* introduction

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I. Characteristics:

- you, you, you, you, you (“you are,” not “you’re;” “your” is allowed)


--introduce the subject

--overview of the process (“three simple steps”)

--divide into recognizable parts

--describe the result (sense details; “After following my easy process, you will have created a warm, nutritious meal.”)

**purpose statement (like thesis statement)(what will concern; why readers should do)

**set context/scenario for this process (why should the reader know how to do this activity)(purpose: answer the “so what?!” factor)

--*step-by-step (assume nothing)(directive/how-to, technical writing vs/ informative)

--* no lists *


*don’t forget the articles (a, an, the)

*don’t forget the Introduction & Conclusion

-- not necessarily a 5-paragraph essay (group steps onto phases/stages)

--*chronological order

--*transitions (first, then, next)(* “First, get the….” AND “The first step is to…”)

--*subordinating conjunctions (after, before)

-- your audience is a novice & knows nothing about your topic (so skip nothing)
--gather all materials 1st/in Step #1 (items should not just magically appear in the middle of the process)

--colons (“First, gather the following ingredients: milk, sugar, and flour.”)

--spell “ingredients” correctly

--“how exactly” (don’t skip over steps; the devil is in the details)

--no “things” (steps, tasks)

--make personal suggestions (if no specific brand/flavor is required)

--350 degrees (not the symbol for degrees)

--medium-sized pan (hyphen, -ed)

--“then”=not a conjunction (use “, and then”)

--add your preference if there is a choice (brand, amount of salt)

--give specific instance if “it depends”

--briefly explain the reason for a step if it is not obvious (do this to prevent a mess)

--commas (“Introductory subordinate clause,”)(between two i.c. joined by a coordinate conjunction)

--make tips (better use a pot holder)


--consider process as a whole

--describe the finished product (smells, taste)

--total time of the process

--repeat/reference the purpose of your process (why did you tell them how to do this)

--clincher sentence

*** Litmus test: Can the reader do it? ***
II. Topics: (**how to:)

--brush teeth, tie shoe laces --clean hamster cage --install carpet

--make lasagna, spaghetti, German apple cake, cheeseburger, grilled cheese, PB&J

--play football (be specific: block, pass, punt, tackle)

--shoot foul shot, jump serve in volleyball, swim

--drive standard/manual transmission (stick shift)

--give yourself a pedicure, make Jane’s special bubble bath

--change a tire, change brakes, change oil, change wiper blades, pump gas

--wash hair, clothes, car, dog

--buy used car, the perfect car for you

--plan a vacation -- convert to Judaism

--follow the traditions of Islamic ablution

III. Prewriting:


--3 tasks done at work each time

--3 foods you like to make

--3 technical/electrical/mechanical skills you have

--3 chores done weekly



--list every step in the process

--list related sense details


--do the process yourself

--details are then fresh in your mind & you won’t skip any steps

IV. Examples of creating a scenario & introducing the topic:

1) Have you ever been driving home late at night on a dark, deserted road and…..

2) Girls, are you tired of being seen as only sex objects? OR Feminism is dead, and women are now, more than ever, seen as simply sex objects. Well, girls, if that is how they are going to treat us, then we should use it to our advantage. One of the best instances to use, as Mama always said, “the gifts the Good Lord gave ya” is when you are pulled over by a cop for a moving violation. I have three simple steps for getting out of a ticket.
The first step is to….

**REMEMBER, this is an essay and not a recipe, SO

--essay format, no lists

--when gathering supplies, write as items in as series (not a list, not a recipe card)

--“After doing that step, you will need to gather the following materials: x, y, and z.” (notice the colon after “the following;” don’t use colons after LV)

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