Process Analysis Essay: General Structure
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Practically speaking, a process analysis essay would be more readily understood if it is given a sort of logical structure. An essay of this genre usually has:
- An introduction containing a thesis statement and some background information.
- A body arranging the details in logical sequence.
- A conclusion that reviews the principal points of the essay and perhaps presents a recommendation where appropriate.
The purpose of process analysis is to figure out how to do something, how it works, or how it happened. If we are to define process analysis, it can be said that it is the examination of a series of activities that results in a certain planned output.
In general, there are two types of process analysis: directional and informational.
- Directional analysis examines how something should be done.
- Informational analysis studies how certain phenomenon works.
Both forms of analysis follow a common approach: firstly, a brief overview of the subject is carried out, and then the overall process is broken down into sequentially arranged activities. These activities are later explained in more detail so that the readers are able to perform the needed actions and fully understand the process on their own.
On the whole, application of the directional approach to the process analysis is a common activity. Cookbooks, instruction manuals and handbooks are all examples of directional process analysis. Usually, we expect to receive some anticipated outcome if we follow the step-by-step method explained in these books. Normally, a directional process analysis is written in the second person. Books that follow such an approach would fall under the “do it yourself” genre.
Speaking about the purpose of the informational approach to the process analysis, it reasonably differs. Here the main objective is to give the reader an understanding of how something works. Instead of a “how to do it” aspect, the approach focuses on”how it works”. Interestingly, informative process analysis can be categorized as mechanical, scientific, historical, natural or psychological.
The choice between the directional and informational approaches would, however, depend on the subject. An analysis of the process of repairing an automobile should necessarily be directional. On the other hand, clarifying how J. K. Rowling wrote her first book has to be informational.
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Steps to Consider Working on the Process Analysis Essay
Whichever approach you are required to take, you will have to follow certain steps that are common to both types of analysis.
1. The process analysis essay must begin with a brief explanation of the process and its outcome. This will prepare the reader for the further essay development.
2. The next step is to break down the process into the distinct activities and arrange them in a logical sequence. If there is unavoidable jargon involved, explain briefly what these terms mean so that the reader has no difficulty following your ideas.
3. You should conclude your process analysis essay with a review of the most significant aspects of your research. It is possible even to make some recommendations.
To sum up, like any other type of essay writing, the process analysis essay requires great efforts, comprehensive research, detailed background knowledge and previous experience. Therefore, you should be ready to devote enough time and attention to this type of writing assignment.