What are classification essays?

An academic paper describing different types of ideas or objects with shared characteristics and dividing them into various categories is known as a classification essay. Usually, it goes without saying that a classification college essay requires more research than a regular essay because you need to find all possible information on a topic and sort it into categories before you actually start writing. Properly done research aids the writing process as you have already created a mind map for your piece of writing and once you start, ideas start to flow through your brain in order.

Some effective guidelines

The first thing that a writer should be well aware of while writing a classification essay, is the ways something can be classified.

  • Categorize the data obtained through research into different useful categories
  • Make sure that every category exists of only one focal point
  • Give relevant examples to better explain each category

Forming categories

In order to classify things logically, an essay writer needs to make unique categories to put them into, the categories that share a common characteristic or trait.

For example, if you have to form categories based on types of groceries, they may be characterized into divisions such as dairy, cold drinks, staples, and personal care etcetera. This is a simple example of forming categories of any related topic.

Thesis statement of a classification essay

As a thesis statement presents the whole idea of an essay, the thesis statement of a classification essay should reflect that it talks about different categories of any specific topic.

For example, “The expressions of creativity; music, painting, and dancing are all forms of art.”

Building your essay on your ideas and research.

Introductory paragraph

In the introductory paragraph, you need to explain what exactly you are going to talk about in your essay. You need to give small illustrations and explanations of what a reader should expect to read in the essay. Telling your readers why you are writing that essay might also be a good idea as they will be provided with a clearer perspective and be able to power read the essay more conveniently. At the end of the introductory paragraph, the thesis statement should be presented in which enlisting the categories you are about to talk about is a good idea.

Body paragraphs

The body of your essay will consist of 3 or more paragraphs. Each paragraph should be representing a different category. To start with, you can discuss the criteria of why that particular type falls in that category. Going further, you can talk about its strengths and weaknesses and elaborate on the details. Relevant examples of each category will not only help the reader in grasping your essay but will also make it more interesting to read, leave a good impression and reflect your clarity over the material you are presenting. Using good transitions between one category and other aids in differentiating between the two more effectively as well.


The last paragraph is where you talk about all the material that you have presented. This is the point where you provide brief summaries of each category and of what it represents. In some cases, depending upon the topic, you can also recommend one of the categories but then you need to emphasize why you are doing so and give logical reasoning to support your opinion.

Some extra tips on how to write a classification essay

  • Do lots of research. In a classification essay, more research is required than a normal essay because you not only have to think of a topic to write an essay on but also form categories and then find relevant information about those categories and give examples related to each. You should take time doing your research because you need to provide the reader with valid information and strong opinions based on logic.
  • Be sure to define all the categories that you talk about. Enlist the characteristics that you want to talk about beforehand and then discuss them in the respective paragraphs.
  • Providing examples is always a good idea and makes a piece of writing more fun and interesting. They engage the readers more as well as help in painting a mental picture of what you are trying to explain. While giving an example, use descriptive words and keep the examples simple. Try to give an equal number of examples in each category.
  • The compare and contrast technique can also be used in classification essays to compare different characteristics of different categories.
  • Proofread your essays to find overlapping and repetition of an idea.

What do I write a classification essay about?

  • Art movement and styles
  • Human rights
  • Women empowerment
  • Most common psychological disorders
  • Most influential careers
  • Tourist spots around the world
  • Fashion and style
  • Common phobias
  • Advancements around the world
  • How politics affect our lives
  • Personality types based on early life experiences
  • The art of dancing
  • The aura of music
  • Popular people around the world
  • Communication strategies
  • Understanding conflicts

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