We all love watching YouTube tutorials. From videos showing you how to turn an old t-shirt into a ball gown to videos showing you how to bathe your cat with sparkly water, there are tutorials on almost every subject you can think of. Well, in just the same way you have video tutorials, you can also find essay tutorials online.
A process essay is basically an essay tutorial. It teaches you how to do something. If you’ve never written a process essay before or you’re trying to figure out how to write a process essay, then this article is for you. Here, you’d learn everything you need to know about process essays, from the basic tips to the standard structure for this type of essay.
Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
What Is a Process Essay?
Here’s a solid fact: you’ve definitely watched one or two tutorials before. Whether it’s a tutorial on knitting a sweater or it’s a fun video explaining how to build a cat tower from home, there are tons of how-to videos out there. In simple terms, a process essay is a how-to essay. It shows or informs the reader how something can be done. It outlines each step to be taken in achieving a particular goal. The goal could be anything – from building an object from scratch to cooking a particular meal.
The typical process essay has the following features:
A chronological order of events: You have to describe each event in the way they happened or are meant to happen. For instance, if you’re drafting an essay on how to bake a red velvet cake, don’t start by telling your readers how to take out the cake from the oven. Start from the very first step: getting the ingredients ready.
A clear description of steps to follow: Describe each step clearly. If you’re vague in your description, you might end up misleading your readers. Be very clear and specific when describing the steps to follow.
The use of transition words: When it comes to writing a process essay, you don’t want to sound like you’re rushing through many sentences or ideas at the same time. Use transition words to link different ideas together.
Clarity of narration: Your narration should be clear and coherent. Your readers must be able to comprehend what you’re saying or showing them.
Types of Process Essays
There are two main types of process essays: directional and informational. Just before you start writing any process analysis essay, you have to decide which style you’d prefer to employ. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each process essay type looks like:
Directional process essays
This type of essay shows the reader how to perform a process or do something step-by-step. For instance, you could write a process essay on baking a cake or creating a DIY crop top from an old t-shirt.
Informational process essays
On the other hand, informational process essays tell the readers how to do something without actually giving the step-by-step directions to do it. A perfect example of this type of essay is a paper on how photosynthesis occurs or how excretion works.
The major difference between directional and informational essays is that while the former shows the process, the latter only tells.
Process Essay Outline
Just like any other paper or piece of writing, the typical process essay outline is structured in three parts: an introduction, body and the conclusion. But what exactly should these sections contain? It’s one thing to understand the format for writing a process essay but it’s another to know what information goes in each part.
Not sure how to frame your essay? Here’s what your introduction, body and conclusion should like:
The introduction is just like a bait for your readers. It has to hook them and lure them into reading the entire essay. So, how do you achieve this? The trick to keeping your audience hooked is by opening with a colourful description or line.
For instance, if you’re writing an essay on how to make blueberry pancakes, you may want to start your paper with this opening line:
“For many American households, pancakes are the main components of a perfect breakfast. In fact, not many people can go a full year without having pancakes for breakfast or lunch”.
With an interesting opener like this, you can get readers interested in reading subsequent sentences and paragraphs.
Under the introduction, you could also let your readers know about any vital information that may be relevant to them. For instance, you may say:
“Pancakes typically take about ten minutes to prepare but if you’re using instant batter, it may consume less time”.
After this, you would need to write your thesis statement. This isn’t complicated as it basically describes the research problem that your paper will be handling. For instance, you may say:
“This paper gives a quick guide into making healthy pancakes at home in about five minutes”.
The body of the essay is where the party actually takes place. This is where you have to explore what your paper is all about. However, just before you start drafting the body of your essay, it is important to draft an outline first and consult it. Ensure that you divide your paper into smaller pieces to make it comprehensible and coherent to readers.
The body of the essay typically has three or more paragraphs to enable the writer do justice to the topic.
If you feel like there’s any cautionary notes that your readers should know about, now is probably the best time to talk about it. Don’t wait till the very end to let your readers know that blueberry pancakes can be harmful for people who are allergic to berries.
The conclusion is basically where you say your goodbye to your readers. Here, you have to remind your readers why the topic is important enough for them to read an entire essay about it. You may also need to encourage your readers to try new things or look forward to your next publication. An example of a good conclusion:
“ Congratulations! You’ve managed to whip up perfect blueberry pancakes. To get an even tastier result, try this recipe with strawberries next time”.
How to Use Transition Words in a Process Essay
Transition words to process essays are like cheese to almost every pastry on earth. They make everything better and add coherence to your essay. Not sure what transition words are? Let’s backtrack a little and cover base grounds first.
Transition words are words that help to link phrases and sentences. In this case, they help to link process essay ideas. Have you ever had a friend who constantly talked in a rush and whose sentences were always jumbled up? Sounds annoying and confusing, doesn’t it? Well, that’s how essays without transition words look like.
