What Is a Classification Essay? How to Write It?– Topics, Examples, Definition, Structure

No writer, even the best one, will write a classification essay without developing a draft. You have to do this to get everything right from the introduction to the conclusion. It takes planning and calculated execution to write an essay that will appeal to a wide readership. But first things first; what is a classification paper?


  • Defining Classification Essay
  • Crafting Your Thesis Statement
  • 3 Effective Steps to Classification
  • Coming Up with Categories
  • The Process of Categorization
  • Classification Transitions
  • Preparing to Write Your Paper
  • Examples of Classification Topics to Get You Started
  • Classification Essay Structure
  • Conclusion

 Classification Essay

Defining Classification Essay

 Classification Essay

This is an essay, in which objects, things, and people are sorted and organized, and are put into categories. This is what you need to understand before you can begin to write your essay. There are so many areas and topics that can fit into this kind of writing. However, you should know what topic to choose to interest your target readers.

Crafting Your Thesis Statement

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To specify the main points of the essay you have to include a thesis statement, otherwise, your paper will not be complete. The statement includes the topic and various categories derived from the topic. For instance, the statement can be “The rich love luxurious cars, the most popular are Porsche, BMW, and Audi.” You can see the major statement that the rich love luxurious cars, which are further classified into 3 different car brands.

3 Effective Steps to Classification

There are 3 crucial steps to come up with this kind of essay. You should not miss any of them if you have any chance to come up with a great piece of writing. The steps are:

  • Sorting and categorizing your things/objects you are writing on
  • Ensuring that all your categories are classified using the same principle
  • Coming up with examples that fit into each category

Coming Up with Categories

 Classification Essay

This is a very important step for writing an effective essay. In fact, this is the backbone of your classification paper. Here you are supposed to find and sort them so that you can easily access each group. For instance, if you have to sort out papers on your desk you may have a stack of papers to throw away, papers to put in a file, papers to read, papers you should pass to other people and so on. Your categorization should be easy to follow.

The Process of Categorization

 Classification Essay

This essay is all about sorting out things. That is why the process of classification is at the heart of coming up with a catching essay. To ensure that you stay on course, here is the breakdown of what you should do:

  • Determine your categories: when it comes to this step you have to be thorough. Do not leave any group that is crucial to a certain category. Bring up all the important groups in each category because this is what will make your essay be more credible and unique. Besides, you should be economical with the categories you bring up. The more categories you have the more blurred your essay will be and thus, not worthy to read. For instance, if you are classifying water sports then you should give no more than 5 of them. In fact, such 3 categories as sailing, snorkeling and surfing would be adequate for your purposes.
  • Use a single classification principle: your classes should be uniform and follow the same sequence. This is brought about by the use of single classification principle. Do not be tempted to introduce any other sorting principle. If your main principle is going for sea foods, for instance, then go by that to the end. Do not bring another principle such as native sea foods somewhere down your paper. This will spoil everything and you are bound to confuse your readers.
  • Support each group with an example: your categorization is not complete without examples. Bring up appropriate examples for each class you have in your essay. Make sure these examples are the most crucial to the group. Examples not only bring clarity to readers but they also make your paper authentic and reliable. Without examples, your paper will only be dismissed as baseless and somehow misleading.

Classification Transitions

 Classification Essay

Once you have chosen your classification principle, there is an order of transitions you have to follow. They help to make your paper flawless and easy to follow. Here are 3 typical orders of transitioning:

  1. The first group, the second, the third one, and so on.
  2. The first type, the second, the third…
  3. The first kind, the second kind, the third kind, etc.

Preparing to Write Your Paper

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Before you start writing your essay you need to be prepared. You should have all the necessities by your side. By now you should have all resources to go into every step. Being prepared will ensure that you do not miss anything and that you will have a compelling final result.

Research is very crucial for your success. You should be ready to do intensive research on your topic. Make references to what other writers have said on the same subject. Do not rely on your sole knowledge on the subject because it will only come out shallow with no attraction to the readers.

Examples of Classification Topics to Get You Started

 Classification Essay

Choosing your topic is the first and the most important step in your writing. It determines the next step and acts as a guide to your entire paper. The topic should be relevant, informing, catchy and of interest to your target readers. You are not writing for yourself so it is always good if you conduct some research on your potential readers. Once you know them it is easier to come up with a topic that they will not only appreciate but will also read it again and again. Here are few examples of topics for your categorization essay:

  • Classification of countries based on their development.
  • Sports car categorization.
  • Most popular American TV shows 2016.

