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24+ Examples of Process Essays – PDF

examples of process essays

  • 22+ examples of free essays .
  • 10+ Essay Writing Examples

Student Process Essay Example

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Process Analysis Essay Example

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Plain Process Essay Example

essay on the importance of healthy food

Preparation in Writing a Process Essay

1. assess your audience’s skill level, 2. make a list of the materials needed, 3. create an outline of the task.

  • If your essay happens to be about cooking lasagna, you may want to begin your initial outline by saying, “Mix in basil.” Before you start writing, you could expand your outline to say, “Briefly mention taste differences between dried and fresh basil.”
  • When writing an informational process essay outline about how journalists write a news report, you can include some details about journalists select a news story and the criteria they would use to determine a story’s newsworthiness.

Simple Process Essay Example

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Golf Process Essay Example

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Process Essay Example in Making Popcorn Balls

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Crafting Your Introduction

The writing process, pros and cons of adoption essay sample.

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Process Essay Example about Bathing Your Dog

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Basic Process Essay Example

how do we account for the changes observable in the commermoration of the dead in italy andd northern europe in this period process essay example

Writing Your Body Paragraphs

1. consult your outline, 2. structure the body of the essay in paragraphs, 3. add transitions in between steps, 4. avoid using first-person pronouns, 5. mention any cautionary notes, process essay example about hosting the pre-homecoming dance dinner.

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Process Essay Writing Example

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Sample Outline of a Research Article

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Process Analysis Essay Writing Tips

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Odor Nuisances Sample Essay

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The Process of Building Stonehenge Research Paper

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Wrapping It Up

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Expository or Process Essay Example

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Minimalist Process Essay Example

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Process Essay Example in PDF

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Fundamental Process Essay Example

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Cheerleading Routine Process Essay Analysis Example

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Interesting Process Essay Ideas to Write in 2019

1. technology-based ideas.

  • How to create your own Facebook account?
  • How to reboot your phone?
  • How to create your own Instagram account?
  • How to upload several pictures on Facebook in 3 simple clicks?
  • How to invite someone to play an online game?
  • How to rank up in Mobile Legends?
  • How to call someone via Messenger?
  • How to use Snapchat as a newbie?
  • Step-by-step guide in composing your first tweet
  • How to perform a factory reset on your phone?

 2. Smart aesthetic hack ideas

  • How to transform a shirt into a skirt?
  • How to rescue your shattered face powder?
  • DIY T-shirt printing
  • How to brush teeth the correct way?
  • Alternative ways to curl hair
  • How to make your own anime costume?
  • How to make your own natural body scrub?
  • How to do your full-face make-up in 3 easy steps?
  • How to select the perfect sunglass for you?
  • How to distinguish fake jewelry from genuine ones?

3. Cooking hack ideas

  • How to make a home-made chocolate fudge?
  • Simple steps in making a no-bake cake
  • How to slice onions the correct way?
  • Impressive ways to plate your meal
  • Easy-to-make soup recipes
  • How to brine a turkey?
  • How to make the perfect sandwich for your kids?
  • How to boil eggs perfectly?
  • How to remove avocado seed fast?
  • Step-by-step guide in assembling cake layers

More Design

Argumentative essay examples - pdf, 7+ personal essay examples & samples - pdf, doc, 5 steps and tips in writing a thesis for your narrative essay, 5+ persuasive essay examples & samples - pdf, doc, 9+ academic essay examples & samples in pdf, 10+ scholarship essay examples & samples - pdf, 21+ essay writing examples, 8+ concept essay examples, samples, 9+ high school essay examples & samples - pdf.

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How to Write a Process Essay

Last Updated: May 17, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jake Adams . Jake Adams is an academic tutor and the owner of Simplifi EDU, a Santa Monica, California based online tutoring business offering learning resources and online tutors for academic subjects K-College, SAT & ACT prep, and college admissions applications. With over 14 years of professional tutoring experience, Jake is dedicated to providing his clients the very best online tutoring experience and access to a network of excellent undergraduate and graduate-level tutors from top colleges all over the nation. Jake holds a BS in International Business and Marketing from Pepperdine University. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 162,335 times.

A process essay, otherwise known as a how-to essay, tells a reader how to perform a particular task. The best process essays follow a clear step-by-step organization. Start by providing your reader with a time estimate and general summary of the task. Then, move on to a more detailed explanation of each and every necessary step. When you are finished with your essay, read it over carefully to ensure that you haven’t left anything out.

Getting Ready to Write

Step 1 Assess your audience’s skill level.

  • For example, a process essay intended for professional chefs could probably skip a description of how to chop carrots and just say, “Finely chop the carrots,” instead.

Step 2 Make a list of the materials needed.

  • You could also include a comprehensive “Things You’ll Need” section at the beginning of the paper. Or list the materials needed after the introduction.
  • If an item on the list is a bit unusual, such as a particular type of hand tool, then make sure to clearly introduce it within the text. For example, “The pin hammer has a finer tip than a standard hammer, making it suitable for more detailed work.” You can also include a picture of the item, particularly if the essay will be published online.

Step 3 Create an outline of the task.

  • If you are writing an essay about how to cook lasagna, your initial outline might just state, “Mix in basil.” Before you start writing, you could expand your outline to say, “Briefly mention taste differences between dried and fresh basil.”
  • Note that the more specific your article or essay topic, the more specific your details needs to be.

Crafting an Introduction

Step 1 Grab your reader’s attention within the first 1-2 sentences.

  • For instance, you might write, “The process of preparing lasagna has a rich heritage all of its own.”

Step 2 Provide a general time estimate.

  • If your process essay focuses on a cooking task, this is where you might advise your readers to consult the ingredients or materials list and put every item on the counter.
  • For example, you might write, “This recipe requires 30 minutes of active preparation time, along with 45 minutes of baking time.”

Step 3 Present the thesis statement as a problem.

  • For example, your thesis might be, “This essay will explore how to create a complicated lasagna dish in a short period of time by preparing the noodles and sauce in advance.”

Writing Your Body Paragraphs

Step 1 Consult your outline.

  • Be especially careful with items that contain multiple steps. Make the transitions clear and acknowledge prior steps regarding a particular item, if applicable.

Step 2 Structure the body of the essay in paragraphs.

  • For instance, when making pasta, consider writing a paragraph on how to boil pasta and another paragraph on how to make the sauce. This separates the ideas for easy clarification.

Step 3 Add transitions in between steps.

  • For instance, you could write, “Next, place the pot on the stove,” to move from one paragraph to the next.

Step 4 Avoid using first person pronouns.

  • For example, you could write, “This essay shows…” instead of “I’ll show.”

Step 5 Mention any cautionary notes.

  • For example, you might caution a reader to, “Cook the meat until it is no longer red in the center.” This advice will help them to avoid a foodborne illness.

Wrapping It Up

Step 1 Mention the end product and what to do with it.

  • In the case of the recipe, you could write something like, “You now have a bowl of boiled pasta and finished Bolognese sauce. Serve up plates of pasta and sauce to your family, topping them with parmesan, if desired. You can serve garlic bread or a side salad with this dish, too.”

Step 2 Restate the importance of the task.

  • A simple example for our newly-made dinner might be, "And there you have it! A delicious yet quick meal fit for the entire family that you can make over and over again without complaint. Next time, experiment with different herbs and spices to find your own spin on this classic dish."

Step 3 Check your essay for ease of reading.

  • Look to see if there are places where you can eliminate steps or condense your instructions. A reader is more likely to finish directions that they can easily skim through.
  • Ask someone to read through the essay to see if they can understand the process. If possible, pick someone from your intended audience demographic.

Step 4 Proofread your essay.

  • Don’t rely on spell-check alone, as it cannot account for context and doesn’t catch every error.

Expert Q&A

Jake Adams

  • If there are alternative ways to do a particular step in the process, make sure to mention these as you go along. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

what is a process essay example

  • Give your readers pacing instructions as well. If they need to go slowly while performing a certain task, tell them early on. The same rule applies if a task requires speed for success. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ Jake Adams. Academic Tutor & Test Prep Specialist. Expert Interview. 20 May 2020.
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/essay-outline/
  • ↑ https://www.georgebrown.ca/sites/default/files/uploadedfiles/tlc/_documents/hooks_and_attention_grabbers.pdf
  • ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-clinton-englishcomp/chapter/2-the-process-essay/
  • ↑ http://www.butte.edu/departments/cas/tipsheets/style_purpose_strategy/procress_paper.html
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/readability-scores/

About This Article

Jake Adams

To write a process essay, begin by writing an introduction that grabs the reader’s attention so they’ll want to keep reading. Then, end the first paragraph with a thesis statement presenting a problem for which you are offering a solution. Next, explain the process, making each step its own paragraph, and using transitions like "next" or "then" to move from one task to another. As the final step, let the reader know what to expect from the finished product and what to do with it. Finally, close your essay by reiterating why the process is helpful to the reader. For tips from our Education reviewer on how to proofread for common errors in a process essay, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Process Essays

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In this chapter, you will write a process essay. To write a process essay, think about things that you know how to do. How would you teach someone to do one of those things?

A process essay is written to teach the reader how to do something (e.g., how to break a bad habit). This essay should describe any steps that are necessary in order to complete the process.

what is a process essay example

This content is provided to you freely by BYU Open Learning Network.

Access it online or download it at https://open.byu.edu/academic_a_writing/process_essays .

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Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

10.5 Process Analysis

Learning objectives.

  • Determine the purpose and structure of the process analysis essay.
  • Understand how to write a process analysis essay.

The Purpose of Process Analysis in Writing

The purpose of a process analysis essay is to explain how to do something or how something works. In either case, the formula for a process analysis essay remains the same. The process is articulated into clear, definitive steps.

Almost everything we do involves following a step-by-step process. From riding a bike as children to learning various jobs as adults, we initially needed instructions to effectively execute the task. Likewise, we have likely had to instruct others, so we know how important good directions are—and how frustrating it is when they are poorly put together.

Writing at Work

The next time you have to explain a process to someone at work, be mindful of how clearly you articulate each step. Strong communication skills are critical for workplace satisfaction and advancement. Effective process analysis plays a critical role in developing that skill set.

On a separate sheet of paper, make a bulleted list of all the steps that you feel would be required to clearly illustrate three of the following four processes:

  • Tying a shoelace
  • Parallel parking
  • Planning a successful first date
  • Being an effective communicator

The Structure of a Process Analysis Essay

The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the goal of the process.

The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows chronological order. The steps of the process are conveyed in the order in which they usually occur. Body paragraphs will be constructed based on these steps. If a particular step is complicated and needs a lot of explaining, then it will likely take up a paragraph on its own. But if a series of simple steps is easier to understand, then the steps can be grouped into a single paragraph.

The time transition phrases covered in the Narration and Illustration sections are also helpful in organizing process analysis essays (see Table 10.1 “Transition Words and Phrases for Expressing Time” and Table 10.2 “Phrases of Illustration” ). Words such as first , second , third , next , and finally are helpful cues to orient reader and organize the content of essay.

