How to Write a Process Essay

How to Write a Process Essay

Essay writing has become a common thing, especially in the academic sector.  Essays are meant to evaluate the intellectual abilities of the writer based on how they can organize and present their ideas.

Whether you are writing an academic paper or an admissions essay, the writer should take keen note on how they respond to the topic at hand and critically analyze it to offer the best response.

Many students have not always welcomed the idea of writing an academic essay. What they fail to understand is that having the right guidelines before embarking on a task is key to accomplishing the task.

If you are looking for the proper guidelines for writing a process essay, then you are in the right place. This article will give you step-by-step guidance on how to write an exemplary process essay.

What is a Process paper essay?

Among the relatively unknown type of essay is the process essay. A process essay, in simple terms, is a how-to essay. The essay describes a procedure taken towards accomplishing a particular goal. It can be viewed as a kind of tutorial with a step by step instructions that leads to an expected outcome. A process paper typically gives directions for some process or workflow and hence the name.

There are two types of process essays: directional and informational process essays.

  1. Directive process essays: these types of articles give a systematic outline of how to accomplish a specific task. They offer guidelines in the form of steps. Examples of directional process essay include; a guide to finding directions, or a guide to making a meal.

This type of essay allows the use of second-person narration, i.e. ‘you’, as well as the use of imperative verbs.

  1. Informative process essay: these types of essays analyze a process and gives a detailed explanation of the process. They are more comprehensive than the directive ones as they explain how something is done and further on explain what happens when the process is underway. In short, they inform the reader of the processes involved in accomplishing the task. The use of third-person narration is encouraged in this type of essay. The pronouns used include he, she, it or they.

Knowing the types of a process essay you are about to write will automatically influence your approach towards tackling it.



Characteristics of a Process Essay

To consider a particular process essay as good, it has to have the following features:

  • A chronological order of events: Considering that, a process essay aims at explaining how to do something, chronological order of events is mandatory. The piece should give guidance from the start of the process to the end in a systematic manner to achieve the desired product.
  • Grouped steps into paragraphs: The steps involved in accomplishing the task should be arranged in different sections. Grouping gives the reader a clear outline of the process for better understanding.
  • Full details in each step: each step should be detailed in such a way that the reader can easily understand the steps. The clarity of narration is also mandatory.
  • Use of transitional words and phrases: Since there is an order of events, the use of transitional words is necessary. Transitional words can be used when introducing a paragraph or within a paragraph. Examples of transitional words include next, later, eventually, finally, etc.

Basic rules of writing a process essay

  1. Understand the target audience: The audience of the paper should guide you on how you would approach the paper. To help your audience understand the paper more, you must clearly understand their needs and wants. This way, they would be more interested in the paper as it involves them, one way or the other.
  2. Choose an appropriate topic: To make a good process paper, consider choosing a relevant and exciting subject. For example, “how not to become a boring teacher,” can be more eye-catching than “how to become an interesting teacher.”
  • Make an outline and use it for guidance: Creating an overview before embarking on writing will ensure that you do not forget any step while writing. The draft will guide you on how to develop your paper.
  1. Group your steps to paragraphs: To improve on unity and coherency, you will need to group all your points in sections. This is to ensure that each step is tackled independently to make the reader understand clearly.
  2. Avoid too much of imperative sentences: In directional process essays, the use of imperative sentences is encouraged. However, using too much of it is highly discouraged. Avoid using imperative words whenever possible to avoid sounding like an instruction manual.
  3. Use transitional words: The appropriate use of transitional words and phrases throughout the essay. Transitional words maintain the flow of the essay.
  • Proofread your work: Proofread your paper before turning it in. This is to ensure that you eliminate all the possible mistakes to make your work better.

Now that we have covered the basics of process essays, we can go ahead and look at how to write an essay outline.

Process essay outline

What is an essay outline? An essay outline is an organizational tool used by writers when writing an academic or professional essay. The outline is the ‘skeleton’ that builds the foundation of the entire work.

It gives the writer steps to follow when developing their work. Read on to find out how to essay outline your process paper.

The basic outline of a general essay includes the introduction, the body and the conclusion. Having this in mind, the next question would be, how do you write a process essay outline? Here is how to:

The process outline template for a topic on how to make homemade pancakes would be as :

  • Make a list of ingredients
  • Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl
  • Whisk milk, butter, and egg together in a separate bowl
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix
  • Heat a pan and moisten it with oil
  • Spoon three tablespoons of the batter into the pan and spread evenly into a circle
  • Cook until the bubbles reduce the flip and cook the other side.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes and serve.

