Art of Craftsmanship

Academic writing tips and guidelines

How to Write a Classification Essay

Grouping items into classes – this is the essence of a classification essay. In a classification essay, the topic sentence lists the classes straightforwardly, and the essay body explains each of the classes and examples provided. For instance, if the essay is about different types of animals, the different types could be stated as mammals, amphibian, reptiles, birds and fish, and the definition and examples for each type will then be supplied.

Outline Your Classification Essay

Before you start composing a classification essay, make an outline to form a basic idea about the essay. Make a list of the following things:

  • Your overall topic
  • The subtopics you plan to address
  • The definitions for each subtopic
  • Examples for each subtopic

Ideally, your essay should contain three or more subtopics to ensure enough room for discussion.

Build the Structure

Ideally, similar facts should be presented about each subtopic for a classification essay. To choose a topic for your essay, list the similarities and differences between two of the subcategories, and try to arrange them to prove a point or draw a conclusion. This will be the guide for your essay writing, in order for the pieces to fit together cohesively.

Getting Ideas

There are endless ideas for a classification essay. Take a look at the required topic. Sort out the items you can compare and contrast. Here are some examples:

  • Differences and similarities of at least three major religions worldwide.
  • Different writers of a time period. The similarities and differences of their works.
  • The major exports from different countries. The similarities or differences of those countries illustrated through these major exports.

The format of a classification essay could be applied to any subject. The format should lead to interesting contrasts and comparisons with different aspects of the discussed topic. Only imagination is the limit for the topics of a classification essay.

Format of a Classification Essay

Several elements should be included in the general format of a classification essay. In order to allow your writing process to move along quickly and smoothly, you should write down a summary for each section of the essay.

Here are the elements for a classification essay:

  • Introduction. Introduce your theme. Tell your reader what you plan to discuss in the essay.
  • Body part. Discuss each category mentioned in your introduction. To give the essay a more internal structure, discuss categories from the least important to most import.
  • Conclusion. Summarize your points of the essay. Make a conclusive statement in support of your theme.