• Essay Guides
  • Main Academic Essays

Classification Essay: A Quick Guide with Examples

  • Speech Topics
  • Basics of Essay Writing
  • Essay Topics
  • Other Essays
  • Research Paper Topics
  • Basics of Research Paper Writing
  • Miscellaneous
  • Chicago/ Turabian
  • Data & Statistics
  • Methodology
  • Admission Writing Tips
  • Admission Advice
  • Other Guides
  • Student Life
  • Studying Tips
  • Understanding Plagiarism
  • Academic Writing Tips
  • Basics of Dissertation & Thesis Writing


  • Research Paper Guides
  • Formatting Guides
  • Basics of Research Process
  • Admission Guides
  • Dissertation & Thesis Guides


Table of contents


Use our free Readability checker

A classification essay is a type of academic essay that categorizes a topic into distinct groups based on shared characteristics or criteria. The writer's purpose is to create a clear organization of information. Classification should be logical, making it easier for readers to remember the information being presented.

Let us guess: your professor asked you to write a classification essay. But they didn't explain how to even write one, did they? They often drop students like that as a part of self-learning. That's exactly why you're here! Writing a classification essay requires research. And making sure you've got enough information, you must double check what you've already gathered. Besides, classifying may sound simple, but it takes discipline and logical thinking. Putting thoughts into words and all that… What a task! But we heard a little rumor that those who continue reading would master classification papers. It's time for you to see if this rumor is true!  

What Is a Classification Essay: Definition

Classification essay doesn’t want to hide its essence, considering its name. But the primary goal of this type of article is to classify. Now, what you want to rank is up to you or your professor. Your main goal is to select topics and later put them into categories. The primary purpose of this type of essay is to show your skills in categorisation and generalization. We can take food as a good and tasty example. For instance, apples and oranges belong to the fruit category, while cucumbers will definitely be vegetables. As for avocado, you have to do the research and classify this type of food. Nevertheless, you’ll definitely need to write one of those essays during your college. So to master academic and classification writing, keep reading!  

How to Write a Classification Essay

We will start by teaching you how to write a classification essay. In this case, preparation is our little saving grace. So before you begin the actual writing, typing, or scribbling, it’s a good idea to think about the overall essence of your article. For starters, here are several valuable tips worth remembering:

  • Select a type of organization (you can use tables, documents, or anything that will help you in organizing your work).
  • Choose your categories for classification.
  • Make sure that each category is distinct and clear.
  • Include different examples for visualization.

These several steps will be handy for writing a thesis and starting your introduction. Buy essay papers online once you want good results with as little time spent as possible.

Developing an Effective Classification Essay Thesis Statement

Like with other articles, the classification essay thesis is one of the most vital parts of your work. A good thing worth keeping in mind is that your thesis is the last statement of your introduction. It also determines whether your audience will continue reading your article. Here are several things you should follow to write a good thesis:

  • Summarize your work.
  • Identify your main topic, objective, or goal of your essay.
  • Above all, make readers understand what point you’re making and what your paper is gonna be about.
  • Mention the categories you have chosen.

If you can nail our list given above, congratulations, you’ve got yourself an outstanding thesis.

Classification Essay Outline

Creating a classification essay outline is one of the easiest ways to approach an excellent classification paper. It’s true that it requires a lot of research and remembering. You will not only have to write about a single subject but group topics into categories. In order to do it correctly and understandably for the reader, it’s best if you use an outline. First and foremost, your essay should follow a traditional five paragraph essay format structure. It should have a minimum of three paragraphs. But typically, professors prefer around five. So your introduction must initially include an introduction, several body paragraphs depending on the length of your article, and a conclusion. In your body paragraphs outline, it’s a good idea to describe the groups you will include in your article. So your first paragraph will group fruits according to their color, while the second one can use nutrition for a classification. This will help you to remember your points before writing.  

How to Start a Classification Essay: Introduction

Classification essay introduction is very similar to any other introduction you have probably written. You should never forget that you are writing for an audience. Doesn’t really matter if your reader is your professor or some person online. The rules of good writing apply to any kind of paper. The first thing worth doing is introducing your overall concept. There is no need to give all the information at once. Just start with something more general and narrow it down later to a thesis we’ve talked about. Make sure that you also include the relevant information. Using our previous metaphor, if you’re talking about fruits, maybe mentioning vegetables will not be a good idea. Besides, staying on one topic will help you to write more clearly. And that’s our final requirement for your introduction.  

Body Paragraphs of a Classification Essay

Classification essay's main body commonly has around 1-3 paragraphs. But don't forget to ask your professor about the length. The important thing to remember is that you are classifying items in your work. In order to achieve precise and successful organization, your body paragraphs must be concise. Each body paragraph should focus on a certain group. You're not making mashed potatoes. So stacking all of your ideas in one section would create a mess. Keep it simple in terms of structure:  

  • Paragraph 1 — fruits organized by their color
  • Paragraph 2 — fruits arranged by expert location
  • Paragraph 3 — fruits ordered by size or shape

A simple and understandable organization will make your writing sharp. And your readers will definitely say thank you!

Classification Essay Conclusion

A classification essay conclusion is, just like always, crème de la crème of any article. At this point, your reader knows everything you were telling them. They know all your data, issues, and ideas. Thus, quickly summarizing what they’ve read in your body paragraphs will help a lot. But the last thing to do is organize your conclusion while leaving an impression. Now, their impressions can be different. However, your readers must think about your work for at least some time. So your conclusion must end with something intriguing like the possible future of your topic or piece of mind for the readers. Just don’t include any new information, and you’ll do fantastically!  

Classification Essay Writing: Useful Tips

Even with our help, classification essay writing is challenging. So we prepared for you several good tips that will help you improve and ease your academic life. Check them out:  

  • Define the purpose of the article before you start writing.
  • Avoid popular and often used topics.
  • Write down a number of topics before picking one. (We have a list of classification essay topics at your disposal.)
  • Choose a subject that will be personally interesting for you.
  • Remember that you are also writing for someone else who might not know everything about your topic.
  • Edit and proofread your work.
  • Take a break from writing once in a while and come back with a fresh mind and new look.
  • Don’t try writing about everything simultaneously. Instead, focus on one category and lead with it.

With these steps, we can definitely say that you’re ready.

Classification Essay Examples

How could we leave you without classification essay samples? You’re right; we couldn’t. Check out this example. Keep in mind that our examples always have characteristics that we talked about. So you can read the sample and return back for this article or do some revision. It will help you a lot. What are you waiting for? You can find the example right here. Or simply buy essay for college to avoid any hard work this evening. 


Classification Essay: Bottom Line

Who knew that  writing a classification essay  wasn’t that hard? We did, and now you know that, too. You have everything it takes to create an excellent paper. You know that:  

  • Your thesis is the most essential part of the essay.
  • The introduction must contain general information on the subject.
  • Body paragraphs must be carefully organized.
  • A conclusion should leave an impression without including new information.


But if you’re still looking for proficient help, our academic writing services got you covered. Our writers do excellent research before writing a paper and deliver high-quality results. We are also proud of our timely delivery of the papers.

FAQ about Classification Essays

1. what is the purpose of a classification essay.

The purpose of a classification essay is to organize and classify. In the beginning, you have several unique items. They indeed have some things in common. So your job is to identify in what categories they fit best. After doing the research and careful learning, you must put everything you have gathered into words. But still, keep in mind that the second purpose is to make your essay and classification clear to the reader.

2. How long is a classification essay?

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to classification essay length. Everything will depend on the guidelines. Usually, such articles are 3 to 5 paragraphs long. Their minimum is always an introduction, one body paragraph, and conclusion. However, professors definitely enjoy 5 paragraphs as a standard length. But you always need to remember that the essay should be long enough to provide necessary information for the reader. Or it must be short enough not to drag it out.

3. What is the difference between a division and classification essay?

Division and classification essays are only slightly different. The items you choose for classification essays must belong to strict and certain categories. They cannot overlap or belong to two different groups. On the other hand, division essays allow the subjects to move from one group to another. They might be divided into different groups or categories and thus overlap.

4. What are different types of classification?

There are several types of classification. Depending on the particular topic, you can choose a specific type that fits the best. Here’s what you can choose from:

  • Spatial classification (location, place and so on).
  • Chronological (you must take time and dates into consideration).
  • Classification by attributes (qualitative).
  • Classification by size (quantitative with numbers and statistics).


Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.


You may also like

How to Write a Compare and Contrast Essay

In order to continue enjoying our site, we ask that you confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Common Essay Structures / Patterns of Development

Classification and division.

decorative image

Classification and Division asks you to break something down into its component parts, offering an insight or analysis into the thing you’re breaking down.  You actually use classification and division thinking a lot, perhaps without realizing it (e.g., different personality types of the people you know, different types of cars, different types of activities for your children, etc.).

In college writing, in addition to grouping and classifying, you’re also asked to make a point about the groupings that offers an analytical insight (e.g., Of all the sixteen personality types that Myers-Briggs identify, the ___ type is the best to hire in a ___ type of job, for a number of reasons.)  Your point – your main idea, angle, assertion – should be complex enough for you to develop creatively.  Division and classification thought is a way of organizing and dealing with complex and/or abundant information in order to provide additional understanding.

Essays using a classification and division pattern have topic sentences and units of support for each group or class.  The topic sentences themselves should have angles that relate back to the main angle in the thesis.

View the following video for a clear definition and multiple basic examples of the concepts of division and classification. (Note that you will be expected to apply the concepts of division and classification to more complex concepts for college essays.)

View the following video for a further explanation of classification and division pattern in essay writing.

Here’s a graphic organizer for the Classification and Division pattern.

Hierarchical diagram; Top = Thesis, makes a point about types or categories of something; middle = Topic sentences (point about first type, point about second type); bottom = Supporting paragraphs (details about first type, details about second type)

Classification and Division in Action:

Make sure to read sample Classification and Division essays in the Sample Essays section of this text.

  • Classification and Division. Authored by : Susan Oaks. Provided by : Empire State College, SUNY OER Services. Project : College Writing. License : CC BY-NC: Attribution-NonCommercial
  • image of fruit divided and organized into boxes. Authored by : shnomoe. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : . License : CC0: No Rights Reserved
  • video Division and Classification. Authored by : Clay Rooks. Provided by : City College. Located at : . License : Other . License Terms : Standard YouTube License
  • video Classification Essay or Paragraph. Authored by : Shaun Macleod. Provided by : Smrt English. Located at : . License : Other . License Terms : Standard YouTube License

Home ➔ How to Write an Essay ➔ Classification Essay Guide

Classification Essay Guide

This guide takes a closer look at classification and division essays ; what’s more, it helps distinguish the difference between classification and division, as it is often bundled into one entity because “classifying” is “dividing” into categories, groups, or types by a certain principle. 

First, let’s define the terms separately since a pure classification essay can be a bit different from a pure division essay in methods and purposes that should be taken into account during writing.

What is a Classification Essay?

A classification essay is a paper that focuses on different items that have something in common. The essay intends to group tangible or intangible things, break them down into categories, classify them, and inform the readers about this classification. This essay type is valuable in that it helps the writer gather things that share some characteristics and examine how the whole relates to parts and vice versa.

Vocabulary definition of “classify”: arrange (a group of people or things) in classes or categories according to shared qualities or characteristics.

What is a Division Essay?

A division essay deals with one item and divides it into smaller parts it’s composed of. This type is somewhat similar to a process essay , which describes how something is done step-by-step. However, a division paper examines a single unit by separating it into smaller components and making it easier to understand.

Vocabulary definition of “divide”: separate or be separated into parts.

Classification vs. Division

The main difference between classification and division is that while the former works with different items that have something in common, the latter type is confined to just one piece.

For example, were you to write a classification essay about friends, you would point out several types of friends there are according to a single principle you choose, such as, for instance, how well you know a person or what type of things you can discuss with them, etc. Division, in turn, would explore the concept of being a friend in a broader scope by diving it into things that make a person someone’s friend. 

Signal Vocabulary to Use

There are certain phrases and words that tell the reader about the sorting and grouping nature of the paper and contribute to its coherence. Check the following lists to see what vocabulary to use when writing a classification essay.

Nouns: kind, type, sub-type, sub-class, category, part, group, basis, criterion, feature, order.

Verbs: divide, categorize, classify, fall under, belong, fit, relate, associate, group, arrange, distinguish, subdivide, put into.

8 Steps to Writing a Classification Essay

With a practical approach, you can compose a classification paper in a timely manner. The next eight fundamental steps will show you how to write a classification essay, tackle all the requirements, and, as a result, score high. 

1. Pick a topic (might be optional)

Your teacher decides whether to provide a list of topics to pick or assign students the exact topic. For that reason, make sure to clarify that in advance. Your educator can also let you come up with your own topic and write a classification essay based on it. Provided below are several exemplary prompts.

Assignment Prompt Examples 

  • Multiple study habits and mnemonics can improve students’ learning sessions and thus boost their average grades. Classify these habits into distinct types.
  • Smoking is a detrimental habit, which has, thankfully, been dropping in the U.S. gradually over the years. Write a classification essay about ways to quit smoking.
  • Fashion is a broad field that touches upon various aspects. Using a classification structure, create clear yet different categories related to fashion.
  • We spend lots of time scrolling feeds, chatting with friends, and interacting with various posts. Social media platforms play a crucial role in our lives. Classify these platforms into categories.

an example of a prompt for a classification essay assignment

Download a Classification Essay Assignment Sheet Example

Examples of things to classify

Classification essays can work with most concepts. You can choose to classify any of the following examples of things or think of something else. There are also three essay examples linked in the list below.

  • Cell phones
  • Dance styles
  • Relationships
  • Restaurants
  • Social media
  • Study habits
  • Video games

260 Unique Classification Essay Ideas – take a look at a huge list of categorized classification topics.

2. Decide on categories and purpose

Suppose you have come up with the topic and are ready to kick off the essay writing process . What are your next steps? Before writing, it is necessary to determine what you plan to reveal within your paper. 

In other words, defining the purpose of your writing, along with the categories, would be your first task. While there shouldn’t be any problems with the purpose (ask yourself why you think this specific group of items needs to be classified), deciding on particular categories might be tricky. The following section will help you complete this task.

Choose a single classification basis 

Choosing a single classification basis is essential because it establishes the direction your classification essay will go. The paper must be meaningful and organize things logically. You must deliver some message and make sure the included information A) makes sense and B) is valuable to the readers . 

For instance, let’s assume your task is to classify homework. In that case, you can organize things differently, for instance, by the deadline, subject, complexity level, type of assignments, form, etc. Importantly, remember to make different categories mutually exclusive. 

Besides, avoid jumping from classes, mainly if they don’t pertain to the items. Leave some space for exceptions and/or exclusions; there are many categories, so don’t limit your classification essay by two or three widely accepted options.

3. Develop a thesis statement

Once you have a clear purpose, categories, as well as a single classification basis, you can begin writing a classification essay. Your thesis statement should indicate the object of your essay (what you categorize), the categories of your classification, and the principle you chose. 

Thesis statement examples

The following are a few examples to show you what a strong thesis looks like:

  • Professional hikers point out three types of hiking when exploring the mountains based on their difficulty: intense, semi-challenging, and picturesque.
  • Students often classify lectures into three types, depending on the level of excitement: monotonous, acceptable, and fascinating.
  • Based on the education methods employed, teachers usually fall into one of three categories: explainers, involvers, and enablers.

4. Create an outline (optional but recommended)

An outline is typically an optional element for a classification essay task. Teachers rarely ask students to attach outlines to their papers. However, it doesn’t mean that outlines aren’t helpful. As a matter of fact, they are a convenient tool that helps you structure the easy better. Here is an example of a simple yet effective outline.

Outline example

Topic: Classifying street food in Mexico.

  • Then, slowly whittling down the dishes and focusing more on the notion of street food.
  • Writing a thesis statement with clear categories– Street food in Mexico can be divided into groups based on the ingredients used: corn, avocado, and jalapeno.
  • 1st paragraph: A topic sentence about the historical significance of corn in Mexican lands. 
  • Example of street food that contains corn 
  • Explaining why corn is used and how it fits the dish
  • Conclusion with transition
  • Example of street food that is served with avocado (the second category)
  • Explaining why avocado is added and how it underscores the meal’s taste
  • Example of street food that includes the third category – jalapeno
  • Explaining why jalapeno is served and how it enhances the flavor
  • Reinforcement of the main points alongside the categories– Mexican street food usually includes corn, avocado, and jalapeno. 
  • Remind the audience of key thoughts stated within the body and move toward the end.
  • The last sentence might include recommendations on which street food the audience is encouraged to try.

Here’s a fillable outline template in PDF for a short classification essay – Download .

Deciding on the order of your categories

It would be reasonable to decide on the order of your categories before writing the classification essay. Depending on the topic, the order of objects may vary and be either chronological, logical, or emphatic (importance). Try using the one you think pertains to the context the most. For example, if your group of elements has historical value and is scattered in time, opting for chronological order would be a good option.

5. Write the introduction

The best way to write an efficient introduction is to start broad and narrow down the content before including a thesis statement. Make sure your introduction has:

  • Hook (opening sentence, can be optional)
  • Background information

How to Start an Essay – here’s our separate guide on writing introductions (with examples).

The introduction of a classification essay must establish several things:

  • What things you are classifying
  • Why you are classifying them, and
  • What classification principle you use

6. Write the body paragraphs

Body paragraphs in a classification essay don’t differ from other paper types. A body paragraph comprises a topic sentence, focuses on a single point (a category in this case) from your thesis, provides supportive evidence, and gives examples.

Plus, it must have a brief wrap-up and smoothly move to the next section with a transition. Remember to use specific vocabulary and phrases to increase the paper’s quality.

In classification essays, each body paragraph usually starts with the introduction of one of the categories of your classification. For division essays, it would be one of the parts of the whole.

Each category should be accompanied by its characteristics and traits backed up by solid examples.

7. Write the conclusion

The conclusion’s primary purpose is to end a classification essay properly, encapsulating the information you’ve provided in the previous sections. Notably, a conclusion can begin by rephrasing your thesis and providing major points described in the body. You can conclude a classification essay with a question, recommendation, or implication. Regardless of your choice, ensure it doesn’t include any additional information or new categories.

How to End an Essay – you can read our full article on writing conclusions here (with examples).

8. Revise and edit

It’s best to take a step back upon writing the first draft and let your attention and productivity restore before editing the piece. The editing process requires approaching the classification essay from various angles, e.g., reviewing the categories, correcting spelling and punctuation errors, and polishing the content. The order of methods depends on your preferences. 

Seven questions to ask yourself when revising a classification essay

Asking questions is yet another practical way to ensure your classification essay meets the requirements and is coherent, comprehensive, and mistakes-free. Try asking questions related to different parts of this essay type. Here are some questions to pose when revising:

  • Does my essay fall into a classification/division type, as was required?
  • Are my categories mutually exclusive and include room for exceptions?
  • Have I used the most appropriate order to arrange my categories?
  • Does my thesis statement contain all three components, namely the subject, classification basis, and categories?
  • Have I provided strong examples to highlight the significance of my chosen categories?
  • Does the conclusion re-emphasize each category with a view to reminding the audience of the core statement and its significance?
  • Have I paid equal attention to each category, or does any category look lacking compared to others?

banner logo

References used

  • Classification and Division Guidelines – Tidewater Community College
  • Rhetorical Patterns – Classification/Division – Lincoln University
  • Structuring a Division-and-Classification Essay (+ Sample) – IRSC

Was this article helpful?

Logo for M Libraries Publishing

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

10.4 Classification

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the classification essay.
  • Understand how to write a classification essay.

The Purpose of Classification in Writing

The purpose of classification is to break down broad subjects into smaller, more manageable, more specific parts. We classify things in our daily lives all the time, often without even thinking about it. Cell phones, for example, have now become part of a broad category. They can be classified as feature phones, media phones, and smartphones.

Smaller categories, and the way in which these categories are created, help us make sense of the world. Keep both of these elements in mind when writing a classification essay.

Choose topics that you know well when writing classification essays. The more you know about a topic, the more you can break it into smaller, more interesting parts. Adding interest and insight will enhance your classification essays.

On a separate sheet of paper, break the following categories into smaller classifications.

  • The United States
  • Colleges and universities

The Structure of a Classification Essay

The classification essay opens with an introductory paragraph that introduces the broader topic. The thesis should then explain how that topic is divided into subgroups and why. Take the following introductory paragraph, for example:

When people think of New York, they often think of only New York City. But New York is actually a diverse state with a full range of activities to do, sights to see, and cultures to explore. In order to better understand the diversity of New York state, it is helpful to break it into these five separate regions: Long Island, New York City, Western New York, Central New York, and Northern New York.

The underlined thesis explains not only the category and subcategory but also the rationale for breaking it into those categories. Through this classification essay, the writer hopes to show his or her readers a different way of considering the state.

Each body paragraph of a classification essay is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subcategories. In the previous example, then, each region of New York would have its own paragraph.

The conclusion should bring all the categories and subcategories back together again to show the reader the big picture. In the previous example, the conclusion might explain how the various sights and activities of each region of New York add to its diversity and complexity.

To avoid settling for an overly simplistic classification, make sure you break down any given topic at least three different ways. This will help you think outside the box and perhaps even learn something entirely new about a subject.

Using your classifications from Note 10.43 “Exercise 1” , write a brief paragraph explaining why you chose to organize each main category in the way that you did.

Writing a Classification Essay

Start with an engaging opening that will adequately introduce the general topic that you will be dividing into smaller subcategories. Your thesis should come at the end of your introduction. It should include the topic, your subtopics, and the reason you are choosing to break down the topic in the way that you are. Use the following classification thesis equation:

topic + subtopics + rationale for the subtopics = thesis.

The organizing strategy of a classification essay is dictated by the initial topic and the subsequent subtopics. Each body paragraph is dedicated to fully illustrating each of the subtopics. In a way, coming up with a strong topic pays double rewards in a classification essay. Not only do you have a good topic, but you also have a solid organizational structure within which to write.

Be sure you use strong details and explanations for each subcategory paragraph that help explain and support your thesis. Also, be sure to give examples to illustrate your points. Finally, write a conclusion that links all the subgroups together again. The conclusion should successfully wrap up your essay by connecting it to your topic initially discussed in the introduction. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read a sample classification essay.

Building on Note 10.43 “Exercise 1” and Note 10.46 “Exercise 2” , write a five-paragraph classification essay about one of the four original topics. In your thesis, make sure to include the topic, subtopics, and rationale for your breakdown. And make sure that your essay is organized into paragraphs that each describes a subtopic.

Key Takeaways

  • The purpose of classification is to break a subject into smaller, more manageable, more specific parts.
  • Smaller subcategories help us make sense of the world, and the way in which these subcategories are created also helps us make sense of the world.
  • A classification essay is organized by its subcategories.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

How to Write a Classification Essay?

17 July, 2020

8 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

Classification essay is comparable to painting creation - an artist works on a specific structure that holds the picture’s elements together and glues different layers to create a powerful visual effect. The same principle applies to a writing piece, in which the central role is devoted to getting things in order. In this article, we’ll discuss the main features and components of a great classification essay and share some tips and tricks on how to take your piece of writing to the next level.

Classification Essay

Classification essay definition

We bet the first thing you want to know concerning the topic is what is a classification essay? This is the task which you’ll most likely deal with at some point in your student life. The essence of this assignment is related to categorization and generalization. Remember these two words because they form the true meaning of classification essay. Also, division and classification are those elements of this essay type which highly correlate and have equal importance for essay creation. Therefore, the main task here is to organize or sort things into categories.

Classification Essay Writing

How to write a classification essay 

Careful attention to planning marks the indication of quality in terms of classification essay. At this point, the main task is to learn how to structure the paper. The length of an article may vary, but the most frequently used “five paragraphs” method is typically applied for classification writing. What does this structure suggest? It has to do with a logical division of your essay into blocks and categories, every one of which should clarify a particular issue.

The first and one of the essential paragraphs is the introductory one. It’s an opening which illuminates the matter you’re going to discuss and the subject you’ll categorize. Besides, you can outline the purpose of your classification essay to readers to bring more clarity into the discussion. Answer the question of why you are categorizing the chosen items and what criteria you use for each of them. Then, you’ll need to close the introduction paragraph with a thesis. It will briefly sum up the objective of your classification and division essay, and identify the categories which you’ll be using for a paper.

The second part is the essay body. Here, a couple of paragraphs are applicable, preferably 3 and more. The most critical nuance you should remember while composing a body is that each paragraph will deal with a separate category. The best way to organize the central part of your division essay is to explain the criteria for each category and desirably, discuss strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, you should include examples that’ll back up your statements with a piece of evidence. Notably, there should be an equal amount of examples for every category to spread the evidence evenly. If your paragraphs in the main body are lengthy, you can also divide them into shorter ones to create a smooth transition between the blocks of text and improve readability.