Always have someone else read your process analysis to make sure it makes sense. Once we get too close to a subject, it is difficult to determine how clearly an idea is coming across. Having a friend or coworker read it over will serve as a good way to troubleshoot any confusing spots.

Choose two of the lists you created in Note 10.52 “Exercise 1” and start writing out the processes in paragraph form. Try to construct paragraphs based on the complexity of each step. For complicated steps, dedicate an entire paragraph. If less complicated steps fall in succession, group them into a single paragraph.

Writing a Process Analysis Essay

Choose a topic that is interesting, is relatively complex, and can be explained in a series of steps. As with other rhetorical writing modes, choose a process that you know well so that you can more easily describe the finer details about each step in the process. Your thesis statement should come at the end of your introduction, and it should state the final outcome of the process you are describing.

Body paragraphs are composed of the steps in the process. Each step should be expressed using strong details and clear examples. Use time transition phrases to help organize steps in the process and to orient readers. The conclusion should thoroughly describe the result of the process described in the body paragraphs. See Chapter 15 “Readings: Examples of Essays” to read an example of a process analysis essay.

Choose one of the expanded lists from Note 10.54 “Exercise 2” . Construct a full process analysis essay from the work you have already done. That means adding an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, time transition phrases, body paragraphs, and a solid conclusion.

Key Takeaways

  • A process analysis essay explains how to do something, how something works, or both.
  • The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the outcome of the process.
  • The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows a chronological sequence.
  • Time transition phrases are particularly helpful in process analysis essays to organize steps and orient reader.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

How to Write a Process Essay?

18 June, 2020

14 minutes read

Author:  Tomas White

What is a “process essay”? What makes it different from dozens of other papers you create on a daily basis? What are its main components and what the main goal of this type of writing you need to bear in mind? If you're looking for answers to these questions, you're in luck! You can get them all from our academic guide on how to write a process essay.

Process Essay

Composing a process essay can be rather complicated especially if you are not familiar with this type of writing and do not know what pitfalls and specifications to pay attention to.

That is why our custom essay writing service has created this guide to help you tackle this task. We will answer all these questions in our article below and even provide you with great process essay examples and topics you can write on to stand out. So, if that sounds like something you need right now, read on: we are here to help and equip you with knowledge!

But first things first. Since it is impossible to create an excellent process essay without crystal clear understanding of the term, we will start with the definition. So, let’s dive in!

What is a process essay?

A process essay is commonly written either to explain how something works or to guide a reader through the process of completing a particular task, states the process essay definition.

Process essays also go under the “How-to articles” title and aim to teach the target audience how to achieve certain goals or complete specific assignments.

So, look at it like this. In case of “How to quit smoking” process essay, your primary goal is to provide several helpful ways of quitting this habit. These might be evidence-based recommendations if you have experience in this area, or simply common sense ideas you found while conducting your research.

Now that you realize what you will be working with, let’s look into different types of process essays and practical ways to compose them. Our essay writing guide will walk you through the process essay writing step by step.

Types of process essays

There are two main types of such papers: the ones that explain how something works , and those that show you how to complete a particular task .

1. How to do something.

Though it sounds quite self-explanatory, we’d like to emphasize the importance of clear instructions in case you are writing a process essay.

Your readers must be able to follow your guidance and complete each step successfully. So, split the process into small steps, keep it short and to the point at each stage of crafting a process essay.

For instance, in a “How to quit smoking” process essay , you can split the whole process into seven steps:

  • Choose a date for a quit day;
  • Imagine life without cigarettes and expect it;
  • Have one last cigarette as a “Goodbye!”;
  • Be among people to support you;
  • Keep your goal in perspective not to give up;
  • Don’t fall for substitutes;
  • Be accountable.

2. How something works.

By contrast, this is an informative type of writing that aims to achieve one goal – explain the principle of work behind some process. Unlike the mentioned above type, this process essay type does not encourage a reader to take an action and do something step by step.

However, you must make sure that by the end of your essay, the audience will know for sure how something functions.

As an example of this type of a process essay, let’s see how an earthquake happens .

  • First, the energy within the earth core builds up due to various moves in the earth crust;
  • The energy level grows up and causes tension in the tectonic plates;
  • After some time, the pressure radiates outwards by moving the plates from each other;
  • The seismic waves shake the earth as they get from the core of the earth to the surface;
  • That is when the earthquake takes place.

Before we go any further, let’s look at another example. In case of “How to prepare for a vacation” process essay, your task is to compose a few steps that your readers can take when getting ready for their vacation. In other words, you are describing how to do something.

Meanwhile, “What happens to your brain when you sleep” process essay is merely an explanation of the principle. In it, you are not encouraging readers to take any actions whatsoever. So, here is the fundamental difference.

How to write a process essay?

Getting started with process essay writing.

When developing a process essay outline, take some time to answer the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience? How deep is their knowledge of the subject? The complexity of your essay depends on their skills level. Thus, for instance, when explaining to your peers how to stretch a dollar to see the world, you can use basic terminology and examples they can relate to. However, your vocabulary should be way more sophisticated if you are writing a process essay on how to improve the overall quality of higher education in your state to the City Council.
  • How can you divide the process into small steps? You do not want to bore your audience to death with unnecessary details in a process essay. Yet, you cannot afford to skip valuable steps if they are crucial to the overall understanding of the subject of your process essay. So, try to find the golden cut and figure out the most suitable amount of steps.
  • What sources will you use for the task? It goes without saying that you can only use reliable sources to support your argument in a process essay. These sources should be all mentioned in the end of your essay. And remember about proper in-text citation styles. Read the materials carefully and take only the information that will add value to your essay and helps make it shine.

How to write a process essay outline

Finally, let’s look into the process essay structure. Needless to say that you must start with something that will grab readers’ attention, or in other words, “a hook.”

It is true for any essay, and process essay writing is not an exception.

The structure of your essay regardless of the process essay topics should consist of:

  • A powerful introduction.
  • Main body paragraphs.
  • An interesting conclusion.
Related Post: Essay outline | Research Paper outline

Sounds simple, yet there are several things you should not forget about process essay writing.

How to write an introduction to a process essay

Once you compose a hook, mention why you believe that readers should use your approach to solve a problem even though there are dozens of other ones. We know two effective ways to achieve this in your process essay:

  • Show how much time this task will take . People don’t have all the time in the world to tackle just this one task. So, you’ll really help them by stating how much time completing something using your approach will take and underline that with your approach described in a process essay it will take less time than if they opt for a different one. “Writing can be tough, especially if you always felt that it is not exactly your suit. However, Michael D. Pollock, a credible expert in this area, has recently presented 10 effective tips that will help you learn writing fast and make you able to craft a 1000-word article in 30 minutes. So, keep reading to find out how you can write this fast too.”
  • Introduce your audience to the historical background of the approach (if any) you’re using in a process essay. Let them see the roots of your solution. Here is what a good introduction of a process essay should look like: “Giving a speech with lots of eyes concentrated on you is not an easy task. No wonder so many students dread this task. However, speech can be a powerful tool, and we can teach you how to give them right. Steve Jobs is known as one of the best public speakers of our time. People were sitting on the edge of their seats when he spoke. And we’ll teach you how to grab attention like he did using just five simple tricks he applied.”

At last, compose an engaging thesis of a process essay. Many students consider it a scary part. But it all goes down to this.

Your thesis statement should reason why your way is the best and why readers looking for answers should search no more and give your solution a chance.

It’s easier than you think. Here is a good thesis statement example:

“With more than 580 million tons of household waste produced all over the world, Every tiny effort you make to become eco-friendly counts. And if you don’t want to spend extra money on sustainable products but want to save the environment, use our guide on ten simple eco-friendly steps you can do daily without even noticing it!”

This is what a thesis statement for a process essay on how to be eco-friendly would look like. Yours can be different, but you get the idea!

How to plan main body paragraphs

  • Dedicate one body paragraph to one point you want to bring to light.
  • Provide enough details on each step including the ultimate goal of this step and reasons why this method was chosen for its achievement.
  • Keep it short and to the point.

How to write a conclusion

Now is that time you reminded the readers about the purpose of a process essay, reasons why you chose this particular approach, and briefly mentioned steps needed to accomplish the task.

Besides, you can call your audience to action but only in case you are writing an essay that shows how to do something. Otherwise, it will be inapplicable.

Finally, help them set their expectations right: what results can they count on in the end? How long will it take them to achieve those results after reading your process essay and applying its tips?

How to use transition words in a process essay

Transition words can help you create a seamless reading experience. You can take readers smoothly from one step to another. And what is more you can help them immerse into the process!

Therefore, begin each new paragraph with a transition word, add one in between examples you provide, and summarize your instructions with them, too.

Think of transition words as of bridges that connect paragraphs and sentences. They make smooth communication between the two possible. And with them in your process essay, no reader feels irritated or frustrated with your writing style, as they have to stumble upon every other sentence in your piece.

Good process essay topics

It is not enough to just know the theory to create a good process essay. One should also come up with a topic that will be both interesting and useful to his readers. Here’s a list of our suggestions on process essay ideas:

  • How to choose a perfect future career.
  • How to survive college and stay sane.
  • How to eat healthy on campus.
  • How to balance your social and academic life.
  • How to pay out a student loan while still at college.
  • How to improve your public speaking skills.
  • How to see the world with only $100 in your pocket.
  • How to learn a foreign language.
  • How to renovate your apartment and not go bankrupt.
  • How to start your own business.
  • How to prepare for your first interview.
  • How to get volunteers to help you clean the neighborhood.
  • How to write a life list.
  • How to set boundaries in the relationship.
  • How to study overseas for free.
Related Posts: Argumentative essay topics | Compare&Contrast essay topics

Process essay writing tips

Wrapping up, we would like to introduce you to a couple of vital recommendations on process essay writing:

  • Your process essay subject cannot be too broad or too narrow. Look out for the golden cut!
  • Introduce your readers to possible complications of the process. After all, forewarned is forearmed.
  • Create a short vocabulary your audience can use in case they are not familiar with the terminology essential to the general understanding of the process essay in question.
  • Develop a list of resources your readers will need as they deal with certain tasks. This way you will have them prepared to put your recommendations to action right away.
  • Always write a process essay using Active Voice!

Need help with your process essay writing? Handmadewriting is here for you to help. Drop us a line to get our professional essay writers to develop an excellent piece for you!

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Process Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Posted: 06 June, 2017

Process Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Process essays aren't as common as other essay types at university, but they are still assigned. If you've been assigned to write one, this guide will have everything you need to get started.

Table Of Contents

What is Process Essay?

Process essay structure, how to write process essay, process essay topics, process essay examples.

A process essay can be one of two things. It can be an essay that explains how to do something, or it can be an essay that explains how something works. It'll be more common if you study a subject that follows linear protocols, such as the sciences.

The essay structure for a process essay is one of the simplest ones around. The goal of the essay is to explain the process itself, so you'll break it down into different steps. Your essay should look like this:

  • Introduction: Introduce the process you're going to explain, and talk about why it's important to the reader.
  • Main body: Each section in this part will take on a different topic, or step in the process. Remember to include all the steps that are needed.
  • Conclusion: You'll wrap up your explanation, but won't include anything new at this stage.

To write your essay, here's every step you'll need to take.

  • First, research the process you're going to be explaining. Make sure you have all the information to hand. These kinds of essays aren't as reliant on evidence, but you still will need some to prove your points.
  • Now, you'll need to write your outline. Use the structure above for guidance. This outline will ensure that you miss nothing out of your explanation.
  • Once you have your outline, sit down to write. The outline will give you the guidance you need, making the writing process easier. Remember to leave lots of time to write your essay, or you could rush it and make mistakes.
  • Finally, proofread and edit your essay. This will ensure that no mistakes were made and that it's ready to hand in.

The topics you could be given in this genre of essay writing can vary wildly. You could be asked to write about how to draw a cow, or set up an email account. Whatever topic you're given, you'll be expected to write a full and thorough account of how to undertake that activity. Remember, you need to write so someone else could follow your steps and get the right result.

If you want some practice at writing your own process essays, here are some example topics:

  • How to train your dog to sit.
  • How to send a text message.
  • How to start a small business online.
  • How to change the oil in your car.

If you don't know how to do any of these things, you'll need to research first. Make sure you don't miss out any important steps!

Now you know how to write the perfect process essay. Use this guide when you next need to get one written.

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How to Write the Perfect Process Analysis Essay (With a Sample Essay)

Tonya Thompson

A process analysis essay is a kind of expository essay that explains the process or actions someone needs to take to complete a task. You can think of it like a recipe, stating all of the necessary ingredients and steps, allowing the reader to follow along in logical order.

A process analysis essay can be written about a wide scope of topics, from highly technical processes to cleaning and organizing your closet. Writing a process analysis essay forces you to slow down and consider every tool and step involved in completing a task, and then explain what's needed in logical order for your reader to do the same.

Writing a process analysis essay forces you to slow down and consider every tool and step involved in completing a task, and then explain what's needed in logical order.

Format of a process analysis essay

For this type of essay assignment, you will not be following the traditional five-paragraph essay outline. There is still an introduction and body to your essay, but your conclusion is more like the "analysis" part and the essay will end when you've completed explaining the steps involved in a process. Below, we'll break down exactly what should be included in each of these parts. Also keep in mind that you can still create an outline before beginning writing your process analysis essay, although it might look more like a list of bullet points rather than a traditional five-paragraph essay outline.

Introduction

The introduction to your process analysis essay will include information about the process you are analyzing and why it is important. This will likely be the shortest part of your essay. If there is a unique history to the process you'll be analyzing, the introduction is where you might mention that. You basically want to use this paragraph as a brief introduction to your reader of 1) what process you'll be analyzing and 2) how or why that process might be useful information to know.

The body of your process analysis essay will mention any prerequisites, materials, or instruments needed to complete the process. It should also mention any risks or warnings involved that are relevant to the process. It's important to include everything that the reader will need to complete the process, and even extra tools that might help the process go smoother but are not necessary. For example, in the sample process analysis essay provided below on how to make apple butter, I included a spoon to stir the butter as part of the list of tools that will be needed. Additionally, I mentioned that a food processor will make the apple butter cook better and have a more butter-like consistency, but it's not necessary to have as a tool to cook apple butter.

Following these sections, you'll write the actual process in sequential order required to complete the task. Make sure you include transitional words within and between paragraphs, as these are required to show the sequence of the process in logical order. Your analysis will likely be across several paragraphs, so make sure each paragraph describes a separate part of the process to avoid confusion for your reader.

Sample process analysis essay

To show you how a process analysis essay might look, we've provided a sample essay that includes the separate sections discussed above. Notice that the introduction paragraph is short, providing basic information about the process that will be discussed, while the remaining paragraphs are longer and more detailed.

Below is a sample process analysis essay explaining how to make apple butter

Sample essay

Apple butter is similar to apple sauce but is different in that it is highly concentrated and used more often as a butter-like topping on bread or crackers. It's cooked long and slow, allowing the sugar in the apples to caramelize and turn it a deep brown color.

To make apple butter, you will need a slow cooker, food processor, cutting board, peeling knife, large spoon, apples, sugar, and spices for the desired flavoring (usually cinnamon and nutmeg). You might also want to use an apple slicer, which cuts down on the preparation time. Note that when you begin cooking your apple butter, the more minced the peeled apples are, the smoother the final product will be. If you want your apple butter to have a true butter-like consistency, mince the apples well in the food processor before cooking.

Now, let's look at the process of cooking apple butter. To begin, prepare a large, clean space for cutting and processing the apples. Five to six cups of fresh apples will likely only result in a few cups (at most) of apple butter, so depending on how much butter you want to make, you could be peeling and preparing apples for several hours. Each apple will need to be sliced, peeled, and minced in a food processor for maximum butter-like consistency.

Next, add the minced apples to a slow cooker and place the slow cooker on "high". You will notice that the top of the mixture is watery, once the larger pieces settle. Add sugar and spices until you reach the taste you want for the apple butter. Keep in mind that apples vary in sweetness, depending on what type of apple you are using, and sugar can be added slowly throughout the cooking process. Be careful not to add too much sugar at first, as the butter will get sweeter as the apples cook down. In fact, you might even choose to not at sugar at all at this stage of the cooking process, especially if you want a final product that is not too sweet. The spices can also be added as the apple butter cooks or not at all (if that's your preference). Be sure to stir every 10-15 minutes during the first hour as the apple butter is cooking on high and let it cook uncovered.

After one hour of cooking on high, turn the slow cooker to low and cover it. Depending on the type of apple you have used, it should cook for 8-10 hours, until there is no water left at the top and around the sides of the slow cooker. During this slow cooking time, stir occasionally (once per hour should be fine). This is also when the apple butter makes your kitchen smell amazing!

Finally, when the apple butter has reached the consistency and taste you want, remove it from the slow cooker. If you choose to can the apple butter, you can do that immediately or keep the apple butter in the refrigerator until you are able to can it.

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50 Great Topics for a Process Analysis Essay

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  • Writing Essays
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  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
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If you've ever read an instruction manual or written a set of directions, then you are probably familiar with process analysis writing. This form of composition is often used in the field of technical writing to explain the process of a complex system logically and objectively. Because the material covered in process analyses can be quite complicated, this type of writing tends to be detailed and long.

What Is Process Analysis Writing?

Process analysis writing involves a comprehensive set of instructions that explains a process from beginning to end. To successfully write a process analysis essay, writers must critically analyze each step of the process they have chosen to describe and determine the most reasonable way of delivering information before writing. Expertise is required when explaining a process with this level of detail and this can be obtained through firsthand experience or thorough research.

The topic of a process analysis essay needs to be as specific as possible and it is crucial that the tone of the essay be clear and straightforward. A writer's main goal when crafting a process analysis essay should be to make a process easy to follow. Below is a set of tips that will help you achieve this.

Tips for Writing a Process Analysis Essay

When writing an essay or speech through process analysis , keep these tips in mind:

  • Include all steps and arrange them in chronological order .
  • Explain why each step is necessary and include warnings when appropriate.
  • Define any terms that may be unfamiliar to readers.
  • Offer clear descriptions ​of any required tools or materials.
  • Give your readers a way to measure the success of the finished process.

50 Process Analysis Essay Topics

Writers will have an easier time writing process analysis essays and following the above guidelines for topics they know well. To begin, choose a subject that you enjoy writing about and know that you can explain well. These prompts offer potential process analysis essay topics to get you started.

  • How to mow your lawn
  • How to win a game of Texas hold 'em poker
  • How to lose weight without losing your mind
  • How to find the perfect roommate
  • How to get rid of a roommate—without committing a crime
  • How to achieve academic success in college
  • How to pitch a knuckleball in baseball
  • How to plan the perfect party
  • How to survive a night of babysitting
  • How to pitch a tent in the rain
  • How to housebreak your dog
  • How to kick a bad habit
  • How to overcome insomnia
  • How to stay sober on a Saturday night
  • How to rent your first apartment
  • How to avoid a nervous breakdown during exams
  • How to enjoy the weekend for less than $20
  • How to make the perfect brownies
  • How to keep resolve arguments with your spouse
  • How to bathe a cat
  • How to get what you want through complaining
  • How to survive a recession
  • How to toilet train a baby
  • How to gain self-confidence
  • How to use Twitter sensibly and effectively
  • How to wash a sweater
  • How to remove stubborn stains
  • How to build successful relationships with instructors
  • How to give yourself a haircut
  • How to plan the perfect class schedule
  • How to apply the Heimlich maneuver
  • How to end a relationship
  • How to make a flaky pie crust
  • How to take the best photographs with a smartphone camera
  • How to quit smoking
  • How to get around without a car
  • How to make the perfect cup of coffee or tea
  • How to maintain an eco-friendly and affordable lifestyle
  • How to build a great sandcastle
  • How to edit a video
  • How to build and maintain a stable friendship
  • How to insert contact lenses
  • How to write a great exam
  • How to teach responsibility to a child
  • How to groom your dog
  • How ice cream is made
  • How a cell phone takes pictures
  • How a magician saws a woman in half
  • How solar panels work
  • How to choose a major in college
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How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline

Process analysis is an explanation of how something works or happens. Want to know more? Read the following article prepared by our custom writing specialists and learn about:

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  • process analysis and its types
  • a process analysis outline tips
  • free examples and other tips that might be helpful for your college assignment

So, let’s start digging deeper into this topic!

  • ♻ Process Analysis Definition
  • ✏️ Process Analysis Types

☑️ How to Write a Process Analysis Essay

  • 📑 Examples & Bonus Tips

♻️ What Is Process Analysis?

A process analysis describes and explains the succession of actions, points out a specific result, and provides a detailed plan.

To be more precise, process analysis is targeted at explaining:

  • how things work;
  • how to do or make something;
  • how something operates or happens.

So, if you want to know how an aircraft flies or how to start a business, you need to deal with process analyses that detail these procedures. You might be asking yourself: Are these two processes similar to each other? In fact, they are different. Moreover, there exist other types of processes. That’s why we have united some basic types into categories for your convenience.

The picture shows the main types of processes for process analysis.

Let’s get into the details.

  • Processes that are either related to people or performed by them, such as relationships, psychological aspects, or some manuals. These include descriptions of how to overcome depression, work in a team, or change the oil in your car.
  • Processes that take place within a society. For example, it can be a description of the electoral process or how the judicial system works.
  • Processes that occur in nature. It may be an explanation of cell division, the process of season change, or the life cycle of an organism. Process analysis plays a crucial role in scientific research. It helps to describe complex mechanisms and procedures, leading to advancements in science.
  • Processes that are performed by machines. It can be an explanation of how a car engine works or how a helicopter flies.
  • documenting knowledge;
  • analyzing some separate actions;
  • finding problematic issues;
  • identifying the options for further improvements.

As you can see, some of these processes just need to be described , while others should be explained . There is a considerable difference between a description and an analysis. If you want to find it out, read the following part of this article.

✏️ Two Types of Process Analysis

As you already know, a process can be either described or explained. Following this, the two types of process analysis are:

  • Directive process analysis: a description of a process.
  • Informational process analysis: an explanation of how something works.