After you choose your topic ensure that it is something you are passionate about. As much as you are writing for readers, you are also writing about something that you can enjoy reading. Passion makes everything easy for you as you will not be out of ideas. In fact, you will keep going for as long as you want your paper to be. Passion is a must-have ingredient in the art of writing.

Classification Essay Structure

 Classification Essay

There is always a format you should follow when writing essays. You do not just write it as you wish because there is a specified writing structure. Here is a structural format for a classification paper:

  • The Title

This is the topic you are writing about. You should be careful with what you choose as your topic because not every subject will be of interest to readers. It should be something you are passionate about. Most importantly, it should be a title that will be relevant to the readers you target on. Moreover, it has to be a topic that falls under the classification paper. The title is what guides you into writing the entire essay. It gives you a way on how to start, write the body, give examples and conclude on your paper. If you make a wrong step with your title then your work will be all in vain, nobody will read it.

  • Outline/Table of Contents

People may not be interested in reading your entire paper. Therefore, you should make it easy for them to read exactly what they want. You can give them this choice by including a table of contents or an outline to your work. This makes it easy to scan over your work and identifying what to read. It also makes your paper easy to follow for someone who only wants to pick the main ideas. Although it is not a must to include a table of contents, make efforts to come up with an outline. After all, this is a good way to organize your work.

  • Introduction

The second most important part of your classification essay after the title is the introductory part. This part contains the lead sentences and the opening statement to your paper. It has to precisely define what your paper is all about. This is the point where you categorically state your purpose of the paper. You should be careful since this can make or break your paper even before readers get into the depth of it.

  • Thesis Statement

Your introduction may have stated the purpose of your categorization essay but that is not enough. Your thesis statement is the silver bullet when it comes to spelling out your purpose, how to achieve it and the expected results. You should be clear with your statement to avoid any ambiguity. If you are talking about water sports you will have to include the general activities that fall under that. If you want to be more specific then you can go for sea water sports. This will rule out any water sports on lakes and rivers.

  • Proving Your Rundowns

You should not take so long to introduce your readers to the main ideas. After the introduction and thesis statement, you should go directly into business. Get into the main points so as not to keep the reader waiting. If you withhold this for a long time then readers will most likely lose interest and your essay will remain unread. Nobody wants to be put in the dark for so long. Even you will like to get into the matter at hand soon after you are done with preliminaries.

  • Body

This is the section that brings the main subject into focus. It covers all the other areas of your essay except the introduction, conclusion, and references. The body is made up of paragraphs and each paragraph carries a number of sentences.

Your essay’s body should bear all the categories you would wish to explore. You have already established a classification principle so everything will go down the easy. Each class or group should be followed by examples. Remember that without examples your work is shallow and may not attract the attention of the readers.

Each paragraph should carry an independent idea or category. A few sentences should be used to explain and give examples. The work should be easy to follow. All the paragraphs should form one coherent essay. Short sentences are better since they do not lose readers with much information to process.

The body should exhaustively explore all the categories. Nothing should be left to chance if this paper is to make the impression you want. This is where your research skills come in. You should include credible and reliable information in your body of text.

 Classification Essay


It is time to tie down everything into the conclusive ending and it should prove to be worth that the reader came all down to it. Your conclusion enunciates all the important points in your entire essay and brings them together. It crowns all that you have said in your title, introduction, thesis statement and your essay body. Do not be tempted to relax on your conclusion just because you have written a great body. Some readers will go right into your ending and determine whether they should read your piece to the end or just let it be.


Research is a very crucial aspect in any kind of writing. It adds so much credibility to your essay to bring other people’s ideas into yours. You should not entirely rely on your knowledge to come up with your paper. There are other writers who have written on the same or relatively close topic. Go through their views and see what you can borrow. Once you have incorporated their ideas into yours do not forget to give a credit to them. Cite those other writers you borrowed a thing or two from. At the end of your essay include a reference section to show the sources you were able to go through.

Writing a classification paper is not a hard nut to crack. If you follow this guide you will come up not only with a great piece but the one that readers would want to read. Ensure that your voice is heard all over the paper. Make the readers feel like they know you or arouse some interest in them to know you. There is no limit to your prowess when it comes to writing this kind of essay if only you know how to have it done.




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