Presentation By: Safia Hurst
Presentation Date: 10.06.10
TYPES OF PROCESS ANALYSES
There are two types of Process Analyses essays
1. Instructional –gives directions and help
2. Informative – explains how something works/happens, shows
how significant a process is
Process Analyses can be used to explain why some things are
hard to remedy.
When writing a process analysis, keep these things in mind
• It is very important for the writer to understand the needs of the reader
• Never assume what the reader does/does not know
• Think like the reader. “if I was reading this would it make sense”
• It may make sense to you, but is it understandable to others?
• Always think about how much you expect the audience to know. Doing so will
help you plan the essay.
• After writing the essay, pick someone who is part of your target audience and
ask them if the essay makes sense to them. If it doesn’t then go back and
rewrite the essay.
THE LANGUAGE LEVEL
• Avoid using jargon-specialized language that only members of a specific
group are able to understand
• Do not write about a subject that requires you to use specialized words.
A student should use “you” in an instructional process analysis, but not while
writing an informational process.
• The topic should not be too narrow or too broad. If the topic is narrow/broad
the essay will be very likely to be broad or narrow. Always choose a topic that
can be done within the time of your assignment.
• The topic should interest you
-don’t choose a topic just because you want to please the instructor
- don’t be afraid to write on a subject because you think it is not pleasing to the
instructor or reader.
• Is the topic you are researching going to require research. If you include
information from other sources be sure to cite.
• Use whatever method works for you – brainstorming , clustering , free writing,
questioning, listing, etc.
• Prewriting will help determine if the essay is instructional or informational. It
will also help when writing the introduction.
• If you are writing an instructional essay, think about how learning the process
will help the reader
• If you are writing an informative essay, think of the overall point you are trying
• Organize your essay into an outline
The introduction to a process essay MUST establish background and context.
• Informational essay, the bigger picture is analyzed
• Instructional essay, importance of learning the process you are writing about.
Remember: You don’t always have to write the introduction first, you can
write the body paragraphs and then write the Intro.
• Topic sentences should not be implied, and should begin in a paragraph not
• Always use transitions. It helps the essay flow easily and is easier to read.
• Use rhetorical options – description, narration, exemplification, causal
analysis, definition, compare and contrast.
• Do not summarize you whole essay in you concluding paragraph
• Do not start talking about new topics in your conclusion
• Your conclusion should comment on the significance of your subject.
Revise your essay – analyze it yourself or have others revise it for you.
- Webster’s definition of “Process”: It is a usually
fixed or ordered series of actions and events
leading to a result
- Definition of Process Writing : This is a writing
strategy where the writer’s points are stated in a
clear order so as to achieve his goal of explaining a
- Informal Languages
- Use of wrong verb tenses (process essays are
usually in one verb tense)
- Avoid punctuation errors
- Avoid spelling errors
- Avoid grammar errors
- Know your audience
- Have a good working title
- Clearly explain the ordered steps in the process
- Have a sound introduction, thesis statement and
- Effectively use transition words
- REMEMBER TO PROOFREAD!!!!
PROCESS ESSAY STRUCTURE
- Choosing a topic
- Conducting Research
- Thesis Statement
CHOOSING A TOPIC
The choice of a topic should be the answer of either
or both of these questions:
- What do you know how to do?
- What do you want to know how to do?
- This is a very important part of pre-writing. It
involves an effective and efficient activity to
generate new ideas, thoughts that eventually lead
to the solutions at the time.
**Brainstorming is always done best with a refreshed
- The next and most important step is to combine
these ideas and thoughts into steps that can be
reflected on the outline.
- Find background information of your subject
- Plan and search
- Find books, periodicals, journals, internet, and
- Evaluate the information you have found
- Identify and include convincing facts and evidences
into your writing
THESIS STATEMENT & OUTLINE
- The thesis statement is usually at the end of the
first paragraph, and tells the reader the content of
the essay. It gives the essay an idea of what the
essay is about.
- After brainstorming, setting up an outline should not
be a problem. The outline gives the writer a sense
of direction; it also saves him time as well
- The introduction should clearly state the purpose of the essay;
The introduction contains the thesis, and therefore should
provide background for the entire essay
- Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence.
**A topic sentence is usually the first or second sentence of a
paragraph, and it should serve as the main point for the
Give supporting points for the topic sentence, and write one or
two sentences to conclude the paragraph.
- Conclusion should effectively summarize the main ideas of
the essay, and actively restate the thesis statement
CONCLUSION: EDITING AND PROOFREADING
Basically, do not fall victim to any of the problems
mentioned on the “AVOID!!!” slide.
GIKUYU INDUSTRIES: HUT BUILDING
> JOMO KENYATTA
A process essay describing the
Gikuyu tradition of building the family
The essay provides information about
the social dynamics of the tribe as well
the manner in which the huts are built
TYPE OF PROCESS ANALYSIS ESSAY
Instructional OR Informative?