The primary difference concerns the purpose of these analyses. Now, let’s go into details.

Directive Process Analysis: Examples & Definition

Directive process analysis (also called prescriptive) answers the question of how to do or make something . In other words, it serves as an outline of specific steps a person should take to achieve the desired result. For example, it may be a description of how to plan a party or write a particular essay type (like this article.)

This type of process analysis is used in tutorials, manuals, or policy guides. In most cases, technicians and decision-makers utilize it.

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Informational Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Definition

In contrast, an informational process analysis (also called explanatory or descriptive) demonstrates how something works or is done . To be more precise, it presents information about the way some things or phenomena function. For example, it can describe how a disease affects our bodies.

A descriptive analysis consists of two parts:

  • data gathering;
  • identifying casual relationships.

This combination helps find out the essence of the process.

An informational process analysis may be found in essays, magazine or newspaper articles, or videos. Mostly, students, researchers, or just curious people are interested in this type.

We have talked about the process analysis definition and types. Now, it’s time to find out about a process analysis essay and how to write it correctly. In this section, you will find lots of interesting and helpful information on how to write each part of the essay, some tips on topics selection, and examples.

Just 13.00 10.40/page , and you can get an custom-written academic paper according to your instructions

Process Analysis Essay Outline

Let’s start with the essay structure. Keep in mind that a process analysis should be written in chronological order. If you want your readers to understand the presented process clearly, divide it into stages and then into steps. It will make your essay more coherent.

A process paper outline consists of 4 parts. Here they are:

The picture shows the main steps in writing a process analysis: introduction, main body, conclusion.

Process Analysis Essay Topics: How to Choose

Choosing a topic may seem confusing. You have many things you want to talk about, and you simply can’t decide. Sounds familiar? Don’t worry; these tips will help determine what process analysis essay topic to choose.

To select a topic, you need to:

  • Analyze your interests and hobbies;
  • Choose a process related to your interests;
  • Look for something you are familiar with and don’t need any further research;

To sum it up, write about something you like and know about.

How to Start a Process Analysis Essay

You’ve chosen the topic but don’t know how to start writing about it? Don’t worry; we’ve collected the most effective strategies to help you create an excellent introduction.

It’s worth mentioning that your introductory part depends on the type of your process analysis. If it’s a directive essay, you need to explain the process to your readers. If it’s an informational essay, you describe the process.

STEP #1: Start with a definition . It’s necessary to mention the purpose and importance of your paper. The audience should have a meaningful reason for reading your essay.

Writing a perfect essay is easier than you think (directive.)

Stress is one of the reasons for health problems (informational.)

STEP #2: Add some background information . Expand on the details and define the process.  

Baking requires particular skills and time. However, if you do everything correctly, you will get an excellent cake (directive.)

Constant stress exposure leads to the development of various health disorders, resulting in complex treatment (informational).

STEP #3: End your introduction with a thesis statement . Present the steps or stages of the process in one sentence.

To write a perfect essay, one needs to search for information from different sources, analyze the gathered data, and organize the ideas into a coherent text (directive.)

Chronic stress leads to the rise of blood pressure, the release of histamine, and a change of insulin level (informational.)

Just follow these steps to make sure you included all the necessary aspects in your introduction.

Process Analysis Thesis Examples and Tips

A thesis statement is a roadmap of your essay. That’s why it’s important to make it an effective one. Here’s what to keep in mind when writing a powerful thesis.

  • Its content. It should contain all the essential information on your topic. A thesis is like a presentation of your paper in one sentence. That’s why you need to be clear and concise. Each of the aspects mentioned in a thesis should be expanded in a body paragraph.

Baking a pie is a simple process as all you need to do is to mix all the products, prepare the filling, and bake the combined ingredients in the oven.

When you see such a thesis, you understand that the paper will be about baking a pie rather than changing a tire.

  • The number of parts. In fact, a process analysis thesis consists of two parts: the main point and the organizational format. The first element focuses on the purpose of the thesis. It’s worth mentioning that the content of the second part depends on the type of your process analysis essay.
  • Its place in the text. Your thesis should be situated at the end of your introduction. To be more precise, it’s the last sentence of this part. In such a way, our audience will get a hint about the content of the following body paragraphs.

Feel free to check out the additional tips below. They will make your thesis perfect.

  • Make it an affirmative sentence . Don’t write your thesis in the form of a question. This statement should be the answer to the question of the audience.
  • Try to make it emphatic . Don’t start your thesis with trite phrases such as   “this essay will explain,” “I will inform you about,” or “I will describe.”
  • Add more aspects if necessary.  For example, the thesis may state the inefficiency or unfairness of the process in question.

Process Analysis: Paragraphs for the Main Body

Similar to a thesis statement, the content and structure of the main body depend on your essay type. We have prepared several useful strategies for both types.

Informational Process Analysis: Body Paragraphs

Directive process analysis: body paragraphs, transition words for process essay & examples.

Each process has a beginning, a middle part, and an ending. To present a process analysis, divide it into meaningful parts and organize them properly. The readers should always have a clear understanding of a succession of actions.

That’s why you need to use transitional words. They can help the readers follow the text. We have prepared a list of transition words with some examples. Check it out below.

Process Essay Conclusion Writing Strategies

Finally, we get to the concluding part and how it should be arranged. Here are some helpful strategies for you to write an effective conclusion.

  • Briefly summarize all the information you mentioned in your body paragraphs.
  • Don’t introduce any new details. This part intends to conclude the essay.
  • Paraphrase your thesis statement.
  • Relate your conclusion with the introduction. There should be a logical ending for your essay. Sum up the information presented in all the parts of your paper.

To conclude, stress produces a negative effect on health. That’s why you should do something to reduce its impact. Include meditation and yoga in your daily routine. Don’t forget to have enough sleep. If you follow all these recommendations, your mental and physical health will improve very soon.

📑 Process Paragraphs Examples & Bonus Tips

We have already composed the process analysis essay. Now you know what to include and what to pay attention to while writing such a type of essay. However, we would like to share a list of some additional tips with you. They will help you to look at your paper from different angles and make it perfect.

Bonus tips:

  • Consider the tone of your writing. Try to sound as professional as possible.
  • Don’t forget about the formal style. Avoid writing in 1 st person. Instead, use the 2nd person in directive and the 3rd person in informational process analyses:
  • You can interrupt the chronology of your process description. Sometimes, it’s essential to specify the terms or concepts, show how the preceding and following steps are connected, or clarify why it’s necessary to do some steps simultaneously.
  • Give your readers a specific reason to care about your essay. Before writing your thesis statement, ask yourself: Why do people need to know about this process? The thesis should reflect the answer to this question.

Finally, we would like to present you with a process analysis essay example. Pay attention to the contents of each essay part:

Below, you can find even more process analysis essay samples. Make sure to check them out to get some inspiration for your paper.

  • A Medical Committee’s Group Process Analysis
  • How to Groom Your Pet Dog: Process Analysis
  • Agency Supervisory Process Analysis
  • Passing a Test: Process Analysis

Process Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analysis of engineering process.  
  • Steps to successful aging .  
  • Analysis of quality improvement process . 
  • The process of data analysis . 
  • How to lose weight .  
  • Process of selecting a suitable theory or model in health intervention. 
  • The important steps of images processing. 
  • Strategic planning process analysis: stakeholders and initial agreement guidelines. 
  • How to write: process analysis. 
  • Steps for maintaining your mental health during pandemic.  
  • Process for financial accounting cycle .  
  • Steps for creating a realistic buyer persona .  
  • How to make a final decision .  
  • Stages of problem-solving strategy . 
  • The risk management in healthcare : process analysis. 
  • How to organize a group : stages.  
  • Describe the contingency planning process. 
  • Steps to planning a career .  
  • Enhancing wireless network performance : process analysis. 
  • How to cope with grief: five stages theory .  
  • Process for conflict resolving .  
  • How to analyze a primary source .  
  • Communication problems at workplace : stages analysis.  
  • How to conduct sociological research . 
  • Process of prenatal development : main stages. 
  • Stages of developing a new product . 
  • Clear steps to conducting community-based research . 
  • Making a dental public health policy : process analysis. 
  • Conducting a utility test : process analysis. 
  • The key steps to facilitate parent participation process.  
  • The implementation plan for treating patients with cancer. 
  • Discuss the steps of buying a product . 
  • Describe the process of business development .  
  • Analyze the brewery process . 
  • Cognitive development of children: process analysis. 
  • Describe the stages of different types of interviews . 
  • Analyze the process of employees’ talents development . 
  • How to buy a used motorcycle . 
  • Steps to making ethical decision .  
  • Analyze the ways of managing s diverse international team .  
  • Process analysis for proper teeth cleaning .  
  • Describe the steps of project management .  
  • Four stages of business development .  
  • How to cope with distress in nursing.  
  • External auditing process analysis. 
  • Analyze the stages of Alzheimer’s disease .  

We hope you find our article useful and apply these strategies to your process analysis essay. We wish you success with all your future assignments.

Further reading:

  • Case Study Analysis: Examples + How-to Guide & Writing Tips
  • How to Write a Visual Analysis Essay: Examples & Template
  • How to Write a Film Analysis Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips
  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Step by Step

🔍 References

  • Process Analysis: The University of Toledo
  • Business Process Analysis: UNICE
  • Process Analysis: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  • Informative Process Analysis: Saint Leo University
  • How to Write a Thesis for Process Analysis Essay: Seattle PI
  • Informative Process Analysis: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Introductions and Conclusions: University of Toronto
  • Process Description: How to Write about a Sequence of Events: Seton Hill University
  • Essay Introductions: University of Maryland
  • Essay Structure: Harvard University
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Process Essay

Definition of process essay.

As the name suggests, this type of essay explains a process of making or breaking something. These essays are often written in chronological order, or in numerical order to show step-by-step processes. They are written in descriptive or prescriptive modes. Although it is not a technical communication, it sounds like having all the qualities of a technical document. The only difference is that it is often written in descriptive mode, while a technical document is mostly in imperative mode.

Transition in a Process Essay

As process essay provides step-by-step approach of doing something, they have typical transition words. These transition words make readers understand what has been done and what will follow next. Some of the specific transition words could be immediately, initially, in the end, in the future, in the meanwhile, later, next, soon, eventually, finally or firstly , and secondly .

Examples of Process Essay in Literature

Example #1: community re-discovered (by heidi ramirez).

“In any community , there are several and varying ways in which residents fulfill a sense of  community: participating in intramural sports, attending farmers’ markets, walking with neighbors, attending political meetings, helping the elderly, visiting the library, and volunteering for youth groups. It’s knowing the people in these interchanges, not just being familiar with faces, that build strong community.  Unfortunately, when this basic engagement is overlooked, communities can begin to disintegrate.”

This an excerpt from a process essay by Heidi Ramirez. It sets the tone of a process how communities integrate with each other. It clearly shows the sequence of the integration process.

