Process Analysis Instructions

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Process Analysis Instructions
Process analysis is a fancy way of showing a series of steps. There are two types of process analysis essay: directional and informational. Both essays provide the reader with a series of steps in a process. The difference is in how the writer wants to influence the reader.
Directional essays give directions. They provide a series of steps (such as how to bake chocolate chip cookies) with the intention that the reader will actually follow the steps and make those cookies.
Informational essays provide information but do not expect the reader to take action upon those steps. For example, an informational essay may demonstrate the steps for how acid rain is caused but does not expect the reader to go out and make acid rain.
A process analysis essay is more than simply a laundry list of things to do. Instead, this type of essay requires the writer to explain the steps of a process. While you’re explaining the steps, you need to:

  1. Present them in a logical order so that they make sense.

  2. You also need to note (or highlight for your reader) any steps that may be confusing (for example, things that are complicated or happen simultaneously with another step).

  3. You should comment on their relative importance – some steps are more important than others.

  4. Of course, your descriptions of the steps should be precise and detailed.

You should also express your point of view (the writer’s perspective) about the process. That is, is the process easier than most people think? Is the process misunderstood (and you’re going to clear up the misconceptions)? You express your point of view through word choice, image choice, tone, and the steps you choose to write about.

Some of the things that you’ll want to keep in mind as you write a process analysis essay include:
1) Make sure you provide enough background information so that the reader understands the thesis and process of your essay.

2) Clearly define your desired outcome/purpose of the process.

3) Keep your audience (and the information they will need to know) in mind.

4) Use the appropriate point of view -- first, second, or third person narrator.

5) Explain the process and forewarn the reader of important or complicated steps.

6) Write an appropriate and effective introduction and conclusion.

The Assignment:
Since we have been discussing language and how to make your writing more interesting to read, this process analysis essay will serve as an exercise in language usage. So, I am asking you to write an essay that is either humorous or light-hearted. Writing humorously is difficult, but if you can catch the rhythm of it, then please write a funny essay. If that seems too difficult, then please write a light-hearted essay – whereby you don’t take your subject too seriously – because that’s easier to accomplish. The choice of subject is up to you.
As usual, you’ll need to type your essay and follow MLA format. The length should be two to three pages, double-spaced.
If you absolutely, positively, whole-heartedly cannot come up with a subject to write about – and I really mean this as a last resort – then you can use one of the following subjects:

  1. Explain how to, or how not to, prepare a holiday meal that will impress your fiancé, in-laws, potential in-laws, boss, or relatives.

  2. Explain how to, or how not to, effectively interview for a job or get a job.

  3. Explain how to, or how not to, operate some type of machine or electrical device.

  4. Explain how to, or how not to, make a great first impression.

  5. Explain how to, or how not to, drive well in Los Angeles.

  6. Explain how to, or how not to, effectively manage your money.

  7. Explain how to, or how not to, survive a bad blind date.

  8. Explain how to, or how not to, convince someone of something outrageous (wearing roller skates to work, have a wedding while sky-diving, or something silly or naughty – I’ll leave it to your imagination).

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this assignment. Good luck; and I’m sure you’ll do just fine!

[file: process analysis essay assignment]

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