The classification essay is a piece of writing that allows the writer to pick one element from that in his/her life and divide it into 3-4 types or genres. Before entering advance level English courses in college, many basic college level English classes assign a mandatory 5-body paragraph classification essay. The purpose of this writing is to help writers have a thought, develop that thought, organize that thought, and stay on topic with that thought. Moreover, the classification essay helps students stay organized with other elements outside of academia, such as organizing household items, office items, and other items that are apart of everyday life. Following these simple steps, I assure my readers that this type of writing is easy. My first step is just a few tips to keep in mind before writing your first draft of a classification essay. Step 2-6 is a step-by-step recipe to follow; each step contains the ingredients that belong in each body paragraph. Furthermore, in each step, I provide a sample paragraph that compliments those ingredients that are in each step.

You should take some time to think about a simple element that you want to classify. Once you decide what you want to classify, be sure to find at least two to three ways that you can divide this element. Dividing the element into 2-3 classifications will allow you to have a springboard for your thoughts when writing about the different sub-types of one item. Follow the recipe in the next 5 steps for a clear example.

I. A Format/Recipe for an Introduction. a). Start off with about 3-4 sentences of general discussion of the topic that you are classifying.

b). In about 2 sentences, mention what you like to classify and then mention various ways that other people would classify the element that your are discussing.

c. In 1 clear, state your thesis. Your thesis will be the one element that your are classifying and the three sub categories that you divide that element into. Doing this will allow you to have a solid and organized guide to follow for your up coming 3 body paragraphs. Each paragraph will discuss the 3 sub- categories of your element.

A student Sample of an Introduction: The lower case letters are a guideline to show how the above format pieces together to form a well-developed paragraph. Use these letters for every body paragraph.

(a) Every person has many household items that they like to categorize. People like to classify their household items because it helps the person stay more organized, and it makes it easier for the person to find things. Some of the things that people like to classify can include various collections such as, books, CDs, DVDs, jewelry, pictures, clothes, etc. (b) I am one of those people who like to categorize many of my household collections. The one thing that I really like to make sure I classify is my shirt collection. (c) I have many shirts, and I classify them by work shirts, t-shirts, and recreational shirts.

II. A Format/Recipe for a Body 1.

a). In about 2-3 sentences, explain the category of the item that you are classifying (from your thesis). Tell why you like to classify this category as separate from the other categories of your one element in a clear and concise manner.

b). In about 3-4 sentences, provide a very clear and specific example to show
your reader that your reason for this classification is logical and easily works for you. Your example should 100% support your reason from (a) in body 1.

c). In 1 sentence, close off your paragraph.

Sample of Body Paragraph 1:

(a) The first category that I classify my shirt collection is by work shirts. My work requires that I were semi-formal/casual clothing, so my work shirts consists of long sleeves, a collar, and buttons.  I work five days out of the week and have over 20 work shirts; therefore, I have my work shirts lined up as the first thing I see when I open my closet, which makes it easy for me to select a new shirt every day for work. (b) For example, Monday through Friday, I am able to wear a different shirt and different color unlike many of my co-workers who wear the same shirt two or three times during the week.  The other day, I opened my closet and wore a black work shirt, and the next day I was able to wear a white work shirt, and the next three days I wore a green, blue, and gray work shirt.  (c) Having the classification of my work shirts makes things so much easier for me.

III. A Format/Recipe for Body Paragraph 2:

a). Using a transitional phrase, in another set of 2-3 sentences, explain the second category of the item that you are classifying (from your thesis). Tell why you like to classify this category as separate from the other categories of your one element in a clear and concise manner. Try to have a different explanation from your first.

b) In about 3-4 sentences, provide a very clear and specific example to show
your reader that your second reason for this classification is logical and easily works for you. Your example should 100% support your reason from (a) in body 2.

c). In 1 sentence, close off your paragraph.

Sample of Body Paragraph 2:

(a) Another category that I classify my shirts into is my t-shirts, which I wear on my days off. I get two days off from work and school, and those days are Saturdays and Sundays. These shirts consist of white t-shirts and beer shirts. These t-shirts are very comfortable and make me feel free from all work. (b) To illustrate, last weekend I spent the day with my friends, and we went out of town to check out a few sites. On this particular day, I wore one of my beer brand named t-shirts. I just went to my closet that day, moved my work shirts over, and went to my t-shirt collection, and pulled my favorite beer shirt out. I felt free and comfortable that day not wearing a work shirt. (c) I sure do love wearing my t-shirts on my days off, and enjoy that fact that I have them classified to easily find in my closet.

A Format/Recipe for Body 3: a). Using another transitional phrase, in another set of 2-3 sentences, explain
the third category of the item that you are classifying (from your thesis).
Tell why you like to classify this category as separate from the other
categories of your one element in a clear and concise manner. Try to
have a different explanation from your first and second.

b) In about 3-4 sentences, provide a very clear and specific example to show
your reader that your third reason for this classification is logical and easily works for you. Your example should 100% support your reason from (a) in body 3.

c). In 1 sentence, close off your paragraph.

Sample of body paragraph 3 :

(a) The final category that I classify my shirts is recreational shirts. I only have a few of these shirts, and they are meant for me to wear when I do heavy outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, or even yard work. These shirts are like my t-shirts, but they are much older, and I do not care if they get dirty or ripped. These shirts are convenient for me when I know there is a change they will get ruined from a certain activity. (b) For instance, not to long ago, I took the day off from work and school to catch up on yard work that I let go for over a month. I knew this work would ruin any clothes that I would wear; therefore, I went to my closet, moved my work shirts and t-shirts over, and got one of my old recreational shirts. I did my yard work, and this shirt got a few rips and very dirty, but I did not care the way I would have if it was one of my work shirts or t-shirts. (c) My recreational shirts are perfect for this type of activity.

A Format/Recipe for a Conclusion: a). In about 2 sentences, restate your thesis. However, be sure that you
use different wording when doing this.

b). In about 3-4 sentences, briefly re-mention all the specific examples in your 3 body paragraphs that show why these classifications work for you. This will allow you to sum up your entire essay.

c). In about 1-2 sentences, be sure to have a closing and intelligent thought to seal off your entire essay.

Sample conclusion:

(a) In conclusion, I love to classify my shirt collection into 3 categories; these are my work shirts, my t-shirts, and my recreational shirts. (b) These categories make my days so much easier when I am prepping for my day.  For example, when I work, I always have an easy time finding these shirts in my closet, and I have a different color shirt to wear for work everyday.  Furthermore, on weekends I am able to enjoy my nice comfortable t-shirts, which makes me feel free from work just like the day I wore my beer shirt with my friends.   Finally, my recreational shirts are great for heavy outdoor activities, and I have little stress if they get ruined, such as the day I did all my yard work. (c) Classifying your household accessories makes life so much easier, and for me, the classification of my shirts certainly makes things easy for me.

The final step is to always be sure to edit for global organization and content, and be sure to proofread for any grammatical and mechanical errors within your sentence structure.