you really like.

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What is a classification essay?

A classification essay is a type of academic paper that requires you to classify items or ideas with similar characteristics. After obtaining your categories, you should describe them using examples and evidence.

You can use compare and contrast technique when discussing your categories. A classification essay is a common assignment in universities and colleges.

Classificatory writing purpose

classification essay

Classification happens in almost every aspect of life. You can classify anything from smartphones, computers, news, sports cars, and politics, among other things.

The purpose of classification is to make sense of different things in the world. Classification essay definition shows that you can break down your subject into smaller classes.

This allows you to say something meaningful about your subject. You can also say how your subject and the smaller categories are related.

Classification in writing requires you to have the ability to group objects or ideas. Instructors test your ability to generalize, categorize and analyze these items or ideas.

How to write a classification essay step by step

Writing a classification essay requires a good organization to pass a clear message to your audience. It involves using your research and creativity skills to come up with a compelling paper.

You need to prepare well before you can start writing your classification paper. Here is a step by step guide on how to write a classification essay

1.     Classification essay preparation and planning

The first step in writing excellent classification papers is to plan. You need to organize how you will conduct your research and your writing process.

2.     Preliminary research and finding categories

After selecting a topic you like, perform preliminary research that will help you find categories. Research your subject online and find out if you can get classification ideas.

Check if your topic will provide enough information for the arguments you will present. Write the categories you will use to classify your items.

Identifying your categories is an important step in essay classification. For example, when sorting your school assignment, you can decide to put them into useful categories. You can group your assignments into those that need urgent action, assignments that need help, and completed assignments.

3.     Writing your classification essay

It is important to understand what you are expected to produce in this type of paper. Classification essay writing involves organizing and sort items into various categories using specific criteria. The following three steps will help you achieve effective classification

  • Sort your ideas or items and group them into suitable categories
  • Follow the same organizing principle or method to classify your items or ideas
  • Make sure you provide examples in each category

4.     Create a classification essay thesis statement

Your thesis statement should include your topic and how you have classified it. You can name your categories in the thesis statement.

This statement is the foundation of your paper. It should inform your readers what your paper entails. It is the central message that you will discuss in your entire essay.

5.     Create a classification essay outline

An outline helps you to organize your work logically from start to finish. It is a plan that enables you to organize your thoughts.

When your work is well-organized readers can follow your trail of thought. Writing down your main points in an outline helps you to remember important information.

It is an organizing tool that makes your writing process smooth. Here is how to write a classification essay outline

Write an engaging title

The first part of your classification essay is your title. This is what your readers will encounter first.  Make sure it is informative and engaging.

Your title should lure readers into reading your introduction paragraph. It is important to make it as captivating as possible.

Introduction paragraph

The first paragraph of your classification essay should attract your audience and identify your subject. Provide descriptive information about your topic.

Introduce your readers to the concept you will use in your classification. The final part of your introduction should be a thesis statement.

Your thesis should explain the classification idea you will create. Make sure your thesis is brief and clear.

Body paragraph

The body section of your paper is where you create your classes. It is where you present most of your information.

Classification essays are not the same as the standard five-paragraph essays. They can have more or less than five paragraphs.

The number of paragraphs in the body section of your classification essay is determined by the number of categories you create. It is advisable not to create very many categories.

When the categories are too many, it will blur classification. Do the following in the body of your essay

Determine your categories

Create the categories you discovered from your research work. Be thorough and make sure you include all critical categories.

For example, if your topic is “type of races,” you can have “marathon, sprint, and relays.” If a marathon is a major class of race, you should not leave it out. Otherwise, your classification essay will be incomplete.

Classify using the same principle

Make sure you organize all your items using the same principle. Do not use more than one organizing principle for any group.

Support each category equally

Provide the same number of classification essay examples in each category. Support each of them with evidence and relevant examples from credible sources.

The support you provide adds credibility to your work.  Make sure your arguments flow logically from one class to the next.

Each class should have equal support. You can start with the least important category and end with the most important category or vice versa.

Include transitions in your work

Transitions make your writing flow seamlessly from one point to another. You can use the following common transitions in classification essays

  • First kind of, the second kind of, the third kind of
  • The first type of, the second type of, the third type of
  • The first group of, the second group of, the third group of

Classification essay conclusion

Your final classification essay paragraph should summarize all your classes. It should highlight your main points. Mention the approaches you have used in your paper and the significance of the classification process.

