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How to Write a Process Essay: Topics, Writing Guide & Tips

During college years, you will need to write hundreds of assignments. Some of them will be quite simple and won’t take you more than several hours to complete, while others may require weeks and lots of energy.

One of them is a process essay. Even if the title doesn’t seem familiar, you have surely faced it before in the form of instructions, directions, and manuals. In the majority of cases, process papers are used to clarify complex technical issues through orderly and logical descriptions. That is why process assignments are often long and detailed.

However, such essays are more than instructions. You not only need to describe steps that were involved but also break up the topic on analytical subdivisions.

The biggest challenge of writing a process essay is to have a deep understanding of the topic. You need to process tens of academic and reliable sources, and then serve your essay in a clear and readable manner.

What is a process essay – definition

The process essay describe the process of doing something. To put it simply, a process paper starts with the words ‘How to.’ With its help, readers get information on how something is completed and improve their knowledge in a variety of fields. Process essays may concern recipes, manufacturing, or any other issues. So if you are reading manuals on how to make a birthday cake, it will surely fall into a category of a process paper.

The quality of your essay may be measured in the quality of information the reader obtained. Did he learn something new? Was he able to recreate the discussed process on his own?

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the structure and content of a process paper!

Pro tip! According to the expert writers behind the research papers at WriteAnyPapers, knowing how to write a process essay is also very helpful when it comes to crafting your research methodology.

Process essay outline & structure

If you want to learn how to write a process essay, you should always start by getting familiar with its structure. Luckily, an outline of a process paper is very simple and is not different from other types of essays.

It must consist of three main parts: introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Each of them has particular goals and plays an important part in the overall result. Here is an example of your essay’s outline:

IntroductionA paragraph that consists of the goal of your writing. It should explain why you decided to choose a particular topic and how your approach differs from the rest.
Body paragraphsThey make up the biggest part of your essay. Devote a separate paragraph to every stage of the manual. Your paragraphs should have a logical connection with the help of transition words.
ConclusionIn the final section of your essay, you need to explain once again why the chosen topic is important. It is your last chance to prove that you are competent in the topic, and your opinion can be trusted. If possible, give examples of your own experience on the topic.

Remember, a good process paper is about a range of steps that your audience needs to complete to achieve a certain goal. Choose the vocabulary wisely to avoid wordiness and make sure that your text is understandable and easy to read.

The thesis of a process essay

You should always end your introduction with a thesis. It is a crucial part of any essay because it tells the audience about the issues you are going to address and gives information on how you are planning to solve them. Thesis always gives readers a direction.

However, describing a process may not always require a thesis. For example, when your paper is really brief, and you don’t need to explain why you decided to choose a particular issue. To be on a safe side, talk to your tutor, and ask for specific guidelines.

How to write a process essay in 6 steps

1. Determine your audience

Before you start the essay, it is necessary to pay attention to the audience. Who are they? What expectations do they have? In such a way, you will understand who and how to address and what language to use.

To make this stage simpler, follow the questions below:

  • Does your audience have knowledge of the subject? Will you need to give them background details?
  • Will they require only basic information, or is it possible to give advanced data?
  • What language and style should be used?

2. Create a list of materials or tools

Provide readers with a list of equipment, materials, and tools that they will need in order to complete the process or task that you are explaining.

Without having access to all of the instruments, it will be impossible for the readers to implement your manuals on practice.

3. Make an outline

There is no difference whether you will need to conduct prior research on the subject or will be able to write the paper on your own: there should always be a process essay outline. Once you come up with ideas of what to write about, it is necessary to make notes.

In such a way, you will have a ready list of the things to discuss and will never have to experience writer’s block.  If you decide to entrust everything to your memory, you risk forgetting a few important things. Make a plan or a list of the things to include in your essay, and you will see how much simpler the writing will be.

4. Start with the introduction

There is no need to hurry and to start writing the body at once. Begin with an introduction, which will help you to tell the readers about the topic. Explain why you have chosen it and how it may be useful. At the end of this article, you will find process essay topics in case you are not sure what to write about.

5. Transition to the body

It is important to provide a smooth transition between sections and paragraphs. It will not only allow you to distinguish where sections start and end but also to make the text readable and clear.

The golden rule of body paragraphs in a process paper is the same as for other types of essays: devote a separate paragraph to a particular stage or idea.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that most likely your audience has never done the process before. That is why you need to provide them with maximum details and information. Your essay will surely be a success if you give readers all the necessary data.  You will probably agree that the whole point of an essay will be lost if the audience won’t be able to complete the assignment after reading it.

6. Make the conclusion

Now, when all the key paragraphs of your essay are written, you only need to summarize them and collect in the form of a conclusion.

Just paraphrase main ideas and stages you have discussed throughout your work.  Remember, you will have only a few sentences, so try to be brief and straightforward.

Tips for writing a process essay

Here are a few tips that will help you when working on a process paper:

  1. If else is not indicated by your tutor, it is possible to avoid writing a thesis. Describing a process is rather simple, and there is sometimes no need in creating an introduction with a broad explanation of why you have discussed a particular process.
  2. If there is a chance to break the process into simpler stages, it will be a big plus. For example, instead of indicating ‘write a resume,’ it is better to write additional paragraphs on the main stages of resume writing.  The same concerns cooking, building and other multi-component processes.
  3. To make your opinion more valuable, you can refer to reliable sources. Add links to video tutorials and articles, provide charts and images. However, if you create a bibliography, make sure you use an appropriate citing style.
  4. Follow your own voice and style.  Try to find a personal approach to the topic, because most likely readers will lose interest in your paper if they have already read similar ones.
  5. Make sure you know the requirements in advance. This especially concerns the word count. In most of the cases, such essays are not long, but there may always be exceptions. If you have some characters left, add statistics, facts, jokes and interesting examples from your life.
  6. Pay attention to the audience’s points of view. You need to try and walk in their shoes, understanding how they feel.  Try to make your instructions as simple as possible, so that even completely inexperienced readers will understand them.

Transitions in a process essay

Now, let us discuss the most appropriate transition words and phrases. With their help, you will make your essay smooth and easy to read. Don’t forget about punctuation, because it is highly important and can drastically change the meaning of your text.

To mark stages in your process paper, it is better to use the following transitions:

  • The first step..
  • Secondly,…
  • After that,..
  • Next thing you need to..
  • Before the following step,..
  • Finally,..
  • At last,..
  • The final stage is..

Selecting good process essay topics for college

As you already know, there are thousands of topics for a process essay. The only limit is your imagination and requirements of the tutor. Let us offer a few examples that will surely give you a direction!

“How to” topics for a process essay

  1. How to become a poker star.
  2. How to become skinny without dieting.
  3. How to become a perfect partner.
  4. How to succeed in a certain career.
  5. How to fight bad habits.
  6. How to beat insomnia.
  7. How to build a house.
  8. How to fight laziness.
  9. How to plan a vacation.
  10. How to wash gentle clothes.

Funny process essay topics

  1. How to feed a duck.
  2. How to get rid of a sibling without crossing the law.
  3. How to ride your dog.
  4. How to survive a day with a toddler.
  5. How to be sober on a student party.
  6. How not to be kicked out of college.
  7. How to travel to Vegas without losing all your money.
  8. How to leave a date.
  9. How to enjoy pizza without gaining weight.
  10. How to become the burger king.
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