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Process analysis essay | How to write, Definition, Topics, Outline, Examples

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A process analysis essay is an academic paper that needs the writer to describe the steps of a procedure followed in order. This topic requires the student to have knowledge and information about the topic, such as how a product or service is made or how something is done in general. It usually shows the steps that are taken to accomplish a goal, including problems that may occur and how they’re solved.

Process analysis can be used in writing to describe foods being prepared, the steps of making a car or any mechanical device, houses being built, or almost anything else that involves a series of actions.

When you do a process analysis essay, your job is to chronicle the sequence of events as simply and directly as possible. Pay close attention to details so your reader will know exactly what’s going on. The point is not to write about your personal feelings or even analyze why something was done in a certain way; instead focus on conveying information.

Being able to draft a quality process analysis essay successfully requires three things: 

  • Analytical thinking skills to extract solid information from unstructured sources (e-books, lecture recordings etc.)
  • Presentation skills to organize appropriate facts into logical order without losing vital information for reader’ benefit.
  • Research skills which allow you to follow tight deadlines and moderate your writing to fit your tutor’s requirements.

Writing a process analysis essay may sound complicated, but the truth is, it is just another writing assignment

You can think of it as a recipe which states all the necessary ingredients and preparation steps. Always aim to explain what is needed in a logical order.

Types of process analysis essays

Process analysis essays can be classified into five main types. Process analysis essays are written about:

  1. Human behavior (process analyses of human behavior);
  2. A business or organization (process analyses of businesses and organizations);
  3. The relationship between two things (process analyses of the relationship between two things);
  4. An event or series of events; and finally,
  5. In an attempt to explain why something happened, a process analysis is often used as part of case studies.

There are additional two main types of process analysis essays depending on the structure:

  1. Informational process analysis essays which will explain something to the reader, for example, it can explain how a vacuum cleaner works.
  2. Directional process analysis essays which explain how to do something, provide directions to help you achieve a given result.

The writer is expected to present the steps of a process in sequential order. Your professor may assign a topic, but sometimes you will have to choose a topic yourself.

Suggestions on the process analysis essay topics

  • How to prevent the spread of COVID19.
  • How to wash a camper van.
  • How to study for exams.
  • How to write a college essay.
  • How to get prepared for a job interview.
  • Different ways of dancing.
  • How to prepare for a field trip.
  • How to acquire a promotion.
  • Ways to wean your baby.
  • How to clean a handkerchief.

Given the ideas, you now understand how the topics should appear.

How to select a topic when writing your process analysis essay

 When choosing a topic, always avoid making rush decisions. If possible, try rationalizing your choice using these recommendations.

  • Look for a topic you understand.
  • Select a theme that will make the readers feel engaged.
  • Your topic should focus on a specific thing.
  • Be in a position to explain your pictures without the use of pictures.
  • Choose a helpful topic.
  • Ensure the topic is relevant.

You might not have the topics in mind, but always focus on what you feel comfortable with.

The structure of a process analysis essay

  • Introduction: These parts should explain the process and give reasons why it is actually important. It is not advisable to add unnecessary information such as the history or origin. Do not discuss when the baby was born, where he or she lives if you are discussing the weaning process.
  • Body paragraphs: In your next paragraph, provide a list of resources required for that particular process. Explain where to find the tools or ingredients. Give the possible risks that may occur in the process. This will inform your reader. It is advisable to be as truthful as possible.
  • The outline: Before writing any paper, take time and draft the outline. It will help you arrange your points in a consequential order and help you remember all the main ideas. As a writer, you should be very keen to avoid causing any confusion. If your process appears complicated, try subdividing your steps. Again, do not forget to make use of transitional words such as “then” as this will prevent the essay from looking competitive.
  • Conclusion: End your essay by presenting a general view of the process. Restate and rephrase the main points without giving details. Remember to restate your thesis statement and aim at answering the question “so what?”

Tips on how to structure a process analysis paper

The structure of a process analysis essay is also important as it allows you to organize ideas in the most logical and appropriate way.Here are some guidelines that will help you write an effective paper:

  • Use transition words correctly so that the whole paper flows logically from one paragraph to another .
  • Use transition words that explain how this topic ties into something else mentioned later
  • Use transition words in your title, so that it properly connects with the body paragraphs.
  • Include adequate background information within the introduction.
  • Make sure each paragraph has only one main point that needs to be supported by evidence such as facts, examples and expert opinions.
  • Make sure you have elaborated on each paragraph before moving on to the next one.
  • Focus on writing a process analysis essay that is properly structured and coherent .
  • Use sources logically.

How to write an outline for a process analysis essay

How to write a process analysis essay outline following this order:


  • Introduce the topic and explain what the process should achieve.
  • Offer a real-world example.
  • Show where the process is relevant.

An introduction for a process analysis essay should be well structured and start with an attention grabbing opening sentence. It is not necessary to write about what the essay will deal with, but rather draw the reader in by making a link between your title and your introduction. 


  • Present your process in short paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph or section should present a different step.
  • Apply transitions in each step.
  • Be descriptive in your essay.
  • Mention the instruments needed.
  • Include the risks and warnings.

The body of a process analysis essay comes next as it helps you develop the ideas that are going to be described in the following paragraphs. This is where you should explain all important details, using evidence from different sources. Remember that every paragraph should have only one main point that links back to your thesis statement . Also, don’t forget to use transition words so that paper flows naturally throughout.


  • Summarize the procedure
  • Describe what the reader should expect.

Finally, make sure to summarize everything in a concluding paragraph before submitting an essay. Here you can say if there were any limitations or what the results proved to be, while answering all the questions raised in the introduction.


Include a separate section with references at the end of an academic paper. Make sure to list each source properly by using the referencing style directed by your teacher.

In simpler terms, all you have to do is divide the process, use effective transitions and finally read the paper carefully.

Process analysis essay format

The process analysis essay format is easy to remember, if you have a good understanding of the essay format in general.

  • Introduction: The process analysis essay starts with an introductory paragraph that explains what the topic entails in a simple way.
  • Body: A couple of main body paragraphs that explains the steps in order from most important to least important
  • Conclusion: The process analysis essay conclusion is really just an extension of the introduction. The writer should bring up any details that were not mentioned and that need to be mentioned in order to better understand how this fits into everything else.

Process analysis essay format/formatting tips

If you’re writing a process analysis essay for school, make sure you follow your teacher’s guidelines carefully.

  • Proper formatting includes using an academic style of writing (so don’t use slang or contractions) and avoiding “I,” “we,” and other forms of first person narrative.
  • No matter what kind of paper you’re writing, be sure to do extensive research to back up any claims you make in the body paragraphs with concrete examples from credible sources.
  • Process analysis essays are often used in many disciplines , so no matter which type of school subject your teacher is teaching, he or she will want to see that you can analyze information critically.

Process analysis essay thesis statements -examples

A process analysis requires a very clear thesis statement that is well-supported by facts, statistics, descriptions of past situations in which the same phenomenon occurred.

A sample process analysis essay thesis statement might read as follows: “The factors leading up to Apple’s 2008 failure in China include poor management decisions regarding inventory; slow reaction times when faced with changing market conditions; lack of understanding of the Chinese market, including a failure to address consumer and cultural differences; and finally, poor marketing strategies that led many Apple investors to distrust Chairman Jobs.

History process analysis essay example

A good way for students to get started with an essay is to write about historical events – especially ones they have studied in class.

For example, if you are currently studying World War 2 history , then your process analysis essay topic could be:

“Why did Hitler invade Russia?”

Your thesis statement would read: “Hitler’s decision to invade Russia was unnecessary and ultimately detrimental because he ignored important information about Russian weather conditions and possibility that France would not honor its obligation to join Germany in the invasion.”

