How To Write a Process Analysis Essay

Almost everything we do involves a step-by-step approach. A list of instructions we can easily enact. This is precisely what a process analysis essay does. It is a straightforward essay that presents a process or action in a logical order so the reader can understand and complete the task easily. In this way, a process essay is an expository essay since it explains, demonstrates and clarifies a topic.

The most important aspect to remember when writing a process analysis essay is the analysis! Perhaps this is obvious since it is in the name, but it is so important, we had to highlight it. In a process analysis essay, you are analyzing in explanatory format each step of a procedure. Each step needs to be clear and concise. This article will help you do exactly that and support you in writing a successful process analysis essay.

Definition Of a Process Analysis Essay

Before we look at how to write this kind of essay, let’s get clear on the definition of a process analysis essay.

The definition of a process analysis essay: an explanatory essay presenting the steps of a process in chronological order. Every part of the process is explained in a step by step guide. The process is clearly defined examining how something occurs, works or is done. For this reason, a process analysis essay can be likened to a recipe. The reader should be able to follow all the instruction and enact the process successfully.

The Purpose of A Process Analysis Essay

These essays are an opportunity to ‘analyze’ as well as ‘process’. In other words, the ‘process’ part is stating the step and the ‘analysis’ is explaining the importance of the steps. This can be expanded further by explaining the step’s relationship to one another, and how this process can be used to solve a problem or enhance your life in some way.

Your professor wants to see depth of thought and that you can not only share your knowledge but do so articulately and coherently. Coherence and concision are your best friends when it comes to writing a successful process analysis essay.

How To Identify The Two Types of Process Analysis Essays

There are two types of process analysis essays: informative and directional.

Informative: Provides informative and detailed instructions on how something functions. For example, a description of how a bike works.


Here are some further informative process analysis essay topics:

  • – How a sugar addict can stop eating sugar
  • – How to apply for college
  • – How to survive a recession
  • – How to save money
  • – How citizens can prevent a civil war


Directional: This essay explains the process of doing something. For example, making a bed.

  • – Here are some further directional process analysis essay topics:
  • – How to move to a different country
  • – How to grow beetroot
  • – How to make a short film
  • – How to change a light bulb
  • – How to light a fire without a lighter

How To Choose Your Essay Topic

Choosing a topic to write your process analysis essay on is a task you should consider carefully. Make sure you choose a subject you feel inspired by. It should be a subject you know well and feel comfortable talking about. It is even better if you feel able to teach it. Passion and knowledge are key ingredients to writing a successful process analysis essay successfully.

What is wonderful about a process analysis essay is that it can be used to write on such a wide range of topics. This can vary from highly technical processes to something simple like how to clean your fridge. However, this can make choosing your subject daunting but don’t worry, we have your back! Here are some tips to help you choose the best process analysis topic for you:

Brainstorm: Write down all your ideas on what topics you might like to write about in your process analysis essay.

A Helpful Topic: Make sure the subject is valuable and has practical worth.

Captivate The Reader: Choose a topic that will inspire the reader and make them want to keep reading.

Knowledge: You need to feel well informed and have a good depth of knowledge on your topic.

Focused Theme: Chanel your topic into a focused theme to make it clear and concise.

Logical Steps: Your topic needs to be broken down into practical steps so make sure you can do this.

Relevance: Your topic will be more interesting to the reader if it is relevant to them.

Here are some general examples of process analysis essay topics:

  • How to eat healthily
  • How to set camp wild
  • How to prepare for a surgical operation
  • How to meditate
  • How to prepare for a job interview
  • How to do active listening
  • How to pray
  • How to surf
  • How to make the perfect raw vegan brownie
  • How to enhance your concentration
  • How to build a strawbale house
  • How to fly a kite
  • How to make pesto from garden weeds
  • How to improve your memory
  • How to wash your dog
  • How to massage your feet
  • How to make homemade natural shampoo
  • How to communicate nonviolently
  • How to Dj
  • How to make a Japanese garden
  • How to change a car tire
  • How to play the drums
  • How to make rose oil
  • How to improve your digestion


Follow this link for further topic ideas

If you still feel stuck when it comes to choosing you process analysis essay, try these tactics out:

  • Look around your room or home. What gadgets are around you and can you explain how they work?
  • Choose a topic you understand well and have learned thoroughly.
  • Think of your daily routine procedures.
  • How have you coped with unusual or challenging experiences or situations in your life?
  • Make a list of key words that inspire you and could lead to a topic.
  • What are you studying and researching now and can you write your essay on it?


How To Plan Your Process Analysis Essay

There are a few important questions to ask yourself once you have chosen your essay topic and before you begin writing.

  • What is your purpose?
  • What is your tone?
  • What is your point of view


Are you trying to persuade the reader or inform? Is there an entertaining factor in your process analysis essay? These are all important aspects to consider.


A professional tone is always essential in your essay writing. This means no slang language and treating your topic with respect.

Point of View

The third person should always be used. ‘I think’ makes it too personal. You want to adopt a neutral position in your essay to ensure a logical, objective analysis is presented.

