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15 Tips to Help You Write a Stellar Essay
Essay-writing can be easier than you might think if you have a grasp of the basics and a willingness to engage with the subject matter. Here are 15 top tips for writing a stellar essay.
Do Your Research
This is one of the most important tips you’ll ever receive. Research thoroughly, even if it means you have too many notes. It’s better to have to leave stuff out than not have enough to write about.
Make an Outline
Without a properly structured outline (with an intro, a four- to five-point body and a conclusion), your essay may be hard to write and to follow.
While you might just be writing your essay for a teacher or professor that is paid to read it, it still pays to grab their attention. A “hook” like a quote or surprising statistic in your intro can make your reader want to read on.
Lay Out Your Thesis
The intro isn’t all about flair and grabbing attention. It’s also about laying out your thesis. Make your main argument clear in the first few sentences, setting up a question to answer or statement to prove.
Avoid Passive Voice
If you want your writing to be persuasive, passive voice should be avoided. (That sentence was full of it, by the way. For example, “You should avoid passive voice” is a more convincing way to say “passive voice should be avoided.”)
Avoid First-Person Voice
If you’re writing an academic essay, you should almost certainly avoid first-person voice. In other words, avoid saying “I” or “my.” Also restrict your use of the second-person voice (e.g., don’t use “you” unless it’s necessary).
Start With Your Strongest Point
In general, it’s a good idea to start with your strongest argument in your first body paragraph. This sets the scene nicely. However, this might not be appropriate if you are structuring your essay points chronologically.
Relate All Points Back to Your Thesis
Make it clear to your reader how each point you make relates back to your thesis (i.e., the question or statement in your introduction, and probably your title too). This helps them to follow your argument.
Contextualize Without Losing Focus
Add contextualizing information for a richer presentation of your topic. For example, it’s fine (or even desirable) to discuss the historical background for certain events. Just don’t get bogged down by irrelevant details.
Use Transition Phrases
Transition phrases, such as “furthermore,” “by contrast” and “on the other hand,” can also help your reader to follow your argument. But don’t overuse them at the cost of clarity. Read your essay aloud to gauge how it flows.
Conclude With a Return to Your Thesis
A conclusion can do many things, but it’s useful to think of it as an answer to the question or statement in your intro. It’s sensible to summarize your key points, but always relate back to your thesis.
Make Your Conclusion Seem Obvious
Restating your thesis in your conclusion (after having made all of your points and arguments in the body) can be persuasive. Aim to make your conclusion feel irrefutable (at least if it’s a persuasive essay).
If your spelling is sloppy, it’s natural for your reader to assume your approach to writing the essay was too. This could harm the strength of an otherwise persuasive essay.
Grammar is also important, for the same reason. It’s usually easy to pick up on dodgy grammar if you read your essay aloud. If you’re not a native English speaker, however, you might want to ask someone who is to check your essay.
To avoid harming your persuasiveness and authority, it’s fundamentally important to use the right words. Overly obscure language can detract from the clarity of your argument, but if you feel you have to use it, then you better know what it means.
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How to Write a Process Essay: Step-by-step Guide
The process essay, also known as the "how-to" essay, is commonly written for people or companies that need tutorials or a set of instructional steps. Whether it's building a robot or cooking a chocolate cake, process essays use a similar format for any variations. They follow a step-by-step style, with the initial step influencing the second, which influences the third, and so on. Each step carries its own importance, and a poor explanation of one step can ruin the entire process. It's important to stay concise and efficient. However, before you begin writing your essay, you should do some small preparations. Let's discover them with our research writing service .
What Is a Process Paper?
A process essay is a type of essay that explains a process step by step and gives guidance for a certain process, working mechanism, procedure, etc. Process essays range from very simple ones, such as instructions for how to ride a bicycle, to more complex ones, such as a chemistry lab report of an oxidative reaction experiment. The goal of a process paper is to give its readers guidance and directions.
