Classification essay writing is a good exercise that teachers use to assess their student’s ability to recognize patterns or categories. High school and college professors often use the academic task along with other documents to teach their students specific writing skills such as organization and critical thinking. Writing the paper can be simple since a writer will only need to group subjects together. However, students should consider reading a guide on how to write a classification essay to ensure that they will produce a top-quality paper.
What Is a Classification Essay?
A classification essay is a form of expository writing that aims to classify subjects into different groups, categories, or classes. The subject of the document can be anything that the writer can organize into a specific group. This can include people, fictional characters, ideas, animals, plants, and places. The writer will have to identify the similarity between the subjects and use it to organize them into different groups.
How to Write a Classification Essay
Writing a classification essay can be easy if the writer is knowledgeable about the subject. However, it can be difficult if an individual is writing about an unfamiliar topic. Students will have to do extensive research about the topic and learn each subject’s definition. They will have to gather information about the subjects and find the common aspects that they can use for the organizing process.
To properly write a classification paper, the writer should follow a standard guide that they can use while they accomplish the paper. This will make the writing process easier and ensure that they are writing an actual classification essay. Below is a simple guide that students can use for their classificatory writing.
Step 1. Choose a topic
The first step in any writing task is choosing the main topic. Some teachers provide the topic while others let their students come up with the topics for their papers. A classification essay topic can be an idea, real or fictional person, place, animal, and other objects. Students should make sure that they can categorize and organize the topic they are choosing. The writers should ensure that they can create three or more groups using their idea. Here are a few sample topics:
Different tribes in the Amazon Rainforest
Great Speakers and Bad Speakers
Forms of Totalitarian Societies
Step 2. Research about the topic
Once an individual has chosen a topic, they should then begin the research process. An individual will need to know the basic definition of the subject and find out similarities and differences. The complexity of the research process will depend on the topic and the writer’s knowledge about it. They will have to look for examples for the categories as well as interesting information to discuss with the readers.
Step 3. Form a thesis statement
After doing extensive research, an individual should have enough information to form a thesis statement for their classification essay. In other academic writing, the thesis statement contains the main argument of the paper. In a classification essay, the thesis statement should include the name of the topic, the categories, and the basis of the categories. The thesis statement can be one or two-sentence long. Here are some examples of a classification essay thesis statement:
The different tribes in the Amazon Rainforest respect the laws of nature through simple lifestyles of farming, hunting, and nomadic practices.
Individuals have listened to many great and bad speakers that use different modes of persuasion. They tend to be ethos-oriented, logos-oriented, or pathos-oriented speakers.
Step 4. Create an outline
The thesis statement should provide the writer an idea of how to structure their classification essay. With this, they can then create an outline that will establish the final structure of the paper. The outline is a list of topic sentences that will contain the main points that the writer will discuss. For a classification essay, the outline should include sentences about the topic, the categories, the definition of each category, and examples for the category. Below is a sample outline for the topic “Great Speakers and Bad Speakers”:
Introduction: Great speakers and bad speakers
Definition of ethos, logos, and pathos
Definition of ethos-oriented speaker
Examples of ethos-oriented speakers
Definition of logos-oriented speaker
Examples of logos-oriented speakers
Definition of pathos-oriented speaker
Examples of pathos oriented speakers
Step 5. Write the first draft
The writer should follow the outline as they begin writing their first draft. When writing the first draft, writers should avoid editing the paper. This includes grammatical and typographical errors. This will allow the writer to put all their ideas in the paper without any interruptions. An individual should write the first draft without thinking about the paper’s format and tone. They should mainly focus on discussing their points.
When writing the first draft, an individual may need to do more research to fact-check and ensure that the information they are writing is correct. To avoid the unnecessary interruption of looking online, individuals can mark sentences or phrases that they would like to fact-check. They can then continue writing and address the marked sentences once they finish the draft.
