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How to Write a Classification Essay in History: Where to Start & Where to End?

Categorizing events, things, notions, or anything is important when someone wants to reveal wither similarities or differences between them. What is a classification essay in History? How to write a classification essay to obtain higher grades? The guide from professional writers explains how to prepare the assignment, what things you have to cover, topics to select, and some interesting, History related examples.

A classification essay is a kind of a college paper that you write to classify certain things on the basis of certain criteria, giving relevant examples. The topics and disciplines that you write vary. In case with the classification essays in history, you may be asked to provide a paper about historical facts, events, figures and God knows what other things.

The classification essay in history has the typical “the introduction – the body paragraphs – the conclusion” structure. In your introduction part you let your readers know what kind of things you’re going to focus on and mention the categories that can be defined within the group. Write your thesis statement in the introduction (it is used to specify the categories) together with some background details about the subject.

All the categories that you write about in the introduction part should be provided with the equal number of paragraphs in the body. Attach every category with certain information to show why it should be separated from others. Glide into every paragraph with a summarizing sentence and expand it.

Then goes the conclusion, where you go over your categories again and add some short comments to justify the separation.

What Can Your Classification Essay in History Be about?

You can’t start writing classification essay in history if you don’t have the right topic at hand. To provide you with some good idea of what to dedicate your paper to, we have found some up-to-date and interesting topics in history that may be expanded in a classification essay for college.

Here they are:

  • Types of Colonialism All over the World;
  • Alexander’s Strategies for Victory in Egypt;
  • Education Options During the Middle Ages;
  • Types of Wars: Their Causes & Consequences;
  • Types of Cultures Originated in The Nile Valley;
  • Three Reasons for the Union of Scotland and England;
  • Types of Skills Needed to Become a Historian;
  • Types of Monarchies All Over the World;
  • Trading Routes in the Renaissance Era;
  • Types of Social and Political Effects of Nelson’s Death.

How to Narrow Your Topic?

The well-known 5-W strategy will help you when it comes to narrowing down your classification essay topic. Concentrate on Who, Where, What, When and Why things. For instance, if you select the history topic about France, it will be too broad. Narrow it down to something more specific like ‘French Revolution’, ‘French Colonialism in Africa’ or Jeanne d’Arc’ by using the questions written above.

Who? Count of Mirabeau and Marquis de Lafayette. What? Propelling France towards the Revolution. Why? Because of rising unmanageable national debt, economic and social inequality, economic mismanagement, new political ideas, agricultural failure have all been cited as the key reasons for the French Revolution. When? 5 May, 1789 – 9 November, 1799. Where? In France. Of course, you don’t have to use all of the 5-W categories, but the truth is that they can really help you to narrow a broad topic down.

What Is the Classification Essay’s Sample Outline?

If you decide on the most suitable topic, it doesn’t mean that you can start writing straight away. First of all, you have to create an easy-to-understand outline. Let’s imagine that you choose to write a classification essay about the ‘Types of the Greatest Inventions of All Times’.

Here is the sample outline to help you understand the process and how much time you will need to cover every section.

Topic: Types of the Greatest Inventions of All Times
Introduction/Thesis: All the invention in history can be divided into three main categories: transport, writing system and ancient remedies.

(The introduction paragraph is your starting point, when you write a classification essay. In this part, the author of the essay clarifies the subject, which means he or she tells the readers what categories will be discussed. Besides, you have to use the introduction to explain the exact purpose of the paper. Why have you decided to categorize the things? Finally, close your introduction paragraph with a thesis statement. Thus, all your groups will be identified and attached with a brief explanation of the criteria for them.)

Paragraph 1: The very first wheel was invented in 3500 BC in Iraq; it was made from wood. The other means of transportation were invented as well. For instance…
Paragraph 2: Writing is the physical display of a spoken language. According to the most recent findings, human beings developed writing language in 35 000 BCE (cave paintings from the Cro-Magnon Man period prove that). For instance…
Paragraph 3: According to the studies, the study of herbs roots back in about 5 000 years when the ancient Sumerians described some medicinal uses for plants.

