Purpose is to help reader understand how a process is carried out.
Use either 1st person or 3rd person; not second person or imperative mood.
May be in present or past tense, depending on whether the writer is explaining a process that takes place regularly or one that occurred in the past, and on whether the writer or someone else carried out the process.
Does your assignment call for a set of instructions or a process explanation?
Does your writing style clearly and consistently indicate whether you are writing a set of instructions or process explanation?
Does your essay have a clearly stated thesis that identifies the process and perhaps tells why it is (or was) performed?
Have you included all necessary reminders and cautions?
Have you included all necessary steps?
Are the steps presented in strict chronological order?
Do transitions clearly indicate where one step ends and the next begins?
In Class Process Writing Exercise
Look at the photograph to the right. How is this jack-o’-lantern different from the pumpkin from which it was carved?
List the steps involved in the process of carving a pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern. Where dies the process begin? Where does it end?
What cautions and reminders might be helpful to someone who has never made a jack-o’-lantern?
Write a set of instructions for someone who has never made a jack-o’-lantern. Using commands and present tense, explain each step in the order in which it occurs, including all necessary cautions and reminders.