Main Rules to Be Observed when Writing a Process Analysis Essay

A process analysis essay describes how something is done, how a task is performed, or how something happened. When you are giving systematic instructions about a process, it is called a directional process essay. If you are defining how something happened in chronological order, it is called a narrative. To write a proper process analysis essay you should follow these rules:

  1. State what you are going to describe: This is your topic and it should be very precise. For example, “How to boil an egg” leaves the question of whether the egg is going to be soft boiled or hard. The correct topic in this case would be “How to soft/hard boil an egg.”
  2. Prepare an outline: This is essential and extremely helpful. Write briefly each step of the process in chronological order. You can later add details to the steps.
  3. List the requirements: Make a numbered list of things, tools, ingredients, and other necessities to carry out the process. Mention the alternatives if any.
  4. Define technical terms: If your essay describes a process that is based on specialized knowledge, such as woodwork, you should write the definitions of any technical terms you are going to use in the instructions. It is helpful to add symbols or pictures to clarify the term.
  5. Warnings and caution: It is especially important to write the potential hazards or difficulties your reader may encounter while carrying out the process. Here you start using the active voice. Address your reader directly.
  6. Instructions: Use the outline to give directions in chronological order. You can use numbers to give exact sequence of steps. Here you should address your reader in the second person (you, your, yours). Your voice should be active and direct, your words understandable. The most important part of the step should begin the instruction. Keep your sentences and paragraphs as short as possible. For example: Step 4: Spread the glue evenly on the sheet of paper. Avoid getting your hands smeared with glue, as it can be hard to remove.
  7. End your essay with a description of what your reader should expect to see at the end of the process. Include indicators of success. For example, “Your pudding should now be thick with a continuous layer of brownish cream on the surface.”
  8. Include pictures and other methods to make the steps easier to follow. “Creamy” can mean different textures to different people!