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JULY 21: SECOND ESSAY IS DUE (A process analysis essay with a minimum of 500 words)
A process analysis essay is one that describes how to do something. For example, how to change a starter on a pickup, or how to build a model. (Please do not write any recipes or copy out of a manual. It has to be something that you know how to do).
A Brief Guide to Writing Process Essays
When writing a process essay, your main goal is to write a paper that describes how something is done or how to do something. Therefore, the first thing you need to do when writing one of these papers is determine what the process is that you will be trying to explain. In addition, you need to determine why this process would be important to your target audience, including what and who the process affects.
Since you will be explaining how a process works when you write a process essay, you will obviously need to gain a clear understanding of the steps within the process. In addition to understanding one method of completing the process, however, you also need to consider other possible methods of completion. When you write your paper, you should choose the method that is the clearest and the most likely to be understood by your target audience.
If you are writing about a process that may be confusing to the reader or that requires an understanding of certain information or processes, you might need to provide a bit of background information in your paper as well. Similarly, you will need to discuss any equipment that might be necessary to complete the process.
In the introductory paragraph of process essays, you will tell the reader what the process is that you will be discussing as well as why it is important to understand the process. In the subsequent paragraphs, which are those that make up the body of the essay, you will describe the steps in chronological order. In addition to describing the steps, you might provide a brief summary of why the step is important as well. Similarly, if there are certain problems that might occur during a particular step, you might describe the potential problem as well and how those problems can be handled.
Since a process paper involves describing steps, you will use a great deal of transitional phrases. Examples of transitional phrases include:
• After a few hours,
• Immediately following,
• In the end,
• At last,
• At the same time,
• In the future,
• In the meantime,
• Before this,
• First, second, third,
• Next, soon, after
By using these transition words, you can clearly signal to the reader when you are moving from one step to the next.
Keep in mind that a process essay isn’t necessarily intended to provide the readers with enough instruction to allow them to reconstruct the process. At the same time, they should have a clear understanding of the process that was used.
In your final paragraph, which is your conclusion, you will summarize the activity you have just described and you will reiterate the importance of understanding the process. When the paper is complete, be certain to read it again in order to check for grammar and punctuation errors. In addition, read to make sure the essay flows naturally and has a logical order.
Choose a topic. This step requires lots of thought and consideration. You have to decide whether to explain an entire process or just part of it. Most often, it is best to choose a very specific process or a specific aspect of a larger process to write about. If you choose a process that is too broad, there may be too many steps involved and your reader might get confused. If you must choose a broader process, categorize the steps involved so that the reader can easily understand everything.
Understand the process that you’ve chosen. Make sure that you fully understand how to perform the process that you are writing about. This will make writing much easier.
Break up the steps involved in the process and carefully consider how to clearly explain each step.
Think about your audience. Knowing how much the audience already knows about the process will help you decide what to include in your essay.
Determine what type of process analysis that you want to write. What do you want the audience to do with the process? Do you want your reader to actually perform the process or do you just want to tell about how to do something?
Decide on a point of view. If your purpose is to have the audience actually perform the steps, it is best to use second person (“you”) to directly connect with the reader.
Develop a thesis statement. The thesis should provide an overview of the process and state its significance in one sentence. The reader should be able to read this one sentence and know exactly what the essay will be about and what to expect. Remember that the thesis statement guides the rest of the essay.
Write an introduction that provides some background information about the process and includes the thesis statement.
Organize the body of the essay chronologically. This is very important for a process analysis essay. If the steps are not in order, it can be very confusing.
Use clear and direct language in the body. Also, make sure that all aspects of body paragraphs directly support the thesis.
Include only details that are essential to each step. Including too much unnecessary information can be confusing.
Use transitions like “first,” “then” and others to ensure that readers follow the process.
Write a conclusion that provides an overview of the process. Remember not to bring up any new steps in the conclusion.
Try performing the process based on the steps that you have included in your essay to make sure that the information is accurate. Revise anything that is unclear.