Process analysis essay example from everyday life

Just like with historical events, you can choose process analysis essay topics from local newspapers or current events.

Here are some possible examples:

  • “Why did the Euro plummet after being introduced?”
  • “Why did Congress decide to cut funding for certain programs and increase others in last year’s budget?

Social science process analysis essay example:

If you’re studying a social science subject, such as Sociology, Psychology, or Economics, then,

Your process analysis essay topic could be: “Why do some countries have a higher GDP than others?”

Your thesis statement would then be: “Some countries have a higher GDP per capita than others because they are able to produce quality goods at lower costs.”

How to write a process analysis essay steps

Here is an overview of the steps in writing a process analysis essay for college:

  • Read carefully the instructions from your tutor to understand what exactly is required for this assignment.
  • Sketch a plan for your essay and divide all stages into logical parts.
  • Draft a first version of an outline.
  • Write down every main point separately and try to make them as convincing as possible.
  • Proofread your work thoroughly.
  • Ask someone else (preferably a tutor) who knows how process analysis essays are written to check your draft before submission.
  • Your outline should already have most of the ideas that you need for writing a final product.

Effective process analysis essay writing tips

  • Give your reader a sense of direction: You can achieve this by using words such as “wait until”, “once that is done”. Do this where relevant and avoid complicating the steps. Try as much as possible to keep everything clear and concise.
  • Use a chronological order: Your steps should follow each other to help the reader achieve the desired result. For instance, if you are writing a recipe, mention how much of each ingredient to add and provide cooking techniques.
  • Use appropriate language: This helps in impacting the clarity the reader can get out of your essay. Give simple steps that can be easily understood. Good use of vocabulary can either break or make your assignment. Be very keen.

Final remarks

Note: Process analysis essays are not the same as cause and effect essays. While both types of essay tackle the question of what led up to an end event, they focus on different aspects of the problem.

Whereas a process analysis essay focuses on each step necessary for that event to occur, a cause and effect essay focuses on why one thing happened or didn’t happen at all because another did or didn’t occur.

Writing a process analysis essay has never been easy, but with the correct structure and writing your assignment will stand out. But if your desk is full, you can always turn on our experts for cheap essay writing homework help by posting your assignment on our platform.

Process analysis essay examples

Here are a couple of process analysis examples to use for academic writing. To take a closer look at each process analysis essay and how they’re written.

Notice how each is focused on a single topic and gives much more detail than you may need to include in your own paper.

Process analysis essay sample 1: Coffee making process essay

This process analysis essay discusses a large number of different steps involved in the creation of a cup of coffee and their interaction.

Coffee is an essential part of every person’s life. It brings people together on the streets, in offices and at home. This essay explores the process of converting coffee beans to ready to drink coffee at home or office.

The first step in making coffee includes buying high quality Arabica beans and inspecting them before making a purchase decision. After that you will need a grinder in order to grind all the needed amount for making one single cup of coffee without running out of ground coffee mid-brew.

The next important step will be buying filters or paper towels for creating filter cone shape cups for brewing the coffee. If you want a stronger brew you should buy paper filters that can trap all the ground coffee and will not allow them to enter your cup of coffee. In order for these bags not to tear up, you need to be careful when opening them up so not to spill any product or grinds into the cup itself.

When you make a purchase of non-drip filter cones, they may come with balls attached in strings. You will have to put these parts together by using some pliers before brewing the coffee on it. Once everything is set up and ready, it’s time to start preparing your drink from beans. The next thing is grinding the beans until they are fine enough for use in the machine. Your grinder should be adjusted to a setting that produces the necessary amount of ground coffee needed without producing too much.

You should never skip this step, because if you do that, the next process will not be so successful. The optimal amount of ground beans is enough to create one full cup of coffee without leaving any residue in the filter paper or dripping anywhere else. You will need a good coffee maker and hot water to make your drink delicious.