Here’s one fact about writing essays that many writers seem to have missed: you may be flowing from one idea to the other and then suddenly get stuck because you don’t know how to start the next phrase. When this happens, transition words can always come to the rescue.
Some popular examples of transition words include: “next”, “then”, “now”, and so on.
Now that you’ve learned about transition words and what they do, it’s time to learn how to actually use them in process essays.
Here are a few tips to guide you:
Choose the right transition words
There are different types of transition words. So just before you smack a transition word in the middle of a sentence or paragraph, it’s important to note the different types and ascertain which one works best for the idea you want to pen down.
The different types of transition words include:
Additive transitions: This type of transition words helps to add or introduce new information. You could also use them to shed more light on an idea. Examples of additive transitions include: “also”, “alternatively”, “in addition”, etc.
Adversative transitions:This type of transition helps to reflect the writer’s conflicts, disagreements, dismissal and emphasis on an idea. Examples of this type of transition words include: “however”, “on the contrary”, “on the other hand”, “conversely”, etc.
Sequential transitions: These transitions typically show a chronological sequence in time. Since we’re dealing with process essays, you’d most likely be using this type of transition words frequently. Examples include: “next”, “first”, “finally” and so on.
Decide where to place them
Transition words can be placed anywhere you want them to. For instance, you could place them at the beginning or middle of a sentence. You may also decide to place them at the beginning or middle of a paragraph. It all depends on what you want.
Don’t overuse them
Let’s admit it: it’s quite easy to overuse transition words. You may finish writing an “amazing” essay, only to discover that it is overridden with transition words. To avoid this, it’s important to strike a balance. Add enough transition words to make your paper coherent but not so much for it to become cumbersome to read.
How to Choose a Topic for a Process Essay?
Picking a topic for your essay is just like making pancake batter. It is the first and most important step that needs to be done before you jump to other steps. However, this isn’t exactly an easy step for a lot of people. If you aren’t sure how to choose a topic for your process essay, simply follow these tips:
Ensure that the topic is informative and engaging
This is the primal rule of choosing topics for process essays or any type of essays at all. Your topic has to be centred on an informative area. Do not select a topic that most people would not find informative or engaging. For instance, topics like “how dinosaurs mate” are not just outrightly ridiculous. They’d also not catch the attention of any reader who’s looking out for valuable information.
Consider your audience
Your audience is another essential factor you need to consider. In fact, they determine what your topic should be or revolve around. Ensure that your topic is in line with your audience’s needs and interests. There’s absolutely no sense in writing an essay for 7th graders on how to repair a leaky fuel pump. They’d definitely not find it interesting.
When choosing a topic, remember you’re not trying to impress your tutors. Your audience should be the main focus.
Apply a little humour
A little humour never hurt anyone. In process essays, you can take a small step away from conventional topics and add a little spice to your essay. For instance, instead of titling your essay ‘how to make blueberry pancakes”, you could say “how to make blueberry pancakes without burning your house down”.
Sounds so much better, doesn’t it?
Process Essay Examples
When it comes to writing any type of essay, checking out samples is just like turning on a flashlight in a really dark cave. It helps to guide you on what steps to take next. If you still aren’t sure how to start or structure your process essay, you could get clarity by reading a process essay example. Here are some samples of well-written process essays: https://www.examples.com/education/examples-of-process-essay.html
Process Essay Writing Tips
So it’s time to get down to the main event: writing your process essay. Just as Dumbledore gave Harry Potter an invisibility cloak to help him on his journey, here are a few tips to help you write the perfect process essay:
Make each process as simple as possible
When it comes to writing a process essay, remember you’re writing for people who probably don’t know much about the subject matter. As such, you have to make it as simple as possible. If an action or step is too complicated, break it down into smaller parts. Ensure that each action is as simplified as possible. For instance, if you’re writing an essay on “how to make sushi”, don’t just say something like “prepare soy sauce”. Instead, show your readers how to make soy sauce.
Don’t make it too long
Remember: you’re writing a process essay, not a novel or a book report. Typical process essays aren’t too long. Your readers may get tired or bored if they have to read pages upon pages on how to carry out a process. The human brain can’t soak in that much information at once.
Make sure your process essay is detailed yet not overly long.
Find and describe an unexpected approach to things
Life is too conventional for you to remain conventional. When you choose an essay topic, chances are someone else has already written about it before. So, try to introduce a twist that your audience hasn’t thought of before. For instance, instead of writing an essay on a conventional topic like “how to bake a cake”, add a twist by writing something like: “how to bake a cake with just two ingredients”.
Voila! You’ve grabbed the attention of your readers.
So you’ve learned everything you need to know about writing a process essay: from process essay definition to the tips you need for writing the perfect essay. However, if you still aren’t sure about your essay writing abilities, you can use our renowned essay writing service. This way, you can end up with a professionally written paper without having to stress about it.
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