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Classification essays

A classification essay is a formal type of writing that evaluates the categorising and generalising skills of the writer. The author has to organise things into categories and provide examples of things that fit into every category. For instance, if you want to write a classification essay about computers, each of your developmental paragraphs must deal with the traits of a different computer type.

In other words, each group must have its unique identifying characteristics. As such, classification essays utilise description and examples as supporting detail and evidence. The description provides the means of identifying distinct characteristics, and examples illustrate the items or members if each category. Classification essays also use anecdotes or short narratives as supporting evidence to demonstrate a class.

Classification essay elements

All classification essays must have three elements namely:

  • The set being classified
  • The scheme or principle of selection for classifying the set
  • Classes into which the sets belong

The set

Any set that is being considered to for classification must share a similar characteristic or be distinguishable from things outside the set. In biology, a living organism is a classified set whereas non-living materials fall outside the set. Vacation spots, students, pets or other generic nouns can form a classified set.

The scheme

This is also known as the principle of selection and follows the criteria of quality, standard, type, or function when sorting out the elements for each class. In biology, the classification of living organism hinges on the life processes and qualities. Rocks are set into igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary categories based on how leach rock was formed. The effectiveness of a scheme or the principle of selection hinges on significance, importance, relevance, or valuable way to comprehend the set of things being considered.

The classes

When writing about class in classification essays, start with a description of the descriptor, identification characteristics of members of a class and putts them apart from other members of other classes. You then incorporate the representative examples of that class. In the discussion of the class, you have to evaluate the worth of this class or give a comparison and contrast this class to other classes within the scheme. In biology, frequent references to the ways that make members of a given class different from members of other classes. This is the reason why the writer uses description, narration, definition, examples, and comparison and contrast modes as methods in a classification.

Important stages of writing a classification essay

Irrespective of classification essays topics, when writing classification essays, these stages are applicable:

  • Prewriting and purpose
    Only a rare writer can sit down and write a classification essay without prewriting. This paper requires you to create categories, and as such, prewriting involves grouping things differently to discover the categories that are more sensible for the intended purpose. You have to identify ways in which things can be grouped. Ensure that categories you create follow a single basis of classification and the groups fit the categories that you create.
  • Take careful consideration of the classification essays topics and identify objects for categorisation
  • Logically think and identify the classification criteria
  • Formulate a solid thesis statement that mentions the topic and the classification considered
  • Describe all categories and provide examples
  • When enumerating categories, use linking words like the first, the second, third, group, type, class and so on.
  • Conclude by briefly restating the categories.

Organizing your classification essays

In your introduction, you must lead the reader to the set being classified and indicate its significance, importance, relevance, or value of the scheme in use. Use your thesis statement to identify the classes that have been used to classify the sets. Your introduction must be structured in a manner that attracts the audience’s attention using informative or descriptive details. The introduction suggests the purpose of the entire classification essay. Ensure that your thesis statement comes at the end of your introductory paragraph.

The topic sentences in your body paragraphs must identify the class under consideration, and its relation to the principle of selection for creating classes. When you are classifying the set, you can use more than one classification scheme. However, this depends on why you are classifying the set what will be gained from the principle of selection. Each essay is supposed to deal with one scheme used to classify the set.

When writing your body paragraphs for the classification essays, arrange them in a manner that you deem as logical. You have to ensure that the arrangement conforms to how you structured your thesis statement.

Your conclusion must re-emphasise the significance, importance, relevance or value of the scheme that has been used to classify the set. At times, the conclusion is used to emphasise on the most significant grouping.

As you are developing and organising your draft, you can try using various strategies. However, do not forget the basic format, that is, the introduction that identifies your subject as well as the diverse approaches, three or more body paragraphs that contain specific details of description and illustration; and a conclusion that sums up your points and puts clear the overall purpose of the classification.

Language and structural mistakes

Successful classification essays must be well structured at both the sentence level and the next level. The mistakes can be subdivided into those that refer to the sentence structure and those that affect the entire essay structure.

  • Sentence structure
    Fragments and run-on sentences are the typical mistakes found not only in classification essays but also in other essays. A fragment is an incomplete structure that lacks subject-predicate unit. This means it does not properly express the idea, despite beginning with a capital letter and ending with a punctuation mark. Fragments do not function in text on their own but must be added to a complete sentence. They can also be re-written in a manner that there is an appropriate subject-predicate unit in them.
    Run-on sentences consist of two subject-predicate units that are joined without a conjunction or any proper punctuation. This confuses the reader, and for you to create sense, you can create the two as separate sentences, or adding coordinating conjunction or subordinate conjunction.
  • Text structure
    This common mistake relates to poor paragraph division or lack thereof. The issue of paragraphs might sound less important than that of ideas, but lack of a clear text structure will interfere with the meaning of the entire essay. The organization of the essay must serve the purpose. In other words, the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion must be clear enough and arranged in a manner that creates meaning. The text structure and the sentences must demonstrate the development of ideas. The essay becomes impressive and easy to read

Classification essay topics

Some students find it hard to come up with a good topic for classification essays. As such, this list will provide you with a starting point when deciding which classification essays topics to use in your classification essay. Look at some of the essays ideas:

  • The type of users that choose certain search engines
  • Classification of social grid users
  • Computer users versus smartphone and tablet users
  • The major types of friends we all have
  • The most popular singers and songs
  • Types of college roommates
  • Types of parenting styles
  • Strategies to quit drinking
  • Popular ways of alleviating stress
  • How to recall things efficiently
  • International forums and conferences
  • The types of dates people have
  • Types of diets that help you to keep fit
  • The best categories of vacations
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