Writing Well

“How to” Essays: Process Analysis

Take the following snap quiz (it's easy—there's only one question):

What, in your opinion, is the most reasonable explanation for the fact that Moses led the Israelites all over the place for 40 years before they finally got to the Promised Land?

Write Angles

If you're describing a circular process, such as the circulation of blood, break into the process at a logical point and follow it around to that point again. In the case of blood, for instance, it's reasonable to start and end with the heart.

Process analysis essays are directions. They explain how to do something, how something works, or how something happens. These essays present the steps in the process in chronological order, from first to last. Be sure to define any unfamiliar terms or concepts.

As you revise process analysis essays …

  1. Check the order of the steps to make sure you haven't skipped or repeated any.
  2. Add any necessary transitions, such as first, second, next, then, after, later, and finally.
  3. Try to sum up the results or benefits of the process.

The following process analysis essay explains how beer is made. What clues does the writer provide to make the steps easier to follow?

Bottom's Up

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing Well © 2000 by Laurie Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book direct from the publisher, visit the Penguin USA website or call 1-800-253-6476. You can also purchase this book at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks