How to Sort Things Correctly and Write a Classification Essay?

How many of you classified your lecture notes according to the most difficult ones and the simplest materials? How many of you divided different films into various genres to understand which one is your top-preferred genre? People intentionally and unintentionally classify different things by their features almost every day. If you practice it regularly, you will cope with writing a classification essay easily. However, you should still know the basic principles before composing this academic paper.

In the post below, we will cover a classification essay (a.k.a. division essay) definition, its outline, secrets of successful writing, topics, and example. You will also find out where to get help with your assignments!

How to Sort Things Correctly and Write a Classification Essay


What Is a Classification Essay?

A classification essay is a written work in which an author organizes different things into classes and provides examples of items from every cluster. An example could be an essay about various genres of films and the latest blockbusters that fit into corresponding categories.

This type of paper is also called a division paper. A division is an approach to study that observes a single component or type of it by splitting it into different parts. The purpose of such an essay is to make the readers understand:

  • The parts
  • The relationship of elements to each other
  • The relation of the parts to the entire subject
  • The entire subject

You should always start with the pre-writing process instead of starting a paper immediately.

Pre-Writing Steps

Before writing a classification essay, it is critical to select the subjects to classify as well as the categories. We recommend starting with something broader, so decide on the categories first. You should keep in mind the three stages of effective classification:

  • Come up with the useful classes;
  • Create categories that stick to a single principle of the organization;
  • Provide examples that belong to each class (some things may fit several categories).

The primary stage is deciding on the categories. Your main goal is to sort things logically, so the categories should be interrelated and make sense. You should not mix types of food with the music genres, for instance. A better example would be organizing your documents on your PC. You should come up with various folders (categories in his case): job, education, just for fun, images, videos, favorite apps, etc. The main idea here is to make you find what you need faster. The purpose of a classification essay is to make your reader understand what makes things different and what makes them similar. It helps to make choices or decisions. For example, after reading a classification paper about sports, a reader should be able to decide which one suits him or her best of all.

As for the topic choice, you should pay attention to things you’re competent in. Choose a topic based on the categories. Prepare a list of subjects you plan to classify and then put down corresponding categories. You may choose to prepare categories based on the genres of art in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome if you love art. If you are fond of computer programs, you may sort different software and programs in various categories (entertainment, games, educational, business, etc.)

How to Write a Classification Essay? Basic Principles

To get ready for writing your classification essay, please consider some valuable tips. First of all, it is better to define categories before the subjects. Do not miss a critical cluster! A writer should have a clear vision of what he or she is writing about. For instance, if your essay is about religions of the world, it will sound incomplete in case you include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and forget to include Christianity as it is the most widespread and popular religion. At the same time, do not involve too many categories. In case of a paper on religions, you may miss those supported by less than 100 million people and leave it as “Other.” Having too many clusters will blur your categorization.

Then, always categorize using a single principle. If a different principle pops up, the reader may lose the point. Finally, you should support equally every class with examples. Include the same amount of examples in every category. You may add more things to the most popular cluster, but do not overload it!

Classification Essay Outline Template

Once you decide on the items and categories, you should craft an outline to follow. You might not have to do outline as an obligatory part. However, we still recommend having it in front of your nose all the time. It is an action plan for your writing. A classification essay has a standard outline made of introduction, body, and conclusion. It should be a five-five-paragraph structure.

Here is a template of an outline for classification essay that you may find useful:

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement
  • Body Paragraph #1/Class 1
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3
  • Body Paragraph #2/Class 2
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3
  • Body Paragraph #3/Class 3
  • Item 1
  • Item 2
  • Item 3
  • Conclusion

If you choose to write about movies, your categories could contain thrillers, comedies, and actions. In the first category, you may discuss such masterpieces as “The Silence of the Lambs,” “The French Connection,” and “Nightcrawler.” The second category may contain such films as “Home Alone,” “School of Rock,” and “The 40-year-old Virgin.” As for the action movies, recall movies like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “Mission Impossible.” It’s up to you to choose, but make sure to prove that the movies of your choice deserve to be there!Classification Essay Outline Template

Also, do not forget to add a separate page with references if you use any extra sources. In most cases, your teacher will require to use something around 2-5 sources for a classification essay.

The essential part of an outline is a thesis statement, so find out how to craft it!

