What is a Classification Essay?
In a classification essay, a writer organizes, or sorts, things into categories.
Three Steps to Effective Classification:
- Sort things into useful categories.
- Make sure all the categories follow a single organizing principle.
- Give examples that fit into each category.
This is a key step in writing a classification essay. To classify, or sort, things in a logical way, find the categories to put them into. For example, say you need to sort the stack of papers on your desk. Before you would put them in random piles, you would decide what useful categories might be: papers that can be thrown away; papers that need immediate action; papers to read; papers to pass on to other coworkers; or papers to file.
Thesis Statement of a Classification Essay
The thesis statement usually includes the topic and how it is classified. Sometimes the categories are named.
(topic)...(how classified)...(category) (category) (category)
Ex: Tourists in Hawaii can enjoy three water sports: snorkeling, surfing, and sailing.
How to Write an Effective Classification Essay
- Determine the categories. Be thorough; don't leave out a critical category. For example, if you say water sports of Hawaii include snorkeling and sailing, but leave out surfing, your essay would be incomplete because surfing is Hawaii's most famous water sport. On the other hand, don't include too many categories, which will blur your classification. For example, if your topic is sports shoes, and your organizing principle is activity, you wouldn't include high heels with running and bowling shoes.
- Classify by a single principle. Once you have categories, make sure that they fit into the same organizing principle. The organizing principle is how you sort the groups. Do not allow a different principle to pop up unexpectedly. For example, if your unifying principle is "tourist-oriented" water sports, don't use another unifying principle, such as "native water sports," which would have different categories: pearl diving, outrigger, or canoe racing.
- Support equally each category with examples. In general, you should write the same quantity, i.e., give the same number of examples, for each category. The most important category, usually reserved for last, might require more elaboration.
Common Classification Transitions
- The first kind, the second kind, the third kind
- The first type, the second type, the third type
- The first group, the second group, the third group
Remember: In a classification essay, the writer organizes, or sorts, things into categories. There are three steps to remember when writing an effective classification essay: organize things into useful categories, use a single organizing principle, and give examples of things that fit into each category.
Below are some sample classification essay topics:
- Classification of historical events in US
- Countries classification (territory, popularity, etc)
- Sport Cars Classification
- Most Popular TV Shows in America
- Classification of Physiological Diseases
You can choose essay topic for your classification essay you are familiar with.
Television Program Categories
Category 1 News
Newscasts, newsbreaks, and headlines. Programs reporting on local, regional, national, and international events. Such programs may include weather reports, sportscasts, community news, and other related features or segments contained within "News Programs."
Category 2a) Analysis and Interpretation
Programs on various topics that include analysis or discussion, for example, talk or panel shows, consumer affairs or reviews, newsmagazines and documentaries that do not fall under category 2b). This category excludes programs presenting information primarily for entertainment value.
The Commission notes that "Docutainment" programs, gossip or entertainment talk shows fall more appropriately under category 11. Lifestyle magazine shows generally fall under category 5b.
Category 2 b) Long-form documentary
Original works of non-fiction, primarily designed to inform but may also educate and entertain, providing an in-depth critical analysis of a specific subject or point of view over the course of at least 22 minutes. These programs shall not be used as commercial vehicles. Further, programs that fall under the category 11(b) Reality television do not qualify as 2(b) programming.
Category 3 Reporting & Actualities
Programs focusing on the coverage of conferences, political conventions, opening/closing of events (including awards dinners) and political debates, as well as programs of a non-entertainment nature intended to raise funds.
Category 4 Religion
Programs dealing primarily with (i.e. more that 50%) religion and religious teachings, as well as discussions of the human spiritual condition.
Category 5a) Formal Education & Pre-school
Programs presenting detailed information related to a wide variety of topics and used by the viewer primarily to acquire knowledge. The programs can be related to established curricula. All programs targeted at pre-schoolers (ages 2-5) except those that are primarily comprised of drama.
Category 5b) Informal Education/Recreation & Leisure
Programs presenting information on recreation, hobby and skill development, recreational sports and outdoor activities, travel and leisure, employment opportunities, and talk shows of an informative ("how-to") nature.
