Tips on how to write a classification essay

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A classification paper is a bit different from other types of academic writing because it requires sorting specific ideas or items into categories based on their characteristics and other available information. How to write a classification essay? A well-written paper of this kind always provides readers with quite a meaningful and thorough message about how different categories are related to each other. That’s why your chosen topic must be concise and clear to let a discussion on how the whole is related to its parts.

Important information about classification papers

A classification essay is a specific type of academic writing focused on evaluating both generalization and categorizing skills of students. Basically, it ranks the groups of specific objects based on common standards. For instance, it’s possible to classify popular inventions based on their importance to people.

Any classification is an effective method to simplify complex notions and arrange data. To write a good classification paper, you need to do the following:

  • Determine the main categorizing principle to divide given objects into specific categories;
  • Organize them in categories;
  • Provide readers with strong examples to support your classification.

In this type of essay, it’s necessary to organize objects into their categories while giving the examples of things fitting into each one. For example, when writing about different computer types, each paragraph will define basic characteristics of one type.

The main classification essay purpose

The main purpose served by this academic assignment is to classify specific objects and group them into relevant categories. By creating a better and more manageable system of classification, it becomes possible to organize these objects easier and faster, and this process requires less thinking. Categories help the audience understand different facets of classification essay topics in full.

Basic classification criteria

Before writing your essay, you need to determine important classification criteria. Take into account different properties that you will use to classify given objects. The criteria that you choose should be discriminating, while emerging categories shouldn’t overlap.

Key stages of writing classification papers

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There are several stages involved in writing any classification essay, including:

  • Considering a particular topic carefully;
  • Identifying the objects that you will categorize;
  • Thinking logically to determine important classification criteria;
  • Stating a strong thesis that mentions the chosen topic and classification;
  • Describing different categories and supporting them with strong examples;
  • Using specific lingers to enumerate all categories;
  • Writing a concluding paragraph with their brief restatement.

Possible pitfalls to avoid

How to write a classification essay? Avoid all potential pitfalls to give the right answer to this common question.

  • Don’t use too many categories because your classification criteria will be disintegrated and your paper will become a simple enumeration and you will fail to show excellent generalization skills;
  • Use unified criteria for your classification because its absence results in the lack of clarity;
  • Use enough categories or you will omit an important type of objects;
  • Use only equal number of examples if you don’t want to risk making some of your categories less significant than others.

Helpful steps and writing strategies

Classification papers aren’t hard to write if you do the following:

  • Think carefully;
  • Stick to only one classification principle;
  • Use logic and common sense;
  • Observe the right structure.

When choosing a specific topic for your classification essay, don’t forget about its assigned length. Pick something that you can cover within the required word limit and avoid writing about something general or global.

Point out a common classification principle for a particular group of objects because it will be your thesis. Use only clear methods of classification in your paper, especially when dealing with subjective categories. You also need to explain the meaning of each term.

Guidelines to organize your essay correctly

To organize this paper, you need to:

  • Categorize every group;
  • Define or describe every category while listing down overall characteristics and discussing them;
  • Providing readers with illustrative examples;
  • Pointing out differences or similarities of every category while using effective comparison-contract methods.

Effective classification essay writing strategies

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Determining categories is one of the most popular strategies used by student to write classification essays. If you leave out some categories, your paper will be incomplete. On the other hand, if you include too many categories, they will only ruin your classification.

It’s advisable to classify all objects by a single principle. Once you define specific categories, ensure that they fit into the same organization principle, and this is how you sort all groups. You shouldn’t let any different principles to pop up unexpectedly.

Support every category with examples equally. Generally, you need to write the same quantity or provide the audience with the same number of good examples for every category included in your classification essay.

The best classification essay structure

Make sure that the structure of your paper is based on the construction of all categories. When writing an introductory paragraph, state a strong thesis, which is its basic part. The strength of your thesis depends on how well it reveals your classification and topic. It should justify specific categories that you choose for your classification too. All thesis statements have quite a determined and logical structure that includes the main theme, classification, and chosen categories.

When writing the main body of your classification paper, you should start with the less important category and finish with the most significant one that requires stronger examples. In a good essay, every category should follow a single organizing method. You can organize your categories based on forming different groups of major arguments.

Finally, you need to write a strong concluding paragraph, which serves as a summary of all analyzed categories and a restatement of your thesis.

Formatting classification papers

Just like other academic papers, this type of essay can be formatted in any style, such as APA, MLA, and so on. The choice that you make depends on a given topic, assignment prompts, and subject area. Make sure that you’re consistent in formatting such basic essay elements as:

  • Its title;
  • Headings;
  • Text pages;
  • Page numbers
  • Indents and fonts;
  • Spacing and emphasis;
  • Justifications and footnotes;
  • References and others.

Final touches

Ask any questions that you have about assignment prompts early on because waiting until the last minute is a very bad idea. If you need any clarification to understand your assignment, check available examples. Avoid any plagiarism because it will ruin not only your classification essay, but also your educational success.

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