Tips on Writing Classification Essays

How to Choose a Topic, Write an Outline, Use Examples, Format, and Structure Your Essay!

How to Write a Classification Essay

Classification essays are quite specific in that they deal with organizing classifications and identifying logical links to the classifications. Anyone writing an essay of this type is expected to sort or organize the main points or arguments of their work into categories. It is important to note that categories should be aligned to the topic of the essay.  

How a Classification Essay Should be Written

If the essay is to be well organized and professional, there are three important pieces of advice to bear in mind. Firstly, all the categories should fully reflect the essay’s theme and should therefore be useful to the classification topic. Despite the categories being separated, each one should adhere to one logical organizing principle. Additionally, examples should be provided to support each category.

Create an Outline for Your Classification Essay

An outline is, essentially, a condensed version of the final essay. It is simply a rough description or list of the main points and facts, which will be used for creating the final product. It is advisable to practice writing classification essays in order to become as good as you possibly can be at this task.   

The Structure of a Classification Essay

The recommended structure for this type of essay is to align its construction in the manner your categories are built. 

Introductory Paragraph

The thesis statement is the main part or foundation stone of the introductory paragraph. How good your thesis statement is depends on how accurately it describes your topic and related classifications. It needs to justify the particular categories the writer has chosen for their classification.  

The structure of the thesis statement should have a very sound logic i.e. the theme, its particular classification, and the categories you have chosen, which it is suggested you limit to three so as not to obscure the classification.

Here is an example: “Foreign students can enjoy three main benefits, which are education, experience, and a broadening of cultural knowledge.

Main Body Paragraphs

  • List your first (least important) category
  • List your second (second least important) category
  • List your third (most important) category along with your best examples.

If your classification essay is to be worthwhile, it should be based on one main organizational principle. Then it will be possible to organize your categories on the basis of the different sets of arguments you devise.

Concluding Paragraph

Your concluding paragraph should reiterate your thesis statement and summarize the categories you analyzed in your essay.

The Format of a Classification Essay

Like other types of essays, a classification essay may be formatted in any of the popular styles, e.g., AMA, APA, Chicago, MLA, or Turabian. Everything depends on the essay’s topic, your discipline, and the requirements of the assignment. Just please remember to be consistent with whatever style you use. Make sure that titles, fonts, headings, line spacing, paragraphs, emphasis, justification, footnotes, endnotes, lists of references, and so on are consistent in their appearance.