Example #2: A Homemade Education (by Malcolm X)

“I was so fascinated that I went on—I copied the dictionary’s next page. And the same experience came when I studied that. With every succeeding page, I also learned of people and places and events from history. Actually, the dictionary is like a miniature encyclopedia. Finally the dictionary’s A section had filled a whole tablet—and I went on into the B’s. That was the way I started copying what eventually became the entire dictionary. It went a lot faster after so much practice helped me to pick up handwriting speed. Between what I wrote in my tablet, and writing letters, during the rest of my time in prison I would guess I wrote a million words.”

In this essay, Malcolm X has stated some of the ways through which he learned writing. He states how he “went on” copying the dictionary from one page to the next page. Some of the transition words such as “finally” and “actually” are quite obvious.

Example #3: Perspectives on “Borders” (by Luis Valdez)

“Let’s go back to the Popol Vuh. We’re talking about borders now . There is a border that defines the human being as a material and spiritual being. We have all learned that we’re Homo sapiens, wise monkeys. The monkey is a symbol of intelligence in the Popol Vuh, and in the classic Chinese novel Monkey. The wise monkey is a symbol for humanity. Now let me offer you another symbol for our human being—the feathered serpent. You are a feathered serpent that is evolving and crawling out of the seeds of your being. And once in awhile you get caught up in the dead skins of your life. You know biologically we go through a complete cellular change every seven to nine years. We’re totally renewed. So in one sense, biologically, you crawl out of a dead skin. You evolve out of yourself. The feathers are necessary because they represent our spiritual being.”

Although written in second person, this excerpt shows that the essay presents a process. It follows the same structure and same pattern of using things or doing tasks in a sequence. Specifically, the last lines show it clearly.

Function of a Process Essay

A process essay gives reader a sense of complete how-to-do process of making or creating some objects or things. Readers, after going through the essay, are able to create and make things. Although it is not like imperative instructions, it gives full details in a descriptive or prescriptive mode. It is because its major objective is not to present trite and dry instructions, but lively language to make readers read it with interest and do the act with enthusiasm.

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what is a process essay example

Process Analysis: How to Write a Process Analysis Essay

what is a process essay example

Writing a process analysis essay sounds like a problematic task to do, but in reality, it’s just another writing assignment. In this article, our college essay writing service will explain how to write a process analysis essay, list some process analysis essay topics and give you useful writing tips and examples. But first things first — let’s start with a process analysis definition.

What Is a Process Analysis Essay

Before jumping to the How To section, let’s answer the question of what is process analysis. Process analysis is an essay which explains how something is done, how something occurs, or how something works. In this type of essay, the writer is required to present the steps of the process in sequential order, from first to last. All concepts or terms that might appear uncommon are defined.

For Example: When writing a process analysis essay about becoming a better person, you count and describe some actions — from small to bigger ones — like lifting peoples’ self esteem around you when you were young, to becoming a motivational speaker when you’re older.

Sometimes, your professor will assign you a process analysis topic. And sometimes, you will have to pick a topic by yourself.

You should also read the article on discursive essay format . It will help expand your understanding in writing any type of paper.

Stuck on the Steps of Process Analysis?

Journey through your essay with ease. Our expert guides are ready to help you analyze every step of the way!

Process Analysis Essay Structure

Process essays may be divided into two categories: informative and directive. A directive process analysis gives instructions on how to accomplish a certain goal (for example, how to prepare the best waffles). An informational process analysis essay describes a topic to the reader (for example, how an aircraft engine functions). A process essay may be written in three easy steps:

  • Split the task

The workflow should be broken down into simple, well-defined phases that generally maintain a temporal sequence and have a clear objective. You can better arrange the document with a process paper outline.

  • Make smooth transitions

A process analysis essay remains more engaging when you use transitional terms—the audience benefits from phrases like - therefore, subsequently, afterward, etc.

  • Study the essay thoroughly

Inspect any potential gaps, such as missing ingredients from a recipe, by going through the process essay point by point.

Process Analysis Essay Examples

Referring to an example can save you time. Our free samples can provide insight into what a process analysis essay should look like.

How to Pick a Process Analysis Essay Topic

Imagine you need to describe something in steps: what would they be? Don’t rush with making a final decision and try to rationalize your choice by following our recommendations:

what is a process essay example

  • Pick a topic you have a good understanding of.
  • Choose a theme that will involve the readers.
  • Focus your topic on a specific thing.
  • Make sure you can explain your topic without pictures. Focus on words.
  • Ensure that the topic is helpful and has practical worth.
  • Your topic must be relevant. If you decided to write about using a pager, we suggest you rethink your idea.

It’s okay if you don’t have a lot of process analysis essay topics in mind; just focus on the writing process and pick one of the ones we’ve prepared for you below.

Check out our ARTICLE TO FIND MORE ESSAY TOPIC IDEAS

Writing a Process Analysis Essay Step-By-Step

Process analysis essay structure is as follows:

what is a process essay example

Let's overview that structure in more details:

  • The introductory part should explain the actual process and why it’s relevant or necessary. Avoid any unnecessary information such as the background, history or origin. If for instance, a recipe needs tomato sauce, the reader should be informed so. In other words, go directly to the issue and provide only the necessary information.
  • The next paragraph should present a list of all the equipment, tools or resources necessary for the particular process. For instance, if some ingredients cannot be found in the locality, explain where you can find it, or them. Potential risks or side effects that are likely to occur in the process should be stated so that the reader remains informed. Furthermore, it is essential to inform the reader about what might go wrong and what can be done to avoid potential mistakes.
  • Then, outline the process in sequential order. If the process requires some steps to be undertaken at particular stages, these should be stated and explained clearly, at relevant points in the sequence. The writer should be very keen to avoid confusion. For processes that appear complicated, the steps should be subdivided accordingly. Additionally, the writer needs to vary their use of transitional words such as “after”, “then”, “next” to make sure the essay does not become repetitive.
  • The final part should present a general review of the whole process so the writer can reinforce the main points succinctly, without details.

You can also read the essay example from our essay writer . If you still need help, contact us and we will do everything in the best way.

Process Analysis Essay Outline

The structure for this type of analysis essay outline is as follows:

Introduction:

  • Introduce your topic and briefly outline what the process will achieve.
  • Demonstrate where this process is relevant or when it is useful.
  • It’s a good idea to offer a real-world example of the outcome of the procedure.
  • The processes should be presented in paragraphs.
  • Perform each step in its section.
  • Appropriate transitions should be employed for each step.
  • Be descriptive in your presentation.

Conclusion:

  • In your conclusion, summarize the procedure. You don’t have to repeat all the individual steps, but you need to reinforce the main points and milestones.
  • Describe the expected result.

Writing Tips

  • Appropriate Use of Language and Vocabulary Making good use of vocabulary and technical terms can often make or break an assignment. This impacts the degree of depth and clarity the reader can get out of it. Thus, if your audience is meant to be doing the procedures while reading, the steps should be simple and to the point.
  • Give the Reader a Sense of Direction When including comments in your essay that are tailored to give a sense of direction, like “once that’s done” or “wait until”, it’s best to do so where relevant. Try to avoid over-complicating the steps, while keeping everything clear and concise.
  • Use Chronological Progression For example, if it’s a cooking recipe, it should always include the steps in sequential order, while also indicating how much of each ingredient to add. Additional information like cooking techniques can be added at the end—to be as detailed as necessary.

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Process essay

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A process essay is a type of expository writing that explains a series of steps or procedures to achieve a particular outcome or complete a task. It provides detailed, step-by-step guidelines for the reader to follow.

If you want to understand how to write a “how to” essay, the best solution is to turn for help to the professional academic essay writers with a rich writing experience. Review this article, which contains everything a student should know before writing your process essay. 

What Is a Process Essay: Definition

Before learning how to write a process paper of A level, it is critical to define the term. A process essay refers to the type of academic writing which contains a detailed description of the particular process in the shape of the step-by-step guide. This form of essay is popular in business & technical writing. Some of the best examples of process essays include:

  • Instruction/owner’s manual;
  • User’s guide;
  • “How to…” articles;
  • Security instructions;
  • Recommendations.

Students should test the process themselves before writing an instruction or manual. It would be the best answer to the question “ what is a process essay ?”

Process Essay Outline: Structuring Your Paper

There is not much to say about the process essay outline because structure repeats steps required to complete a certain procedure. Having an outline is helpful in any situation associated with academic writing. Put down every stage in chronological order. Once the student has an outline, they may later add some details depending on the process development to come up with the whole body. Maybe you will ask " How to structure an essay of this type?" The structure of a process outline is common:

  • Introduction paragraph (mention the process to discuss).
  • Body paragraphs (list the stage and provide details).
  • Conclusion (specify what the expected outcome should be + share some success indicators).

The length of a “how to” essay depends on whether the chosen procedure is time-consuming or not. Do not pick something extra fast not to have a few-sentence essay in the end.

Process Essay Introduction

Let’s talk a little about the process essay introduction. It does not matter whether an essay is describing the way to get chocolate out of milk and coconuts, explaining some procedure of vaccination, or interpreting steps required to write a book. It is important to identify the target audience from the start! If it is an average user, avoid difficult terms. In case you write to satisfy the curiosity of advanced users, do not mind including various professional terms to prove your competence in the chosen field. Do not worry about structure. The best thing about this type of academic assignment is that step-by-step process itself provides a student with correct structure. Still, experts recommend having an outline. Would you like to know good ways to start an essay of this type? Start an opening paragraph by determining an analyzed procedure and share personal ideas on why this specific process is interesting & important to observe. Formulate a process essay thesis. It is not necessary to cover history or background of some discussed procedure.

Process Essay Body Paragraph

Do not include any details that do not relate to the process itself. If some required tools & equipment are rare, tell readers some ways to get these resources. Write down warnings about possible safety hazards to prevent readers from falling into trap/injuring. Describing steps alone might be dull. To enrich your writing, add some common mistakes to avoid. And provide helpful tips to make this process simpler & quicker. Main body of a process essay is usually written in chronological order. Add every step in chronological order with the help of clear words. If there are similar steps or those that can be performed at different stages, mention it to acknowledge the reader. To prevent confusing situations/failures, experts recommend subdividing the steps of especially long processes (example: Step 1A, 1B, etc.) Professional hint from essay order experts!

“A good process essay always uses the second person – “you.” It sounds more personal, and readers trust its writer. Be ready to apply a plenty of transitional words & phrases! They make this procedure description logical and clear to every reader. Try to insert different transitions to prevent text from being repetitive. During the process of writing an instruction or manual, do steps described in text to check whether everything works the way it should before offering the same actions to your target audience.” Professor Pryce, academic counselor and online writing tutors at StudyCrumb

Writing Process Essay Conclusion

Let’s see how to end writing a how-to essay. By the end of an instruction, reader/user must be able to repeat provided actions to activate the process or solve some problem alone. If readers cannot do that, it means that writer failed giving clear, correct instructions. How to start a conclusion in an essay ? Do it with some short review of an entire process from A to Z. It will help readers recall what they were doing, how long, and what expected results should be. While body paragraphs provide detailed interpretation of each stage, a conclusion must contain a single short sentence summarizing every step of a process. It should look like an opening sentence of this article.  