Gikuyu Industries: Hut Building is an
Informative Process Essay
Process Analysis Essays that attempt to inform or
comment have a broader focus that instructional
writing. (this aim is usually made clear in the thesis)
What makes it Informative?
The essay was NOT written with the intent for it’s
readers to build a Gikuyu Hut.
The essay simply informs the audience about the
culture and traditions of the Gikuyu tribe and how
the act of constructing these huts ties into their
lifestyle and culture.
It is the desire of every Gikuyu man to work
hard and accumulate property which will
enable him to build a homestead of his own.
DETERMINING THE PURPOSE
The Gikuyu hut building experience involves
the entire community and mirrors the day to
day life of the Gikuyu people. This is
expressed in the essay and with the
description of the hut building process.
ANALYZING WITH A WRITERS EYE
Who is the Intended Audience?
General (those who are not familiar with Gikuyu
What features from the text support the thesis
Role of males in the civilization
“the quality of man is judged by his homestead”
What is the Author’s tone?
EXAMPLES OF TONE FROM THE TEXT
“The woman’s hut is called nyomba. Here it is taboo for a mere
stranger to enter, because nyomba is considered as the
traditional sacred abode of the family and the proper place to
hold communion with their ancestral spirits. All aspects of
religious and magical ceremonies and sacrifices which concern
the family are centered around the nyomba. It is for fear of
defilement and ill-luck that strangers are not allowed to cross this
sacred threshold.” (paragraph 2)
ANALYZING WITH A READER’S EYE
Audience Analysis (how much do you
expect the audience to know about the
the audience is not expected to have
extensive information about the subject,
thus extensive details and background
information are given throughout the text
ANALYZING WITH A READER’S EYE CONT’D
In many process essays, the writer will use the
term you, in addressing their audience. However,
Jomo Kenyatta, refrains from using this tem
because his essay is meant more for informing
purposes than to instruct his audience.
ANALYZING WITH A READERS EYE CONT’D
Use of Jargon and lingo
“Wega uumaga namocie”– The quality
of a man is judged by his homestead
The jargon and its explanations are used
provided additional support for the thesis
Background and Contextual Information
The Gikuyu people and the goal of all males in the
Establishing the purpose of the Essay
Body of the Essay
Steps for building a hut – both specific and general
Use of topic sentences to guide the reader (paragraph
Use of transitions to link ideas (paragraph 8, last
Significance of subject
ELEMENTS OF THE PROCESS ESSAY
Reference to Time
“The actual building of a hut takes only one day”
(paragraph 2, sentence 2)
Text about Preparation
“ A few days before the erection of a hut or huts, the
building materials are collected” (paragraph 4)
Transitional Words or Phrases
“After the building materials have been collected…”
“The next thing is to light the fire…” (paragraph 12)
Conclusion: Questions to consider when reviewing a
process essay (WM p. 262)
1. Does the introduction sufficiently explain the background
and context for the process?
2. Does the essay include a thesis statement that informs
the reader about the analysis to follow, either stating why
it is important to learn or making a point about it? Is the
writer’s purpose clear?
3. Do the steps and the commentary make sense? Do you
feel that you understand the process that is being
4. Point out any step or comment that doesn’t ring true.
5. Are topic sentences both clear and properly located?
Where are the steps unclear for readers, and where does
a step need more explanation?
6. Does the writer use enough transitions to guide the reader
through the process? Where are transitional words and
7. Does the essay have an effective conclusion? How could
it be improved.
Apply what you’ve learned:
Exercise to test your knowledge.
• Please turn to page 266 of your Writing Matters
• Exercise 8.2 will have you read a draft of a students
process analysis essay. Use the steps to reviewing a
process analysis essay to revise the paper in groups of 2
• Take about 4-5 minutes to do this. We will then discuss it
as a group.
• 2 main types of process analysis essays: self-help and
• Process analysis essays inform and/or instruct.
• When writing a process analysis essay remember to:
1. Consider your audience. Knowing who your audience
is will effect how you write your analysis.
2. Consider the language you use when writing your
essay. If you are writing about a mechanical or technical
process, try to avoid jargon that is specific to only certain
3. Be aware of your writing voice. Because you are
writing for a specific audience, the reader, using second
person point of view (you), is okay.
• When choosing a topic, make sure that it is not too broad
or too narrow. Consider your reader.
• Choose a topic that interests you.
• Consider whether you want to choose a topic that
requires research. It may help broaden your essay. If you
do choose to use outside information, be sure to cite it
• Choose a prewriting strategy that works for you,
(freewriting, web, outline), to help develop your thoughts
on your chosen topic. It is also helpful to create a list of
the steps for your analysis.
• Organize your thoughts using an outline.
• Create a first draft that includes an introduction,
supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion.
• Edit your work
• Write your final draft.
Redd, Tereasa, and Carolyn Shuttlesworth. Revelations: An
Anthology of Expository Essays by and about Blacks.
Fifth Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions,
2010. 404. Print.
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