Ms. Gokturk

Expository Writing


The Process Analysis Essay


Your task is to write a process analysis essay that also includes some type sub-text message. You essay may be either:


Ø      How to do something.  The essay is directional. It provides instructions on how to do something to achieve a result. It leads to something that will happen.


Ø      “How to Make a Killer PBJ” – This essay provides instructions on what ingredients are needed and how to assemble the killer PBJ. The end result? A killer sandwich. Subtext: Remembering childhood or Americana and conformity, etc.

Ø      Other topics: “How to Prepare for the Perfect Date,” “How to Get Rid of Cockroaches,” “How to Get on the Honor Roll.”




Ø      How a process works. The essay is informational. It provides information that explains how something works or how something occurred. It describes something that has happened or happens.


Ø      How something works. “How Peanut Butter is Made.” This describes how peanuts are grown, harvested, and processed. Subtext: mass production and its impact on the USA, the American middle class as a sticky mass, etc.

Ø      How something that occurred. “How a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Killed My Best Friend.” – This essay describes an event that happened (best friend died) and explains how (by eating a PBJ). Subtext: friendship and rivalry, what looks innocent isn’t always, etc.

Ø      Other topics: “How a Perfect Dates Became a Level 5 Disaster,” “How a Cockroach is Born,” “How I Almost Made the Honor Roll Four Years in a Row.”


The Process Analysis must be:

-- clear -------à don’t use vague words like “thing.” Be specific.

-- detailed -------à bring your reader to a point where they can see what you describe.

-- organized -------à usually chronological order!


·         Your essay should include a subtext. This means that your essay should not only be about the surface process or information, but it should also have a commentary beneath the obvious. For instance, if you are writing about “How to Pick the Perfect Outfit,” you could address girls’ self-image. This could be done a humorous or serious way. Or, you could write about “How to Bake a Lasagna,” but your subtext is how cooking together brings the family together.


·         Remember “How to Eat an Ice Cream Cone.” This essay instructed us on the methods of eating a cone, and it also addressed the father’s role in a family, it made humorous commentary on human nature, and it explored one person’s POV deliberately. It was quite obvious that this was one’s man view.