How to Write a Process Essay: 10 Simple Steps

Process essay writing is not a difficult task. Even though a process essay is easy to write, it is crucial to know the essential steps of writing. Knowing all nuts and bolts will help you write an article quickly and correctly. Below you will find 10 basic steps you should know to write an outstanding process essay. Step 1:  Think of some topic you want to write about. What interests you most? What will be useful for your readers? Consider all these questions and create the best topic. Browse our process essay topics we prepared for our users.  Step 2:  Start your research. Look for some sources that have relevant information. Collect all important data. Step 3:  Read sources you collected carefully and analyze information. Make notes when reading and have quick access to needed information. Step 4:  Create an outline for your paper. Plan your future paragraphs beforehand. Step 5:  Collect all parts of your guide together and think what you may add to the main body. Write body paragraphs. Step 6:  It is not a good idea to compose your introduction at the beginning. Start writing your introduction paragraph only after you have main part. Step 7:  Don’t forget about a strong hook for your paper. It should be concise, informative, and grab attention of your reader. Step 8:  Finally, summarize all points you mentioned in your text and create your conclusion. Highlight the result again. Show readers what they will get after they follow all steps mentioned in your essay. Step 9:  After all these steps are done, create a catchy and informative title. It should not only display what your essay is about but also grab your reader's attention and make them want to read your guide. Step 10: Proofread your process essay and edit mistakes. Read your text again, check for typos and grammar mistakes. Make sure it is readable and understandable. Following these steps will help you create a truly brilliant process essay that you will get an A+ for. Buy essays papers to enjoy even higher odds to succeed with your submission.

Helpful Tips on How to Write a Process Paper

While writing this type of academic essay, recall these professional tips & tricks and earn A+!

  • Say what you are doing to describe an action. It would be paper’s topic, precise, clear, and educating. Narrow down your topic if it sounds broad. Example: Instead of calling some instruction “How to Install Windows” make it “How to Install Windows 10 on the most recent Asus models (name them).”
  • Get ready with outline of an essay , which is structure of your essay.
  • Name requirements like resources, equipment, instruments, stuff, skills, and knowledge person will need to complete their process. If more than one person is required, mention it.
  • Identify technical & professional terms in text. In case manual explains a procedure based on special, technical knowledge/skills, such as carpentry, it is better to include some definitions of some specific terms readers might not know. If your teacher allows, enrich your essay with images, signs, graphs, and tables to explain some word.
  • Each good instruction should contain warnings/cautions. List all possible threats & security hazards. Along with some obstacles readers may face in the process. Use an active voice in this part.
  • Finish manual/instruction with an explanation of what person should be ready to obtain once the procedure is over (stress the importance of experiment). It is important to list success factors. Example: “Cooked dumplings should not look tenderized/taste raw.”
  • Add images & more techniques so readers follow instructions simpler. For instance, “peach color” may be perceived as various textures by various individuals.”

Interesting Process Essay Examples

Of course, we won’t leave you without a real example of a process essay. Only reading this article may not be enough. Before you start your writing, it is better to look at how other students organized similar works. Here is one of professional how-to essay examples shared by college students.

If you want a similar essay customized to your needs, just say " write my essays " and StudyCrumb will provide tailored assistance. Our writers prepare such orders daily and know how to make your process essay beautiful. 

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How to Write a Perfect Process Essay: Final Thoughts

As you see, writing a professional essay is not as difficult as you might think. This type of essay does not require some special writing skills or use of high academic language . So following our simple tips we provided in our article will help you create an excellent essay that will guide readers through some steps easily.

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Get in touch with our essay writing service and have your assignment done with great quality in mind.  

Frequently Asked Questions about Process Essay

1. what are good transition words for process essay.

The most appropriate process essay transition words are ones that help readers distinguish different stages of a guide described in your essay. To define stages of your paper try using following transition words:

  • After that,
  • Eventually,
  • Afterwards,

2. How to write a thesis of a process essay?

Thesis statement for process essay should be clear, concise, and informative. In your thesis you should briefly inform a reader of result they will get after reading your guide and following all steps. Mention benefits readers will gain.

3. What is a process essay outline example?

Process essay outline example may look as follows:

  • Prepare list of ingredients
  • Prepare an oven
  • Prepare chocolate chips or dried fruit
  • Mix ingredients together
  • Bake muffins
  • Cool muffins
  • Serve muffins.

4. What are final steps after finishing writing process essay?

After you finished writing your process essay, you still should edit and proofread your text:

  • Read your text and correct mistakes and typos.
  • Delete unnecessary words and sentences.
  • Check your instructions again and make sure it is easy to read and understand.
  • Give your paper to your friend and ask them to read it. After that ask if they fully understood all instructions. If not, make corrections.

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Daniel Howard is an Essay Writing guru. He helps students create essays that will strike a chord with the readers.

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How to Write a Process Analysis Essay

Process Essay Example 1

Choose a sign-in option, citation and embed code, how to live a happy life.

       People are always searching for things that make them happy. For example, many people work very hard to improve their employment because they want to find a better job to make themselves happy. Other people search for happiness by purchasing things they want. It is not bad to search for happiness, but many people do not understand that lasting happiness does not depend on having certain things. It doesn’t depend on the circumstances of a person’s life. It depends more on how life is lived and people are loved. There are things that people can do to live a happy life regardless of their situation. In order to live a happy life, people should build relationships, be grateful, and help others.

        The first thing that people should do to live a happy life is build relationships with other people. Building relationships can include both making new friends and strengthening relationships that already exist with friends and family members. These relationships lead to greater happiness because people who have strong connections with other people are less lonely, especially in difficult times. They have people who they can talk to and people who can offer comfort to them. Another reason that strong connections can increase happiness is that they create a network of people who can offer advice. Knowing that there are friends who can offer this advice to help solve a problem can help people feel happier. Strong relationships also lead to greater feelings of belonging and security, which in turn, lead to greater happiness. Building these relationships is an essential step to living a happy life.

        In addition to nurturing relationships, people who want to be happy should be grateful. People who are grateful open their eyes to see all of the good things in their lives, and they express gratitude to people who help them. Many people have noticed that by opening their eyes to see the good things they have and choosing to have gratitude, their perspective changes. They spend more time focusing on positive thoughts instead of focusing on things that are negative or difficult. Thoughts create perspective, so intentionally creating positive thoughts will lead to a more positive perspective. Regardless of struggles they have, they choose to focus on the gifts they can see. Gratitude can change people’s perspective and help them be happier, regardless of their situation.

        Finally, serving others can make people happier. Serving others can include doing simple things like listening to a friend who is having a hard time or preparing a meal to share with someone who is sick. These simple acts not only improve another person’s life, but they also bring happiness to the person who is serving. This happiness is a natural result of lifting another person’s burden. Helping others also helps in the other areas of building happiness: it strengthens relationships with others and it helps people feel more gratitude. When people serve others, they can become good friends by showing how much they care and want to help. People feel more gratitude because when they see the problems other people face, they find ways that their life is blessed. Serving others is an essential key to living a happier life.

        If people want to have a happier life, they should serve others, be grateful, and strengthen their relationships with other people. Each of these things focuses on people and perspective rather than money and material possessions. People bring joy to other people in a way that possessions can never imitate. Perspective can make a lasting impact on a person’s life in a way that a promotion simply can’t. Regardless of the circumstances of an individual’s life, that individual can choose to focus on happiness in a real, genuine way if he wants to. Finding lasting happiness is really a simple search. That search begins as soon as people start looking beyond temporary things that only bring temporary happiness.

Exercise: Analyze an essay

Read one of the two Process Example Essays on the following pages to complete this exercise.

  • Label the introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.
  • Circle the hook.
  • What is the general topic of the essay?
  • Underline the thesis.
  • Underline each of the topic sentences.
  • Do each of the topic sentences support the thesis?
  • Does the conclusion paragraph start by restating the thesis?

what is a process essay example

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Access it online or download it at https://edtechbooks.org/academic_a_writing/process_essay_exampl .

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

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College Essay Examples: 10 Best Examples of College Essays and Why They Worked

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CollegeAdvisor’s 10 Best Examples of College Essays and Why They Worked

The college essay is one of the most important parts of the college admissions process—and it’s also one of the hardest to complete. If you’re struggling to find the right college essay topics, you’re not alone. In this guide, we’ll break down some of the best college essays to help you write a personal statement for college that will stand out . 

You’ve likely written many essays over the course of your high school career. However, your personal statement for college may be the first time you’ve been asked to write about yourself . That’s where our sample college essays can help. 

The best college essays will reflect who you are, what matters to you, and why you’ll enrich any college community you join. That’s a tall order, but looking at examples of college essays can help you as you begin the writing process. But before we dive into our sample college essays, let’s start with some basics. 

What is a college essay?

A college essay is a piece of writing that responds to a given prompt, either on the Common App lication , Coalition Application , or on a school’s individual application. College essays can range anywhere from 50 to 800 words. There are two main types of college essays: personal statements and supplemental essays. In general, you will write one personal statement and submit it to every school you apply to. By contrast, you’ll submit a different set of supplemental essays to each school. 

Why do college essays matter in the admissions process?

Your college essays reflect parts of your identity that aren’t clear from the rest of your application. While two students might have similar grades and extracurriculars, they won’t have the same college essays. That means that your college essays can make you stand out from the crowd. Our sample college essays can help you do just that. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through sample college essays that address a wide variety of college essay topics. We’ll break down examples of college essays from every category so that you feel prepared to write your own. Each sample college essay we’ve included in our college essay examples shows how you can use strong, intentional writing to approach a variety of college essay topics. By looking at these college essay examples, we hope you learn a lot about how to approach essay-writing. 

Each school approaches college essay prompts differently. Each school may provide both required and optional college essay prompts. Most selective colleges will require you to write some kind of personal statement. Many also have school-specific supplemental college essay prompts and short answer questions. Below, sample college essays that worked show how students like you approached these prompts and impressed top schools. 

For more tips about how to approach college essay topics and the writing process, check out our Essay Guides FAQ .

In this college essay examples guide, we’ll look at some examples of college essays and talk about why they succeeded. Our analysis will explain why these are a few of the best college essays that worked.

This includes a variety of essay types such as:

  • Short essay examples
  • Common App essay examples
  • Examples of personal essays
  • Supplemental essay examples (including why this college essay examples and why this major essay examples), and more.

Soon, we’ll dive into our college essays examples and break down some examples of personal essays. But first, let’s talk about what makes a good college essay and how you can make sure your college essays stand out . As you’ll see from our examples of college essays, there is no one right way to approach college essay prompts or one specific formula for writing the best college essays. However, as  you’ll learn from these sample college essays, there are still plenty of useful tips that can make your essays shine. 

Good college essays and the college admissions process

As you start reviewing college essay prompts and looking at examples of college essays, you might find yourself wondering, “What are the common characteristics of good college essays?” 

Each of our college application essay examples, from our Common App essay examples to our short essay examples, offer key insights into an applicant’s character. These sample college essays did a great job of answering their respective college essay prompts. As such, they each stood out to admissions teams as strong college application essay examples.

Later in this guide to college essay examples, we’ll break down the best college essays in detail. But first, let’s look at a few sample college essays to help you get an idea of what to think about as you learn how to write good college essays. These college essay examples provide valuable insight into how you can craft one of the best college essays admissions teams have ever seen.