Restate your thesis statement and write a concluding sentence. A concluding sentence should bring your classification essay to a close.

Make your final statement impactful. Leave readers pondering about your classification essay.

Reference your work

Provide references for evidence and examples you have used in your classification essay. Properly cite your work.

Ensure you follow the correct format. Check your instructor’s instructions and find out the formatting style required.

Common formatting styles are APA, Harvard, MLA, and Chicago. You can check out classification paragraph examples to see how these formatting styles are applied.

Correctly citing your work will help you avoid plagiarism issues. You will get marks for correct citation.

6.     Edit and proofread your work

After creating your outline and writing your final draft, you need to edit and proofread it. This involves reading through your work and making necessary corrections.

Do not skip this part of the classification writing process. Counter-check the various classes you have created. Check the examples and evidence you have provided in these classes.

Ensure they are properly placed and equal in number. Confirm you have used the same organizing principle in all your classes.

Ensure your arguments flow smoothly from one point to the next. Look at your sentence construction and make the necessary adjustments.

Correct any grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes in your work. After the first round of editing and proofreading, take a break from your writing.

You can take a break for a few hours or a day before resuming. A mental break will help you notice mistakes you could not see earlier.

When you resume, counter-check your work again and make corrections. Ask a trusted friend or classmate to read your classification essay and give their suggestions. Consider these suggestions and include them where necessary.

Classification essay format

A classification essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion paragraph that should be formatted in a specific way. Make sure each paragraph follows the correct format. Consider the following elements when formatting your essay

1.     Introduction

The first sentence should hook your audience and make them read your entire essay. The sentences that follow should provide background information about your subject.

You can describe your topic to your readers using two or three sentences after your hook. Close your introduction with your central message, which is your thesis statement.

2.     Thesis statement

A thesis statement is what will guide your thesis writing process throughout your paper. You need to create a thesis that is clear and concise.

Include your topic and name your categories. You can use the following format: (topic)… (category1)… (category2)… (category3).

The topic and categories are what you will explain further in the body section of your paper. You will defend your thesis statement using credible evidence and examples.

3.     Body paragraphs

Each body paragraph of your classification essay should start with a topic sentence. Your topic sentence can be a particular category that you have created.

Provide details about this category. Your explanation should include evidence and the classification essay examples.

The last sentence in your body paragraphs is a concluding sentence. This sentence connects your discussion to your thesis statement. It also transitions a reader smoothly to the next paragraph.

4.     Conclusion paragraph

This final paragraph brings your entire discussion to a close. It summarizes your main points and restates your thesis statement.

The final sentence should impact the minds of your readers. It can challenge them to do further research on your topic.

Elements of a classification essay

This type of essay requires you to organize and categorize items. A classification essay evaluates your skills in generalizing and forming categories of your subject. To successfully demonstrate such skills, you need to understand the following elements

1.     A set

These are items with similar characteristics. You should be able to distinguish them from other items outside the set.

2.     Organizing principle

This is a method you will use for selection. This principle is based on quality, function, type, and standard.

3.     Class or category

This is a group of items with similar characteristics. A class has members. You can identify the characteristics of members of a class. These characteristics differentiate one class from the next.

Classification essay topics

When your instructor assigns you a classification essay assignment, he or she may give you a topic. In some instances, you may be required to look for a classification essay topic.

In such cases, you need to perform research and choose a topic for your essay. Look for topic ideas online or in your school library.

Create a list of all the topic ideas you have discovered. Brainstorm the list of topics and select one that interests you.

Writing a classification essay can be a daunting task. Writing a classification essay about a topic that you find boring can be even more difficult.

It is important to pick a topic that excites you. This will make your research and essay writing process enjoyable.

It will also make your audience enjoy reading your classification essay.  Here are some topic ideas you can consider when writing your paper

Types of dancing styles

Classification of study habits among students

Types of sports cars

Classification of water sports

Classification of sports shoes

Classification of religion

Types of physical exercises

Types of psychological disorders

Classification of musical instruments

Types of music

Classification of religion

Classification of political ideologies

Types of friends

Classification of computers

Tips for writing a classification essay

When writing a classification essay, you can use tips to create categories and write a compelling paper. The following tips can help you write an effective classification essay

1.     Start writing your classification essay early

Start writing your paper immediately. When you are assigned a classification paper, do not wait to write it at the last minute.

When you write your paper in a rush, you risk producing poor-quality work. This will make you lose marks and impact your grade.