Step 6. Do additional research
As stated above, the individual may need to do additional research to fact-check the information in the classification essay. This is common in most academic writing especially if the writer is not an expert on the topic. They can do additional research during the writing of the first draft or after. This will mainly depend on the writing style of an individual. When doing additional research, an individual will have a basic knowledge of the topic and should find it easier to look for specific ideas that they want to add or change.
Step 7. Finalize the paper
After doing additional research and adding more discussion in the classification essay, the writer can now finalize the paper. To finalize the paper, the writer should begin reading the document. They should correct grammatical and typographical errors. They should check if the flow of the paragraphs is logical and if the overall structure is ready for submission.
Finalizing the paper can take time since the writer may need to rewrite some parts to make the classification essay sound better. An individual may take multiple drafts after the first draft before they can create a well-written classification essay. Students should make sure that they proofread their papers to ensure that it does not contain any errors and mistakes.
Tips and Idea on How to Write a Classification Essay
The guide above should help individuals who are writing a classification essay. Students will only need to follow each step to produce a quality paper. However, some individuals may still find it difficult to write the document due to various reasons. Below are some tips that can make writing a classification essay easier and more enjoyable.
Tip 1. Choose an interesting topic
There are various topics that an individual can write about in a classification essay. They can choose animals, plants, fictional characters, places, and ideas as the topic for the paper. To enjoy the research and writing process, individuals should choose topics that are interesting to them. If they like Marvel comics, they can categorize characters into heroes, antiheroes, villains, and anti villains. For college-level essays, students can still choose interesting topics like classifying personality disorders or the different genres of literature.
However, there are situations where a professor will give the topic of the paper. For this, students will need to be creative and create a thesis statement that will align with their interests. For example, a professor assigns the topic “different nationalities”. Students may initially think of categorizing nationalities by their designated continents. Creative students may categorize the nationalities by their historical backgrounds, organizational structures, or even common diets.
Tip 2. Create a visual diagram
A classification essay will require an individual to organize information and use it to categorize subjects into specific groups. To make the process easier, students should consider creating a visual diagram that will contain all the information they need to categorize the subjects. For example, students can create a Venn diagram to identify the similarities and differences of their subjects. They can then analyze the diagram and identify the information they can use for forming the different categories.
Tip 3. Use transition and signal words
To make the paper flow smoothly, individuals should use transition and signal words. These are specific words or phrases that writers can use at the beginning or middle of a sentence. These words will help readers understand the ideas that the writer is trying to convey and provide a good structure for the document. Here are some transition and signal words that writers can use for their classification essay:
On the other hand…
This type of…
Several kinds of…
Classified according to...
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Elements of a Classification Essay
Similar to other academic documents, a classification essay follows the standard essay format which contains an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. These are the most important parts of any academic document and writers should strictly follow them
The introduction is the first paragraph in the classification essay. It should provide the basic definition of the subject and some background information. The introductory paragraph should also aim to catch the readers’ attention. To do this, the writer should provide interesting background information about the topic. Briefly stating a significant issue regarding the topic is one good way to attract readers. Writers may also use quotes from respected individuals to attract certain types of readers. The introduction should also contain the thesis statement. Most writers place the thesis statement as the last sentence of the paragraph.
The body paragraphs will contain the main discussions of the paper. As its name suggests, this is the main body of the documents. The length of the body will depend on how many categories will the classification essay contain. In a standard classification essay, an individual will use one paragraph for each category. The paragraph will include a brief definition of the category and a few examples. Alternatively, an individual can use one paragraph to provide an extensive definition of the category and another one to discuss examples in the category.
The conclusion is the final paragraph in the classification essay. Similar to other documents, the conclusion should summarize all the points that the writer discussed in the body paragraphs. The conclusion should restate the thesis statement. Writers can do this through direct use of the same sentence or a paraphrased version of the statement. Writers can also include a closing remark to make their paper impactful.
Classification Essay Examples
To get a better understanding of the structure and elements of a classification essay, students should consider reading sample papers. Here are some examples of well-written classificatory essays:
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