Having made an outline that will guide you; you can proceed to write the essay.

 What are the steps in writing a process analysis essay?


The introduction is always the first part of an essay. It should always grab the attention of the reader to make them more interested in the work that follows. The introduction to your essay should cover a general outlook of what you are going to write about and leave the specific details for later.

A thesis statement should end the introductory part. The statement at the end of the introduction describes what the writer intends to write about in the paper.

A process essay thesis could be something like: “This essay explores how to make homemade pancakes by using common ingredients.”

Generally, the introduction should be in three parts:

  1. The hook: to grab the attention of the reader
  2. Identification: general information of the topic to be discussed
  • Thesis statement: describes what the paper will talk about


The body of the essay is the central part of the essay as it entails all the information that the writer aims at conveying. Before writing the body of your essay, always refer to the process outline made before writing the essay. This would ensure that you do not forget any step while writing the process in your essay.

The following rules apply when composing the body of the process essay:

  • Maintain the correct order throughout the body of the essay
  • Divide steps into paragraphs and include necessary details in the paragraph
  • Avoid being lengthy and complicated. Make the details easy to understand
  • Narrate using the second (you) or third person (they, it, she or he) narration
  • The use of transitional words and phrases make your essay more cohesive
  • You should mention the final product at the end of your essay

How to write a process paragraph

In an essay, the paragraph gives details of the main points of the paper. Many often as, what are the three parts of a process paragraph? How do you start a process paragraph?  Well, each paragraph should contain three parts. The three parts include:

  1. The topic sentence: the topic sentence is at the initial of the paragraph. It introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Topic sentences usually offer a transition between paragraphs.
  2. The supporting details: the supporting information in between the paragraph expound on the topic sentence. The supporting information can be drawn from several sources, including facts & statistics, personal experiences, expert opinions and even your analysis.
  • The concluding sentence: The concluding sentence sums up the paragraph with a final statement. T also serves as a transition to the following paragraph.


The conclusion of your essay should reinstate the thesis statement and the primary purpose of your essay.

As you conclude, make the audience understand the importance of the essay. The conclusion gives the final thought concerning the topic discussed. Furthermore, it provides the reader with a sense of closure at the end of the paper.

Process essay topics

Process essays tackle a majority of issues. The topics range from science and technology to making of food, the formation of volcanic mountains; you name it.

Some of the topics that are easy to tackle include:

Directional process essays on personal matters on:

how to:

nail your interview

make a good impression

change a flat tire

become a good citizen

tame a dog

be jealous

be an exemplary student

Directional process essay on how to make food

How to make sushi, sandwiches, chicken curry, etc.

Informational process essays on the formation of natural features

oxbow lakes Formation

Formation of plains and valleys

volcanic mountains Formation

General informational essay

The process of mitosis

The digestion process

Development of cancerous cells

What is a process essay example?

Below is an example of a directional process essay on how to prepare for an interview.


The first impression that you put out determines how you would interact with people afterwards. Therefore, creating an excellent first impression is essential, especially in environments where you need to get something out of.

Interviews go a long way in determining whether you are qualified for a particular job or not. In this essay, you will discover how you can easily make a good impression in your interview

step 1

First, before the day of the interview, you will need to do background research on the company. This would enable you to find out more information on the company for a better understanding of the company’s goals. While looking at the company’s background, you should take keen note on the type of questions you are likely to be asked and prepare accordingly.

This way, you will manage to have a majority of the information concerning the company at your fingertips.

step 2

Secondly, if you want to be more engaging during your interview, you need to come up with reasonable and smart questions of your own. Interviews are meant to be a question and answer session for you to determine the way forward.

The interviewers will always acknowledge your great intellectual ability if you put forward smart questions. These questions will give you an in-depth understanding of the company, something that might be of great help to you as an employee in case you pass the interview.

As we all know, time is money. Therefore, showing up on time for the interview would be an impressive gesture to your interviews. Ensure that you carry along all necessary documents for the interviewer’s perusal. This way, you will give the interviews an easy time while attending to you.

step 3

Finally, yet importantly, always ensure that you dress appropriately for the role you are going to interview for. Appropriate dressing speaks out for you even before you open your mouth. A decent and appropriate dressing will always impress the interviewers.

In conclusion, interviewers take keen notice on how you present yourself. Therefore, giving an excellent first impression of your interviewers will earn you some points that would make you pass the interview. Following these steps would help you achieve a good first impression.

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How to Write a Process Essay

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