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You may be wondering, what exactly is a process essay? A process essay basically describes how something is done. It illustrates, in detail, a procedure by using a sequence of steps. Practically all of us have read and written them and never even thought twice about it!
Have you ever tried learning to cook a new recipe? Or rifled through the pages of a users manual for instructions? Then you have read at least two types of process essays. What about those writing exercises in school? First you had to write an objective, then you had to write step by step, how to achieve this objective.
"How to write your first story" or "Fifty ways to invest your money" are some more examples of process essays. They are informational step by step procedures that tell you how to accomplish something. This is exactly what a process essay is.
As you no doubt realize by now, we are using process essays almost on a daily basis.
The first step in writing a process essay is choosing a topic or idea to write about. What to write about? There are so many topics that this simple question is often the hardest one to answer.
The topic chosen should be something you know a lot about, or something you can find out about without too much difficulty. If you don't know how to cook for instance, then writing a process essay on the Art of Baking a Cake would probably not be a good idea. However, if you know a lot about Wood Working then you would be able to write an interesting and informative essay.
Next, you need to set up an outline and structure. What subject is the entire article going to talk about? What are all the steps your reader will need to know? You will need to know the exact steps that should be done for your subject so that anyone reading your material will know how to accomplish the results.
After you have completed a rough outline, think about the structure of your piece. How do you want it to look? What order do you want to put the material in? Think about what information you want your readers to know right off. For example, if your essay is about Wood Working, it might be prudent to warn your readers at the beginning that they may be working with tools that they need to use with care.
Proofreading is an essential part of any type of writing and process essays are no exception. As you proofread, put yourself in your readers' place.
Are there any steps you've forgotten to write down? If all the information is not there, then your reader will not fully understand your subject.
What about spelling, punctuation and formatting errors? If your reader can not understand what they are reading, it is likely they will not finish it.
Does your subject have form and definition? A rambling essay will confuse readers.
Is there detailed information in the more complex sections? For especially complicated subjects, it is vital to explain each part in the simplest terms possible. This is why nobody ever understands doctors and lawyers!
And finally, ask yourself the ultimate question. Do you like what you've written? If you don't, then you need to work on it until you feel it is your very best work. Remember, if you find yourself falling asleep halfway through, then so will your readers!