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A process paper is characterized, first of all, by explaining a process using a description. Some words that are frequently used in process essays are “further”, “then”, “next”, “first”, “last”, “finally”, and “initially”. It is really important to remember that every process essay includes features, such as:
- clear and straightforward narration - the last thing you want to do is to confuse your reader with complex language and an unorganized thought thread;
- chronological order - avoid skipping steps and shifting them around, as it will result in misunderstanding and frustration for the readers;
- transition words - make sure to separate the next step from the previous ones by using transition words;
- descriptions of the steps - make sure your steps are clear and easy to follow.
There are several types of process essays. The first one is directional - it explains the “how to” for something. It can take on a wide range of subjects, such as how to apply for a credit card, how to get your driver’s license, how to plan a wedding, etc. The outcome of the directional essay should be a result. In the cases of the examples above: a credit card, a driver’s license, or a carefully planned wedding. The other type of process paper is informational - it explains how something works. Here are some examples: how a weather forecast is determined, how a space rocket works, how intermittent fasting changes your body, etc. An informational essay explains something to a reader and does not necessarily end up with a result, like directional does.
Another type of essay that is similar to a process essay is a process analysis essay. The biggest difference is that a process analysis essay not only explains the steps, but also analyses them in depth. It has all of the characteristics of a process essay, although goes into more detail about the causes and consequences of every step.
If you need any additional information for process analysis essays, check out our article: HOW TO WRITE A PROCESS ANALYSIS ESSAY
How to Write a Process Essay
Writing a process essay is not extremely difficult. By following simple rules and a set of steps, a successful, well-structured essay can be guaranteed.
Prepare The Small Stuff
Here we gathered some small general tips and advice that you should follow throughout your writing process to make sure that all of the expectations of a process paper are met.
- Determine the Audience's Skill Level. It's important to base the level of complexity of the essay on who the readers will be. For example, if you need to teach a friend how to do a simple fix or create a certain tool, then it would be most reasonable to stick to more basic terminology. However, if you are writing an essay for your astrophysics professor about the creation of a black hole in the universe, use more sophisticated and informative terminology.
- Make a List of Materials. Obviously, the creation of anything comes with some prerequisites. Whether it's items or ideas, the importance of knowing the necessities beforehand and having them ready to go is essential. Make sure to place each item in accordance with its importance. The more impactful a part is, the higher up on the list it should be.
- Write out Each Task. In a step-by-step tutorial, each individual task carries some sort of weight. Since an entire process can not be complete if a step is skipped, it's crucial to write out every single step. However, don't go overboard in your explanations. It's not necessary to bring the tutorial to a microscopic level, but each step should be understandable and competent.
If you still have difficulty writing, you can get essay help online from our service.
Process Essay Topics
Choosing a topic for a process paper can be quite challenging. A good place to start is with your passions. If you pick something you are excited about, you can make it interesting for your readers and fun for yourself to write about. If your professor limits you to write a process essay on something you have very little knowledge of, choose a topic that is intriguing and triggers your interest. Then, conduct enough thorough research to make sure you understand everything perfectly before you go ahead and try to explain it to someone else.
Another very important thing to consider while writing a process essay is your audience. It is highly unlikely that college students are interested in instructions for “How to Get Into Your Dream School” or “How to Pass Your SATs”. Make sure your topic relates to the subject you are studying and you are following your professor’s prompt guidelines.
Here are some ideas that might be of interest for you:
- How to lose weight on a keto diet
- How your immune system fights COVID-19
- How to start selling on Amazon
- How to improve your credit score
- How to decrease your social media usage
- How to apply for unemployment insurance
- How to improve your college performance
- How to open your first bank account
It's important to note that these essay topics are just some common examples used by several college students for their course papers. Feel free to use any one of them if you want, or think of one on your own. Just make sure it's a PROCESS!