Make sure you start writing your classification paper early so that you can allocate enough time for research. You also need enough time to write and thoroughly proofread your paper before turning it in.

2.     Plan your work

Writing a classification paper involves many activities. Planning your work will make your writing process easy and successful.

Allocate time for each activity like researching, writing, and proofreading. Make sure you have allocated enough time before the deadline.

Divide your work into smaller, manageable tasks. Perform each task one by one until you complete writing your classification essay.

Remember to organize your research writing process. A classification essay outline is an effective organizing tool that will help you finish your writing fast. Consider using it.

3.     Conduct thorough research

Writing a classification essay requires you to thoroughly research your subject. Perform preliminary research that provides you with useful information about your topic.

This helps you to find out whether your subject has enough content to conduct research. It also allows you to know whether your topic is too broad.

You cannot comprehensively cover a broad topic. You should narrow it down to fit in your academic paper.

The second phase of your research should be in-depth. Research your subject and find relevant information that you can use to create categories for your items.

Look for the information you need to form solid arguments. Write a classification essay example and evidence that you will use as proof in your paper.

Write down the sources of evidence and examples. This will help you when referencing your work.

When researching, look at various classification essay samples online. This will provide insight into writing an excellent classification paper.

4.     Know your topic

When selecting your topic, choose one that you understand well. When you know your subject well, you can easily break it down into smaller categories.

This makes writing your classification essay interesting. Break down your subject into at least three categories.

Look at your categories from different angles. Research and learn something new as you present your arguments.

This will enable you to provide valuable information to your audience. You will be able to engage them.

5.     Follow classification essay steps

When writing a classification essay, you need to organize your items into specific categories. Make sure you follow these three steps to make your classification essay effective.

  • Sort your items and place them into useful categories
  • Make sure each category is formed using the same organizing principle
  • Provide the same number of examples and evidence in each category

6.     Consider using transitions

Transitions make your work flow smoothly from one point to another. They smoothly transition your readers from one category to the next.

When you incorporate transitions in your work, readers find it easy to read and understand. It brings clarity and order to your writing. 

7.     Describe each category

Make a list of the characteristics of various categories you have created. Such characteristics should enable you to describe each category in detail.

Provide examples in each category. You can use anecdotes or a short story as your supporting evidence. The number of examples should be equal in all categories.

For example, if the number of categories is five and you decide to provide three examples in a category.  Each category should have three examples.

This will ensure all categories are represented equally. One category will not seem less important than other categories.

8.     Compare and contrast your categories

This technique can help you compare different categories and identify the similarities. You can also contrast categories and identify the differences between them.

This enables you to provide your readers with interesting information about your subject. You can look at examples of classification essays and see how this technique is applied.

9.     Follow instructions

Read the instructions provided in your classification essay assignment. Make sure you follow all the instructions.

Seek clarification from your instructor if some areas are not clear. Failure to follow instructions can lower your grade.

What to avoid when writing your classification essay

When writing classification essays, you need to be careful and avoid common mistakes. The following are pitfalls you should avoid

1.     Confusion

A classification essay is not an example essay. Examples are used in classification essays to illustrate categories you have created. Your category must first be well defined before including examples.

2.     Creating too many categories

When your categories are too many, you can fail to achieve your goal. Your classification will look like a list. This will lead to a poor-quality paper that will impact your overall grade.

3.     Few categories

When your categories are very few, it can lead to the omission of an important category. This can interfere with the goal of your paper.

Make sure you perform thorough research. Include the most critical categories in your classification.

4.     Lack of an organizing principle

When you do not have an organizing principle to classify your items, your work lacks clarity. Make sure you create an organizing principle.

Classify all your items using this principle. Do not use more than one organizing principle.

5.     Not revising your work

Submitting your work without revising it can make you lose marks. It is important to read your essay and make necessary corrections.

Make sure you allocate enough time to write your paper and proofread it. Look at your sentence structure, text structure, and other details before submitting your work. A paper full of grammatical errors will affect your credibility as a writer.

Key takeaway

When writing a classification essay, you should understand what is classification in writing. This type of writing requires you to follow three critical steps.

Organize your items or ideas into categories, use one organizing principle and provide examples in each category. When writing a classification paper, remember that instructors test your ability to categorize related items.

Make sure you prepare adequately and conduct thorough research. This helps you to produce an organized essay. To learn more about how to write a classification essay, contact our essay writing experts.


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