Guidelines on format and structure of a classification essay

Essay writing is presumed as a difficult and time-consuming task. Students find it difficult because they are not aware of the format and structure of an essay. High school and college students are likely to encounter classification essays. Teachers usually give classification essays to test the ability of students how they categorize the data. it is perceived hard to write but once you learn how to write a classification essay, it is quite easy to write.

What is a classification essay?

The easiest way to define classification essay is to organize and divide things into categories. In a classification essay, a writer is required to divide things into groups and offer up examples that fit into each group.

How to write an effective classification essay

There are three steps to write an effective classification essay

  1. Sort the things into useful categories
  2. There should be a single organizing principle for all categories
  3. Give the examples that best fit into the category

Steps and structure

For writing a classification essay, the following steps should be followed


Before starting your essay, brainstorm the ideas. In the classification essay, you would have to take a group of things, people or anything which you choose as your topic or subject for the essay. Logically divide the group in a category. For example, if you chose to teach as a group, divide them in categories according to the subject they teach, for example, there would be one category for Physics teachers, one for chemistry and one for biology teachers.


After dividing groups into categories, make an order of all the categories and examples. There should be relevant example quoted in the each category

Thesis statement/Introduction

A thesis statement is the first paragraph of your essay. It gives the reader an idea about your essay and what you are going to describe in your essay. A thesis statement should define essay as classification and its idea. The words that define classification are the divide, separate, classify and sort.

A body of the essay

In a body of the essay, you describe in detail the idea. It is important that classifications should be logical. Give the clear example and explain them in detail. Organize the body of an essay in such a way that most important paragraph should be placed in the start and the end. The structure of the paragraph should be the same as of essay, it should start with an introduction, the body of the paragraph and the conclusion.


The conclusion should be short and summarizes your essay in few sentences. Discuss the important points of the body of an essay in the conclusion.

Writing a classification essay is not a difficult task. All you have to understand the format, structure, and requirement of the essay. Like any other essay, there are main three parts of classification essay, introduction, body, and conclusion. The only difference is you have to make different groups and categories of each group based on similar properties.