How to Write a Classification Essay in Psychology & Explain Your Reasoning

Students in high schools and colleges encounter the task to write a classification essay at some stage of their academic life. What is it? Generally speaking, a classification essay is an academic assignment that you use in order to classify things, characters, terms, events or ideas with shared characteristics into certain narrow categories and groups in the field of psychology. Categorizing things is an important activity because it help you to see the similarities and differences between things, people, events, etc.

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How to write a classification essay in psychology? That is a good question and we will try to provide the answer that is as detailed as possible below in our guide.

Classification Essay in Psychology: Where to Begin?

Psychology classes in college or university will require you to write many different types of papers in order to prove your ability to sum up, synthesize and classify information from different sources. Classification essay is one of the paper that you will definitely encounter in class. To understand the purpose of this paper, we recommend you to start with analyzing your target audience. What kind of public is going to read your paper? Is your target audience well-familiar with the psychology terms or do you have to explain them? Is it required to provide any background information?

Brainstorm on Psychology Topic

For your classification essay in psychology, you have to choose a topic that will not only interest your audience, but can be also divided into several types or categories. To come up with a captivating topic, you can read news, blogs dedicated to psychology, watch movies or even talk to your professor. If nothing helps, make sure to check our topics for a classification essay in psychology:

  • Psychologists and Their Types;
  • Major Perspectives in Psychology;
  • Psychological Issues of Immigration;
  • Stages of the Aging Process;
  • Groups of Mental Disorders;
  • Major Types of Personalities;
  • Risk Factors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder;
  • Fundamental Methods of Classification in Psychology;
  • Mental Disorders in Kids and Teenagers.

Make an Outline for Your Psychology Essay

Many students don’t like creating an outline for any type of college essay but we seriously do not recommend you to forget about it. No matter what paper you’re assigned, you cannot make it look professionally written without previous logical plan. In case with the classification essay, you are going to balance many different ideas and concepts, so you need this plan to avoid confusion.
You won’t need more than half an hour to outline your psychology classification essay, but when you use your plan later in the process of writing, you will be very thankful. If you can choose any structure for your classification essay, give your preference to the standard 5-paragraph essay type. In your project, you will have to provide three different categories and classify them. The plan for your classification essay in psychology may look something like this:

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  • Introduction that interests your readers, the thesis statement;
  • First body paragraph (includes the first category);
  • Second body paragraph (includes the second category);
  • Third body paragraph (includes the third category);
  • Conclusion;
  • Separate page with references.

Do Good Research

Preliminary research is an important part of writing a classification essay in psychology because it enables you to find information needed to explain all the categories that you decide to include in your paper. The main rule tells you to use your time properly to do good research. Use only the best and the most reliable sources on the internet such as SimplyPsychology, MedicalNewsToday, VeryWellMind, and many others. By this moment you’re supposed to have all of your categories at hand, so stay concentrated on them to find as many details as you can. To make your classification essay look more trustworthy, do not forget to cite every authoritative source that you use. If you don’t use one – do not pretend like you do because professors don’t like lies.
You will definitely notice that some categories are similar and some are different. That’s why you write your classification essay – to compare and to contrast things. If at some moment you find any new ideas, you still have time to add them to your essay.

Introduction for Classification Essay

In your introduction you can introduce your psychology topic to your readers and give them a short overview of what you’re talking about later in your paper. It is enough to give some pointers, there is no need to reveal it all. The opening paragraph should only attract your reader, help you get him or her interested in your classification. If you are a university student or you’re writing classification essay for any other purpose, chances are that your professor will become your reader. It means you don’t have to explain all terms in psychology because he or she knows it already.

What should you include in your introduction? At first, you can give one or two definitions that will set the tone of your paper. It depends on the general requirements provided by your professor. For instance, if your topic is about social control, your introduction can include the following information:

  • ‘The term known as ‘social control’ is an old concept in psychology that has its roots in the United States of America. The concept has been significantly shaped by Max Weber, August Comte and the other scholars of Europe. Throughout the history of the concept, it has developed into different types, such as organized social control, unorganized social control, spontaneous social control, positive and negative social control, as well as has undergone many different transformations’.

