What Is a Description of a Process in Technical Writing?

A technical writer may use a description of a process to inform an audience that has little knowledge or experience with that technical expertise. For example, an engineering company entering a bid for a project may need to include a technical description of an involved process that a layperson can understand.

Process description is a part of the technical writing genre, during which the author writes about a subject that requires instruction or explanation. According to WritingforCollege.org, the process description does not offer instruction itself, but rather outlines how something works. Therefore, writers do not include commands or writing in the second person. Instead, they write in the present tense with a general subject.

Process descriptions get used in proposals, planning documents, progress reports, promotional literature and technical support documents. Such descriptions may also be about natural events, such as how lightning is produced. The process description should include an introduction that gives a broad overview of the topic, including any necessary definitions. The main text should also include enough detail to make the process clear to a non-expert in that field. Process descriptions typically include a summary of the process.

Technical writing in general requires a clear, impersonal style with no opinions. All descriptions should be straightforward. Some process descriptions include visual aids, such as sketches or graphs, to facilitate understanding.