Below is an excerpt from one of our successful personal essay examples:

One hundred and fifty bagels, all completely frozen. I couldn’t believe it. My school’s Model UN Conference was to start in thirty minutes, and breakfast for the delegates was nowhere near ready. I looked with dismay at my friends’ concerned faces peering out from behind piles of frozen bagels. As Secretary-General, it was my job to ensure that this conference went smoothly. However, it seemed that was not going to be the case. I took a moment to weigh my options before instructing Rachael, our “logistics coordinator,” to heat up the frozen circles of doom in the home-ec room. I knew Rachael enjoyed baking, so I trusted her to find a way into the locked room and thaw the assortment of bagels.

Below is an excerpt from one of our successful why NYU essay examples:

The Bachelor of Science in Business Program excites me, as it entails a well rounded yet intensive study in core business disciplines. However, what draws me to Stern is the emphasis on gaining a global perspective, which is crucial in today’s rapidly changing world economy. Through the International Business Exchange Program, I will be able to gain a first-hand cultural experience that will mold me into a global citizen and business leader. Not only will I be taking courses in the most prestigious business schools across the globe, but I will also have new doors opened for me to network with alumni.

As you can see, examples of college essays can look very different . What matters is that they are detailed, specific, and show the admissions team at any school why the writer would enrich campus life—all while answering the college essay prompts. When we look at more examples of college essays, we’ll discuss why these essays—and other college essay examples—worked so well.

We’ll break down:

  • How they addressed their college essay prompts
  • What kind of structure they followed
  • What their unique strengths are
  • Tips and tricks to use while writing your own college essays

As you start looking at examples of college essays, you may wonder how important they are to your application. The answer is: extremely.

Many top colleges and universities use a holistic process when reviewing applications. That means they evaluate your essays alongside your academic history, extracurriculars, and test scores to learn who you are, what has made you the person you are today, and what you might bring to a college campus. 

As you will see from our Harvard essay examples and Stanford essay examples, the best college essays give applicants a chance to teach a school about the writer. Good college essays give schools a more complete idea of the person they will be inviting to join their student body—and they are the only chance a school has to learn who you are in your own words. 

Providing details and telling your story

As you’ll see from our college essay examples, good college essays discuss important details that might not be clear from the rest of your application. Each of our Common App essay examples tells a specific story. Other college essay prompts, like the Stanford roommate essay, for instance, ask applicants to reflect on parts of their identity beyond their grades and test scores. 

Many colleges have also tried to demystify the college application process and provide helpful resources. Some schools, like Johns Hopkins and Hamilton , even provide their own examples of college essays that worked, including Common App essay examples. This can give you a sense of what their admissions team looks for.

You’ll encounter many different college essay topics. Each of these will ask you to write about your experiences in a slightly different way. So, looking at different college essay samples (like a why this college essay example or a why this major essay example) can help you approach different college essay topics. Also, since the Common App essay is a crucial part of your application, you’ll benefit from reading our Common App essay examples. 

Later in this guide, we’ll provide full sample college essays for you. This will include both Common App essay examples and short essay examples. 

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of college essay topics. Then, we’ll talk about the examples of college essays you’ll find later in our college essay examples guide.

college essay examples

Types of college essay prompts you’ll encounter

All college essay prompts will require your best writing and ideas. Understanding the differences between the types of college essay samples can help you learn how to approach your college essay prompts. 

Our examples of college essays fall into two main categories:

  • Personal Essay Examples (Common App essay examples/Coalition App essay examples/Personal essay examples)
  • Supplemental Essay Examples (short essay examples)

Our different types of college essay examples will show how you might approach different topics and what your final essays may look like. For example, when comparing Common App essay examples and supplemental short essay examples, one significant difference between the two is the word count. When looking at short essay examples, you’ll notice that the details you find in Common App essay examples don’t fit within the short 150 word or 250 word limit. As you’ll see in our short essay examples, short-form supplemental essays require you to make the most out of a limited number of words. 

Exploring a variety of college essay samples will help prepare you to write your own. If you haven’t narrowed down your school selection yet, you might not know what kinds of supplemental essays you will write or what examples of college essays you should read. In this case, start with our personal essay examples—that is, our Common App essay examples.

The Personal Statement

The most common type of essay you’ll encounter is a personal statement for college. For most applications, you’ll choose from a selection of prompts and write a longer essay (500 – 800 words) that speaks to your experiences, identity, and goals. Your personal statement for college tends to be the longest essay in your application. This means it may require more work to edit into a focused and compelling story. For inspiration, take a look at our Common App essay examples. Each of our Common App essay examples tells a story that the admissions team otherwise wouldn’t know. 

You will apply to colleges using the Common Application, the Coalition Application, or a school-specific portal. Each of these application portals will have their own unique prompts and specific word counts. However, all of our examples of personal essays serve a similar purpose and require a similar writing process. 

Beyond your personal statement for college, many schools ask you to write school-specific supplemental essays. Our college application essay examples will cover a range of supplemental essay prompts, including why you are interested in a particular school or a particular major. 

Some schools also offer a section where you can provide additional information that may have affected your grades or overall profile. This might include details about your home life or any special circumstances that created challenges for you.

In this college essay examples guide, we’ll look at Common App essay examples to help you craft your personal statement.

The school-specific college essays that worked, we will review below include:

  • Harvard essay examples
  • Stanford essay examples
  • UPenn supplemental essays
  • Dartmouth essay examples
  • Why NYU essay examples
  • Why UChicago essay examples

This collection of college essays that worked will include short essay examples, including a why this college essay example and a why this major essay example. Before we break down these sample college essays, let’s look at what exactly makes the best college essays the best.

What makes the best college essays?

When looking at college essays that worked, whether personal essay examples or short essay examples, it may be challenging to discern exactly what makes a great sample college essay great.  In our college essay examples guide, our examples of college essays (in addition to being correctly formatted ) have succeeded across a few criteria.

The criteria to keep in mind while you are considering how to write a successful essay are:

  • Personality

You can apply these criteria to all of our college application essay examples, including our Common App essay examples, examples of personal essays, and short essay examples. A strong sample college essay, no matter the length, will use these three elements to create a compelling story that will show a school how you would enrich their campus. 

In our examples of college essays, you’ll see that good college essays follow a thoughtfully composed structure. Since college essay prompts often have strict word limits, it is important to follow these examples of college essays and make sure your college essay flows. Strong personal essay examples usually tell a story that leaves the reader with a lasting impression.

Like our example college essays, your college essay should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. As you’ll see in our college essay examples, particularly our examples of personal essays, there isn’t one right way to structure your essay. Your structure could be chronological, funnel down from broad to specific, or start with a particular memory or experience and then expand out towards a greater perspective. No matter how you structure your essay, make sure your narrative remains clear.

Not all essays have to look the same

As you will see from our examples of college essays, your college essay can look any number of ways. The best college essays can take many forms — what’s important is that your college essay shows the admissions team who you are . Even as you look at college application essay examples inspired by a singular prompt, you’ll find the topics they cover to be very different. However, one thing our college essay examples have in common is that they all showcase who the writer is while still answering the essay prompt.

As you read our examples of college essays and start writing your own, try to emphasize your own identity. Think about what is important to you, experiences that made you grow or changed you, times where you were challenged, or an a-ha moment that solidified a piece of who you are. Then, once you’ve found a topic to write about, make sure it connects back to the original prompt. Even if you tell a fantastic story, if it doesn’t answer the question in the prompt, you’ll have missed the goal of the essay. If you’re still having trouble coming up with an essay topic, try this reflection exercise to help you brainstorm.

Standing out

We’ve chosen these college essay samples because they stood out in the admissions process. Besides being well-crafted, what makes a sample college essay stand out is personality. In this college essay examples guide, we’ve included a range of Common App essay examples and short essay examples that embody different voices, tones, and styles.

As you read through our examples of college essays, you may get stuck on trying to pick a topic that is 100% unique or obviously impressive. Instead of worrying about what makes you unique from other applicants, focus on being honest and being true to yourself. Remember, no one is exactly like you. So, follow the blueprint our sample college essays provide, but stay true to who you are. 

For example, if humor is a key part of your personality, let that side of you shine through in your essays! However, if you read a hilarious college essay example but don’t naturally use humor yourself, don’t try to replicate someone else’s voice. The best college essay examples reflect students who knew who they were, what they wanted to say, and how they wanted to say it.

Our sample college essays show why it’s important to take care as you craft your personal statement and supplemental essays. But what exactly made these examples of college essays work, and how can you replicate these sample college essays in your own admissions process? 

How to use these college essay examples

Wondering how to use these essays to write your own college admission essay examples about yourself? 

We’ve given some background on why we’ve included certain college application essay examples. We’ve also discussed what you can learn from the different types of college essay samples. Now, you might ask yourself, “How should I use these college application essay examples to start writing my own?”

Each college essay example addresses a unique prompt within a specific word count. So, our Common App essay examples may be more helpful to reference when writing your personal statement. Our short essay examples, by contrast, may be more helpful as you tackle your supplemental essays.

Think of these college essay examples, including Harvard essay examples and Stanford essay examples, as a resource. We know the college admissions process can be overwhelming . That’s why we are committed to providing you with resources and essay tips to help you navigate your college applications.

These college essays that worked should inspire you. As you read over these college essay samples, use these examples of college essays as a guide, not a blueprint. Your college essay should be original and entirely your own work. However, by looking at these sample college essays, you’ll get an idea of what to highlight as you tell your authentic story .

Coming up: college admission essay examples about yourself

So far, we’ve taken a peek at some examples of college essays. We hope these college essay samples will help you jumpstart your writing process. Now, you know a little bit about what goes into selecting a college essay example and why these college essay samples work. It’s time to take a deep dive into writing college admission essay examples about yourself.

Next, we’ll dig into some examples of college essays and think about how to write college admission essay examples about yourself. First, we’ll look at some Common App essay examples to help you write your personal statement. As you read through our examples of personal essays, we will break down why these Common App essay examples work and how you can craft your own effective personal statement.

Common App Essay Examples–How to approach your personal statement for college

Are you furiously googling “college admission essay examples about yourself”? You’re not alone. Writing good responses to college essay topics is one of the most difficult parts of the application process. With so many college essay prompts and college essay samples out there, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve provided the following examples of personal essays based on a variety of college essay topics. 

This section will focus on Common App essay examples—that is, college admission essay examples about yourself. We’ll unpack two examples of college essays that worked and analyze what made them effective. The Common App essay will be a crucial part of your application to nearly every school on your list. Reviewing other college application essay examples is a great way to improve your own writing. 

Each of these examples of college essays comes from our advisor network. Moreover, every sample college essay helped its writer get into a top school. So, they are all good examples of personal essays to use as you start your writing process. 

Getting started with examples of college essays

Writing a personal statement for college isn’t easy. It’s natural to look for college admission essay examples about yourself to help. However, if you want to be competitive at top schools, you need to make sure that your Common App essay—like these Common App essay examples—is the best it can be. Many examples of college essays struggle to leave a lasting impression on readers. Also, many students struggle to choose the right college essay topics. These Common App essay examples will teach you how to do just that. 

