How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline

Process analysis is an explanation of how something works or happens. Want to know more? Read the following article prepared by our custom writing specialists and learn about:

  • process analysis and its types
  • a process analysis essay and how to write it.

Also, you’ll find here many helpful tips and examples. So, let’s start digging deeper into this topic!

♻️ What Is Process Analysis?

A process analysis describes and explains the succession of actions, points out a specific result, and provides a detailed plan.

To be more precise, process analysis is targeted at explaining:

  • how things work;
  • how to do or make something;
  • how something operates or happens.

So, if you want to know how an aircraft flies or how to start a business, you need to deal with process analyses that detail these procedures. You might be asking yourself: Are these two processes similar to each other? In fact, they are different. Moreover, there exist other types of processes. That’s why we have united some basic types into categories for your convenience.

The picture shows the main types of processes for process analysis.

Let’s get into the details.

  1. Processes that are either related to people or performed by them, such as relationships, psychological aspects, or some manuals. These include descriptions of how to overcome depression, work in a team, or change the oil in your car.
  2. Processes that take place within a society. For example, it can be a description of the electoral process or how the judicial system works.
  3. Processes that occur in nature. It may be an explanation of cell division, the process of season change, or the life cycle of an organism. Process analysis plays a crucial role in scientific research. It helps to describe complex mechanisms and procedures, leading to advancements in science.
  4. Processes that are performed by machines. It can be an explanation of how a car engine works or how a helicopter flies.
  5. Business operations, information, and produced documents. Process analysis is very important for this sphere because it helps in:
    • documenting knowledge;
    • analyzing some separate actions;
    • finding problematic issues;
    • identifying the options for further improvements.

As you can see, some of these processes just need to be described, while others should be explained. There is a considerable difference between a description and an analysis. If you want to find it out, read the following part of this article.

✏️ Two Types of Process Analysis

As you already know, a process can be either described or explained. Following this, the two types of process analysis are:

  • Directive process analysis: a description of a process.
  • Informational process analysis: an explanation of how something works.

The primary difference concerns the purpose of these analyses. Now, let’s go into details.

Directive Process Analysis: Examples & Definition

Directive process analysis (also called prescriptive) answers the question of how to do or make something. In other words, it serves as an outline of specific steps a person should take to achieve the desired result. For example, it may be a description of how to plan a party or write a particular essay type (like this article.)

This type of process analysis is used in tutorials, manuals, or policy guides. In most cases, technicians and decision-makers utilize it.

Informational Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Definition

In contrast, an informational process analysis (also called explanatory or descriptive) demonstrates how something works or is done. To be more precise, it presents information about the way some things or phenomena function. For example, it can describe how a disease affects our bodies. 

A descriptive analysis consists of two parts:

  • data gathering;
  • identifying casual relationships.

This combination helps find out the essence of the process.

An informational process analysis may be found in essays, magazine or newspaper articles, or videos. Mostly, students, researchers, or just curious people are interested in this type.

☑️ How to Write a Process Analysis Essay

We have talked about the process analysis definition and types. Now, it’s time to find out about a process analysis essay and how to write it correctly. In this section, you will find lots of interesting and helpful information on how to write each part of the essay, some tips on topics selection, and examples.

Process Analysis Essay Outline

Let’s start with the essay structure. Keep in mind that a process analysis should be written in chronological order. If you want your readers to understand the presented process clearly, divide it into stages and then into steps. It will make your essay more coherent.

A process paper outline consists of 4 parts. Here they are:

The picture shows the main steps in writing a process analysis: introduction, main body, conclusion.

Process Analysis Essay Topics: How to Choose

Choosing a topic may seem confusing. You have many things you want to talk about, and you simply can’t decide. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry; these tips will help determine what process analysis essay topic to choose. 

To select a topic, you need to:

  • Analyze your interests and hobbies;
  • Choose a process related to your interests;
  • Look for something you are familiar with and don’t need any further research;

To sum it up, write about something you like and know about.

How to Start a Process Analysis Essay

You’ve chosen the topic but don’t know how to start writing about it? Don’t worry; we’ve collected the most effective strategies to help you create an excellent introduction.

