Definition of a classification essay + examples

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In writing a classification essay, you will be asked to organize things into categories. In your body paragraphs, you will describe the individual items’ features in each category, which constitutes the classification criteria. The classification could be about the type of food, type of roads, or even the types of essays! 

You are expected to present this logically to enables your readers to understand each element of your classification. While the writing of classification tests your essay writing capabilities, there is something more fundamental that you always get for free! Can you guess? Well, your skills of description are enhanced, and you may not know how that can be important until when you need that skill. The functional areas you can use this skill in our product description and reviews for goods and services for marketing purposes, and it pays well.

For now, you could only be looking for marks and grade points. So, let us focus on how you can write a compelling classification essay. We will begin with ideas for a great topic, the article’s format, including examples, and conclude with mistakes you want to avoid for the top mark.

Ideas for a great classification essay topic

Find things or groups of people you can put in in different categories then describe it effectually in your classification essay assignment. The following are the top ten ideas you can consider for your topic:

  • The types of computers (PC, workstation, mainframe, supercomputer servers, etc.). Include your criteria of classification in your description.
  • The types of tourist in Mombasa Island (White sandy beach buskers, skiing sports lovers, wildlife viewers, cultural tourists, historical sites tourists, wildebeest migration enthusiasts, etc.)
  • Types of cars. Include the criteria of classification, and for creativity, you can include a vivid description of lovers of individual cars.
  • Search engine types (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, AOL, and Yandex, etc.). Provide their unique features for classification criteria.

People queuing at the dentist (classify them best on their needs: halitosis, tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, mouth sores, tooth erosion, tooth sensitivity, tooth alignment, and modification, etc.).

  • Movie of novel endings (tragic, emotional, anticipatory, narrator ending, twist ending, moral ending, confused ending, etc.)
  • Parenting styles (authoritarian or disciplinarian, permissive or indulgent, uninvolved, authoritative). Describe these vividly with examples to differentiate one from the other.
  • The types of twins (mirror image twins, conjoined twins, parasitic twins, semi-identical twins, boy/girl monozygotic identical twins, etc.)
  • Dormitory rooms (Prefabs, halls, condominiums, etc.)
  • Facebook users (comment readers, commentators, ranting separated lovers, comedians, game lovers, daily quotes, marketers, etc.)

As you must have notice finding a topic for a classification essay is quite an easy task. Now let’s proceed to how you can effectively write a classification essay.

We will begin to provide the format and examples. So ensure you read the next section.

Preparations for writing a classification essay

Following these three steps, you can prepare adequately to write your classification essay.

  1. Determine the categories you want to involve

Your essay is essentially about sorting and logical connections. After you have identified your item for classification, find 3-5 criteria for classification. It is essential to limit the number of your groups for it will influence the length of your paper.

  • Choose the points you want to comment on

Because it is impractical to say everything about an item, narrow your description to a few themes. You could write about the appearance, habits, temperament, among other things.

  • Research on your topic.

Don’t forget that every statement you make in your essay must be proved. By using precise and accurate examples to support your classification essay ideas, you can convince your instructor of your creativity and unique point of view. Add the same number of examples to each of the categories to help readers understand and agree with your ideas.

That’s it! You now have an efficient outline that includes the main groups, points to help you describe each type, and examples to prove each object’s main points.

Your task now is to fill the points you have with useful information and connect each end logically. Don’t forget that your division paper should come together to form one coherent message using facts and examples, not several disjointed texts.

The format you can adapt in a classification essay

It is in your discretion the format you adapt for your classification essay. However, you will realize that you usually will have your introduction, the middle, and the end of your presentation. As a result, we have described the introduction-body-conclusion format to help you organize your classification essay.


In the introductory part of your essay, use hook ideas to come up with an exciting beginning. It is better to start with a question, an anecdote, a quote than start narrating as average students usually do. Ensure you state clearly in your thesis statement what you are classifying and the criteria of your classification. Use excellent grammar in the introduction part and avoid common mistakes to curtail your reader or examiner’s chances of developing a negative attitude. This is a straightforward way to be exemplary: avoid the mistakes every Tom Dick and Harry make. Restrict your introduction to just one page.


The body is the climax of your classification essay. Based on the criteria you mentioned in the introduction section, provide a lucid description of the types of the different kinds of items you selected as interestingly as you can. Remember to organize your presentation of the body section so that you cover an item after the other to ensure clarity and logical flow.

Contrast and compare the types of items you are classifying so that your reader sees the differences and similarities. This will enhance your classification and make it well interwoven, which is the characteristic of every compelling work of art. It is simple and complex at the same time.

Ensure you do your classification so well that none of your readers will confuse a wildebeest for a cow, a warthog for a pig and beige for brown, etc.

The number of body paragraphs will depend on the length of your essay.


In conclusion, summarize how you have classified your item and write a brief on your classification implication. Write a Comment on why your classification criteria are the best and what else can be considered for an alternative classification. The conclusion, like the introduction, is restricted to just one paragraph.

How you can avoid common errors in your classification for a top mark:

  • Mixing up your ideas in your presentation- Ensure you address one item at a time so that there is a logical flow in your work.
  • Being repetitive- No reader will be interested in the repetitive presentation. Adequate research on your topic will help you have enough points to write on rather than relying on repetition to meet your length requirements.
  • Before you print your essay proofread to ensure any errors are corrected before you hand in your paper for evaluation, too many grammar mistakes.
  • Plagiarism is presenting someone’s ideas as if they are your own and without conferring due credit. This is always heavily penalized. I know you don’t want to lose a mark.

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