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How to Write a Successful Classification Essay

Classification essay is a very straightforward essay, because the aim of writing of such an essay is to classify things according to their properties. It is a must for you to represent the classification in the clearest way possible, to simplify further investigating of the topic. You should break down the subject into easily distinguishable categories, or you can represent contrasting components of the matter. At the same time, each category should have proper examples to illustrate it.

Three Features of a Classification Essay

There are three important things, a classification essay should do:

  • arrange ideas into categories. Categories should be detailed, but not excessively.
  • follow a particular organizing theory. You should choose a principle to arrange the ideas, and stick to it throughout the essay
  • cite examples. Every category should contain relevant examples.

The Rule of a Golden Mean

The amount of categories you break down your subject matter into, should be appropriate. If the classification essay is overloaded with categories, it will be messy and unclear. On the other hand, if you concentrate on the main category only, the whole aim of the essay will be misplaced.

Remember, that classification essay is a very formal one. Your introduction should be short and straightforward, it should present the subject matter and give the exact number of categories you’re going to speak about. The following paragraphs should define the categories you named in the introduction.

Speaking about language, you’re welcome to use classifying words, like the first type/group/class, etc. The other requirements are usually the same as for other academic essays, e.g. avoiding contractions.

General Structure

The organization of a classification essay follows the usual outline: an introduction (indicating the subject), four or five paragraphs (describing categories), and a conclusion with a few sentences about the importance and future of your subject. You can also give here your own ideas about the future of the subject. Keep your conclusion compact, though.

Ideally, the amount of examples given for each category should be equal. However, of you have one main category, it might require more work.

There is a very useful catch to write a successful classification essay. Remember, that your professors are likely to assess your ability to explore and analyze the content. Therefore, you should demonstrate how well you deal with the topic and understand the role of the research. Considerably, classification essays are very useful for you, because they teach to analyze the information thoroughly, while preparing you for the future job.

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