Writing a process analysis paper is not as overwhelming a task as it seems. Like many other writing assignments, if you understand the assignment, and approach it using good strategies, you can write a successful paper. This guide will help you understand what a process analysis essay is, provide you with process analysis essay examples to illustrate the advice given, and help you determine the best process analysis essay topics.
None of this is as complicated as it seems. A process analysis essay is a paper that explains how something works, how it is accomplished, or how it occurs. As the writer, you will present the steps in the process sequentially, or you may present steps in order of importance. In addition to that, any terms or ideas that are not familiar to the audience should be explained or defined.
Imagine that you are writing a process analysis essay about building a computer. Since the process results in a product, and the order of steps matters, you would likely use a sequential order. If your audience is likely to be unfamiliar with computer terms, you would provide definitions as needed.
Now, imagine that you were writing about the process of becoming a more positive person. In this case, you might start with smaller actions, and progress up to larger and more impactful actions. In this case, the sequence would matter less, and you might write about each step in order of importance.
The choice you make in this area will depend on the topic you choose. In some cases, the topic will be provided in the assignment. In other cases, it will be up to you to select the topic yourself.
As you make your choice, keep in mind that you will be explaining the steps of a process. If you pick the wrong topic, you could find yourself boring your audience or struggling to meet your word requirement. Some topics may be too broad for this kind of paper as well. Try to apply the following tips when choosing your topic:
Here are some topic suggestions to inspire you.
Like most other essays, your paper will be divided into three parts. The paragraphs below will describe these in detail.
The introduction is usually a single paragraph. It will articulate what the process is, and why it is relevant. Unlike other essays, there’s really no need for background information or a ‘hook’. For example, if you write an essay about how solar energy can power a home, you don’t need to pontificate about the benefits of solar power. Just get directly to the point. This is one essay where you don’t need a powerful thesis statement. You aren’t proving anything here, just explaining it.
The body of your essay will consist of several paragraphs. The first of these will list the tools, hardware, software, ingredients, and other resources needed to complete the process in question. If there is specific information regarding how to obtain materials or safety concerns, mention those here. The idea is to prepare the reader and inform them of any risks or precautions.
The remaining body paragraphs will explain the process, or provide instructions to the reader so that they may execute the process themselves. The action step will be the main idea with any additional information being the supporting points. Use words that indicate sequence such as after, next, and before.
Finally, the concluding paragraph should reiterate the process. It should also clarify what the final results should look like.
Analysis is the art of creation through destruction.
― P.S. Baber
Now that you are aware of the essay structure, you can begin the first task in composing your essay. This is where you create the outline. This will allow you to form the structure of your essay and will ensure that you don’t miss anything the reader must know as far as materials or steps go.
Use the structure described above to format your essay. You’ll introduce the process in the introduction, mention its relevance to your audience, and perhaps provide a real-world example of its application.
Next come the body paragraphs. Remember to start with the list of materials needed, where to source them, and any precautions. Then, outline the steps to take in the rest of the body paragraphs.
Finally, create the outline segment for your concluding statements. Remember to let the reader know what to expect from the final results. This way they can check their own results should they try the process themselves. Even if they don’t execute the steps it will be helpful for them to have a clear understanding of the end results of the process.
It is always a good idea to review an example paper. This will give you a working demonstration of what your paper should resemble.
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