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Essays That Describe A Process

What Is a Process Essay

The process essay is, in simple terms, a HOW-TO essay. This type of paper serves to inform the reader on how something is done, i.e. teach him the steps for reaching a certain goal. The goal can be everything – starting from how something is built or manufactured, to how you cook a delicious meal.

A proper process essay should serve to lead its reader through the task and ensure certain success. In most cases, it is used to inform people who are new or inexperienced in the task.

In order to write a brilliant essay, you need to follow the traditional essay structure:

1.Introduction

In the introduction the writer reveals the aim of the paper, leaving out the specific details for later. This part is much shorter than the body of the essay, providing the reader with basic background information, as well as the meaning of the discussed process and its life application.

Basically, the introduction of an essay serves to showcase why the reader needs this knowledge and what he should expect from the remaining of the paper.

2.Body Paragraphs

How many body paragraphs you will have depends on the process stages? However, make sure that this part is not too lengthy or complex to understand. Each of the stages should be presented in a previously planned order, listing one stage in one paragraph.

In addition to this, the stages of your essay’s body should include the details that are necessary for the procedure to be completed properly, including the equipment and tools that need to be used, as well as the main difficulties and possible troubles the reader may experience in the process.

3.Conclusion

The conclusion paragraph is the shortest part of all three and serves to reveal the results of the process. In addition to this, the conclusion serves to summarize the idea of the guide, as well as provide the reader with a thesis restatement that reinforces the procedure’s significance.

How to Write a Process Essay Step by Step

Yes, the structure is similar for all essays, but the question still remains 'How to write a process essay'?

Writing a process essay is very simple, but only when you know the step-by-step approach that allows for crafting a brilliant paper. To help you out, we have created a list of things you should do before, while and after crafting the essay.

Step 1: Determine the Target Audience

Before you start writing, take the time to think who your audience is and what they expect from your paper. This will help you determine what you need to address, as well as what language to use while doing so.

Ask yourself the following question:

  • Is your audience educated in the topic? Do you need to provide them with some background, specific information?

  • Should you cover the basics only? Or should you also move onto the advanced things?

  • What language should you use in the essay?

Step 2: Create a List of Materials or Tools

A process essay discusses how a thing is done, and we all know that in order to do something, you need to use some materials or tools. Therefore, before you start writing, create a complete list of the tools or materials the reader will need to finish the task you are explaining.

Step 3: Make an Outline

If you have concluded research for this essay, write down notes as to what you are planning to include in the content. In most cases, a process essay will require that you go through the task yourself. This will help you write down the steps clearly as you go. If you use your memory to write this essay, you can easily neglect an important step or two.

Create a short outline that will include all this information and guide you through the writing process.

Step 4: Start Writing

Do not forget about the main structure – every essay must include an introduction, body and conclusion. In addition to this, implement these tricks and tips:

  • Draw the reader in with the introduction

Do not just rush into the writing. The essay must begin with a concise, yet creative introduction. The goal here is to create few sentences that draw the reader in.

  • Give the reader some clues

Provide the reader with some information about the length and complexity of the process you are about to discuss. And most importantly, do not forget about the small things. Mention everything the reader will need.

  • Use transitions between sections

Every section must connect to the next one. This allows you to point out to where one section ends, and another one begins, but also serves to provide the reader with nice thought flow.

  • Use the outline for guidance

Do not skip over steps. Your writing will be much easier if you follow the outline you created before. You do not have to follow them strictly. Mix them up, but make sure they are all included.

  • Group the steps in paragraphs

Generally, one paragraph should contain one-step of the process. Use grouping by time, ideas or chronologically. Basically, find the formula that will work best for your target audience.

Many of the readers wont' have done the task before. Therefore, make sure to provide them with any details you have in mind to ensure that the process runs smoothly. If you give them a crystal clear picture of what to do and what to expect, they will have much higher chances of succeeding in the task.

After all, if the reader cannot complete the task properly after reading your essay, it will be you who takes the blame for it.

  • Mention and describe the end product

In a process essay, the reader must know what the final result or product is, as well as what can be done with it. While wrapping up the conclusion, make sure to provide the reader with information of what they should have by the time the task is done.

The best way to do this is by providing them with detailed information that allows them to visualize the final product. In addition to this, you can offer some ideas for future action or steps to take. A completion of one task does not necessarily need to be the end of the process.

  • Reiterate and restate everything in the conclusion

Your conclusion must consist of a summary of everything you have said and achieved though the essay. This is hard to achieve, since conclusions need to consist of only few sentences or a single paragraph. Therefore, in an essay, you must make sure that you are summarizing everything, not repeating it.

This is another place to use your outline. Once you are done writing, come back to the outline and check if you included everything in the text. Keep in mind that the reader may be beginner, and make sure that the content is easy to understand and detailed enough for everyone to finish the task. With this type of paper, you should always avoid using flowery, complex language. Say everything you have to say as plainly as you can.

Take another look at the steps. You should not have too many steps since this can overwhelm the reader. You should not have too few, because this often indicates you have overlooked something. If not, you were probably describing a process that is too simple. Do all the modifications until you achieve the desired result.