The quality of your cup depends on how well you grind your beans and set up everything prior to brewing it. Any mistake during grinding or setting up may lead to a large number of grounds being added into the mix, which won’t produce the best results for sure. Once all these steps are completed you can start making a delicious aromatic beverage that brings people together everywhere as soon as it’s poured into cups.

These are just some of the many steps involved in creating one single cup of coffee at home or anywhere else in the world. This process analysis essay sample questions can help you write this type of paper more easily because it shows you what needs to be included in your paper

A Process Analysis Essay Example 2: The process of building a house in North America

In this process analysis essay sample below we will provide a step-by-step description of how the construction of a house takes place, including details about what materials are required and how foundation work is done first. Each section will begin with a brief introduction that names the topic and gives sufficient background information so you’ll know exactly what’s being discussed in each paragraph.

The importance of good housing is reflected in the high cost of real estate throughout North America. Due to increasing urbanization, real estate prices are likely to continue rising for the foreseeable future. Since real estate represents a significant investment, one that will be occupied and used by its owner for many years, it makes sense that those who purchase houses should take into account all factors affecting their decision. This paper provides an overview of how a house is built from start to finish.

Construction work begins with foundation preparation and continues through wall framing, roof installation, electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring and finishing–all done step-by-step until the project reaches completion and the owners move in.

Houses are built in a strict sequence of steps, starting with foundation preparation. The ground is first cleared of all vegetation and leveled to provide a smooth floor for the house. Pits below the frost line are filled with stone for drainage and compacted earth is placed on top of this base so it will not shift during construction. Steel reinforcement is then added at corners, windows and doors to strengthen the concrete that will be poured over it. Concrete mix made from cement, sand and gravel is prepared according to specifications, transported to the building site where forms are positioned to guide pouring into place. Next comes footings (ventilated slabs) or stem walls (below grade masonry). Reinforcement is embedded in the concrete before it sets up and forms are removed.

Then, electrical conduit and plumbing pipe are laid in a continuous loop before walls can be erected. A concrete floor is created on top of the footings or stem walls, paving the way for wall framing above.

Framing contractors set up temporary forms to permit proper placement of wood studs (vertical) and plywood sheets (horizontal). These materials are nailed together at each seam to create a tough structure that will not crack under repeated strain from shifting load-bearing weight over time.

Then, doors and windows installed in openings cut precisely for size and location with precise door-jambs (structural members supporting an opening). After these are fitted into their proper places, the gap between wood framing and finished exterior walls must be filled with a material that will resist water penetration. Wood siding is commonly used because it is easy to work with and simple to install, although maintenance can be required throughout the life of the house.

Finally, exterior surfaces are finished with plaster or stucco for protection against weathering while interior surfaces are covered with drywall (plaster over wood frame) or gypsum board (over metal studs). A smooth finish coat on all walls protects the surface from damage; however, these materials are susceptible to yellowing as time passes and can require periodic repainting to preserve color and maintain attractiveness. Other details such as trims (mouldings), stair rails, countertops and cabinets may also be installed at this point before framing and plastered surfaces are painted white for a uniform, impressive effect.

The construction of most houses is similar in its overall design and many of the details; however, owners who pay more attention to minor touches may enjoy their home even more than those who focus on basic needs only. Since house quality varies throughout the country based on available labour resources, varying building codes and other factors, it behooves potential buyers to examine samples of workmanship before making any purchase decisions because there is usually little room for change after a project has reached completion.

These steps were taken from a sample process analysis essay:

This essay begins by describing how houses are most often built, which makes for an interesting example.

As you can see from the example above, a process analysis needs to be specific and detailed so that your reader will understand what’s being discussed.

Also see: how to write a process essay, process essay topics, and process essay examples.

Pro tip: Once you’ve started writing, review each paragraph carefully to plan out each sentence as well as possible.

Pro tip: leave space between paragraphs for later additions or revisions; this can save time if you discover later that information is missing or parts of the paper need to be re-written so they make sense together.

Need help writing this kind of essay? Ask our experts to write your essay here.

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