Some examples of process essays include how to check email, how to make Kool-Aid and how to catch river crabs. A process essay is a piece of writing that describes how to perform a task or how something happens.
A good process essay must focus on a task that is simple enough to be described understandably but complex enough that readers might benefit from reading an explanation. Some processes, such as tying shoes, may seem simple to perform but can be fairly difficult to describe in writing. Describing how to make something simple or how to perform a fairly simple task are typically good topics for a process essay.
Process essays are often assigned in introductory writing courses because they force writers think critically about all the steps that go into a specific process. After choosing a topic, it’s a good idea to draw up a quick outline of all the steps the process involves and all the necessary materials. Preliminary outlining can help writers make sure they don’t leave out some important step or item.
While a process essay is almost always written in the form of sequential steps, writers should try to avoid overuse of transitional words such as “next” or “then.” Instead, they should consider phrasing that emphasizes the importance of different steps and maintains readers’ attention.