Techniques

As you create a process essay, keep the following in mind:

Create a List of Directions or StepsA picture of a man searching through a cookbook.
When writing a process essay, you need to first list the directions or steps. Remember that you’re telling your reader how to do something. While you don’t want to over explain the process, you want to be sure that you’re giving the reader every step or direction he or she needs to be successful. Success can be determined either by the reader being able to achieve the desired results by following your directions or having a greater understanding of the process after reading your essay.

Make Sure You’re Not Missing Steps or Directions
It’s essential not to miss any of the directions or steps. Take some time away from your list of steps and revisit it with fresh eyes to be sure that you didn’t miss anything. Remember, you already know how to do the thing you’re explaining and may make assumptions that the reader may know something about the process he or she does not. However, you must balance this idea with the concept that you don’t want to over explain to and, thus, insult the reader.

Organize Your Steps
After you have listed your steps, you have to decide if you need to follow chronological (time sequencing) order, address the simple to the complex, or discuss the known to the unknown.

Don’t Confuse Your Reader
Remember, don’t confuse your reader. Don’t bog him or her down with unnecessary information, but be sure that you are providing all of the steps. Never backtrack and discuss missed steps because this will only frustrate or confuse your reader.

Keep the Reader Interested
Lastly, keep your reader interested. You’re writing an essay and not a manual—show some personality and catch your reader’s interest.

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