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How to Write a Process Essay: Things You Need to Know

October 29, 2015 - Posted to Catchy Research Paper Topics

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Process Essay Definition

A process essay serves one of two purposes. It either explains how something is done, or it explains how something works. If you write an essay about how to do something, readers should understand how to do that thing when they are finished reading your essay. If you write about how something works, your readers should understand how that process works. In a way, a recipe could be considered to be an example of a process essay.

Choosing Your Topic: Step One of Writing a Process Essay

The first thing you will have to do when writing a process essay is to select a process that you are familiar with. If you can find something that you enjoy and can turn into a process essay, that is even better. If you cannot think of a process essay topic, here are a few ideas that are simple enough that you could write about them with little to no research. Here are a few topics that involve explaining how to do something:

  • How to start a conversation with somebody at a party
  • How to pack a bag for an overnight trip
  • How to plant a tree
  • How to clean your bedroom
  • How to cook breakfast for a crowd
  • How to save money at the grocery store
  • How to use an ATM

Here are a few topics explaining how things work:

  • How solar panels collect energy from the sun
  • How information is sent over the internet
  • How the speaker of the house is selected
  • What happens when you put something in the microwave
  • How a bowling pin setter works
  • How a cruise ship stays afloat

Writing the Process Essay Introduction

The introduction is the first element you need to consider in the process of writing an essay. Obviously, you don't want to simply write a few awkward sentences simply stating what you will be explaining. You want to introduce your topic in a way that gets your readers interested. For example, rather than writing:

Many people do not know how to fix breakfast for a large group of people. It is a hard process that requires good timing and a lot of multi-tasking.This essay will explain how to cook breakfast for a crowd.

You might write:

Two years ago, I decided to make breakfast for my family. It was a disaster. The scrambled eggs were finished before the pancakes and were cold when I got them to the table. The sausage and bacon were overcooked because I kept them on the stove top for too long. Thankfully everybody was gracious and thanked me for my efforts. Later, my uncle, a short order cook, offered to show me how to cook a proper diner style breakfast for a crowd.

What to Include in the Body Paragraphs

If you are writing an essay that gives readers instructions, the first body paragraph should contain a list of the materials needed and any other instructions the reader needs to get started. The remaining body paragraphs are reserved for the actual instructions.

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