How to Write a Process Report

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A process report, or essay, explains how something is done or how something came about. It can be written in detailed step-by-step instructions or in a story format with the instructions subtly threaded throughout the narrative. A process essay has no minimum or maximum length, but five paragraphs is the norm, including an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.

1 Brainstorm your topic

Brainstorm your topic. Various ways to do this include using a thought web, in which you write your main topic in the center of your page and then connect steps and thoughts through a series of lines. Another is to jot notes, writing ideas as they enter your head and in no particular order. You also can use a chart, using columns and rows with titles to organize your thoughts and ideas.

2 Write your introduction

Write your introduction. Use the key ideas from your brainstorming as your thesis and as your steps. This paragraph must contain your topic (one sentence), your thesis statement (what specifically about the topic you want to highlight; write what your process describes in one sentence) and your main ideas (one to two sentences with little to no details). Do not refer to your essay in itself with wording such as, "I will be explaining how to..." State your topic in an unobtrusive manner, such as, "Spaghetti is one of the most famous Italian foods, but few know the art that goes into making it from scratch."

3 Write your body

Write your body. In the body, give the details of the steps of your process. Be specific and clear. This is an essay, not a list; so do not simply list the steps. For each paragraph, give examples and quotes to help illustrate your point. Ensure that you refer to your introduction. You must maintain a logical flow from step to step and from paragraph to paragraph.

4 Write your conclusion

Write your conclusion. This paragraph restates your main ideas, your thesis and your topic. The last sentence or two should give the reader a final thought on the subject, for example, "Now you can enjoy the taste of homemade spaghetti any day of the week." Do not introduce new information in this paragraph.

  • Reread your essay when you are finished to check the spelling and grammar and to ensure you didn't miss any steps.

Danielle Washam began writing professionally in 2007. She wrote training seminar scripts for Act for Business, plays for community theatre, independent films, and for Demand Studios in Ottawa, England, and Ireland. Washam holds a Bachelor of Arts honours in English along with a Bachelor of Arts concentration theatre and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa.