Classification essay writing can take much time, if one does not know what this writing task presumes. Classification writing is all about tracing logical connections and discussing them. Regardless of the topic you need to cover, a classification paper should present arguments sorted according to different logical categories. The number of categories varies according to the chosen topic.

If you would like to manage classification writing professionally, you should remember the basic rules. The first rule is to present categories that clearly reflect the subject matter. You should create categories according to one principle. It is highly important to present a number of examples for each category, so that the reader will clearly understand the whole picture. Before writing any paper, students should create an outline. This small paper will reflect the categories that you want to discuss in your classification paper. Even if you think that classification essay topics are very easy and you can write an essay in about 3-4 hours, creating a sketch of your future paper will definitely bring positive results.

Structure of a Classification Essay

As in any other academic essay, the structure of a classification paper is built around basic paper components.


The primary goal of introduction in classification essays is to introduce the topic to the reader (background ideas), so that he/she will be aware of the possible classifications. Introduction must clearly define the thesis statement, which will shed some light on the future division into categories. Every thesis statement should be connected with the paper topic and present a couple of categories to be discussed in the main body. It is advisable not to make more than 3 classifications in one paper because the reader can get confused with an abundance of ideas.

For instance, a thesis statement can look like this:

“Low-income families suffer from poor health treatment, malnutrition, and lack of trust from other members of society.”


  • Present the first category – it is usually the least important for discussion.
  • Present the second category.
  • Present the third category – it is usually the most important one and the writer wants to place a specific emphasis on it.

If you question yourself “What is a classification essay,” you should understand that every category should be based on a specific principle. Different categories help the writer to prove the main argument. It is very important to provide a number of examples in the essay and cite them (if ideas are based on the outside research). Do not forget that in-text citations matter, especially if you want to avoid possible plagiarism charges.

In the concluding paragraph, you must enumerate the discussed categories. Your goal is to restate the thesis statement in different words.

The Choice of the Citation Style

If you do not have any specific formatting instructions, you are welcome to choose any citation style you wish –APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, ASA, etc. However, usually professors assign specific instructions as for the referencing system. Pay attention to all details: the cover page, subheadings, spacing, margins, font, page numbers, indents, endnotes, footnotes, references, appendices, etc.