(The body paragraphs of the classification essay will include three or more paragraphs. Make sure that every paragraph that you provide is based on a different category. Begin with the criteria explanation for each category and, as an option, try to talk about the weaknesses and strengths. Provide the examples that are relevant in history. Check the length of the paragraphs. If you think it will be appropriate, break the paragraphs down into smaller ones. But it is important to remember about the transition words to make sure the paragraphs move smoothly into each other.)

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Conclusion: Shortly we can say that all the inventions have totally changed the scenario of human life. Separating those types will help you to define which inventions had the greatest impact on the human history.

(The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay where you bring together the various classification categories that you’ve talked about in the body paragraphs of the classification essay. Make sure to provide some short summary to each of them. In history essays you can point out a particular category over the others, but ensure to be able to emphasize why your conclusion sounds like that.)

How & Where to Do the Research?

In order to explain all the categories that you want to include in your essay, it is necessary to do some research. Take your time because you need to have enough information to be able to write an essay that deserves an A. You’ve already chosen your topic and determined the categories. Besides, you have put them all in your outline. Now it’s time to be thorough and attentive in order to find as many details as you can to add to every category. When you cite authoritative and trustworthy resources in the history classification essay, you will make it look more credible.

Use historical sources available on the internet and at your college library. Don’t think that searching for information at your local library is boring. The truth is that the college librarians know the archives very well and they will definitely be able to recommend something worth your attention. Find relevant materials in The Historical Journal, Asian Art Museum, History Explorer, Library of Congress or National Archives of the US history to update your essay outline with fresh and interesting ideas supported by relevant evidence.

What Are the Other Useful Notes?

So, now that you have the right structure, plan and the topics for your classification essay in history, it’s time to get started. We’ve come up with some quick recommendations that will also help you produce a project in history that deserves the best grades.

  • It is important to use the same classification principle throughout the essay. Let’s say, you’re writing a classification essay about the ancient wars. In such case, your task is to classify those by the amount of armaments, ammunitions and popularity required. It doesn’t matter what you choose, make sure to classify each category using the same principle.
  • Make sure that your categories don’t overlap. If you realize that you can incorporate this or that category into the other one, it means that they come from different levels. Your task is to use the categories of the same level always. For example, emperors, tsars and rulers is wrong since the first two categories are the sub-categories of the third one. If you happen in the situation when some issue belong to several categories at the same time, make sure to re-check the whole structure of the paper.
  • It is important to define or describe every category. Begin with creating a list if their key categories and then proceed to discussing them.
  • Make sure to give a range of illustrative examples from the subject of history. Search for the examples that offer a traditional representation of the class. Each of them should have an equal amount of examples.
  • Some writing experts recommend using the compare and contrast technique if you need to highlight the range of differences and similarities between every category that you provide.

How to Make Sure the Essay Deserves an A?

Writing a classification essay in history is difficult, and most college students are so tired when they’re done with the paper that they decide to submit it just like that, without re-reading it. That’s a huge mistake! You did a lot of research and stent many hours writing the essay. You’re definitely tired by this time and not that attentive anymore. In order to make sure that your professor is not going to see all the errors that your text has, never skip the editing part! Revisions are there to help you to make sure that your project is pure and clean.

At this point of your classification essay in history, you have a draft, that’s it. And if you fail to revise it more than several times, you risk providing your professor with flawed and incomplete assignment. You don’t like the idea of receiving poor grades, do you? Not after all the time that you have spent in order to complete the paper!
So, begin the revision part with a large review. You have to find quiet environment and read the whole essay. Do you think that something doesn’t work when it comes to the logical order of the paragraphs? Do you notice any gaps? If yes, make sure to provide more information to get rid of the gaps. Do you see that some of the body paragraphs are shorter than the rest? Edit them to make sure the content looks good.

Does your classification essay has a clear message? Erase any overly complex or unnecessary details.

Finally, do some proofreading. When you proofread your essay, check all the names of people, historical places and events to make sure there are no mistakes. Besides, make sure your text includes no grammar, punctuation or style mistakes.

This guide contains just a few recommendations on how you can get started with your classification essay in history. The key to writing a great essay and succeeding with it is in proper preparation. Make sure to spend enough time planning your paper and pondering over the categories. Thus, you will be able to ensure the rest of the project falls into the chosen structure easily.