Process Analysis


Strategies for Successful Writing, 5,  Canadian Edition.  Ch 8.




  1. A series of steps, stages, phases, or natural changes that lead to a result

  2. Explains how to do something

  3. Explains how something was done


Can be:




  1. Performers  -  How to carry out a work-related task
  2. Non-performers

    -          Show importance, difficulty, danger of a process

    -          Satisfy curiosity

    -          Show process as good or bad

  3. Unidentified  -  General instructions
  4. See 5, Can ed., p. 160-161 for examples of 3 different audiences.


Ethical considerations


  1. Clear, unambiguous language?
  2. Requirements clearly stated?  e.g., supplies, time?
  3. Warning of possible harm if necessary?


How to Write


A.     For readers who perform the action:


A.     Select a topic (see pp. 167, 169) for more information)

Ask:  Is it important, useful, interesting?

          What person is this to be written in? 

B.     What are the separate actions?  (Do not ignore the obvious.)

C.    What are the reasons for the actions?

D.    Is a warning necessary?


B.     For readers who won’t perform the action:


A.     Decide on purpose and audience.

B.     Arouse interest.

C.    Do not drown reader with a flood of ideas.

D.    Conclude by giving some perspective.

·         Evaluate the results of the process.

·         Assess the importance of the process.

·         Show future consequences.


See chart






Using your chart (brainstorm) as a guide, write a 3 paragraph (minimum) instruction.

Your choice of topic.


Suggestions of possible topics 

  1. A natural process, such as erosion, that you observe or research

  2. Overcoming some particular phobia

  3. The stages of a technical process such as paper production

  4. The stages of a student's adjustment to college

  5. Creating a FaceBook page

  6. Preparing for a romantic picnic in the park, on the beach, or some other place

  7. Using a particular computer programme

  8. Registering for classes online

  9. Carrying our a process related to your hobby

  10. Placing an item for sale on e-Bay or bidding on e-Bay

  11. Studying for an examination

  12. Performing a process required by your job

  13. Performing a process required by one of your classes

  14. Breaking a bad habit

  15. Performing a weight-training programme

  16. Throwing a successful party

  17. The stages of some type of storm

  18. The stages of developing a friendship

  19. The stages of becoming independent

            Reinking, James A. and Robert Von Der Osten. Strategies for Successful Writing, Concise (9th Edition) [Paperback].

                    Boston: Prentice Hall, 2011. 178-79. Print.



 Evaluate your Process Analysis


  1. Does the introduction establish a purpose and a product or result?
  2. Have you clearly identified the audience?
  3. Have you told the reader everything needed?
  4. Is each step clearly, fully, accurately presented?
  5. Is there a reason given for each action or stage?
  6. Are all necessary warnings included?
  7. If two steps are performed or occur at the same time, have you warned the reader?
  8. Do links and transitions distinguish the major steps/substeps?
  9. What will be the result?  Conclusion?