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20 Top Classification Essay Topics

Updated: Nov 28, 2016
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In writing the Calssification essay, the student classifies something into categories and explains the cotents of each categoryIn writing the Classification Essay, the student classifies something (a subject, term, or item, for example) into categories and explains the contents of each category – which are generally organized by functions, characteristics or properties, etc.


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The purpose of the Classification Essay is to enhance the reader’s – and perhaps the student-writer’s – understanding of the subject as a whole.


Topics for a Classification Essay


Listed below are several topics that can be used to write a Classification Essay. They are categorized by course – with the English or Writing Composition category containing several since the assignment is widely given in those courses; however, the assignment may be given in other courses, as well. Those, too, are listed below.


For an English or writing composition course:


• Organizing the various eras of American Literature – from the Colonial and Revolutionary eras to the Romantic Period in the 1800s, then from Realism to Post-Modernism and beyond – and its writers, majors themes, focuses and challenges of the time, etc.

• Classifying the various types of literature – short and long fiction, verse and nonfiction, journalism, and others – by their distinct properties and characteristics, as well as providing published, literary examples of each.

• Classifying the various writers of the Transcendentalist movement by their distinctive goals and the major themes in their writing.

• Classifying the various attitudes about War, Abortion, Women’s Rights and Human Rights, etc. – as well as any other subject or issue that can be classified into various subcategories by characteristics, their various platforms, opposing sides and arguments.

For a Geography course:


• Organizing the countries that comprise North America by geographic location.

• Classifying the countries of Europe by the Axis and Allied powers that fought in World War II.

• Organizing any continent by the countries that comprise it.

For a Government, Political Science course:


• The three branches of the United States government – the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches – and explaining what those branches are comprised of, as well as their purposes, responsibilities and limitations.

• Classifying the countries of Europe by European Union (EU) members and Non-EU members.

• Categorizing the former countries of the Soviet Union by region.

For a Psychology course:


• Classifying various types of Psychology – such as Cognitive, Behavior, Social Psychology – and explaining what each is and what they seek to explain or analyze.

• Classifying the various types of personalities (Type A and Type B) and illustrating the characteristics of each and why they are important in society.

• Categorizing the various types of mental illness by the various domains they affect: Social, Spiritual, Physical and Psychological.

For an Environment Studies course:


• Organizing the various ways or preferred methods of protecting the environment, such as reducing, recycling or reusing – among several other ways.

• Classifying the various categories of pollution by severity.

For a Business or Marketing course:


• Classifying the various types of ways, methods or strategies to market a product or service to the consumer.

For an Education course:


• Categorizing the various levels of education – elementary, secondary and higher education – and their characteristics, age levels, curriculum and general objectives.

For a Sociology course:


• Classifying the living American generations – seniors, baby boomers, generation X and Y, and others – and the characteristics of each.

For a Music or Art course:


• The various eras of Jazz music classified by each era’s themes, characteristics and musicians.

• Classifying the periods of art in any century or historical era by characteristics, themes and artists.


When choosing a topic, keep in mind that thorough understanding of what you are writing about is a key point of the successful essay writing. 


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