Process Essay Outline
Most essay outlines follow the standard scheme: Intro > Body Paragraphs > Conclusion . follow the standard scheme: Intro > Body Paragraphs > Conclusion. A good process essay outline should look like this:
- Introduction — brief your reader on your topic, explain why you have chosen it and how you are planning to approach the explanation of the process.
- Body — the biggest part of your essay that should be divided into paragraphs for easier understanding and structure. Make sure each paragraph is flowing smoothly into the next one with connective words.
Paragraph 1. First step of the process. Explain what the step is, what the best way to perform it is, and how to avoid common mistakes when doing it.
Paragraph 2. The next step of the process (the same as in Paragraph 1). Thoroughly explain what this step is about.
- Conclusion . Here you need to explain why your instructions are valuable. It is your opportunity to persuade your reader(s) that the steps you presented and the process they learned will be useful for them in the future.
Every process is different: some can take a couple of minutes, while others can take months or years to complete. The length of the essay is generally based on the difficulty and number of steps it takes. However, the structure doesn't maneuver.
The first thing that you want to do as a writer for your process paper is to help your readers be interested in your individual process. Be descriptive about it, paint a picture for your readers. A joke or a personal reference can be a great attention grabber and can pull your reader right in. For somebody to be keen on approaching your process, they have to express interest in it. Though, it generally goes without saying that many writers ignore this fact. Let's break it down into subsections:
- Give a little bit of historical background. People often want to know the origins of whatever it is that they're working on. Introducing this part of the process helps to intrigue your readers, as well as give them a sense of purpose for the task.
- Create an approximate timeframe. Unfortunately, your readers don't have all day to spend on this one event. In addition to learning about its purpose, people want to know how long the task will take. This way, they can decide how to break up the work. If it's a quick fix, then they can knock it out in one session. However, if it's a large-scale operation, then your readers will obviously have to create their own time schedule.
For example, let’s say that the topic of your essay is “How to Save Money”. You can start the introduction of your process essay by explaining that as a college student, you often find yourself in need of extra money and you are stuck with bad money habits. This will create a good connection with your readers, because almost everyone has been in a situation of needing to be savvy with their finances. Another thing you can mention is the importance of saving money and the multiple opportunities it presents, such as being able to invest it, being able to pay off a credit card debt, or being able to save up to avoid taking out a student loan.
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This is the point in the process essay where you start introducing the step-by-step process your readers will need to take. A lot of the time, it helps to break down each process into subsections. For example, if a step has many parts to it, it would be clever to create a paragraph on its own just for that step. Remember, it's important to keep things smooth and efficient. Break down the body paragraphs in unity with the steps. Let's go into more detail about each step:
Each step should be carefully explained. Every step will vary in length. Think about it: every instruction manual has several steps. Some are more difficult to comprehend or perform than others. For this reason, create your steps and explanations accordingly. You should be able to get a sense of their length and difficulty based on the explanation.
Don't forget to explain the purpose. People don't want orders barked at them aimlessly. Besides just accomplishing a task, people want to learn as they perform.
- Why did they do this?
- What was the purpose of this method?
- Why did we do it this way and not this other way?
To make everything flow smoothly use transitions. Make the steps flow one after another to create a well-structured essay. As you introduce the next step, consider using transition words like “next”, “now”, “then”, “so that”, etc.
Before writing the steps out in full sentences, it is a great idea to create an outline for your body paragraphs. Here is an outline for the body paragraphs of a process essay on “How to Save Money”:
- keep track of your expenses
- organize your collected data
- decide what you can skimp on in your spendings
- create a realistic budget
- check weekly to ensure you are sticking to it
- save 15% of every monthly income
- set a tangible goal for saving, such as a car
This example uses only two body paragraphs, but feel free to include more to ensure a better understanding and cohesive flow for your paper. Although, do not include excessive unnecessary details that clutter your essay and make understanding it even more difficult. While writing your essay, include small brief explanations for each statement. For example, “Even though eating out and grabbing a coffee on your way to class sounds tempting, setting a budget and saving 15% of each of your monthly earnings aside can help you have enough to put down a downpayment on a new car.” Here the reader will understand that there is a direct relationship between each step and the result it is going to give.
