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9.2: The Structure of a Process Analysis Essay

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  • The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the goal of the process.

    The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows chronological order. The steps of the process are conveyed in the order in which they usually occur. Body paragraphs will be constructed based on these steps. If a particular step is complicated and needs a lot of explaining, then it will likely take up a paragraph on its own. But if a series of simple steps is easier to understand, then the steps can be grouped into a single paragraph.

    The time transition phrases covered in the Narration and Illustration sections are also helpful in organizing process analysis essays. Words such as first, second, third, next, and finally are helpful cues to orient reader and organize the content of essay.


    Always have someone else read your process analysis to make sure it makes sense. Once we get too close to a subject, it is difficult to determine how clearly an idea is coming across. Having a friend or coworker read it over will serve as a good way to troubleshoot any confusing spots.

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