The final paragraph of your classification essay is a conclusion. The closing statements will sum up the different categories highlighted in the body. Also, it’s advisable to restate each category and advise readers on the subject matter. However, if you choose to recommend this or that topic over the others, don’t forget to state the reason for your stance. This way, readers will take into account your well-grounded explanation, which is deprived of subjectivity, and make relevant conclusions for themselves.

Classification Essay Structure

Apart from the basic understanding of classification essay structure , you should also get prepared for the writing process. For many, implementing theory on practice is even more challenging than the stage of composing an essay. Nonetheless, with enough patience and endurance, this process is really not so bad after all. So, what steps do you need to make in order to prepare well for classification paper writing?

First things first, planning is everything when it comes to the assignment that implies classification. Without a clear and coherent plan, there’s no way you can write a good paper. Therefore, make sure that you have a robust scheme before writing your essay. For this, proceed with the following planning steps:

  • Generate Ideas. Evidently, your essay won’t write itself. If your professor has not assigned you a specific topic, it’s time to do some brainstorming. Remember – you need to choose a group of people, things, or ideas that can be easily divided into categories and then compared.
  • Choose Your Classification Method. Aim at one principle for classification for each category you describe. For example, if you write about people, you can categorize them by age, gender, appearance, or other factors. This will help you better structure your essay and make it look more organized in the eyes of readers.
  • Create a Thesis Statement. As previously mentioned, the thesis statement is the element which closes the introduction of your classification essay. It should include such information as the subject matter, the categories, and the criteria used to classify each category. Besides, you can note down the purpose of your division into these categories.

Preparation for Classification Essay

Classification essay outline

The outline is a general description or plan that schematically displays the main points of your essay. The main point of an outline is to help you see the structure of your essay and use it as a useful guide for writing. Usually, a typical outline describes the essence of each point in one sentence. Also, bullet points are not uncommon, so you can use them to arrange a plan the way you feel is the most appropriate.

Classification essay topics

There is a plethora of themes and subjects for division classification essays to choose from, but most of them are hard to think of straight away. That’s why we’ve collected the list of the top used classification topics for you to facilitate the process of generating ideas or searching for ones elsewhere.

  • The most popular devices students use nowadays
  • Colors and their meaning in the paintings of Frida Kahlo
  • The evolution of rock-music types
  • Standard methods students use to prepare for exams
  • Public speakers that have moved the world  
  • Unique factors to determine a successful relationship  
  • How to improve child-parent relationships
  • Main motives to start a political career
  • Learning techniques for college students
  • Types of TV comedy shows
  • Traveling destinations
  • The main types of mobile applications
  • Communication possibilities online
  • Strategies for making decisions in business
  • Leadership and leader types
  • Conflicts at the job and ways to cope with them
  • The motivation for doing sports
  • Methods to reduce stress

No matter which theme you choose for your classification essay and what techniques you implement to make them elaborated, remember always to keep the structure in mind. The first step to writing this type of assignment is not just sitting and jotting down detached ideas, but planning out clear statements which can later be transmitted on paper. Hopefully, our advice will help you on the way to writing an excellent classification essay which your professor will mark with an A+ grade.

Problems with writing Your Classification Essay? Try our Online Essay Writer Service!

A life lesson in Romeo and Juliet taught by death

A life lesson in Romeo and Juliet taught by death

Due to human nature, we draw conclusions only when life gives us a lesson since the experience of others is not so effective and powerful. Therefore, when analyzing and sorting out common problems we face, we may trace a parallel with well-known book characters or real historical figures. Moreover, we often compare our situations with […]

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Ethical Research Paper Topics

Writing a research paper on ethics is not an easy task, especially if you do not possess excellent writing skills and do not like to contemplate controversial questions. But an ethics course is obligatory in all higher education institutions, and students have to look for a way out and be creative. When you find an […]

Art Research Paper Topics

Art Research Paper Topics

Students obtaining degrees in fine art and art & design programs most commonly need to write a paper on art topics. However, this subject is becoming more popular in educational institutions for expanding students’ horizons. Thus, both groups of receivers of education: those who are into arts and those who only get acquainted with art […]

Logo for Maricopa Open Digital Press

Classification and Division Essay

Classification and division is a rhetorical style that, in essay format, takes a whole and splits it up into parts and then places the divided information into various categories. While you may see this rhetorical style used within a single paragraph, it’s not uncommon to write an entire essay using a classification and division format.

