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Teacher Tips and Answers

Warm-Up for Classification Essays

Explanatory essays share information about a topic. One way to explain a topic that interests you is to write a classification essay.

What Is a Classification Essay?

Classification Essays
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In a classification essay, you break information down into smaller parts, or categories, and then explain each part. By learning about the topic’s parts, a reader gains a better understanding of the topic as a whole.

For example, what if someone asked you what makes up a perfect pizza slice? You might start by discussing a crust with a crisp base and bread-like center. On top of that, you want pizza sauce with oregano and a touch of sweetness. Then comes the mozzarella cheese, the mushroom slices, the onion, the pepperoni. Each component needs to be in the right proportion and baked to perfection for a great slice.

In this unit, you will be asked to write an essay that breaks down a topic (such as a hobby, sport, career, or skill) into its important parts and then explains each part. For example, if you’re interested in guitars, you could write an essay explaining the role of the lead guitar, rhythm guitar, and bass guitar in a band. Or, if you know a lot about robotics, you could write an essay telling how robots move, sense objects, and perform tasks. The key to your writing is to select a topic that truly interests you and that you know a lot about.

Thinking About Categories

What if you went to the library to choose a book, but the books weren’t arranged in categories? You’d face a tough search! Books is a broad topic, after all. Here's one (of many) ways to break it down:

Line Diagram

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