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How to write a process essay properly

A process essay is also called a ‘how to’ essay. As the name suggests your essay describes a process or how you would go about doing something. That something could be any number of things including the following.

  • Learning how to perform a particular dance routine.
  • Learning how to cook a particular dish.
  • Learning how to master a language.
  • Learning how to master a skill like sewing or knitting.

The first step in being a success at writing a process or ‘how to’ essay is to know what it is. You need to learn the formula or the method of writing a process essay. Remember the content of course is important but so too is the structure or format of your essay.

There are two components -- materials and instructions

These are essential components. Explaining how to learn something or to do something means you will need materials. Some tasks will require far more materials than others. But not only will you require materials you'll need instructions on how to use them. So that is the basis of your process essay.

Make a list of all the materials you will need in describing this process and make a list of all the steps you will need to take. Looking over your two lists make sure that first of all the lists are complete and secondly, certainly as far as the instructions are concerned, make sure the instructions are in the correct order.

Now you're in a situation where you're ready to start writing. Of course if the topic or the process or the event you are writing about is something with which you are not familiar, then you will need to carry out the appropriate research. Having brief and relevant notes is the equivalent of your plan or outline in another type of essay.

With all this information at your fingertips you are now ready to write your first draft. Remember the basics of essay writing with an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. They apply here. It's just that in the body paragraphs you will be going through the various steps.

As always you must proofread and edit your essay with special attention to making sure your instructions are clear. Put yourself in the shoes of the reader. They know nothing about the process but, thanks to your brilliant essay, they are now well educated in this activity.