Home Blog Writing a Classification Essay: Guide with Examples

Writing a Classification Essay: Guide with Examples

Writing a Classification Essay: Guide with Examples

Did you get assigned another essay for class?

Well, it is something pretty normal for high school and college students. They encounter different types of essays every other day for multiple subjects.

Classification essays is one of them. It sure seems like a daunting task when you have no clue about the writing process, but with the proper understanding and practice, you can easily complete it.

Such essays allow the teacher to evaluate your writing skills as well as their ability to classify different objects into appropriate categories.

To learn more about this type of paper, carefully go through this detailed guide and find the different steps and essay topics.

What is a Classification Essay?

Simply put, a classification essay is the type of academic writing that requires students to demonstrate their ability to organize things into different categories. It can be anything from an object, event to a group of people.

The main factor is how one decides the basis or characteristics to categorize and generalize these objects and justify the criteria with proper reasoning. For instance, dividing animals into different categories such as reptiles due to the fact that they are vertebrates and have a backbone, such as turtles, lizards, crocodiles, etc.

The major aim of a classification paper is to:

  1. Divide things into an important category
  2. Ensure that a uniform classification principle is being followed
  3. Come up with an equal number of examples that fall under each category

By now, you must have understood the classification essay definition, let's move on and learn how to write it.

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How to Write a Classification Essay?

Classifications are a bit different from your typical essays; they require research and proper planning. Don't jump directly towards the writing part before any initial planning. Such essays require extensive research so you can determine the appropriate categories, traits that should be the basis of classification and more.

Following are some useful steps to craft an interesting and informative classification essay:

Brainstorm Classification Essay Ideas

The first step is figuring out a topic, in case you haven't been assigned one already. Getting to write on a topic of your choice is both a challenge and an opportunity.

You get to brainstorm and explore different ideas and choose the one that interests you the most. But at the same time, looking for objects that can be logically organized into different groups can be a bit challenging.

The trick is to look for objects that have apparent basis of comparison. However, don't go with something that has more than five categories.

To give you a better idea, we have mentioned some interesting classification essay topics in the coming sections.

Determine the Categories

The next after deciding on a topic is to choose the categories to divide them. In some cases, there can be different angles, so determine the approach you want to stick with. For instance, if you're analyzing a group of people, then you can filter them by demographics, age, gender, etc.

However, make sure that you aren't skipping an important category. And every category follows a unique criteria for grouping.

Develop the Thesis Statement

Although the thesis statement is the part of your introductory paragraph, it's better to define at this stage. A thesis statement defines the purpose of your paper, along with its main points. Think of it as the foundation of your essay that highlights the subject under analysis and the criteria being used to classify it into different categories.

This will help you give a sense of direction and help keep the essay on the right track. However, if you want, you can refine the thesis as you go.

Develop a Strategy

Once you have gotten the basics down, the next step is coming up with a strong plan. Sometimes essay writing can get pretty overwhelming; to ensure that this doesn't happen always stick with the plan. Divide your time between different steps so you can complete the essay on time without any hurdle.

Carry Out Extensive Research

Before you start writing the essay, make sure that you have enough research material to easily classify the subject and apply a compare and contrast technique.

Writing the Essay

Finally, coming to the most important part – the writeup itself. It's always beneficial to start with an outline to maintain a logical flow of information.

Here's what a classification essay outline consists of:

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The introductory paragraph is an integral part of the essay since it is the first thing that your reader goes through.

Use it to grab the reader's attention and build their interest in the paper. You can hook them by presenting some unusual or intriguing information relevant to the topic.

Next, get them familiar with the topic at hand with the help of some background information. Leave out details regarding the categories at this stage, just give them an overview of your concept.

Finally, state the thesis statement that you defined earlier to give the reader an idea about what to expect from your paper.

Body Paragraphs

A classification essay differs from a typical five-paragraph essay. The number of paragraphs here depend on the number of categories that you have.

Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence. In other words, open with a brief summary of the content presented in that particular paragraph.

Make sure that your topic sentences are interesting and make the reader want to read further. If you don't have a clear idea about them, check out this detailed guide on writing a topic sentence.

When writing the body paragraphs, make sure that you follow a logical approach and use appropriate transitions.


A classification essay conclusion restates the thesis statement and highlights the importance of classifying people or objects in groups.

Revise and Update

Once you are done with the first draft, give yourself a break. Go back to your essay with a fresh mind, proofread it to make sure there aren't any inconsistencies or errors.

Good Classification Essay Topics

As promised earlier, here are some interesting ideas that you can use to craft your classification paper.

  1. Types of movie ending
  2. Dance styles
  3. Different types of diet
  4. Extracurricular activities in college
  5. Child and parent relationship
  6. Types of friends
  7. Ways to spend a summer break
  8. Stress-coping mechanisms
  9. Different types of religions
  10. Categories of atheists
  11. Male pop artists
  12. Animals in Africa
  13. Water sports in Hawaii
  14. Tips in restaurants
  15. Films on historical events
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Classification Essay Example PDF

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Classification Essay Example


You've reached the end. This was everything you needed to write classification essays; however, if you are still confused, don't worry, there's a way out.

5StarEssays has a team of exceptional essay writers who are experts at crafting interesting and unique content from scratch. Reach out to them and get all the help you need in the most affordable rates!

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