It’s worth mentioning that your introductory part depends on the type of your process analysis. If it’s a directive essay, you need to explain the process to your readers. If it’s an informational essay, you describe the process.

STEP #1: Start with a definition. It’s necessary to mention the purpose and importance of your paper. The audience should have a meaningful reason for reading your essay.

Example:

Writing a perfect essay is easier than you think (directive.)

Stress is one of the reasons for health problems (informational.)

STEP #2: Add some background information. Expand on the details and define the process.   

Example:

Baking requires particular skills and time. However, if you do everything correctly, you will get an excellent cake (directive.)

Constant stress exposure leads to the development of various health disorders, resulting in complex treatment (informational).

STEP #3: End your introduction with a thesis statement. Present the steps or stages of the process in one sentence.

Example:

To write a perfect essay, one needs to search for information from different sources, analyze the gathered data, and organize the ideas into a coherent text (directive.)

Chronic stress leads to the rise of blood pressure, the release of histamine, and a change of insulin level (informational.)

Just follow these steps to make sure you included all the necessary aspects in your introduction.

Process Analysis Thesis Writing Tips

thesis statement is a roadmap of your essay. That’s why it’s important to make it an effective one. Here’s what to keep in mind when writing a powerful thesis. 

  1. Its content. It should contain all the essential information on your topic. A thesis is like a presentation of your paper in one sentence. That’s why you need to be clear and concise. Each of the aspects mentioned in a thesis should be expanded in a body paragraph.

Example:

Baking a pie is a simple process as all you need to do is to mix all the products, prepare the filling, and bake the combined ingredients in the oven.

When you see such a thesis, you understand that the paper will be about baking a pie rather than changing a tire.

  1. The number of parts. In fact, a process analysis thesis consists of two parts: the main point and the organizational format. The first element focuses on the purpose of the thesis. It’s worth mentioning that the content of the second part depends on the type of your process analysis essay.
DirectiveInformational
The second thesis part declares the importance of covering this information:
Example: Constant stress worsens the quality of your life (main point) because it leads to the development of various chronic diseases (explanation of essay importance.)
The second part of your thesis should include the plan (the steps to take to achieve the desired result.)
Example: It is easy to combat stress (main point) with the help of meditation, yoga practice, and regular sleep (the plan.)
  1. Its place in the text. Your thesis should be situated at the end of your introduction. To be more precise, it’s the last sentence of this part. In such a way, our audience will get a hint about the content of the following body paragraphs.

Feel free to check out the additional tips below. They will make your thesis perfect.

  • Make it an affirmative sentence. Don’t write your thesis in the form of a question. This statement should be the answer to the question of the audience.
  • Try to make it emphatic. Don’t start your thesis with trite phrases such as “this essay will explain,” “I will inform you about,” or “I will describe.”
  • Add more aspects if necessary. For example, the thesis may state the inefficiency or unfairness of the process in question.

Process Analysis: Paragraphs for the Main Body

Similar to a thesis statement, the content and structure of the main body depend on your essay type. We have prepared several useful strategies for both types.

Informational Process Analysis: Body Paragraphs

✔️ Dos❌ Don’ts
  1. Include as many sections as you need to explain the essence of the discussed process.
  2. Start each paragraph with a topic sentence.
  3. Present all the necessary details to show the importance of each step.
  4. Define all the terms and describe the equipment if it’s essential.
  1. Don’t give any directions. Remember that you aim to inform people about the process and the steps rather than give instructions.
  2. Don’t just make a list of steps. You need to explain each of them and to show their importance rather than just enumerate them.

Directive Process Analysis: Body Paragraphs

✔️ Dos❌ Don’ts
  1. Dedicate one paragraph to each stage.
  2. Describe the steps in detail and explain their importance.
  3. Mention the duration of each step and the place where they occur.
  4. Add necessary details: explanation of the terms, some background information, etc.
  1. Don’t simply describe the process. You need to give directions and instructions.
  2. Don’t leave your stages and steps without a proper explanation. People should understand what they do, why they do it, and what they will get as a result.