Showing the readers that they are learning and not just repeating is one of the most effective ways to lock down their attention and keep them coming back!
After going through every step meticulously and explaining the whole process, a process essay needs a confident conclusion. This paragraph should be short, sweet, and to the point. It's main goal is to accomplish the following tasks:
- Discuss the main result. After the readers have completed the process, they should be left with a final result. It's important that you explain to your readers what the end result will look like, and what can be done with it.
- Restate the process’s general purpose. After completing the task, you obviously would like to know its overall purpose. When your readers feel that they have accomplished a challenge, learned something from it, and have a path to take the result towards, they will be satisfied!
- State your Overall Conclusion. To put a pretty tie around your process essay means that you need to neatly wrap things up! Restate some of the highlightable points as well as the process’s key overall purpose. Make sure that your readers feel accomplished after going through your process, and ensure that you strengthen the necessity of its purpose with a nice concluding sentence!
The conclusion of an essay on “How to Save Money” would explain that the completion of all of the steps will result in saving money that can be used for a specific goal or for rainy day fund purposes. You can mention the importance of every step and briefly repeat some of the key points.
Here are some final tips to wrap up your writing process. Use them as a checklist for a successful and coherent essay.
- Make sure the work is simple enough to follow. Worst-case-scenario: its author creates a feeling of absolute confusion in the reader’s mind. To avoid this problem, always remember that your readers can be beginners. Do not try to impress them with complicated words or sentences, use simple language to provide clear directions on how to do something. Give as many details as possible, but do it plainly. "Why is he making me do this?" "What was the purpose of this?" "I don't understand this step at all!" If the reader is asking themself these questions, then it's time to do some editing!
- Experiment and try it for yourself or ask a friend. There's no better way to experience success than to actively attempt your process through your own instructions. If everything truly makes sense, then you should have no problem solving the task using your own words. Even better, ask a peer to try it through your words to get an outside point of view.
- Choose the right topic for you and research it well
- Maintain a logical order of steps, make it easy to follow
- Avoid using imperative sentences - you do not want to sound like an Apple TV manual
- Explain terms that are most likely outside of most people’s range of common knowledge
If you have a ready-made essay but need to make significant changes to it, you can use our rewrite my essay service .
Now that you know all about process essays and how to write them, we have prepared some great essay topic ideas in case you are stuck and cannot choose one:
Building a business from scratch is an intricate process that entails a number of steps. Each of these steps should have specific objectives and measurable outcomes.The following analysis gives the basic steps followed when building any business from scratch.
Saving can be defined as a differed consumption or keeping aside a portion of your income for unexpected future uncertainties or plans. Read for reason and actual steps for saving more money
Read also a thesis statement example from our author. In this article, you can learn something useful for yourself.
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If you still feel like you could use some help with your process essay, do not hesitate to seek help from our writing service. Our writers specialize in a wide range of essays of different types including creative writing essay , process essays, and would be more than happy to assist you with writing, editing, or direction if you are feeling uneasy. Click the button below and college admission essay writer will process your requests fast.
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The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.
The essay writing process consists of three main stages:
- Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
- Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
- Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
Table of contents
Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .
For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:
- Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
- Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
- Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
- Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
1. Hook your reader
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
2. Provide background on your topic
Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
3. Present the thesis statement
Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:
As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.
4. Map the structure
In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Write your essay introduction
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Length of the body text
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.
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The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :
- Returns to your thesis
- Ties together your main points
- Shows why your argument matters
A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.
What not to include in a conclusion
To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:
- Including new arguments or evidence
- Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
- Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
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My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).
My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.
My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.
I use paragraphs to structure the essay.
I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.
Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.
I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.
I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.
I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.
My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .
My essay has an interesting and informative title.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).
Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.
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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
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How to Write a Process Essay
Last Updated: May 17, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 161,781 times.
