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Writing Tips for Classification Paragraphs

written by: Kellie Hayden • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 1/20/2012

Choose a topic, classify it, break it down further and write! Read the example below to get you started!

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    Steps to Classifying

    Use a classification paragraph when you can sort a large idea or topic into at least two small sub-categories. For example, the topic of a paragraph could be the American Kennel Club non-sporting dogs. Three of the non-sporting dogs are Boston terriers, bulldogs, and Dalmations. Or, a topic could be watercrafts. The three categories could be ski boats, sailboats and personal watercrafts (jet skis).

    Example Topics for Class Assignments

    The ideas are endless for the classification paragraph. Here is a list of suggestions:

    • sports
    • relatives
    • video games
    • gaming systems
    • clothing styles
    • cliques
    • music
    • television shows
    • social networking sites
    • hobbies

    Method of Classifying

    Once a topic has been selected, you need to come up with a method of how you want to sort or break the topic into smaller categories. If you choose music, you need to decide if you want to sort the topic by the following:

    • people who listen to country music
    • types of country music
    • female singers of country music
    • male singers of country music
    • country music radio stations

    Breaking the Topic into Categories

    Once the method has been selected, three distinct categories need to be selected. For example,

    Topic: country music

    Method: types of country music

    Three Categories: blue grass, country rock, and country pop

    Writing the Paragraph

    Once the topic, method, and categories have been selected, you need to now write a topic sentence.

    Example topic sentence: Today's country music has many types that can range from blue grass to country rock to country pop.

    Next, you need to work on the body of the paragraph. For each category, there should be equal amounts of detail sentences in the body of the paragraph. A basic amount would be two sentences to describe each category. Last, you need to write a concluding sentence to wrap up the paragraph.

    After the draft is complete, make sure to share your work with a friend or parent to check problems with flow of ideas and writing conventions. Then, write your final copy.