Transition Words for Process Essay & Examples

Each process has a beginning, a middle part, and an ending. To present a process analysis, divide it into meaningful parts and organize them properly. The readers should always have a clear understanding of a succession of actions.

That’s why you need to use transitional words. They can help the readers follow the text. We have prepared a list of transition words with some examples. Check it out below.

After, afterward You need to add two cups of flour after you beat eggs with sugar.   
Next Next, add two teaspoons of salt and some water. 
As soon as As soon as you finish blending berries with sugar, add some cinnamon and vanilla. 
Meanwhile Put your pastry into the fridge for 30 min. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. 
Later It’s better to season the mixture later. 
Before Before cooking a pie, make sure that all your kitchen utensils are clean and working. 
First, second, third, etc. First, sharpen the knife. Second, chop the chicken into big pieces. Third, add some spices. 
Finally, eventually, at last Finally, you can serve the table and taste the dish. 

Process Essay Conclusion Writing Strategies

Finally, we get to the concluding part and how it should be arranged. Here are some helpful strategies for you to write an effective conclusion.

  1. Briefly summarize all the information you mentioned in your body paragraphs.
  2. Don’t introduce any new details. This part intends to conclude the essay.
  3. Paraphrase your thesis statement.
  4. Relate your conclusion with the introduction. There should be a logical ending for your essay. Sum up the information presented in all the parts of your paper.

Example:

To conclude, stress produces a negative effect on health. That’s why you should do something to reduce its impact. Include meditation and yoga in your daily routine. Don’t forget to have enough sleep. If you follow all these recommendations, your mental and physical health will improve very soon.

📑 Process Paragraphs Examples & Bonus Tips

We have already composed the process analysis essay. Now you know what to include and what to pay attention to while writing such a type of essay. However, we would like to share a list of some additional tips with you. They will help you to look at your paper from different angles and make it perfect.

Bonus tips:

  1. Consider the tone of your writing. Try to sound as professional as possible.
  2. Don’t forget about the formal style. Avoid writing in 1st person. Instead, use the 2nd person in directive and the 3rd person in informational process analyses:

Example:

Directive (2nd person) Informational (3rd person)
Start baking a pie with reading a whole recipe. First, beat eggs with sugar, and then add flour. Stress produces a negative effect on your body. It may increase blood pressure.
  1. You can interrupt the chronology of your process description. Sometimes, it’s essential to specify the terms or concepts, show how the preceding and following steps are connected, or clarify why it’s necessary to do some steps simultaneously.
  2. Give your readers a specific reason to care about your essay. Before writing your thesis statement, ask yourself: Why do people need to know about this process? The thesis should reflect the answer to this question.

Finally, we would like to present you with a process analysis essay example. Pay attention to the contents of each essay part:

Example:

Topic The US Voting Process
Introduction During the elections, you choose who will represent your interests in the nearest future. The voting process is quite complicated, so you need to figure out how everything works. To do it, it is necessary to check the eligibility, research the information, and decide how to vote.
Body Paragraph 1 First, you have to check if you can vote. There are two main requirements: you have to be 18 years old and be a resident of the US. Other than that, the rules may differ depending on the state. If you are eligible, you need to register in person, by mail, or on your state’s election website.
Body Paragraph 2 Second, research the candidates. It is a very responsible decision, so you need to make the right choice. There are multiple things you can do to find out information about the candidates. You can visit their websites, look through the political campaigns, and listen to their debates.
Body Paragraph 3 Third, choose how you will vote. You can vote on the day of the elections or before that. If you want to do it early, you can do it in person or via mail. To send the ballot via mail, you fill out a form. After that, you will receive a voting ballot. Your task is to fill it and send back or drop it in the ballot box.
Conclusion When you have done these steps, the only thing left is to wait for the result and find out who had won. In the US, you don’t get final results straight away. Instead, you get them gradually as they are counted.

We hope you find our article useful and apply these strategies to your process analysis essay. We wish you success with all your future assignments.

Further reading:

🔍 References

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