What is a Classification Essay?
In a classification essay, a writer organizes, or sorts, things into categories.
Three Steps to Effective Classification:
- Sort things into useful categories.
- Make sure all the categories follow a single organizing principle.
- Give examples that fit into each category.
This is a key step in writing a classification essay. To classify, or sort, things in a logical way, find the categories to put them into. For example, say you need to sort the stack of papers on your desk. Before you would put them in random piles, you would decide what useful categories might be: papers that can be thrown away; papers that need immediate action; papers to read; papers to pass on to other coworkers; or papers to file.
Thesis Statement of a Classification Essay
The thesis statement usually includes the topic and how it is classified. Sometimes the categories are named.
(topic)...(how classified)...(category) (category) (category)
Ex: Tourists in Hawaii can enjoy three water sports: snorkeling, surfing, and sailing.
How to Write an Effective Classification Essay
- Determine the categories. Be thorough; don't leave out a critical category. For example, if you say water sports of Hawaii include snorkeling and sailing, but leave out surfing, your essay would be incomplete because surfing is Hawaii's most famous water sport. On the other hand, don't include too many categories, which will blur your classification. For example, if your topic is sports shoes, and your organizing principle is activity, you wouldn't include high heels with running and bowling shoes.
- Classify by a single principle. Once you have categories, make sure that they fit into the same organizing principle. The organizing principle is how you sort the groups. Do not allow a different principle to pop up unexpectedly. For example, if your unifying principle is "tourist-oriented" water sports, don't use another unifying principle, such as "native water sports," which would have different categories: pearl diving, outrigger, or canoe racing.
- Support equally each category with examples. In general, you should write the same quantity, i.e., give the same number of examples, for each category. The most important category, usually reserved for last, might require more elaboration.
Common Classification Transitions
- The first kind, the second kind, the third kind
- The first type, the second type, the third type
- The first group, the second group, the third group
Remember: In a classification essay, the writer organizes, or sorts, things into categories. There are three steps to remember when writing an effective classification essay: organize things into useful categories, use a single organizing principle, and give examples of things that fit into each category.
Below are some sample classification essay topics:
- Classification of historical events in US
- Countries classification (territory, popularity, etc)
- Sport Cars Classification
- Most Popular TV Shows in America
- Classification of Physiological Diseases
You can choose essay topic for your classification essay you are familiar with.
In a classification essay, we organize things into categories and give examples of things that fit into each category. For example, if you choose to write about types of computers (PCs and servers), each of your developmental paragraphs will define the characteristics of a different computer type.
Before writing, it is necessary to decide on the classification criteria. We should think according to what properties we are going to classify things. The criteria must be discriminating and the emerging classes should be non-overlapping.
In the sample essay about types of computers, the computers are classified according to their functions and capabilities, as:
Sample essay analysis
|topic: 5 types of computers||criteria: their functions||and capabilities|
|1. PC||general use by a single person|
|2. Workstation||used for 3D graphics, game development||powerful microprocessor, additional memory and enhanced capabilities|
|3. Server||used to provide services to other computers||have powerful processors, lots of memory and large hard drives|
|4. Main frame||used in business||enables hundreds of people to work together|
|5. Super computer||used for jobs that take massive amounts of calculating||very powerful|
The introduction of a classification essay is quite straightforward. In the thesis statement, you mention that there are (number) types of (something) according to their (properties).
In the developmental paragraphs, you need to define each type you mentioned in the thesis. You may also need to show the similarities and/or differences of these types. Giving examples would enable your readers to understand better.
The common transitions used while classifying are the first kind / type / group, the second kind / type / group, the third kind / type / group.
Types of Computers
There are a lot of terms used to describe computers. Most of these words imply the size, expected use or capability of the computer. While the term “computer” can apply to virtually any device that has a microprocessor in it, most people think of a computer as a device that receives input from the user through a mouse or keyboard, processes it in some fashion and displays the result on a screen. Computers can be divided into five according to the purpose they are used for and their capabilities.
The most familiar type of microprocessor is the personal computer (PC). It designed for general use by a single person. While a Mac is also a PC, most people relate the term with systems that run the Windows operating system. PCs were first known as microcomputers because they were a complete computer but built on a smaller scale than the huge systems in use by most businesses. A PC can come in two types (three if we include the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) that differ from PCs not by the working policy but in appearance as well.): Desktop and laptop. The former is not designed for portability. The expectation with desktop systems is that you will set the computer up in a permanent location. Most desktops offer more power, storage and versatility for less cost than their portable brethren. On the other hand, the laptops - also called notebooks - are portable computers that integrate the display, keyboard, a pointing device or trackball, processor, memory and hard drive all in a battery-operated package slightly larger than an average hardcover book.
Another purpose for using a microprocessor is as a workstation. The computers used for this purpose have a more powerful processor, additional memory and enhanced capabilities for performing a special group of task, such as 3D Graphics or game development.
A computer can also be used as a server. For this, it needs to beoptimized to provide services to other computers over a network. Servers usually have powerful processors, lots of memory and large hard drives.
A fourth type, a main frame is the heart of a network of computers or terminals which allows hundreds of people to work at the same time on the same data. It is indispensable for the business world.
Sometimes, computers can be used for specialized fields as well. The supercomputeris the top of the heap in power and expense. It is used for jobs that take massive amounts of calculating, like weather forecasting, engineering design and testing, serious decryption, and economic forecasting.
With the increasing demand in different specialties, new adjustments are being made to microprocessors and new types of computers that serve different purposes emerge. In this ongoing process, it would not possible to put a full stop here. What we suggest is that it is better to keep en eye on the development of science in this field and keep updating our knowledge in order not to be out-of-date like the computers of old times that were as big as a room.
Written by Oya Ozagac, May 2004