A process essay, otherwise known as a how-to essay, tells a reader how to perform a particular task. The best process essays follow a clear step-by-step organization. Start by providing your reader with a time estimate and general summary of the task. Then, move on to a more detailed explanation of each and every necessary step. When you are finished with your essay, read it over carefully to ensure that you haven’t left anything out.
Getting Ready to Write
- For example, a process essay intended for professional chefs could probably skip a description of how to chop carrots and just say, “Finely chop the carrots,” instead.
- You could also include a comprehensive “Things You’ll Need” section at the beginning of the paper. Or list the materials needed after the introduction.
- If an item on the list is a bit unusual, such as a particular type of hand tool, then make sure to clearly introduce it within the text. For example, “The pin hammer has a finer tip than a standard hammer, making it suitable for more detailed work.” You can also include a picture of the item, particularly if the essay will be published online.
- If you are writing an essay about how to cook lasagna, your initial outline might just state, “Mix in basil.” Before you start writing, you could expand your outline to say, “Briefly mention taste differences between dried and fresh basil.”
- Note that the more specific your article or essay topic, the more specific your details needs to be.
Crafting an Introduction
- For instance, you might write, “The process of preparing lasagna has a rich heritage all of its own.”
- If your process essay focuses on a cooking task, this is where you might advise your readers to consult the ingredients or materials list and put every item on the counter.
- For example, you might write, “This recipe requires 30 minutes of active preparation time, along with 45 minutes of baking time.”
- For example, your thesis might be, “This essay will explore how to create a complicated lasagna dish in a short period of time by preparing the noodles and sauce in advance.”
Writing Your Body Paragraphs
- Be especially careful with items that contain multiple steps. Make the transitions clear and acknowledge prior steps regarding a particular item, if applicable.
- For instance, when making pasta, consider writing a paragraph on how to boil pasta and another paragraph on how to make the sauce. This separates the ideas for easy clarification.
- For instance, you could write, “Next, place the pot on the stove,” to move from one paragraph to the next.
- For example, you could write, “This essay shows…” instead of “I’ll show.”
- For example, you might caution a reader to, “Cook the meat until it is no longer red in the center.” This advice will help them to avoid a foodborne illness.
Wrapping It Up
- In the case of the recipe, you could write something like, “You now have a bowl of boiled pasta and finished Bolognese sauce. Serve up plates of pasta and sauce to your family, topping them with parmesan, if desired. You can serve garlic bread or a side salad with this dish, too.”
- A simple example for our newly-made dinner might be, "And there you have it! A delicious yet quick meal fit for the entire family that you can make over and over again without complaint. Next time, experiment with different herbs and spices to find your own spin on this classic dish."
- Look to see if there are places where you can eliminate steps or condense your instructions. A reader is more likely to finish directions that they can easily skim through.
- Ask someone to read through the essay to see if they can understand the process. If possible, pick someone from your intended audience demographic.
- Don’t rely on spell-check alone, as it cannot account for context and doesn’t catch every error.
- If there are alternative ways to do a particular step in the process, make sure to mention these as you go along. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Give your readers pacing instructions as well. If they need to go slowly while performing a certain task, tell them early on. The same rule applies if a task requires speed for success. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/essay-outline/
- ↑ https://www.georgebrown.ca/sites/default/files/uploadedfiles/tlc/_documents/hooks_and_attention_grabbers.pdf
- ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-clinton-englishcomp/chapter/2-the-process-essay/
- ↑ http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/procress_paper.html
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/readability-scores/
About This Article
To write a process essay, begin by writing an introduction that grabs the reader’s attention so they’ll want to keep reading. Then, end the first paragraph with a thesis statement presenting a problem for which you are offering a solution. Next, explain the process, making each step its own paragraph, and using transitions like "next" or "then" to move from one task to another. As the final step, let the reader know what to expect from the finished product and what to do with it. Finally, close your essay by reiterating why the process is helpful to the reader. For tips from our Education reviewer on how to proofread for common errors in a process essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Process Essay Example 1
Choose a sign-in option, citation and embed code, how to live a happy life.
