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Process Essay

A Process Essay describes a procedure. It gives a step-by-step explanation of a process that leads to an expected or planned outcome. The process may either be concrete or abstract. There are two types of process essays – directional process essays (give instructions in steps on how to accomplish a specific task), and informational process essays (explains or analyzes a process).

To write an effective process essay, keep the following points in mind:

  • The approach depends on the audience for whom the essay is being written.
  • Order the essay chronologically.
  • Explain each stage in a different paragraph.
  • Be clear and thorough in the explanation of the steps.
  • Use transitional words and phrases to logically lead one paragraph to the next.
  • Be careful in the use of connections – too much use of “then”, “and then”, may sound too boring.
  • Don’t number the steps.
  • Be watchful of your pronouns. For example if you have written about how “I” do things, then don’t suddenly say how “you” should do things.
  • Do not use imperative sentences; otherwise you will end up with an instruction manual and not an essay.

If you keep these points in mind, and remember that it is an essay that you are writing, and not merely a set of instructions, you can have a great process essay.  


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