ESSAY TYPES: MODES - PowerPoint Document Version


Futioe fractal courtesy of
Janet Preslar, FrActivity


  • A process essay clearly explains the materials and steps required to complete a given task.
  • All information required will be included in the paper.

Introductory Paragraph

  • Create a scenario for needing process
  • Be brief
  • Make it personal and relevant
    • A stranded motorist for changing a tire
    • A midnight hunger attack for omelette recipe
  • Then offer the process as a solution

You are driving along and suddenly there is an odd noise and the car veers from side to side. You pull over to the side of the road and get out of the car. You have a flat tire. What will you do? Waiting for help can take hours and can be expensive. If you follow the following instructions, this hassle will become a small nuisance that you can take care of yourself.

Organization of Body of Essay

  • Begin with what articles will be needed to complete task
  • Then in subsequent paragraphs, list steps in order of necessity
  • Detail and specifics are important
    • Don't presume reader has any knowledge of process
    • No shortcuts

First Paragraph of Body

  • Name the tools/implements required
  • Name the ingredients/supplies required
  • Use conversational language - it's not a grocery list
  • Put like items together (tools, ingredients, required skills, etc.)

Next Paragraphs - The Process Itself

  • Be specific - Use detail
  • Do not skip any steps, even the most mundane
  • List steps in order of occurrence
  • Specifically name tools and ingredients as used, keeping in mind you have already given amounts and types in previous paragraph
  • Give approximate time needed for these steps, and relate how previous steps are important or relevant
  • Clarify/explain any technical or slang terms
  • Make each paragraph (if more than one is used) a complete idea


  • Tell us what we have, either as finished product or usefulness of process
  • Include quantity, special storage/use instructions, etc
  • Draw a projection - why we should know this (as opposed to having someone else do it for us)

© T. T. Eiland, January 1998
Last modified: March 30, 2000