People are always searching for things that make them happy. For example, many people work very hard to improve their employment because they want to find a better job to make themselves happy. Other people search for happiness by purchasing things they want. It is not bad to search for happiness, but many people do not understand that lasting happiness does not depend on having certain things. It doesn’t depend on the circumstances of a person’s life. It depends more on how life is lived and people are loved. There are things that people can do to live a happy life regardless of their situation. In order to live a happy life, people should build relationships, be grateful, and help others.
The first thing that people should do to live a happy life is build relationships with other people. Building relationships can include both making new friends and strengthening relationships that already exist with friends and family members. These relationships lead to greater happiness because people who have strong connections with other people are less lonely, especially in difficult times. They have people who they can talk to and people who can offer comfort to them. Another reason that strong connections can increase happiness is that they create a network of people who can offer advice. Knowing that there are friends who can offer this advice to help solve a problem can help people feel happier. Strong relationships also lead to greater feelings of belonging and security, which in turn, lead to greater happiness. Building these relationships is an essential step to living a happy life.
In addition to nurturing relationships, people who want to be happy should be grateful. People who are grateful open their eyes to see all of the good things in their lives, and they express gratitude to people who help them. Many people have noticed that by opening their eyes to see the good things they have and choosing to have gratitude, their perspective changes. They spend more time focusing on positive thoughts instead of focusing on things that are negative or difficult. Thoughts create perspective, so intentionally creating positive thoughts will lead to a more positive perspective. Regardless of struggles they have, they choose to focus on the gifts they can see. Gratitude can change people’s perspective and help them be happier, regardless of their situation.
Finally, serving others can make people happier. Serving others can include doing simple things like listening to a friend who is having a hard time or preparing a meal to share with someone who is sick. These simple acts not only improve another person’s life, but they also bring happiness to the person who is serving. This happiness is a natural result of lifting another person’s burden. Helping others also helps in the other areas of building happiness: it strengthens relationships with others and it helps people feel more gratitude. When people serve others, they can become good friends by showing how much they care and want to help. People feel more gratitude because when they see the problems other people face, they find ways that their life is blessed. Serving others is an essential key to living a happier life.
If people want to have a happier life, they should serve others, be grateful, and strengthen their relationships with other people. Each of these things focuses on people and perspective rather than money and material possessions. People bring joy to other people in a way that possessions can never imitate. Perspective can make a lasting impact on a person’s life in a way that a promotion simply can’t. Regardless of the circumstances of an individual’s life, that individual can choose to focus on happiness in a real, genuine way if he wants to. Finding lasting happiness is really a simple search. That search begins as soon as people start looking beyond temporary things that only bring temporary happiness.
Exercise: Analyze an essay
Read one of the two Process Example Essays on the following pages to complete this exercise.
- Label the introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.
- Circle the hook.
- What is the general topic of the essay?
- Underline the thesis.
- Underline each of the topic sentences.
- Do each of the topic sentences support the thesis?
- Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?
This content is provided to you freely by EdTech Books.
Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/academic_a_writing/process_essay_exampl .
- Academic Skills
- Essay writing
Using a writing process
A six-step process to get writing done.
Written assignments are one of the major requirements of university. Writing tasks at university vary greatly, but generally, academics expect that tertiary-level writing will:
- Directly respond to the specific task requirements;
- Adhere to the conventions of the writing task so that the writing fits the requirements of the genre;
- Present a clear, supported response;
- Demonstrate evidence of research ; i.e. use of literature;
- Demonstrate understanding of literature through critical analysis , not just description or summary;
- Acknowledge all sources used; i.e. through referencing.
Here, we present a process that will help you meet these requirements. Note that it focuses on the type of writing found in Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines.
