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Writing a Process Essay

Writing a Process Essay

A process essay aims at describing a particular process through a series of stages or steps. Writing a process essay is not difficult. In fact, we come across these types of essays very often; for example, when writing or reading about how to do something or steps to perform something, and so on. To know more about writing process essays, read this Penlighten article.
Manali Oak
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
We refer to recipe books when learning to cook or to know about a particular dish. We read through user manuals before using new gadgets or home appliances.The form of writing that is used in such help manuals or the way in which how-to articles are written refers to process essay writing. Rather, anything written in the form of steps to do something, can be referred to as a process essay.

What is a Process Essay?

Let's define a process before we understand what a process essay is. A process is defined as a fixed or ordered series of actions that lead to a result. Consequently, a process essay aims at describing how something is done in a sequence of steps. In short, a process essay describes a procedure and gives a step-by-step explanation of a process (abstract or concrete) that has a planned outcome. There are two types of process essays; namely, directional and informational.
  • A directional process essay gives the steps in a procedure, which the user can recreate and achieve the expected results. A directional process essay directs the reader about something. For example, an essay that guides the readers to find a particular university, can be called a directional essay.
  • An informational process essay analyzes a process and gives information about how something happens or happened. An informational process essay informs the reader of something. For example, an article on how waterfalls are formed can be called an informational essay.
The process essay definition can be given as the explanation of a process that involves explaining the steps in it. It is an essay in which how to do something is explained in a step-by-step manner. The answer to every 'how-to' is a process essay. Some examples of this essay type include:
How to Write a Process Essay
  • Before you begin writing a process essay, you should thoroughly understand the process which you are going to write about. You also need to understand the exact steps that need to be taken, for the process to achieve the desired result.
  • It is not enough to know just one method of completing the process. As a process essay writer, you should know the different possible methods for it, and make a mention of them.
  • However, it is advisable to focus on only one method of completing the process. Choose the one which you have understood best so that you can explain it well in your essay. Also consider which method is most likely to be understood by the readers.
  • While writing a process essay, analyze the process so as to understand and explain its significance.
  • Write from the perspective of the readers, considering the knowledge they need to have, in order to understand the process that you are trying to explain.
  • To write an effective process essay, you should know exactly, how many steps are there in the process, why each step is important, what is the time required for each step, and what is its outcome.
  • Provide your readers with the details of what precautions need to be taken while performing the process. Warn them of the difficulties they may face while executing each step and also give them tips on making the process easier.
  • The process that you are trying to explain in your essay might be complex. You might need to use some technical or scientific terms in the essay. You might be required to give some complex definitions. Make sure you elaborate on the terms and concepts that may be difficult to comprehend.
  • If you are handling a complex process in your essay, think of other processes that are similar to the one you are writing about. Analogies can help the readers understand a difficult process in a better way.

Let us look at the standard format of a process essay and some tips for writing one.
  • Ideally, the title of a process essay should inform the readers about the process you are going to explain.
  • The introduction should give the readers, a background of the process and explain its importance to them.
  • The body of the essay should consist of an explanation of the steps required to carry out the process.
  • Each step should have a suitable description and a logical link with its preceding and following steps. The body text can also include a brief description of the significance of each step and its specific purpose.
  • It is advisable to devote one paragraph per process stage. Use transitional words and phrases like 'after a few hours', 'in the mean time', 'during', 'finally', or 'in the end', to lead the readers from one paragraph to another.
  • But avoid the excessive use of connectors like 'then'. Also, avoid an overuse of imperative statements, or your essay will turn out to be dry.
  • The concluding paragraph of a process essay presents the process results and attempts to reinforce the significance of the procedure. It is best to summarize the main steps of the process in the concluding lines of the essay.
  • The conclusion of a process essay can also include some sources of related information that the readers can refer to.
Proofreading is an important step in essay writing and process essays are no exception. Do not forget to proofread your essay so as to eliminate punctuation and formatting errors. Put yourself in the readers' shoes and assess what you have written. If you like your essay, it's definitely your best and that means you can get ready for writing another.