Division of hierarchy of a topic

A classification and division essay combines two different techniques. First, you would divide a complex and difficult topic into subtopics for clarity and explanation purposes. Next, you would determine what categories are needed and what information fits into those categories. Think of a newspaper. All of the information is divided into different parts: news, advertisements, and classifieds. Then the information is classified into different categories. For example, news may be categorized as sports, international, local, lifestyle, etc.

NOTE:  You have to be very clear in a classification and division essay. Your reader needs to understand how you came up with your categories and why information fits into these categories. Therefore, be sure that you make the guidelines for your categories clear to the reader and that you don’t merge, confuse, or have superficial categories.


Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL). Located at:  . This site is licensed under a  .

ENG102 Contextualized for Health Sciences - OpenSkill Fellowship Copyright © 2022 by Compiled by Lori Walk. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book


  1. PPT

    classification or division essay

  2. How Do I Write a Classification/Division Essay?

    classification or division essay

  3. How to Write a Division Classification Essay

    classification or division essay

  4. How to Write a Division and Classification Essay?

    classification or division essay

  5. Use Handy Hints and Write a Solid Classification and Division Essay

    classification or division essay

  6. How to Write a Classification and Division Essay (Free Example)

    classification or division essay


  1. ENG 1113 Classification Essay Guide: Credible Sources

  2. ENG 1113 Classification Essay instructions

  3. ENG 1113 Classification Essay Evaluative Works Cited

  4. ENG 1113 Classification Essay Guide: Synthesizing Research

  5. Classification Division Essay 1

  6. mathematics Division tricks# Division small and large essay tricks# @ merry.285


  1. Classification & Division Essay - Excelsior OWL

    A classification and division essay combines two different techniques. First, you would divide a complex and difficult topic into subtopics for clarity and explanation purposes. Next, you would determine what categories are needed and what information fits into those categories.

  2. How to Write a Classification Essay: Guide & Examples

    Division and classification essays are only slightly different. The items you choose for classification essays must belong to strict and certain categories. They cannot overlap or belong to two different groups. On the other hand, division essays allow the subjects to move from one group to another.

  3. Classification & Division Essay | Outline, Topics & Examples

    What is a Classification and Division Essay? A classification and division essay first takes a large or complex topic and divides it into subtopics. Then, it provides categories with...

  4. Division and Classification Essays - Handout 2022

    A division and classification essay can be defined as breaking a large subject into smaller ones so a person can understand the subject more clearly. o The division part of the essay looks at how one big project or subject can be broken into several smaller parts. o Classification is taking the items and putting them into different categories ...

  5. Classification and Division | College Writing - Lumen Learning

    Essays using a classification and division pattern have topic sentences and units of support for each group or class. The topic sentences themselves should have angles that relate back to the main angle in the thesis.

  6. Classification and Division Essay ⇒ Writing Guide and Tips

    Learn about the classification and division essays: their definitions, differences, formats, topics, structure, and how to write them.

  7. 10.4 Classification – Writing for Success

    The Structure of a Classification Essay. The classification essay opens with an introductory paragraph that introduces the broader topic. The thesis should then explain how that topic is divided into subgroups and why. Take the following introductory paragraph, for example:

  8. TCC Writing Center: Classification and Division Guidelines

    Division deals with a single unit while classification deals with collections of items. Some essays may use both classification and division in order to make their points.

  9. Classification Essay: Topics, Outline and Writing Tips ...

    The best way to organize the central part of your division essay is to explain the criteria for each category and desirably, discuss strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, you should include examples that’ll back up your statements with a piece of evidence.

  10. Classification and Division Essay – ENG102 Contextualized for ...">Classification and Division Essay – ENG102 Contextualized for ...

    A classification and division essay combines two different techniques. First, you would divide a complex and difficult topic into subtopics for clarity and explanation purposes. Next, you would determine what categories are needed and what information fits into those categories.