1. Determine the genre
Once you have received your writing task you need to determine the genre; in other words, what type of writing is required. For example, essays, reports, a literature review; annotated bibliographies and reflective writing are all common academic genres with their own requirements, organisation, structure, style expectations and language conventions.
For example; an essay generally consists of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. It is presented in paragraphs; does not usually have headings or titles; and is written in an ‘objective’ formal style where you may not directly refer to yourself in the writing. It also concludes with a Reference List or Bibliography.
If the requirements of the genre are not made explicit to you, or if you are unclear about them, you need to find out what they are. The Subject Guide or the ‘Assessment’ tab on your subject’s Canvas site often has this information.
2. Analyse the task
The next step is to determine what the task is asking you to do. Spend extra time on this step, as it will save you time and heartache later. Look carefully at the task question i.e. the actual statement or question you have to respond to.
Essays, reports and reviews will typically have a question or prompt which consists of:
- Topic words ( what the task is about)
- Direction words (which tell you what to do with the topic)
- Focus words (which limit your topic to a specific area)
Analyse two theories of education and state a case as to which has the most relevance in today’s classroom . Illustrate how this could apply to your future teaching .
Legend: Topic words Direction words Focus words
These can also contain direction, content and focus words. Short answer exam questions usually fall into two types:
- Factual (recalling relevant information), or
- Interpretive (applying your understanding of key information and concepts)
Note : a question can sometimes require both of these -- asking you to first provide facts, and then demonstrate your understanding.
Use different-coloured highlighters to identify the direction, content and focus words in your assessment and exam prompts.Analysing these elements will help you to ‘get inside’ the question and focus on what it is at its core. Indeed, accurate task analysis informs all of the next steps.
Here are some examples of common direction words and their definitions.
Task analysis in action
3. make a plan.
After analysing the task, map out a plan. You can do this on paper or as a Word document, organising your ideas into logical sections. Using the above assignment task as an example, a starting plan (not including Introduction and Conclusion) might look like this:
4. Research and write into your plan
Now you need to find information to use in your writing. You are looking for information include in your plan.
The website library.unimelb.edu.au has two excellent resources you can use for research:
- Discovery , on the Library frontpage, enables you to search across databases, catalogues and the digital repository for information sources.
- LibGuides at unimelb.libguides.com provides excellent collections of resource materials specific to discipline, course and subject.
You may find as you research that you refine your initial plan; re-organise, change, delete and re-sequence ideas.
As you read, transfer ideas directly into your plan. Fill in the plan with bullet point information, including BRIEF reference details (author name, page number or URL). Don’t forget this – you can then easily go back and find the information if you need it again.
5. Draft your writing
Note that this step comes some way into the entire process. The benefit of using research-to-plan transfer is that when you are ready to start writing the actual paper, you already have information there! This is also a very effective way to prevent writer’s block.
One way to start writing is to try expanding the bullet points you have into sentences and to link related sentences into paragraphs. Writing is a step-by-step process; it doesn’t just happen all at once. Review the following orderly steps.
Steps in writing
- Free write (1st draft): just write; don’t worry about the word count at this point; get ideas flowing on to the page.
- Take a break – get away from it for a while
- ‘Hack’ edit (2nd draft): come back and ‘cut’ into the work. At this stage, you might remove sections that are repetitive or irrelevant, shift things around, or make choices about things you don’t need i.e. if you have compiled six definitions, you may decide to cut back to three.
- Take a break
- Refine edit (3rd draft): come back and ‘fine cut’ the writing. Work on expression and clarity; check grammar and references; make sure the writing answers the question. At this point you need to look at the word count: are you within the +/- 10% range? (There is an expectation that the amount you write will fall within 10% of the word count. E.g. for a 2000 word essay, 1800 – 2200 words is acceptable)
- Typos, spelling and grammatical mistakes
- Formatting, including line spacing, page breaks, font consistency, headings if required
- In-text referencing and Reference List correctly formatted; sufficient range of sources evident
Note: the breaks in between steps are very important. They allow you to create distance from the writing, feel refreshed and be able to have a clear, renewed perspective on your work.
