Choose a topic that is interesting, is relatively complex, and can be explained in a series of steps. As with other rhetorical writing modes, choose a process that you know well so that you can more easily describe the finer details about each step in the process. In fact, the process should be one in which you can add relevant personal examples, including tips, tricks, and anecdotes to make it your own. It should not read like a recipe or an instructional manual; it should be personal and engaging. Furthermore, your thesis statement should come at the end of your introduction, and it should state the final outcome of the process you are describing.
Body paragraphs are composed of the steps in the process. Each step should be expressed using strong details and clear examples. Use time transition phrases to help organize steps in the process and to orient readers. The conclusion should thoroughly describe the result of the process described in the body paragraphs.
- A process analysis essay explains how to do something, how something works, or both.
- The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the outcome of the process.
- The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows a chronological sequence.
- Time transition phrases are particularly helpful in process analysis essays to organize steps and orient reader
Examples of Essays
- “How to Make it in College, Now That You’re Here,” by Brian O’Keeney
- “Orientation,” by Daniel Orozco
- “How to Operate the Shower Curtain,” by Ian Frazier • “Behind the Formaldehyde Curtain,” by Jessica Mitford
- “7 Easy Steps to Quit Smoking”