Definition of the Process Essay

A process essay is mainly a paper containing practical advice and instructions. In this assignment, you tell the reader about how to do something or how something has been done. For example, how to cook a certain dish or how particular goods are being manufactured at the factory. A good essay will guide the reader step by step through all points, without focusing on one thing or hurrying, because the reader can be a novice in this matter. Even though the details are important, if you include too much information, your reader may get tired before you finish reading the essay, so you only need to include the most important information. In order to write a good, useful, and easy-to-understand essay, read the recommendations below.

Creating a Plan

Determine who is going to read your process essay and how much these people know about the matter you are going to describe. Before you start writing, think about what readers expect to find in each part of your essay. This will help decide what you need to indicate first of all when writing an appeal to readers.

  • Do you want your readers to know in advance that it will take the whole day to complete the task? Do you want them to know that a special set of tools is required to do the task? What should first-time readers learn about in order to concentrate on the task?
  • Suppose that you write an article containing practical tips and instructions, which describes how to cook pasta Bolognese. Readers do not need to know the difference between herbs added to the sauce but you should mention that you need a colander, explain how to understand that pasta is ready, and so on. Having told basic details, you can go to the more detailed information.

Make a list of necessary things you will need to complete the assignment. What will your readers need to accomplish this task? Do they need anything at all? If necessary, make a complete list of all the materials and tools that will be used in the task. Describing how to accomplish the task and noticing that you have missed something, go back to the top of the list and indicate this thing.

  • In the example with the pasta, you should indicate such items as a large pan, a spoon for sauce and for pasta. Do not forget to indicate the natural ingredients used for cooking pasta dishes (ground beef, Italian seasoning, and so on). Sometimes you don’t have to mention certain ingredients, if they are too obvious.

Make a plan for the task, highlighting each main point. You may need to do this yourself to know exactly what will happen and then describe your step-by-step actions. It’s easy to overlook a couple of points if you just scrolled them in your head. However, if it seems to you that you can imagine all this in your head in detail, that’s enough.

  • Remember that your task is to facilitate the assignment for your readers. Instead of just writing “boil water” or “throw the pasta in the water,” you can add useful tips and tricks. For example, “Weigh your ingredients in advance.” This information can skip your mind if you do not cook it in reality.

If possible, note how much time you spend on the task. If this is not possible, make an approximate calculation to know how long the process lasts. Many people will want to know how long it takes to complete something to decide whether it’s worth it or not.

  • If you are writing your paper on a particularly complex topic, and this task will not last for several minutes, you can add extra time when you count how much it will take. People who do not have a clear idea of what needs to be done will most likely need more time.

Interesting Process Essay Topics

There are many interesting topics that can be used to write this type of an essay. Here are a few:

  • Changing privacy settings on Facebook
  • Making a good first impression
  • Training a dog various commands
  • How to draw a cow?
  • Taking amazing photos
  • How to change a tire in your car?

Designing an Introduction

Consider writing the introduction creatively to attract the attention of the reader. Do not immediately move to the process itself – let your readers slowly get involved in the process, after reading a brief but pleasant introduction. This is a good start to let them know what they are going to do and help them decide if they really want to do it.

  • In the case with pasta Bolognese, you can start with a brief background of the creation of the dish and a description about how and where it first appeared. To begin, specify a short description to interest people to read further.
  • Alternatively, you can start telling readers about why you think cooking this dish is a good idea. For example, to instill a love for vegetables in your family, or because it is a hearty dish that can be cooked in a hurry and it is perfect for a weekday evening.

Let the reader know the basics of this process. Let them know how long it will take them to complete the task – 30 minutes or a week. Include also a list of things and tools they will need to complete this assignment. Do not forget about little things.

  • In other words, there must be everything at the disposal of your readers that is necessary in order for them to start the task. The introduction and list of equipment and tools will make it easier for the reader to follow the advice given in the process essay and help them prepare.

Introduce your reader to the next section, smoothly moving from one point to another. The transitional sentence should encourage the reader to read further and give a signal to action. The reader will then know exactly where the introduction ended and when it is necessary to start a task.

The Main Part of the Paper

Use the plan you compiled to structure this section. Be careful not to miss any of the points. The main part should contain enough points to describe the whole process to the reader. The number of points that you need to use depends on the process itself.

  • For example, you will need more points to tell how something complex is prepared, such as Wellington beef.
  • You do not have to add points just to make your essay look bigger. Sometimes the shorter the essay the better.

Divide the main part into paragraphs. Group points according to the principle of content or timeframe. Thanks to this distinction, the reader will know exactly what to expect from each section, and they will not have to wander unnecessarily in all sections. If this idea does not suit you, try grouping the points in chronological order.

  • For example, when preparing pasta, write one paragraph on how to cook pasta, and the other on how to make sauce. This will divide the ideas in order to facilitate their understanding.
  • Alternatively, you can group the essay according to the starting points (boil the water, heat the oil in a skillet, start toasting the onions, etc.), the main points (fry the meat, toss the pasta into the water, pour the meat with tomato sauce, etc.) and the final items (let the sauce simmer over low heat, get the macaroni out of the water, etc.).
  • The number of points that you use in each paragraph will depend on how long you have to describe each point. Take note that the average size of the paragraph is 100 words, although this is not a strict rule. Do not overload your reader with a lot of words in order to interest them.

Go from point to point so that you get a whole process, not a list. Go from one point to another without simply listing them. In addition, when reading each point, use transitional words. Moving on, you can move from one thing to another using such words as “now,” “after,” and “then.”

  • In order to acquaint readers with the paragraph, you can start in the following way: “To prepare pasta Bolognese, get a large pot.” With the phrase “to prepare” you are notifying the reader that the process has already started.
  • Beware of excessive use of transitional words, otherwise your essay will look pompous.

Go into details because the reader may never have done anything like this before. Additional details will help your reader integrate into the process. When everything becomes crystal clear, readers will know exactly what to do. Make sure that you do not deviate from the topic. Go straight to the course so that the reader does everything according to the plan.

For example, you can simply tell your reader, “Boil the water to make macaroni.” However, a person who does not cook often does not know at what stage it is necessary to throw pasta into the water. Therefore, each point should contain a more detailed description. Instead of the phrase “boil water” you can write the following:

  • Fill the pan with three-quarters of water
  • Put the pan on a stove and boil over high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of salt to the water.
  • Gently throw the pasta into the water when the water is boiling. A boiling occurs when small waves appear on the surface of the water, and you can stir the water without interfering with the boiling process.


Mention what happens as a result and what to do about it. By the time they finish, your readers must necessarily have an opinion about the result of the process. Help them visualize the final product and give them ideas about it. The fact that they completed the task does not mean that they know what to do with the final product.