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How to Write a Process Analysis Essay

Writing a process analysis essay might sound dull, but in fact it’s one of the easiest and most engaging kinds of essays you can write. It gives the reader step-by-step information on how something is done or made, like a recipe or an instruction manual. By the end of the essay, the reader should either be able to perform the process themselves, or understand how the process works. Before you begin you should make sure that you understand the process. You should also know what the reader expects to get from the essay. Do they want to brew their own beer, or do they just want to understand how their favorite beverage gets made?

The good thing about writing a process analysis essay is that the process itself provides the structure for the essay. Each step should have a single paragraph devoted to it. Here’s the structure:

  1. Your introduction should tell the reader what the process is and explain why it’s important or interesting. After the introduction, don’t provide any information that isn’t necessary to complete the process. If a recipe calls for kosher salt, tell the reader to add kosher salt. They don’t need to know the origin and history of kosher salt.
  2. Next, give a thorough list of all tools or equipment necessary. If the items are uncommon, explain what they are or where the reader might find them. If the reader is going to perform the process themselves, provide warnings about any potential safety hazards. Also, as you go through the steps, think about what might go wrong and how they can avoid common mistakes.
  3. Then, explain the steps of the process clearly and in chronological order. Are there some steps that can be performed at various stages in the process? The key is to avoid confusion. With more complicated processes, you might need to subdivide the steps, such as “Step 1a, 1b,” etc. Always write the steps in second person voice (“you”). It’s more direct and personal. You’re going to be using a lot of transitional words and phrases (“next,” “then,” “after,”), so try to very them to keep the essay from becoming repetitive.
  4. In your conclusion, briefly review the whole process to help the reader remember it better and make sure they didn’t miss anything. Something like, “It’s just that simple: first X then Y then Z.”