How to Write a Classification Essay

How to Write a Classification Essay

A classification essay is a very common type of written assignments, but it’s also one of the most unusual ones. Typically, classification essays are assigned in high school and college, but even higher institution students will have to write a classification paper from time to time.

Classification essays are not the world’s most complicated academic assignments, but there are still plenty of classification essay writing rules to remember. Our essay writing website has prepared a detailed guide on how to write a classification essay.

Classification Essay Definition

As it’s the case with most types of academic assignments, it’s impossible to do a good job with a classification paper without knowing the classification essay meaning. That is why the first step you need to take in your writing process is to define classification essay.

So what is a classification essay and why does it stand out among other student papers? A classification essay is a paper where the author’s objective is to classify the ideas, phenomena, or characters into groups or categories with a specific set of shared characteristics.

What makes the task of writing a classification essay particularly challenging is that this type of assignment requires you to do lots of research and have strong analytical skills, but doesn’t call for a lot of creativity. 

Classification Essay Outline

Now that you know the classification essay definition and what makes a classification paper different from most other essays you have created before, you can move on to the next step of the writing process — creating the classification essay outline.

The most popular way to structure a classification essay is to use the standard 5-paragraph outline. It means that your classification paper will consist of the following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph #1
  • Body paragraph #2
  • Body paragraph #3
  • Conclusion

How to Write a Classification Essay

We have already established what is classification essay and which structure you need to use for your paper. Now it’s time to find out how to write classification essay chapter by chapter.


We don’t need to explain the importance of a strong introduction for a high-quality classification paper. So how to write an introduction for a classification essay that will set the right tone for your writing and impress everyone reading the paper?

The purpose of the introduction is to get the readers acquainted with the subject of the essay even if they have no idea what it is. In the introductory paragraph, give a brief description of the topic. It’s also a good idea to indicate why the subject of the paper is important to you personally and how it contributes to the scientific discussion.

The final sentence of your classification essay introduction is the thesis statement. In the thesis statement, you need to explain the criteria you are using to classify the objects, ideas, and characters of the paper.

Body paragraphs

Typically, you will have three body paragraphs in your classification essay, and each one of them should be dedicated to a separate category. The order of the categories doesn’t really matter, but you need to have them mapped out in your head or on paper to create a smooth and logical flow.

When you already know which categories you will use in your body paragraphs and how you will categorize the objects, you need to look for evidence. The evidence demonstrates to the readers that you fully understand the differences and similarities between the objects and that your classification is based on credible sources.


Despite the relatively small size, the conclusion to a classification essay is one of the most vital parts of the paper. At the beginning of the conclusion, remind your readers why you found the topic important enough to write a whole essay about it.

Then, briefly list the categories and the objects, using the classification you employed in the previous chapters. You can finish the essay conclusion by once again stating why you believe your classification approach was successful and how it can be used to promote further discussion in the scientific community.

Classification Essay Topics

Most students agree that a well-chosen topic can account for 50% of the success of an essay, and it’s even more true for a classification paper. You cannot write a strong classification essay on a topic that you know nothing about or that doesn’t interest you personally. Here are 20 topics for a classification essay that will inspire your writing process:

  1. International organizations.
  2. Videogames.
  3. Tourist destinations.
  4. Political activists.
  5. International wars.
  6. Music of the 20th century.
  7. Professional sports.
  8. Home pets.
  9. Smartphones.
  10. Jobs for recent graduates.
  11. Climatic zones on Earth.
  12. Startups.
  13. Sources of energy.
  14. Parenting types.
  15. Dinosaurs.
  16. Types of leaders.
  17. Online educational platforms.
  18. Religions.
  19. Vacations.
  20. Types of divorce.

Extra Tips from Our Writing Team

The classification essay format is rather unique and it may take you some time to master the process of writing a classification essay. These additional tips from our essay writing website will help you deliver the most convincing classification paper of your student life:

  1. If you have ever written a compare and contrast essay, you may find those skills to be very useful for writing a classification paper. Finding similarities and differences between various objects will also help you categorize them the right way.
  2. We have already mentioned how important research is for a successful classification essay, and we will say it once again. In fact, researching relevant materials and brainstorming your categories and objects may take you even more time and effort than the writing itself.
  3. An effective way to direct the attention of the readers to the most important category of your essay is to place it in the last body paragraph. That way, your readers will remember it the most.
  4. Examples play an important role in the success of your essay. Using analysis and deep thinking, you need to find the perfect balance between more general and more specific examples that you will use in the paper.
  5. It is recommended to finish the first draft of your classification paper a few days before the deadline, so that you could have enough time to get back to it, proofread the text, and review the essay. If you don’t have enough time to write a classification essay, you can always hire one of our writers from our essay service!