What to consider when writing a process essay
A process paper either tells the reader how to do something or describes how something is done. As students write their process essays, they may consider the following:
- What process is being explained? Why is it important?
- Who or what does the process affect?
- Are there different ways of doing the process? If so, what are they?
- Who are the readers? What knowledge do they need to understand this process?
- What skills/equipment are needed for this?
- How long does the process take? Is the outcome always the same?
- How many steps are there in the process?
- Why is each step important?
- What difficulties are involved in each step? How can they be overcome?
- Do any cautions need to be given?
- Does the process have definitions that need to be clarified?
- Are there other processes that are similar and could help illustrate the process being written about?
- If needed, tell what should not be done or why something should be done.
- Process papers are often written in the second person (you), but some teacher prefer that you avoid this. Check with your teacher.
The responses to these questions and statements should enable a writer to write an effective process essay.
Suggested transition words to lead readers through the essay
Process essays are generally organized according to time: that is, they begin with the first step in the process and proceed in time until the last step in the process. It’s natural, then, that transition words indicate that one step has been completed and a new one will begin. Some common transitional words used in process essays are listed below:
|One time||Transition||Another time|
|After a few hours,||Immediately following,|
|At last||In the end,|
|At the same time,||In the future,|
|Before||In the meantime,|
|Before this,||In the meanwhile,|
|Currently,||Last, Last but not least, Lastly,|
|Finally,||Next, Soon after,|
|First, Second, Third, etc.||Previously,|
|First of all,||Simultaneously,|
A Sample Process Essay