Humanities › English How to Write a Great Process Essay Otherwise Known as a How-To Essay Share Flipboard Email Print CSA-Archive / iStock Vectors / Getty Images English Writing Writing Essays Writing Research Papers Journalism English Grammar By Grace Fleming Education Expert M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia B.A., History, Armstrong State University Grace Fleming, M.Ed., is a senior academic advisor at Georgia Southern University, where she helps students improve their academic performance and develop good study skills. our editorial process Grace Fleming Updated September 21, 2019 How-to essays, also known as process essays, are much like recipes: They provide instruction for carrying out a procedure or task. You can write a how-to essay about any procedure that you find interesting as long as your topic fits the teacher's assignment. Start by Brainstorming The first step in writing your how-to essay is brainstorming. Here are tips to help you: Draw a line down the middle of a sheet of paper to make two columns. Label one column "materials" and the other column "steps."Write down every item and every step you can think of that will be needed to carry out your task. Don't worry about trying to keep things in order yet. Just empty your head.Number your steps on your brainstorming page. Just jot a number beside each item/step. You may need to erase and scribble a few times to get the order right. It's not a neat process. Create an Outline First, determine the format required for your essay; ask your teacher if you are unsure. Your essay could contain a numbered list (like the one in the previous section), or it could be written as a standard narrative essay. If you are instructed to write a step-by-step without using numbers, your essay should contain all the elements of any other essay assignment, including an: Introductory paragraph: the section that identifies the topic, arouses interest, and prepares the audience or readers for the development of the thesisBody: the part of an essay that develops the main ideaConclusion: the sentences or paragraphs that bring the essay to a logical end Regardless of the essay format—whether your teacher allows for numbered paragraphs or sections or simply wants you to craft a narrative report—your outline should center on these three areas. Creating the Essay Your introduction will explain why your topic is important or relevant. For example, your paper about "How to Wash a Dog" would explain that dog hygiene is important for your pet's good health. Your first body paragraph should contain a list of necessary materials. For example: "The equipment you will need depends somewhat on the size of your dog. At the very minimum, you will need dog shampoo, a large towel, and a container large enough to hold your dog. And, of course, you will need a dog."The next paragraphs should contain instructions for following steps in your process, as enumerated in your outline.Your summary, or conclusion, explains how your task or process should turn out if it is done correctly. It may also be appropriate to restate the importance of your topic. Topics to Write About You may believe that you are not expert enough to write a process essay. This is not so. There are many processes that you go through every day that you can write about, including: How to make a perfect paper airplaneHow to dye your hairHow to wear makeupHow to survive a weekend with your familyHow to play basketballHow to play (a popular video game) The goal in this type of assignment is to show that you can write a well-organized essay and clearly explain to the reader how to do what you are instructing.