The Plan

A great plan equals a great essay. By planning your process analysis essay, you are ensuring the information you provide is well organized and concise.

An effective way to plan your process analysis essay is to divide your chosen topic into sequential steps making it into a list in chronological order.

Remember that each step will be a paragraph in your essay. You will be explaining why each step is needed giving appropriate details to ensure the reader can complete it.

Here are some top tips for planning your process analysis essay:

  • – Write out the steps in chronological order.
  • – Write bullet points for why each step is important.
  • – Define any terms that could potentially be unfamiliar or difficult to the reader.
  • – List any necessary tools and prepare their definitions.

How To Structure Your Process Analysis Essay

Once you have the plan ready, it is time to start writing! The format of your process analysis essay is not to be overlooked and must not be deviated from. So, let’s have a look!

There are three segments to your process analysis essay:

  1. Introduction
  2. Main Body
  3. Conclusion

The Introduction

Here you present your topic and define it. You also need to explain the process and why it is important. Remember to only provide relevant information. This is not the time to discuss the historical background, for example. Keep to the point!

Introductory Breakdown:

  1. Introduce the topic, define and briefly outline what the process will achieve.
  2. 2 Present where this process is useful.
  3. Give an example to illustrate the consequence of this process.

Main Body

The main body is where you present the procedure step by step. Each paragraph represents one step. The main body outlines the process in sequential order which should be illustrated clearly and concisely.

It is in the main body where you need to list any equipment, tools or necessary resources that are relevant to this procedure. You may need to give these items clear definitive descriptions and where the reader can obtain them.

Potential risks or side effects also need to be explained here. You need to inform the reader about how the procedure could fail to help them avoid any potential mistakes.

Clarity is essential in the process analysis essay. To avoid any confusion, make sure each step is explained in clear and simple language. Do not deviate from the point or add any unnecessary information. This is a factual, explanatory essay that needs to be clear and distinct.

Top Tip: Use transition words to flow from one step to another. Here is a list of transition words and phrases:

  • Next
  • In addition
  • Before
  • In the meantime
  • Finally
  • As a result
  • Since
  • Later
  • Simultaneously
  • Then
  • Subsequently
  • Whilst

Here is a link to help you gather further ideas for transitional phrases and words:

Main Body Breakdown:

  1. Have a paragraph for each step of the procedure.
  2. Perform each step in their paragraph.
  3. Transition fluidly from step to step.
  4. Use the helpful description to educate your reader.


The final segment of the process analysis essay is where the general review takes place. Here you have the opportunity to re-emphasize the key components to the procedure. This should be done succinctly only using the most relevant and informative details. A brief description of the expected results of the process is also important to include here. This will give your reader a way to measure their success. This is an important aspect of the experience for the reader and not to be forgotten!

Conclusion Break Down

  1. Summarize your process.
  2. Reinforce the main aspects of each step.
  3. Describe the anticipated result.

Writing Tips To Help You Write An Excellent Process Analysis Essay


Language and vocabulary: Use language that is clear, simple but descriptive. Colorful vocabulary will make the essay more enjoyable to read and keep the reader interested.

Definitions: Define any technical terms. You want the reader to be well informed and knowledgeable.

Simple: Keep your steps simple and to the point.

Avoid repetition: Do not repeat yourself whether it is repeating the same vocabulary or explanations.

Direct the reader: Words such a ‘wait until’ or ‘once you have finished’, will help direct the reader and create a sense that they are being guided and supported in the process.

Chronological procession: This is fundamental to your process analysis essay. Imagine making a cake and the instructions were not sequential. Chaos would ensue! This rings true for your procedure in your process analysis essay.

Proofreading: Do not forget to proofread! You can find excellent apps that help you to proofread. Grammarly is a great resource. Follow this link to find out more:

Process Analysis Essay Examples

Reading examples of other people’s process analysis essays will not only inspire you but it is the fastest way to understand how to write these essays.

Follow these links to find examples that will help you on your way to writing a successful process analysis essay:


Final Recap

  • – Brainstorm your topic ideas and choose one
  • – Divide the procedure into coherent steps.
  • – Illustrate the steps in a logical and chronological order.
  • – Structure your essay into introduction, main body and conclusion.
  • – Be clear on all the peculiarities of the process and make sure you mention them to the reader at the relevant point.
  • – Inform the reader of all possible side effects of the process.
  • – Use transitions words.
  • – Do not retell the whole procedure in the conclusion.
  • – Proofread grammar, spellings and clarity of expression.

Final Thoughts

If there is one thing to highlight before we conclude this article is the importance of structure. A clear, concise format that we have discussed will ensure that your procedure is easy to follow and digestible for your reader. What are the key components to the process analysis essay, I hear you ask?

  1. Introduction
  2. Main body
  3. Conclusion

Remember, each paragraph in the main body represents a step. Keep to this methodical and systematic approach and you will knock your process analysis essay out of the park.

Finally, this should be fun! If it is fun for you to write, the reader will also enjoy reading it. You want to inspire and encourage the reader to try out your procedure. They need to feel confident and comfortable, and you can make them feel this way by the way you outline the process.

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