Among all the papers you will have to write at college, classification essays probably cause the least trouble. However, the technology of writing one is not that easy, and to develop a good piece, one will have to sweat for at least a bit. Here we offer you a few short tips on writing a classification essay with the least effort.
What is a classification essay?
A classification essay is a paper where you separate and focus on a certain group of objects and classify them using certain criteria, providing solid examples. The topics may vary – there are essays on historical facts, types of movie-goers, books, experiences and God knows what else.
What is the structure of a classification essay?
Any essay follows the general ‘introduction-body paragraphs-conclusion’ pattern, and so does a classification essay. An introduction serves as a guide rail for your train of thought. In your intro clarify what kind of objects you are focusing on and state what categories can be defined within this group. A thesis statement (the one that specifies the categories) should be at the end of the introduction. It is also reasonable to provide some background information on the subject or arrange a setting.
Each category distinguished in the introduction part should be assigned a paragraph in the body part. Provide certain information on every category to justify why it deserves separation from others. Lead each paragraph with a summarizing sentence and then expand on it.
A conclusion of a classification essay is designed to provide brief additional comments on the categories and to justify the separation in general.
- Make sure that you are using the same classification principle. If, for instance, you are writing about sports, you can classify it by the amount of equipment needed, popularity, level of danger, amount of skill required, etc. Whatever you choose, classify ALL the categories using the same principle.
- Don’t let the categories overlap. If a certain category can be incorporated into another one, then they belong to different levels. You should ONLY use categories of the same level. For instance, separating poets, prose-writers and writers is wrong, as the first two categories are subcategories of the third one. If you feel that some objects belong to a few categories at the same time, revise the entire structure of your essay.
Here is a sample outline to help you understand the basics:
Topic: friends and friendship
Thesis: All people you consider to be your friends can be divided into three categories: actual friends, parasites and fans.
Paragraph one: Actual friends are those who have been with you in the hardest of times and proved their loyalty. For instance…
Paragraph two: Parasites are those who need something from you (help with studying, money, popularity, etc.) For instance…
Paragraph three: Fans are those who adore you in every respect and try always to be around, yet in truth, you don’t consider them close enough. For instance…
Conclusion: true friends will shave their heads for you, parasites are scared by the first adversity you face and fans are nice but useless. Separating those types will help you define who to trust and who not to.
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