Priscila Martins-Read

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Process Analysis Paragraphs

Process analysis paragraphs are pretty simple to write, once you completely understand how something works. It is the most used type of paragraph for technical writing assignments, so it is important to learn a few techniques to make writing clear explanations easier. It is the kind of paragraph used to teach someone how to do something. It may be a recipe, or instructions on how to fix a transmission, or directions to your house. Your reader must be able to understand your directions and to actually be able to perform the activity.

So, before you write:

  1. Pick an activity, or a recipe you know very well. You will need to really understand all of the details of how to do this activity before you can teach it to anyone else.

  2. Decide what you will need to do this activity:

    What ingredients or parts?


    What equipment?

  3. Break the activity down in different steps your reader will need to take to complete it.

  4. Decide the order you will use to explain how this activity will be done

  5. Decide how you will summarize this process to your reader. Is it an easy one? a difficult one? a pleasant one? Will your reader have to be extra careful with this process?

Now you are ready to start writing: pay attention to the directions on the left side, and the example on the right.

1. Tell your reader why this is important to you

2. Use your summary of this process as the main idea of this paragraph - don't forget to tell your reader what you will be teaching how to do.

3. Tell your readers what they will need to have in order to do this activity - all of the equipment or all of the ingredients.

4. Explain the exact order your reader will need to follow in order to complete the activity. Use words that reflect time order, location, relationships between the ingredients or components. You will need to use prepositions pretty well here, or your reader will get confused.

5. Finish by going back to your main idea and restating it.

6. Choose a title for your paragraph.

It's a Snap!

         Pictures really help us understand things better but many people don't know how to take them! Today, I'd like to show you  how easy it is to take pictures with an automatic digital camera. You will need a light or sunny place, a simple digital camera with good batteries and a memory card in it, a little knowledge about the controls, and a subject you want to photograph. If you have all of these, then you are ready for the first step:  go to the  place you have chosen for your picture.  You will then need to find the on and off button on your camera and turn it to the on position. With your camera on and ready to go, look for the control that says "auto", or "A". Make sure that this word is aligned with the line or mark near the control button. Now you are ready to look through the viewfinder or at the screen on the back of your camera to find your subject. If your camera has automatically turned off while you were looking for the controls, click the shutter button once. The shutter button is usually near the control wheel and near the camera on and off button. Clicking it will wake the camera back up. When you are done with this step, make sure that  everything you want to show in the picture appears in the viewfinder or screen. Finally, holding the camera very still, click the shutter button.  Your picture is taken! As you can see, it is pretty simple to take pictures with an automatic digital camera.


Now you are ready to edit your paper.

Check to see if: Yes No
1.   all of your sentences relate to the activity you are trying to teach someone how to do
2.   the order of the sentences is correct, if you missed a step,
3.   you need to add details  to your explanations
4.   your transitions help explain the sequence your reader will have to follow
5.   your main idea is clear
6.   your conclusion relates to what you said in your main idea
7.   you have any spelling or grammatical mistakes
8.   your reader will understand the process easily


Edit your paper again. Put your process analysis paragraph away for a day or two, then edit it once more. You will be glad you did.