Classification Paragraph


The purpose of a classification paragraph is to clearly define something and place it in a group according to some basis or rule so that it only fits in one group. In order to be successful at this you have to be very detailed.

The same information can be classified into more than one category, but the classification paragraph sticks to one basis of classification. The topic sentence has two parts: the topic, and the basis of classification, which is the controlling idea; it controls how the writer approaches the subject.

Classify- to gather into types, kinds, or categories according to a single basis of division.

Logical sequence- list the categories in this order: either most to least outrageous, least to most expensive, from largest to smallest and so on.

Transitional expressions:
  • can be divided
  • can be classified
  • can be categorized
  • the first type
  • the second kind
  • the last category

Here are a few examples of a classification paragraph:

Types of Friends

Friends can be classified according to their honesty, loyalty, the type that fits you into their schedule, or the type that finds time for you when they need something. An honest friend tells you the truth even if it’s not always what you want to hear. In the long run, that honest friend may have saved you from embarrassment or possibly rejection. They give you constructive criticism overall. The loyal friend is the type of friend that will be there for you through the thick and the thin. They don’t care how good or bad you may look one day; they are sensitive to your feelings, they respect you and the other people in your life, and most of all they will never let you down when times are hard. They may be what you call a best friend. The third group, the person that fits you into their schedule, is the type of person that is always on the go. They barely have time for themselves let alone another person. More than likely they will not be there for you when you need them most, because they are so wrapped up in their busy, hectic life. Then you have the self-absorbent type of “friend” that finds time for you only when they need something. This type of person isn’t what you would call a friend. This person may always be extremely nice to you because they know that if are nice to you then they will more than likely get what they want. They will call you every once in awhile when it is almost time for them to use that person again. It may be for a ride to work, home, or they just want somebody to hangout with because they have no other friends. If the person that is being used is smart they will eventually realize that they are getting used and will stop being there for that person.

~© 2005 Amy Neill~

Daters Beware

Men can be categorized by the way they treat women while dating into three groups: a social addict, a content lover, or a keeper. The first type, a social addict, is the type of man who is constantly late and everything is on his time. Social addicts are particularly self absorbed. For your birthday this type of dater will give you a gift such as a necklace, so that everybody can notice it. When it comes down to emotions and feelings, a social addict will say whatever he assume you want to hear at any given moment. The second type of dater, a content lover, is a guy who will come and go as he pleases. These men just seem to be in attendance but not involved. When he is with you, he will not open up and share his thoughts. A content lover will forget your birthday all together. Lastly there is the keeper who will not keep you waiting; in fact, he always plans ahead and involves you in the decision making. To them, your birthday is tremendously important. They will give you time for your friends and family; in addition, they always make unique plans for the two of you later that evening. Unlike the other types of daters, the keeper will attempt to be 100% in touch with their feelings towards you and are willing to talk about them. Men’s dating styles differ; nonetheless, it all comes down to what behavior you are in the mood for.

~© 2005 Kayla Maire Anfinson~
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Further reading about a classification paragraph:
http://www.brighthub.com/education/homework-tips/articles/47859.aspx
http://www.suite101.com/content/example-of-a-classification-paragraph-a106765
http://www.ehow.com/how_6004382_write-well-developed-classification-paragraph.html