Classification Essays are Tricky

The term ‘classification essay’ catches most people off guard. It doesn’t exactly strike the ear in a common way, the way ‘persuasive essay’ or ‘narrative essay’ do. This is because classification essays are far more rare and specified than other types of writing. They require the writer to ‘sort’ information, distributing it into meaningful categories that say something about the topic. For example, the topic of an essay may be about volcanoes. That’s fine and dandy; but how are you going to classify these volcanoes? How are you going to sort them? One way would be to classify them in volcano types, such as cinder cone, composite and shield volcanoes. This may seem somewhat simple, but the tricky part is selecting meaningful categories – categories that will explain something meaningful about the topic itself.

How to Write a Classification Essay

Classification essays are far less anxiety producing when individuals truly understand them. By following this brief guide, you can become an expert on classification essays, which can be tricky, but easy, once you’ve got a handle on them.

  • First, create categories for your topic. Topics for classification essays can be very direct and clear, or slightly more challenging. One common classification essay type involves classifying disease. You may choose to classify disease by their cause types; for example, virus-caused diseases, bacterial, genetic, etc. The key is to keep to the same principle for each category. If each category addresses w certain root cause of the disease, one category should not address the symptoms. It doesn’t have anything to do with the other types of categories you’ve formed, which revolve around disease causes – not disease symptoms. Make sure every category you propose has the same principle behind it.
  • Support your categories. Once the categories have been specified, it’s time to explain them. Explain, for example, what viral-caused diseases are like, how they happen and how they’re cured; compare this, in a new paragraph, to the same aspects of bacterial or genetic diseases. Make sure to address each category equally. Don’t spend too much time or too little time on any one category, as this will make your paper appear weak.
  • Include the right amount of categories. The typical number of categories you should include in a classification essay is 3 to 5, depending on the specifications of the assignment and your teacher. Any more will be too much to digest; any less, and you lose the contrast of your classifications. Stay in the right amount, and your essay will shine.
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