How to write an effective Classification Essay

A classification essay is an essay in which one organizes things into categories and then provides examples for each category. The entire structure of the classification essay is built around these categories. For instance, if you were to write an essay about traveling, you could classify the subject into different objectives of travel such as sight-seeing, information seeking, family vacations etc. In the introduction to your essay itself, begin with a thesis statement describing the number of types a particular thing can be classified into according to its properties. For instance, if we were to take the traveling example, your thesis statement can be something like: ‘People travel for different reasons during the year. Some seek pleasure, some go for sightseeing; some others also travel to gather information.’

In the subsequent paragraphs, define each type or elaborate more on the classification types. Dedicate each paragraph of the body of the essay to each category example. Explain more about what each type includes, substantiate with examples, and present similarities or differences between the various types.  Remember, in a classification essay, it is important to organize or sort into categories using a single type of classification or principle, and give enough examples for each type, so that the reader does not get confused between different categories.

If you’re not given a topic before hand, you have ample of time to research essay topics and choose one that you’re comfortable with in sorting and organizing. But, if you’re given a topic, analyze the subject thoroughly, explore the details and sort or classify according to a certain principle that you decide upon. Ensure that you stick to the principle throughout your classification. Do not make your classification essay very lengthy or cumbersome by including many categories. This may again confuse the reader. A standard number is three, so that the essay length is also not so much that it becomes monotonous.

The theme of your essay should be fully covered with these categories. Your essay should be written such that you do not need to devote another paragraph to describe the theme separately. Therefore, in a classification essay, the emphasis should be on description and illustrations. The essay type can use any of the usual formats like MLA style or APA style of writing. In conclusion, make sure that you include a summary of all the categories you analyzed and reiterate the thesis statement.