Introduction and Thesis Statement for a Classification Essay

In most situations, a thesis statement appears as a single sentence at the end of the introductory paragraph. It can be a couple of sentences but don’t make it longer. The purpose of it is to concisely introduce the primary objective of the paper and demonstrate the categorization criteria you plan to apply.

How about having a look at the essay introduction with a thesis statement?

Body Paragraphs of a Classification Essay

Each body paragraph of a classification essay is a separate category where you should mention corresponding things and share relevant examples. You may take examples both from external sources and real-life experience. Every time you insert quotes from other sources, make sure to format them properly.

One more critical thing about the body is the usage of proper transitions. Transition words and phrases help to make an essay flow logically from one part to another. Without transitions, your audience may lose the point. In case of a classification paper, think about using such transitions as:

  • The first type, the second type, the third type
  • The first kind, the second kind, the third kind
  • The first category, the second category, the third category
  • The first group, the second group, the third group

That is how you compose a body of your classification paper. The next thing to discuss is the conclusion.

How to Finish Your Classification Essay?

How to Finish Your Classification Essay

In a conclusion, sum up all the categories and main points. Rewrite the thesis statement – do not just copy-paste it from the introduction. Recall why your writing could be useful for the target audience. You may end up offering further research to come up with more categories on a specific topic.

Topics for a Classification Essay

There are many subjects you can consider while getting ready for writing a classification essay. We have collected the ideas of the top writers and university students to share with you!

  • Business cars classification
  • Categorization of mental disorders
  • Classification of historical events in the United Kingdom
  • Most popular cartoons in Japan
  • Classification of Asian countries (from territory to population/demographics)
  • Different religions of the world
  • Attitudes toward money
  • Reasons for obtaining higher education
  • Video games for different ages
  • Cannabis critics and supporters

Simply strike off the subjects you have no interest in or if you lack resources to cover them in-depth. As you can see, it is vital to define items that are capable of being classified into multiple ways.

Sample of Essay Writing

Classification of Football Fans

Classification of Football Fans

“It is hard to imagine the most famous and wide-spread sports game of today, football, without its loyal fans. These people make football more lively, dynamic, exciting, and entertaining. All of the fans are different in their behavior and engagement level. A lot depends on age, nationality, gender, emotional behavior, etc.

The primary purpose of this essay is to categorize football supporters and demonstrate the basic features of every class. The study analyzes numerous web and printed resources such as newspapers, journals, scholarly articles, and interviews to obtain a deeper perception of the topic. This work describes the different types of fans as well as the models of their behavior.

According to the latest studies, the main categories of football fans include the following: TV, casual, hardcore, companions, scholarly, and hooligans. Some of them are calm while others are aggressive and even dangerous for society.

The first category, TV fans, is the top popular as everyone can afford to watch games on television – it is not limited by places and does not require any financial investments.

Casual fans are mostly the adults and elderlies who are patient and tolerant compared to the young supporters. They attend football games just as they visit operas or cinemas. They are not there to fight but rather use intelligence to discuss the results of the match and make new friends. Watching football is mostly a recreation for them.

Hardcore followers tend to have their own customs, traditions, and code of behavior. It’s like a fan club that not everyone can join. They usually have a harsh selection process. It is possible to notice them on the streets carrying a national flag or the flag of the favorite football team.

Comparisons are people who support hardcore fans. They can attend games, but they are not as passionate or emotional. They might not even have a specific interest, but they just accompany their friends or family members.

Scholarly fans or statisticians are those who are betting during the game. They analyze football statistics to forecast the wins and make some money.

Finally, the overzealous fans (hooligans) are the most aggressive and dangerous group of football admirers. They love to fight with each other and can attack random people who belong to the supporters of other clubs or national teams. They often commit acts of violence and vandalism, especially when having their favorites lost.

To sum up, there are several types of football fans, and each of them is equally important. They all are integral parts of football culture.”


Did you find this information useful? To sum up, here are the steps to writing a good classification essay:

  • Create a topic (make sure it has a wide-wide-ranging combination that can be categorized)
  • Define the classes
  • Create a clear thesis statement
  • Categorize by a single principle
  • Support every cluster with an equal amount of examples
  • Stick to the prepared outline
  • Apply transition words
  • Lure a conclusion
  • Develop a bibliography

If you still find it hard to write this type of paper for some reasons, you can call our essay writers! Our company has been solving academic assignments for ages, and we are ready to offer help for cheap. Fill out the order form, and we will start working on your task!

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