When it comes to writing, it is never wrong to get some help. Even the best writing experts out there ask someone to proofread and edit their content. You following and checking your own content might not have the best results. Therefore, get a friend or a professional to test out your essay and point out to things you should change to improve it.

Conclusion

As you can see, writing a process essay is not as hard as you thought. Once you organize your ideas and thoughts, you can easily use the outline for writing a detailed, yet understandable paper. This paper does not require high academic language or flowery phrases – it is actually aimed to guide everyone through a process or a task. Therefore, as long as you follow our tips, you will be able to deliver a brilliant essay.

To help you out, we decided to provide you with some great process essay examples. Check them out and get an idea as to what this essay should look like.

Are you ready to start writing? Take your time and follow all the tips and tricks above. Good luck!

LEO: Literacy Education Online

Writing a Process Essay


What to consider when writing a process essay

A process paper either tells the reader how to do something or describes how something is done. As you write your process essay, consider the following:
  • What process are you trying to explain? Why is it important?
  • Who or what does the process affect?
  • Are there different ways of doing the process? If so, what are they?
  • Who are the readers? What knowledge do they need to understand this process?
  • What skills/equipment are needed for this?
  • How long does the process take? Is the outcome always the same?
  • How many steps are there in the process?
  • Why is each step important?
  • What difficulties are involved in each step? How can they be overcome?
  • Do any cautions need to be given?
  • Does the process have definitions that need to be clarified?
  • Are there other processes that are similar and could help illustrate the process that you are writing about?
  • If needed, tell what should not be done or why something should be done.
  • Process papers are often written in the second person (you), but some teacher prefer that you avoid this. Check with your teacher.

Your responses to these questions and statements should enable you to write an effective process essay.

Suggested transition words to lead readers through your essay

Process essays are generally organized according to time: that is, they begin with the first step in the process and proceed in time until the last step in the process. It's natural, then, that transition words indicate that one step has been completed and a new one will begin. Some common transitional words used in process essays are listed below:

One
time
TransitionAnother
time
TIME
After a few hours,Immediately following,
Afterwards,Initially,
At lastIn the end,
At the same time,In the future,
BeforeIn the meantime,
Before this,In the meanwhile,
Currently,Last, Last but not least, Lastly,
DuringLater,
Eventually,Meanwhile,
Finally,Next, Soon after,
First, Second, Third, etc.Previously,
First of all,Simultaneously,
FormerlySubsequently,
Immediately before,Then,

A Sample Process Essay

Kool-Aid, Oh yeah!

It has been said that Kool-Aid makes the world go 'round. Let it be advised, however, that without the proper tools and directions, the great American beverage is nothing more than an envelope of unsweetened powder. There are five simple steps to create this candy-tasting concoction.

Picking the proper packet of flavoring is the first step in making Kool-Aid. Check the grocer's shelf for a wide variety, ranging from Mountain Berry Punch to Tropical Blue Hawaiian. If it is a difficult decision for you, knock yourself out and buy two. The packets usually run under 65 cents.

After choosing the flavor that best suits your taste buds, the second step is making sure that your kitchen houses some necessary equipment for making the Kool-Aid. Find a two-quart pitcher. Plastic is nice, but glass pitchers allow the liquid to shine through and add festive coloration to any refrigerator shelf. Next, find a long-handled wooden spoon, a one-cup measuring cup, a water faucet that spouts drinkable water, usable white sugar, and an ice cube tray full of ice. Then, you are ready to mix.

Third, grab the left edge of the Kool-Aid packet between your thumb and index finger. With your other hand, begin peeling the upper-left corner until the entire top of the envelope is removed. Next, dump the contents of the envelope into the pitcher. Notice how the powder floats before settling on the bottom of the pitcher. Then, take the measuring cup and scoop two cups of sugar into the pitcher as well. At this point, adding the water is a crucial step. Place the pitcher under the water faucet and slowly turn on the cold water. If the water is turned on too quickly, powder will fly all over when the initial gusts of water hit. After the pitcher is filled within two inches of the top, turn the water off and get prepared to stir. With the wooden spoon submersed three-quarters of the way in the liquid, vigorously stir in a clockwise motion until all of the powder is dissolved. Taste it. If the Kool-Aid is not sweet enough, feel free to add more sugar.

Fourth, when you are finished seasoning the Kool-Aid to your liking, rinse off the spoon and the measuring cup. Take a glass from the cupboard. An eight-ounce glass is usually sufficient. But stronger thirsts might prefer a 32-ounce mug. Add ice and then fill the glass with Kool-Aid. Find a comfortable chair, put your feet up, and drink away. After all, Kool-Aid makes the world go 'round.


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For questions and suggestions, please e-mail us at leolink@stcloudstate.edu.


© 1995, 1996, 1997 The Write Place
This handout was written by Heidi Everett and revised for LEO by Judith Kilborn, the Write Place, St. Cloud State University. It may be copied for educational purposes only. If you copy this document, please include our copyright notice and the name of the writers; if you revise it, please add your name to the list of writers.

Last update: 28 September 1997

URL: http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/process.html


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