In 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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