6. Final step – submit the work
Make sure that the writing is ready on the due date. Check how and where you submit your work and the exact time and date. Take into account that ‘stuff happens’: printers jam, people get sick etc., so, be prepared. If you can’t submit on time, talk to academic staff and be honest.
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4. Process Writing
2. the process essay.
Now that you have completed the narrative essay , we are going to move on to “expository” writing. The rest of the essays you write will “explain” a topic. You will provide your reader with a specific thesis and then support that thesis through a series of related paragraphs, all tied together by the topic.
Your first expository essay will be the process essay. In some ways, this essay is similar to the narrative: you are writing about a moment in time, doing something that doesn’t take very long, and you are using chronological order. Your steps, identified in a series of paragraphs in the body of your essay, should be placed in a manner where your reader can begin with the first step and carry through to the last step.
There are two types of process essays: those that explain how to do something (how to tune a guitar; how to build a bird house; how to study for a test) and those that explain how something works (transmitting a fax; describing the growth of a cell; going through the steps of a piece of equipment at work). In the first, you are expecting your reader to complete the task and understand it fully. In the second, you may be providing information to satisfy your reader’s curiosity. In other words, you could describe the process of sending a fax, dialing the number and all the other physical steps; or you could describe how the fax actually transmits information from here to there- the hidden intricacies of the process.
There are also concrete and abstract processes. A concrete process is one that has clearly defined steps and obvious tools and equipment. Things like recipes and car repairs and craft work are concrete processes. Then there are processes that don’t have obvious tools involved: how to get rid of the blues; how to influence someone to like you; how to prepare for that test.
You need to be an expert at the process you choose to write about. Pick something you are interested in- a hobby or a skill you have, something you might do at work or have done often in school. You have to be able to develop your steps into complete, thorough paragraphs. An expository essay typically has well-developed paragraphs of 8 to 10 sentences each. If you have a series of paragraphs with only two or three sentences each, your reader will wonder why you don’t have more to say, will feel the info is incomplete.
I have a few pointers I’d like to share with you about developing process paragraphs. Using one or combining several might help you add depth and support to your writing:
- Be specific- Use exact amounts. Great chefs can approximate; we need to know exactly what to include. If you’re writing about how to build a campfire, give specific sizes for the wood you want your reader to gather. Large wood thrown on the fire early will only smother it. Be as specific as you possibly can be.
- Define terms- If you tell your reader to gather kindling for the fire, is your reader going to know what that means? If you have any doubts, explain what the term is. No one needs a definition for a screw driver, and very few would not know what a Phillips screwdriver is (you may just give a brief description: star-tipped). But if you have a complex tool that the reader won’t recognize, define it.
- Include reasons- Readers love to take short cuts. You have to be prepared to guide your reader through the steps correctly. So explain to them why they might be doing a step the way you want them to do it. In baking cookies, you may say “preheat the oven.” Most people ignore that. If you give a reason why it is important, your reader may be convinced to do as you say.
- Include don’ts- It’s not a good idea to check to see if the electricity is out by putting your finger in an empty socket while changing the light bulb. Advise your reader against it. Sometimes it’s easier to say what not to do than what to do. Warnings are wonderful influences.
- Mention possible pitfalls- Sometimes, things go wrong. Let your reader know before hand that success may sometimes be out of their control. They’ve got the cake in the oven and a big truck goes by outside. The vibrations cause the cake to fall. Knowing this before hand can at least reduce the heartache if something does go wrong.
As with all expository essays, this paper should have an introduction and a conclusion. The intro should state a thesis and give the reader some kind of background info that will attract his/her interest. The conclusion should suggest benefits to the process or point to related processes the reader may try in the future. Both intro and conclusion should be shorter than body paragraphs. They are more emphatic.
- Authored by : Jeff Meyers. Provided by : Clinton Community College. License : CC BY: Attribution