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How to Write a Process Essay

October 12, 2017 Types of essays
How to Write a Process Essay

The process essay, also well known as the "how-to" essay is commonly written for people or companies that need tutorials. Whether it's building a robot or cooking a chocolate cake, process essays use a similar format for any variation. They follow a step-by-step style, with the initial step influencing the second which influences the third and etc. Each step carries its own importance, and a poor explanation of one step can ruin the entire process. It's important to stay concise as well as efficient. However, before you begin writing your essay, do some small preparations.

Prepare The Small Stuff

  • Determine the Audience's Skill Level. It's important to center the complexity of the essay based on who the readers will be. For example, if you need to teach a friend or coworker how to do a simple fix or create a certain tool, then it would be intelligent to stick towards more basic terminology. However, if you are writing an essay for your astrophysics professor about the creation of a black hole in our planet, use more sophisticated and informative terminology.
  • Make a list of Materials. Obviously, the creation of anything comes with some prerequisites. Whether it's items or ideas, the importance of having the necessities beforehand and ready to go is substantial. Make sure to place each item in accordance with its importance. The more impactful a part is, the higher up on the list it should be. However, each item should obviously be obtained.
  • Write out each task. In a step-by-step tutorial, each individual task carries some sort of weight. Since an entire process can not be complete if any step is skipped, it's crucial to write out every single step. However, don't go overboard in your explanations. It's not necessary to bring the tutorial to a microscopic level, but each step should be understandable!

Sample Topics

  • The Full-Scale Production of a Movie.
  • From fresh and ready to a "burned out" student.
  • How things decay (Half-Life concept).
  • The development of a bad habit.
  • The process of building a business from scratch.

It's important to note that these are just some common examples used by several college students for their course papers. Feel free to use anyone you want or think of your own. Just make sure it's a PROCESS!

Related: College Essay Topics

Outline

Process essay outline follows the standard procedure: Intro > Body Paragraphs > Conclusion.

Obviously, every process is different. Some can take a couple of minutes while others take months or maybe even years to complete. The length of the essay is generally based on the difficulty and number of steps it takes. However, the structure doesn't maneuver.

Follow the link to learn more about How To Create A Winning Outline

Introduction

The first thing that you want to do as a writer is to interest the readers about your individual process. For somebody to be keen on approaching your process, they have to express interest in it. Though that generally goes without saying, many writers ignore this fact. Let's break it down into subsections:

  • Give a little bit of historical background. People often want to know the origins of whatever it is that they're working on. Introducing this part of the process helps to intrigue the reader, as well as give him a sense of purpose for the task.
  • Create an approximate timeframe. Unfortunately, your readers don't have all day to spend on this one event. As well as its purpose, people want to know how long the task will take. This way, they can decide how to break up the work. If it`s a quick fix, then they can knock it out in one session. However, if it's a large-scale operation, then the readers will obviously have to create their own time schedule.

Read more about how to write a great INTRODUCTION

Body Paragraphs

This is the point in the process essay where you start introducing the step-by-step process you need to take. A lot of the time, it helps to break down each process into subsections. For example, if a step has many moving parts, it would be smart to create its own paragraph just for that step. Remember, it's important to keep things smooth and efficient. Break down the body paragraphs in unity with the steps. Let's go into more detail about each step.

  • Each step should be carefully explained. Every step will vary in length.** Think about it: every instruction manual has several steps. Some are more difficult to comprehend or perform than others. For this reason, create your steps and explanations accordingly. You should be able to get a sense of their length and difficulty based on the explanation.
  • Don't forget to explain the purpose. People don't want orders barked at them aimlessly. Besides just accomplishing a task, people want to learn as they perform.
    • Why did they do this?
    • What was the purpose of this method?
    • Why did we do it this way and not this other way?
  • To make everything flow smoothly use transitions. Make the steps flow one after another to create a well-structured essay. As you introduce next step, consider using transition words like “next”, “now”, “then”, “so that”, etc.

Showing the readers that they are learning and not just repeating is one of the most effective ways to lock down their attention and keep them coming back!

Conclusion

After going through every step meticulously and explaining the whole process, the essay needs a confident conclusion. This paragraph should be short, sweet, and to the point. It's main goal is to accomplish 2 tasks:

  • Talk about the main result. After the readers have completed the process, they should be left with a final result. It's important that you explain to the readers what the end result will look like, and what can be done with it.
  • Think about it like this. After completing a task, you obviously would like to know its overall purpose. When the reader feels that he accomplished a challenge, learned something from it and has a path to take the result towards, he will be satisfied!
  • Restatement as well as Overall Conclusion. To put a pretty tie around the process essay means that you need to neatly wrap things up! Restate some of the highlightable points as well as the key overall purpose. Make sure that the reader feels accomplished after going through your process, and strengthen the necessity of the purpose with a nice concluding sentence!

Process Essay Quote

Post-Writing Tips

  • Make sure it's simple enough to follow: The worst-case-scenario an author can create is a feeling of absolute confusion in the readers mind.To avoid this problem, always keep in mind that your readers can be beginners. Because of that don’t try to impress them with complicated words or sentences, use simple language to provide clear directions on how to do something. Give as much details as possible, but do it plainly.
    • "Why is he making me do this?"
    • "What was the purpose of this?"
    • "I don't understand this step at all!"
  • If the reader is asking himself these questions, then it's time to do some editing!
  • Experiment and try it for yourself, or ask a friend. There's no better way to experience success then actively attempt through your own instructions. If everything truly makes sense, then you should have no problem solving the task through your own words. Even better, ask a peer to try it through your words to get an outside point of view.

Example

Process Analysis Example

Process Essay Example

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

When you enter your first writing course, it is likely that your first assignment is a process essay. A composition like this should help you get a grip of an essay structure and progression. A process paper is a useful piece of work, as when the reader of your paper finishes reading it, they know something new! My only tip for you writing this essay is not to overwhelm your reader with directions. Be clear on every single point that you make. Another piece of advice I can give you is to watch out for boring connectors. If you begin each sentence with “and then” your reader will get bored and possibly confused. While writing, you can use the “and then” connectors, but then go back and edit them out. Your essay will sound a lot cleaner and be less repetitive. You might also be tempted to say “first” and “second”, but don’t do it. Let the language do the work for you.

Tutor Joseph, essay writer

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