50 Great Topics for a Process Analysis Essay

Lawnmower
An essay explaining how a lawn mower works would be an informative type of process analysis (usally written from the third-person point of view). An essay explaining how to mow a lawn would be a directive type of process analysis (usually written in the second-person). Mark Cacovic/Getty Images

If you've ever read an instruction manual or written out a set of directions, then you know what a process analysis essay is. This form of composition is often used in the field of technical writing, where complex systems need to be clearly explained in a logical, orderly fashion. As such, process analyses can be very detailed and sometimes quite long.

Process analysis writing is more than just a set of simple instructions. As a writer, you must go beyond merely identifying the steps involved and examine that process with an analytical eye. This analysis requires expertise—if not firsthand, then from research. Your topic needs to be focused, usually how to do one specific thing, and written in a clear, straightforward tone that readers can follow easily. 

Tips for Writing a Process Analysis Essay

When developing a paragraph, essay, or speech through process analysis, keep these tips in mind:

  • Be sure to include all steps and arrange them in chronological order.
  • Explain why each step is necessary, and include warnings where appropriate.
  • Define any terms with which your readers may not be familiar.
  • Offer clear descriptions ​of any tools or materials needed to carry out the process.
  • Provide your readers with a way of determining whether the process has been carried out successfully or not.

You shouldn't find it difficult to follow these guidelines if you've chosen a topic that you know quite well. These 50 prompts are meant to help you discover that topic.

50 Topic Suggestions: Process Analysis

  1. How to mow your lawn
  2. How to win at Texas hold 'em
  3. How to lose weight without losing your mind
  4. How to find the perfect roommate
  5. How to get rid of a roommate—without committing a crime
  6. How to succeed in (or flunk out of) college
  7. How to pitch a knuckleball
  8. How to plan the perfect party
  9. How to survive a night of babysitting
  10. How to pitch a tent in the rain
  11. How to housebreak your dog
  12. How to kick a bad habit
  13. How to overcome insomnia
  14. How to stay sober on a Saturday night
  15. How to rent your first apartment
  16. How to avoid a nervous breakdown during exams
  17. How to enjoy the weekend for under $20
  18. How to make the perfect brownies
  19. How to keep peace with a spouse or a roommate
  20. How to bathe a cat
  21. How to complain effectively
  22. How to survive a recession
  23. How to toilet train a baby
  24. How to develop self-confidence
  25. How to use Twitter sensibly and effectively
  26. How to wash a sweater
  27. How to build a great music collection—cheaply and legally
  28. How to get along with an instructor without sucking up
  29. How to give yourself a haircut
  30. How to plan the perfect class schedule
  1. How to apply the Heimlich maneuver
  2. How to end a relationship
  3. How to select the best portable media player
  4. How to take decent photographs with your cell phone
  5. How to quit smoking
  6. How to survive without a car
  7. How to make the perfect cup of coffee or tea
  8. How to save money while saving the environment
  9. How to build a great sandcastle
  10. How to edit a video
  11. How to make (and keep) friends on Facebook
  12. How to insert a contact lens
  13. How teachers make up exams
  14. How parents (or children) make us feel guilty
  15. How an iPod works
  16. How ice cream is made
  17. How a cell phone takes pictures
  18. How a magician saws a woman in half
  19. How a pocket calculator works
  20. How to choose a major