Basic Do's And Don'ts Of Writing A Classification Essay
A classification essay is one in which you, the writer, organizes things into groups or categories. Your hypothesis will include a topic and how that topic is classified. For example: Behavioural differences in people (this would be your topic) in personality types (this would be the classifications within your topic e.g. choleric, sanguine, melancholic, phlegmatic -four basic personality types according to Hippocrates). From there you would explore the traits of each personality type.
DON’T HAVE TOO MANY CATEGORIES
Around three to four should be plenty. This may depend in part on the word limit for your paper. However, it is better to write a good amount of information about three or four categories than a small amount about a lot of categories.
DON’T BE PREDICTABLE AND SAFE
There are obvious topics you could write about with this type of paper, but try to think of something unique and even something you know nothing about. Writing your essay will take you on a journey of discovery!
DO CARRY OUT THOROUGH RESEARCH
For example, if your topic is Behavioural Differences in People, and you are writing about the above four personality types, you would read thoroughly about these and demonstrate your grasp of them in your paper. You will also not stray from these four categories by writing about physical characteristics, or food preferences, etc.
DO KEEP YOUR ORGANIZING PRINCIPLES CONSISTENT
Using our example above, you would write about the four basic personality types and not get distracted by discussing other personality types as classified by other philosophers or psychologists.
DO WRITE ABOUT EACH CATEGORY EQUALLY
Try to write the same amount about each category, to give your paper balance. However, there may sometimes be one category that requires more explanation.
DO WRITE A STRONG CONCLUSION
In your conclusion summarize your discussion about each category and highlight a particular strength or weakness about each one. Your conclusion is also where you will restate the purpose of your classification. Using our example above, you may want to write that knowing these different personality types helps us to understand our friends, or work colleagues better.
Your classification essay is a great way to explore several categories of the one topic and present the strengths, weaknesses and differences or similarities in each category. It is also a great way to learn something new about a particular topic.