If you are going to learn how to write a classification essay, then you will first need to understand what it actually is! The easiest way to explain a classification essay is that it is a formal piece of writing designed to showcase your skills in categorizing and generalization. You will be required to organize things into groups and offer up examples that fit into each. It is up to you to decide on the criteria for classification, but you must be able to explain your reasoning
How to Structure Your Classification Essay
One of the first things to think about when learning how to write a classification essay is the structure. For the purpose of this guide, we will go with the popular ‘five paragraphs’ method, but when you come to actually write your assignment you can add in additional paragraphs as appropriate.
- Introductory Paragraph– As with any type of essay, your starting point is the introduction. You will want to clearly identify your subject, so explain what you are going to be categorizing. It is also a good idea to offer readers an explanation of the purpose of your essay. Why are you categorizing these items? Finally, you will want to close your introduction with your thesis statement. This will identify your groups and perhaps offer a brief explanation of the criteria for each of them.
- Body Paragraphs– The body of your essay will be 3 or more paragraphs. Each paragraph should deal with a different category. Start by explaining the criteria for each of them and perhaps discuss the strengths or weaknesses. You should also offer relevant examples. Depending on the length of your paragraphs you may wish to break them down into shorter ones. This is fine, but you will need to make sure you have clear transitions when moving to a new category.
- Conclusion– The final paragraph is where you will pull together the various categories that you have examined in the body of your classification essay. It is usual to offer a brief summary of each of them. Depending on the subject matter, you may also decide to recommend the particular one over the others, but if you do so make sure you emphasize why you have come to that conclusion.
Planning How to Write a Classification Essay
Now that you have a grasp of how your essay is going to be structured, it is time to sit down and plan how to write a classification essay. This is not the type of assignment where you can just sit down and start writing the first draft without a clear plan of action. There is some initial planning that has to be done in order to produce a coherent classification essay. Here are a few of the essential planning steps you will need to consider:
Only once you have gone through these initial pre-planning steps are you ready to crack on with actually writing your classification essay. Don’t expect to knock it out in one sitting, you will likely need several drafts to get it right and your plans may change slightly along the way.
General Tips for How to Write a Classification Essay
So, now that you have the structure down and have come up with a plan of how to approach your essay it is time to get started. Here are a few quick tips that will also help with how to write a classification essay.
- Make sure you describe or define each of your categories. Start by making a list of their main characteristics and then discuss them.
- You will need to provide several illustrative examples. Look for examples that offer a typical representation of the class. Have an equal number of examples in each of them.
- Use the comparison and contrast technique you will have developed in other essay formats to point out the various similarities or differences between each of your categories.
These are just a few guidelines to help you get started with how to write a classification essay. The key to succeeding with this type of assignment certainly comes down to preparation. Spend time planning your essay and figuring out your categories and you will find that the rest of the assignment falls into place much more easily.