An essay is a piece of writing, the purpose of which is to clarify a vague topic, provide useful information, or give the author’s argument. Writing essays is a common form of homework in both secondary and tertiary education, with emphasis on longer and more analytical tasks during the final years of one’s education.
With regard to tone of voice, essays can be either formal or informal. However, with regard to purpose, there are many categorizations with overlapping definitions. Common types of essays include narrative, descriptive, expository, argumentative, and classification.
Although all types of essays have their own merits and applications, argumentative and classification essays are more common. Regardless of their majors, students who are able to master these two types of tasks have a higher chance of getting top grades on their assignments.
What is a classification essay?
As the name suggests, in classification essay writing, the author is supposed to divide ideas or objects with shared characteristics into two or more groups. These categories should be formed based on a common point so that inter-group comparisons can be performed. Here are some examples of topics for a classification essay:
- Types of modern literature
- Types of jet engines
- Habits of top executives
- Music genres
What is an argumentative essay?
The author of an argumentative essay aims to convince his audience that his opinion is valid by presenting both sides of an issue. It’s possible to discuss both sides equally, or one side can be presented more eagerly. The author should decide how much detail to provide about either side. However, one-sided essays usually fail to engage their audience. Here are some examples of topics for an argumentative essay:
- How boys and girls are different in terms of fashion
- Will the new tax cuts improve the business environment?
- Should religion and politics be separated?
Comparing argumentative and classification essays
All essays have a beginning, the main part, and an end. But that doesn’t mean they are all the same. In fact, essays can be different in terms of purpose, organization, audience, length, and tone of voice, among other things. Here is a comparison of argumentative and classification essays.
There are two main differences between these types of essays:
- Argumentative essays include facts, statistics, and writer’s ideas as opposed to classification essays which are informative in that they only present information to explain a topic.
- Classification essays need to remain objective. The author is akin to a reporter that only presents facts. On the other hand, personal bias is allowed and even encouraged in argumentative essays.
Perhaps their biggest affinity is that both types of essays contain explanations and information. One uses that information to make a point, while the other remains unbiased and neutral. Being clear and concise is also critical for both types of essays.
How to write an outstanding classification essay
The first step to writing a classification essay is to choose your categories. Consider which classification makes the most sense and helps your reader understand the topic more readily. Also, be careful not to forget a critical category or create overlapping groups. Classify points by a single principle.
Having your reader in mind is key to a great classification essay. The thesis statement usually includes the topic, names the categories, and explains why the categorization is logical. It is helpful to provide examples of each category to facilitate comprehension.
How to write an outstanding argumentative essay
It’s helpful to think of an argumentative essay in terms of a conversation or debate: it has to have a logical flow. Besides, your essay needs to be well-researched, accurate, and detailed, and contain lots of current information to support the thesis statement.
The opening sentence in an argumentative essay asserts the argument. The structure of an argumentative essay commonly consists of five paragraphs. It starts with an introduction, moves on to provide three paragraphs containing discussions of opposing views, and concludes with the fifth paragraph.
Of course, this structure is by no means mandatory. In fact, your essay can be as long as it needs to be. Some topics deserve longer, more in-depth discussions. Make sure you dedicate enough space to your arguments so that you can develop your idea with sufficient detail.
Classification and argumentative essays are both common types of assignments in higher education which serve different purposes. While the former is straightforward in its composition and merely focuses on dividing items into several categories, the latter is more complex and includes the author’s personal opinion on a specific topic. Students need to have a good grasp of both in order to achieve academic success.
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