Process Essay Writing Guidelines

The goal of a process essay is to use a series of steps to define a process. There are basically two different types: directional and informational. A directional variety provides direction needed to achieve a specific result. An information one provides the reader with an explanation on a subject.

  • Choose a Subject - If the topic is assigned then you will be able to skip this step. Otherwise, you will need to choose a subject. Whatever you pick, you must be able to determine who your target audience is and what your purpose is for writing the essay. When you have clear answers you can formulate your thesis statement.
  • Thesis Statement - This will clearly state your position on the topic. The essay will be supported by this central idea. It is usually written in one strong sentence, which states why you will defend, explain, or prove the topic. It may also identify the essay development method you intend on using, such as definition, compare-contrast, cause-effect, etc.
  • Create an Outline - The easiest way to write a process essay is to first create an outline. This will help keep you focused. However, be prepared to stray away, as needed, as your research opens new doors for you.
  • Organize Ideas - Although you can write freely it is recommended to brainstorm and take notes first. Then, you can use your notes to form your rough draft. If you write freely you are more likely to leave out information you stumble upon later, simply because you are not sure where to put it. Some also prefer to use a clustering method. This is similar to brainstorming, but you create a diagram to illustrate how each idea branches off to another.
  • Rough Draft - Use all your notes to create your rough draft. Your introduction will include your thesis statement. This is then followed by supporting paragraphs. Paragraphs should each include a main idea and supporting sentence, as well as some minor supporting details.
  • Revising - Proofreading and editing are both included in this step. This is when you make sure that every sentence is structured perfectly and there is no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors. You will need to evaluate if your thesis is well-supported and if all ideas are fully explained. You also need to make sure there is a smooth transition between paragraphs and ideas. Make sure that your final paragraph thoroughly summarizes the thesis statement.

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