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How to Write a Classification Essay – The Quick and Easy Way

September 18, 2015 - Posted toWriting

Content how to writeaclassification essay

Writing a Classification Essay

Did you watch Sesame Street as a child? If you did, you probably remember the refrain, “One of these things is not like the other...', often sung by a memorable character like Susan or Luis. The activity accompanying that song was to look at four objects, and then identify which three belonged together. The fourth object was then the one that didn't belong. This may seem like a simple task now, but you were learning the very skills then that you will need to write a division and classification essay today. Later on, in school, you probably expanded on this skill. For example, you may have learned to classify musical instruments by category (brass, percussion, string, woodwind), events according to historical period (Middle ages, Great Depression, Baby Boom, Industrial Revolution), or even types of art (impressionist, modern, arts and crafts, etc.).

What is a Classification Essay

A classification essay is paper in which you identify a subject and create different categories within that subject that you can use for the purposes of classification. Then, you write about who or what would be placed into each classification, and why. For example, if your subject was pies, you might choose the categories: savory, fruit based, custard based, cream based, and chess based. In your essay, you would identify these categories, explain why you have selected these categories, and then you would write about which pies fit into the various categories. Remember that as you are writing a classification essay, you job isn't just to identify the categories and what goes in those categories, it is also to justify why you have made that selection. Why, for example, would strawberry cream pie be classified as a cream based pie and not a fruit pie?

Choose an Interesting and Familiar Subject

If you want the essay writing process to go quickly, pick a subject that you can quickly divide into categories. Then, once you have your categories down, you can pick the elements you wish to write about and how you want those elements classified based on the categories that you have established. Unless the subject matter covered in the class demands it, there is no need to pursue a topic that is particularly intense.

Write an Intro Paragraph that Demonstrates the Subject and Categories

By the end of the first paragraph, your reader should know how you have divided your subject into categories, and why. This way, when you begin writing your body paragraphs, you can simply go through each item and discuss where you are classifying it and what caused you to make that decision.

Try Some Mind Mapping

Rather than using typical note taking methods, try using mind mapping or other methods to do your classifying. The visual style of this can make it easier for you to remember what you classified where, and why. Then, when the time comes to write your essay, you can just translate the images that you have created into sentences and paragraphs.

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