The Body Paragraphs

Before you begin to write this part of the essay, you have to make sure that you know how a paragraph in a classification essay looks like. This part is used to describe your categories. As a rule, the author of the classification essay should write the body paragraph with two parts. The first one is called the topic sentence and the second one is the classification itself.
It is important to structure every paragraph in a logical way. The details have to go down from the most significant to less important, from the most expensive to the cheapest and so on.
The author of the classification essay in psychology decides if he or she wants to provide one paragraph for a particular category or provide a single body paragraph. If you provide a couple of paragraphs for your body section, make sure to concentrate on one category that your topic is divided on. In case you choose a single paragraph, do not forget to number every type. This will help your readers to understand and keep in mind your classification. The body structure of your classification essay about the causes of an eating disorder may look like this:

  • The first body paragraph about genetics;
  • The second body paragraph will be about social pressure;
  • The third paragraph will be about gender;
  • The fourth paragraph will be about brain-based disorder;
  • The fifth paragraph will be about adolescence period.

The author of the classification essay will have to begin every category with a special topic sentence in order to demonstrate the core of this or that classification. Support every category with a detailed and logical explanation of why it matters. Strong arguments and examples from reliable sources should be includes, don’t forget it.

Write Conclusion to End Your Paper

In the concluding paragraph, you have to bring together all the approaches and types that you classified in your body. The author is free to provide a short comment on every classification point, sum up their values or possible limits. Besides, you can use your conclusion to recommend one of the approaches and let your readers know why it is better than the others (don’t forget to say why exactly). Regardless of what method you decide to use, it is important that you ensure that your conclusion clearly highlights the reason and the meaning of your classification.

In the concluding paragraph to the essay on the topic ‘Classification of psychiatric disorders in childhood’, your conclusion can look like this: ‘Mental disorders in childhood are serious changes in the way kids usually behave, learn or deal with their emotions. Anxiety may be presented as worry or fear. Depression is known as the feeling of persistent hopelessness and sadness. TS (Tourette Syndrome) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes children to have ‘tics’ that include sudden sounds, twitches or movements that kids do again and again. But the most common mental disorders in childhood is hyperactivity disorder’.

Do Proofreading & Revise You Classification Essay in Psychology

Even if it was very difficult to do everything that we’ve just talked about, you have made it! You did dome good research, read a lot of materials and wrote your classification essay in psychology. Many students feel tired at this point and they decide to skip the proofreading stage. But revising your classification essay is as important as doing research for it. If you decide not to proofread and revise your essay, you will submit a paper that is full of mistakes and is probably incomplete.

  • Begin the proofreading process by looking at your classification essay. Does it look good? Have you provided all the paragraphs? Are you sure that your structure is clear and your professor won’t be confused when he or she reads it? Now make sure to read the whole paper. Does it sound logically or, maybe, there are some gaps that you didn’t notice at first? If yes, ensure to include all necessary information to fill in those gaps. If some paragraphs are disproportionately bigger than the others, you have to edit them to make it look aesthetical.
  • Is your message clear? Read your classification essay in order to get rid of all the complex or pointless psychology phrases, terms, etc.
  • You have to read every sentence to make sure that it includes all necessary punctuation and is grammatically correct.

General Tips to Write Classification Essay in Psychology

So, you have written, edited and proofread your classification essay. Congratulations! We have saved some quick tips till last. They will also help you to make your paper look better.

  • Make certain that you define all of the categories that you classified. At first, you have to make a list of all their main features and then talk about each.
  • The author of the classification essay in psychology has to include some illustrative examples. Give preference to the examples that have a standard representation of the category. Make sure that all of your categories or types have an the same number of examples.
  • We recommend you to use comparison and contrast method in order to demonstrate the differences and similarities between the chosen categories.
  • Use plain language. When you write in psychology, your writing should be formal, scientific, straightforward and plain. All the writing devices like jokes, alliteration or metaphors should be avoided in a classification essay in this field of knowledge.
  • Make sure your readers will be able to see clearly all the connections between your conclusions.

The recommendations we provided in this guide are just a few tips on how to make a good classification essay in psychology. The key to submitting an A+ classification essay is hidden in the process of preparation. If you make sure to provide the appropriate level of attention to planning your classification essay and sorting out your categories, you will realize that the process of writing is easier than you even thought.

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