Category 6 Sports
Programs of live or live-to-tape sports events and competitions including coverage of professional and amateur tournaments. The category also includes programs reviewing and analysing professional or amateur competitive sports events/teams (i.e. pre- and post-game shows, magazine shows, scripted sports, call-in and talk shows, etc.). This category includes the following sub-categories:
Category 6(a) Professional sports
Category 6(b) Amateur sports
Documentaries on sports-related topics fall under category 2. Programs on leisure and recreational sports fall under category 5b).
Music and Entertainment
Category 7 Drama and Comedy
Entertainment productions of a fictional nature, including dramatisations of real events. They must be comprised primarily of (i.e. more than 50%) dramatic performances. Category 7 includes the following subcategories:
a) On-going dramatic series
b) On-going comedy series (sitcoms);
c) Specials, mini-series, and made-for-TV feature films;
d) Theatrical feature films aired on television;
e) Animated television programs and films (excludes computer graphic productions without story lines);
f) Programs of comedy sketches, improvisations, unscripted works, stand-up comedy; and
g) Other drama, including, but not limited to, readings, narratives, improvisations, tapes/films of live theatre not developed specifically for television, experimental shorts, video clips, continuous action animation (e.g. puppet shows).
Category 8a) Music and dance
Programs comprised primarily (i.e. more than 50%) of live or pre-recorded performances of music and/or dance, including opera, operetta, ballet, and musicals. The performance portion excludes videoclips, voice-overs or musical performances used as background.
Category 8b) Music video clips
Short film or videotape productions or concert excerpts (clips) not produced primarily for the particular program in which they are presented, which normally contain one musical selection with visual material.
Category 8c) Music video programs
Programs consisting primarily (i.e. more than 50%) of music videos and in some cases including a host and other programming elements.
Category 9 Variety
Programs containing primarily (i.e. more than 50%) performances of mixed character (e.g. not exclusively music or comedy performances) consisting of a number of individual acts such as singing, dancing, acrobatic exhibitions, comedy sketches, monologues, magic, etc.
Category 10 Game shows
Programs featuring games of skill and chance as well as quizzes.
Category 11(a) General entertainment and human interest
Programs primarily about the world of entertainment and its people. These programs include celebrity profiles that may use promotional footage, talk or interview shows, award shows, galas and tributes. They also include entertainment-oriented magazine shows; fund-raising shows which include entertainers (i.e. telethons); human interest programs consisting of live or live-to-tape footage without significant portions devoted to in-depth analysis or interpretation; and coverage of community events such as carnivals, festivals, parades and fashion shows.
Programs consisting primarily (i.e. more than 50%) of performances fall under categories 7, 8 or 9.
Category 11(b) Reality television
Programs that present unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, document actual events and typically feature ordinary people instead of professional actors. This type of programming involves passively following individuals as they go about their daily personal and professional activities.
Though unscripted, this programming may be directed and may resemble a soap opera – hence the popular references to “docusoaps” and “docudramas.”
Though this type of programming may be factual, it lacks or has very minimal amounts of in-depth critical analysis of a specific subject or point of view that is the key defining element of category 2(b) Long-form documentary programming.
Category 12 Interstitials
Programs with a running time of less than 5 minutes, exclusive of advertising and other interstitial material, consisting of material that can be described under categories 2 to 11.
Category 13 Public service announcements
Messages of less than 5 minutes duration intended to educate the audience about issues of public concern, encourage public support and awareness of a worthy cause, or promote the work of a non-profit group or organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in local communities or in society or the world at large. These include community billboards. These messages are not intended to sell or promote goods or commercial services. No payment is exchanged between broadcasters and producers for the broadcast of these messages.
When public service announcements are logged, the start and end times must be entered, the program class must be "PSA" and two components of the key figure must be recorded: "Origin" and "Category" (130). No other components should be entered.
Category 14 Infomercials, promotional and corporate videos
Programming exceeding 12 minutes in length that combines information and/or entertainment with the sale or promotion of goods or services into a virtually indistinguishable whole. This category includes videos and films of any length produced by individuals, groups and businesses for public relations, recruitment, etc.
When this material is logged, the start and end times must be entered, the program class must be "PGI", and the category 140. No other components of the key figure should be entered.
Category 15 Filler programming
Programming, in no case longer than 30 minutes in duration, the purpose of which is to fill in the time between the presentation of the major programs broadcast by the licensed pay services and those specialty services authorized to distribute filler programming, and includes material that promotes the programs or services provided by the licensee.
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