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The basic tips how to write a classification essay

Writing a classification essay is about classifying things by means of organizing them into different categories with the usage of a certain principle. In the majority of cases, these types of paper are used in order to categorize something in a rational and logical manner. The purpose of a classification essay is to organize things in such a way so they could be discussed and, as a result, new information, opinions and conclusions could come out from the discussion. Such essays make complicated things more understandable and clear. They are used as assignments in high schools and colleges and serve to improve the students' capability to organize things with the usage of various methods. Generally speaking, the main objective of writing a classification essay is to group things into classes or categories.

In this type of essay, the first couple of sentences demonstrates what is going to be classified and provides the list of defined classes (groups, categories, etc.), while the body of the essay needs to provide an explanation of the organization principle and characteristics of the classified items. For example, if the classification essay gives the classification of different types of books, these types can be described as scientific, educational, artistic and so on. The body of this essay will further provide the principles of dividing books into groups, which may be the type of the audience, the genre, style, etc. These are some basic tips, which you should know before actually starting to write your essay. Bellow, you will find more detailed guidelines how to write a classification essay.

Writing an outline

This should be your first step in writing your essay. The outline will help you keep your essay organized and coherent. When creating an outline, you need to turn to the main idea of your classification essay. In order to do this, jot down the following items into a list:

  • The general topic of your essay. What is your essay going to be about as a whole?
  • The less important topics of your essay, which may be called as subtopics. They usually refer to the main topic and support the purpose of the paper.
  • A few words about each subtopic, which could define the overall context of it.
  • Think of relative examples in regard to each subtopic and write them down into the list.

As a matter of fact, every paragraph of your essay will contain one subtopic. You need to have at least two paragraphs in the body of your essay, but usually there are three subtopics and, sequentially, three paragraphs.

Building a structure

Your next step is going to be building a structure of your essay. Here, it is time to find out which categories you are going to provide in your essay and write down the principles of creating them. Think what differences have the categories, as well as what similarities. When building a structure, you are building your conclusions at the same time. All this will be your guide in further writing of the essay.

Where to get ideas?

Actually, everywhere. There is an endless number of ideas, if to think thoroughly. When you know you topic, you need to classify the main items and make a comparison. Find out the differences between them, what distinguish one item from another, as well as similarities, which means to define the common features of the items. The most helpful thing in this regard is your own imagination. Here, take a look at some examples that may be useful:

  • Provide the common and different features of the historical periods in the light of art (music, literature, architecture and so on).
  • Do a research on the on the major religions in the world and find out, what makes them different and similar.
  • Compare the styles of contemporary music. What are they and how they differ one from another?
  • The types of Facebook users. Take a look at your page on the Facebook web-site and pay attention what people use this kind of social network. Consider creating categories of married people, lonely people, scientists (who use the network for scientific objectives), etc.
  • Provide classification of the television shows. Which of the TV shows that you or your friends watch on TV are about health, which are about nature, which are about scientific experiments, discoveries, researches, world history, chemical explorations, relationships between people, which of them are reality shows and which are devoted to different traditions, traveling, etc.
  • Consider writing about the types of power that people can possess in the light of contemporary society.
  • Write about types of personalities. It is quite an interesting idea, because you can learn something new about yourself, your friends and family in the process of doing research on this topic.
  • Consider writing about different traditions in the countries all over the world. What are the most curious? Think of common features between traditions in your country and in other countries.

When choosing a topic for your classification essay, make sure you have enough of knowledge about it. More than that, don't start writing until you read a lot literature about your topic. You may discover a lot if interesting facts and phenomena, if you take your assignment seriously.

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