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Process Analysis Papers

Process Analysis Papers

Author: Sydney Bauer

This lesson introduces process papers.

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A process analysis paper is an essay that describes a process. But it's more than just describing what the process is; it also describes the individual steps in the process, how the process arrives at its outcome. 

There are two types of process analysis papers: informative and directive. 

Informative process analysis informs the reader about a process. It can be used for persuasion in that some writers might try to sway the audience by explaining a process through a certain perspective. 

Directive process analysis tells the reader how to do something. It is a call to action. The directive process analysis can be a proposal for a course of action or it could describe a process and then present a call to action. In either case, the paper will conclude with a statement urging the reader to get involved. 

Notice that in both types the focus is on how something happens, the steps in a sequence. It might help to use flow charts during the drafting process to keep the steps in the correct order. The goal is to provide the reader with well-organized details so that the reader can understand the process and it's importance. A successful process analysis generally includes the following: 

  • A clear and concise outline of each step in the process 
  • Enough background information or emphasis from the writer to make the process meaningful to readers
  • Don't forget the analysis in "process analysis!": Analysis is itself the process of giving a detailed account of the parts or structure of a subject which then lays the groundwork for discussion. What does this mean? It means that describing the process is not the end goal, it is the foundation you create before discussing what it all means. The paper needs to have a point, a reason for analyzing the process. 
  • A conclusion that briefly summarizes the process and lends support to the writer's perspective or stance. A directive process analysis would include a call to action within its conclusion. 

Process Analysis Papers