Let’s dig into some personal essay examples—or college admission essay examples about yourself. Each of these college essay samples relates to one of the Common App essay prompts. These examples of personal essays each tell stories about the writers that aren’t clear from the rest of their application; that’s why our college essay examples were successful at top schools. 

Our guide will walk you through these examples of college essays and show you how to write one of the best college essays you can. Later on, we break down why these sample college essays were successful and show you how you can replicate that success in your own personal statement for college. 

Common App Essay–Example 1: Elinor

The first of our Common App essay examples comes from a student named Elinor. In the first of our personal essay examples, she highlights her involvement in a club in an innovative and exciting way. Her tone, structure, and style each help her essay stand out from other examples of college essays. 

Below is the full text for the first of our examples of college essays. Later, we’ll discuss what makes this sample college essay one of the best college essay samples to look at.

Elinor’s Common App Essay:

One hundred and fifty bagels, all completely frozen. I couldn’t believe it. My school’s Model UN Conference was to start in thirty minutes, and breakfast for the delegates was nowhere near ready. I looked with dismay at my friends’ concerned faces peering out from behind piles of frozen bagels. As Secretary-General, it was my job to ensure that this conference went smoothly. However, it seemed that was not going to be the case. I took a moment to weigh my options before instructing Rachael, our “logistics coordinator,” to heat up the frozen circles of doom in the home-ec room. I knew Rachael enjoyed baking, so I trusted her to find a way into the locked room and thaw the assortment of bagels.  Cold bagels were not the only thing weighing heavily on my mind that morning. As I walked from classroom to classroom helping set up committees, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. Our conference wasn’t going to be like those of the private schools- there were no engraved pens or stylish water bottles. Instead, people got post-it notes and whatever pens we could steal from the supply closet. Forcing myself to stop worrying, I chose instead to think of why we made that choice. Since most of the food was donated, and all of the supplies had been “borrowed” from the supply closet, we could afford to charge only a nominal fee to everyone attending. Making Model UN accessible was one of my top priorities as Secretary-General; the same desire motivated me to begin including middle school students in the club. I hurried back down to the cafeteria, and was relieved to see that all the bagels looked warm and ready to eat.  The bagels would not be the sole crisis that day. As debates were about to start, one of the Chairs sent me a panic stricken text: “We only have 5 people in our committee! We can’t reenact the creation of the Treaty of Versailles!” I hurried to where his debate was taking place, and sure enough, only five people were there. I quickly considered my options- cancel the committee?  Convince some delegates to switch into this debate through bagel bribery? Or maybe, come up with a completely new topic?  I settled on idea number three. But what topic could a committee of only five people spend a day discussing? I mulled it over until an idea began to form. I explained to the room, “Each one of you will represent one of the five major Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. The chair will guide you as you tweet, make campaign videos, and debate the most important political issues.” I spent a few minutes figuring out how to go about moderating such an unconventional committee, before heading off to check in on the other debates.  As I walked from committee to committee, fixing problems and helping move debates along, I felt a sense of pride. I had spent months working on this conference, along with the other members of my team. At times, I worried I could never pull it off. A part of me had wished our faculty advisor would just organize the whole thing for us. After all, I’m just a high schooler, how could I put together such a big event? But as the day went by, I realized that with the help of my peers, I had done it. All the little crises that cropped up weren’t because I was doing a bad job; they were inevitable. The fact that I could find solutions to such a wide variety of problems was a testament to my leadership skills, and my level-headedness. I didn’t just feel like a leader—I felt like an adult. As I look towards my future in college and later the workforce, I know that I can succeed, even if my obstacles seem as insurmountable as a mountain of frozen bagels.

Reflecting on this sample college essay

The first of our college essay examples certainly deserves its spot among the best college essays. This sample college essay works in large part because of its opening. The first sentence of Elinor’s Common App essay makes the reader want to continue—what happened to the bagels? How will Elinor solve this problem? Examples of college essays with strong introductions draw the reader in. In addition, an inspiring first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the essay. The frozen bagels in this college essay example create tension that draws the reader in. 

Often, good examples of college essays also read like short stories in which the writer is the main character. While Elinor does mention other people in her Common App essay, she remains focused on her own actions and emotional state. In the third paragraph, she describes in detail how she responded to a crisis. She first explains her thought process, then she tells us what action she took to address the crisis. 

As you comb through various college admission essay examples about yourself, you should keep your own identity in mind. Strong examples of personal essays should contain personal details about the writer. College essay topics are designed to get to know you on a personal level. Strong examples of college essays use every chance to showcase the writer’s positive qualities.

Tell YOUR story

The best Common App essay examples tell a story about the author. These college essay examples are no exception. Often, strong sample college essays use a story to show who a student is. Elinor uses the story of her model UN conference to show her leadership , maturity, and problem-solving skills. Like any good story, Elinor’s personal statement for college contains obstacles for her to overcome and challenges to face. By presenting these examples and discussing her responses, Elinor’s Common App essay shows that she is ready for the challenges ahead. 

The best college essays show information rather than just telling it. It’s one thing to tell readers you are a proactive leader in college admission essay examples about yourself; it’s another to show it through your actions. In the second paragraph of her personal statement for college, Elinor states that she wanted to make model UN accessible as Secretary General. She then goes into detail about how she accomplished that goal by organizing food donations and only charging a small fee for attending the conference. In these Common App essay examples, the writers use details and evidence to showcase their best qualities.  

Elinor’s sample college essay also contains a strong conclusion. She illustrates what she has learned about herself from this experience and in doing so, helps the admissions team learn more about her. In this college essay example, Elinor clearly shows the kind of student she would be and how she would enrich campus life. The best college application essay examples show readers why students should be admitted through evidence and storytelling. Our Common App essay examples each accomplish that goal.

examples of college essays

Common App Essay–Example 2: Arham

The second of our Common App essay examples uses a different strategy to the first. However, it is still one of the top examples of personal essays. The next author of our college essay examples, Arham, starts with a very specific moment from his fifth grade class. He then explains how that moment has affected his life. 

While some examples of personal essays are about a recent event, other personal essay examples show the author’s development over a longer period of time. To understand why this is among the best college application essay examples, let’s look at the essay itself and how it employs techniques often found in the best college essay examples.

Arham’s Common App Essay:

An hour into President Obama’s inauguration, I stifled a yawn and raised my hand. “Ms. Edgell, who did you vote for?” Instantly, nineteen fifth-graders shattered the silence: “Of course she voted Republican!” “No, she’s a Democrat!” “Obama was born in Kenya!” “Don’t ask people about their politics,” she chided.  “So . . . you’re a Republican!”  “Arham. Outside.” As Ms. Edgell fruitlessly tried to explain that politics didn’t belong in the classroom, I struggled to suppress a smile–I couldn’t help it. For a few moments, fifth grade’s single-variable algebra and spelling tests had been replaced by a more intriguing conversation: one without a definitive answer. Snippets of boisterous debate continued to drift through the closed door, and I was eager to rejoin the conversation–that day, I learned disagreements were fascinating. Eager to understand the “why” of each and every belief, I turned to my living room: a constant cacophony of political commentary, occasionally punctuated by my father’s frustrated jabs at the pause button and exasperated interjections. In my quest to decipher the cryptic nightly news, my parents became my personal dictionary, fielding a nightly barrage of questions. Forget just explaining where babies come from–over the next four years, I asked them to articulate almost every conceivable stance on gun control, abortion, and the death penalty. Through that television screen, I first encountered the full diversity of human opinions, and I was enthralled; I wanted to triumph in every dispute. Dodging my parents’ dinnertime queries of how my day went, I delved into new lines of questioning: the viability of Medicare for All, the feasibility of 100% green energy, the merits of chicken tikka masala mac & cheese fusion. After watching the 2016 Presidential Debate, I spent hours pondering the economic consequences of a more cohesive border–sadly, the living room walls didn’t offer much feedback on my ideas. Soon, I realized that some of my “solutions” were a bit near-sighted; eliminating poverty by printing money wasn’t exactly the modern-day Wealth of Nations, and the solution to global warming was a tad more nuanced than planting trees. I learned that I wouldn’t always be right–instead, the desire to win was slowly replaced by a yearning to understand. With every discussion, I synthesized new information, pinpointed gaps in my knowledge, and reevaluated my views; then, aided by the latest edition of The Economist and a plethora of Google searches, I’d unearth the next set of questions.  Late nights in my living room have defined a lifelong passion: using disagreements as a lens to explore, understand, and influence the world. In Congressman DeSaulnier’s office—where interns were instructed to hang up on adversarial callers—I instead found myself engrossed in half-hour conversations with frustrated constituents. There, I delved beneath the partisan rhetoric to truly understand why people support a wall, desire nationalized healthcare, or champion coal–and, in return, I offered a bit of my own worldview. On elevators, I’ve been known to strike conversation on the whimsical (Should gyms offer a package where you pay for every day you don’t go?); overseas, I invite teams from Germany, Singapore, and Mexico to opine on whether or not Amazon should be considered a monopoly. Whether it’s discussing capitalism or everyday life, the resulting conversations shed light on our culture, upbringing, and aspirations–the willingness to disagree is what builds rapport. In recognition of that, I beckon for dialogue; I constantly invite the world to teach me more. In fifth grade, I learned that we fear disagreement–feigning unity will always be more comfortable. But, through ignoring each other’s most fundamental beliefs, we simultaneously abandon our ability to understand our peers. In my living room, disagreements provided a venue for questioning and navigating a world of conflicting perspectives: though I didn’t know it at the time, they set the stage for a lifetime of questioning. So, be it in the classroom, through a phone call, or on stage, I continue to raise my hand.”

Why is this a college essay that works

As we saw in the first of our college essay examples, one reason this sample college essay is effective is that it engages the reader from the very first sentence. The author uses the technique of in medias res , which is often found in strong personal essay examples. Instead of beginning the essay with exposition, the author begins with a quote that places the reader in the middle of a riveting conversation. This strategy makes the best Common App essay examples interesting to read and helps the best college essays stand out from the rest.

Another feature that characterizes the best college essay examples is varied and interesting word choice. This doesn’t mean you need to use words in your writing that you wouldn’t ordinarily use. In our examples of college essays, the writers don’t just throw around SAT words. Instead, these successful examples of college essays use carefully chosen words to elevate the quality of the writing and heighten emotional tension. The phrase “shattered the silence” from the second paragraph is a perfect example of how a vivid word can instantly improve a sentence. In addition, the phrase “constant cacophony of political commentary” shows how employing poetic devices—in this case, alliteration—can make college essay examples more fun to read. 

So, what makes the second of our college essay examples shine? This personal statement for college works because it presents a compelling story about a young boy slowly learning how to express his opinions and refining his beliefs. Many of the best examples of college essays show a process of growth or transformation. These transformations require struggle, and good college essays embrace that struggle and present it openly to readers. 

The value of authenticity

This brings us to another key feature of our college essay examples: authenticity. Some students have the misconception that the best college essays should only portray your good qualities. However, this is not the case. Instead, the most successful personal essay examples address their authors’ shortcomings and explain how they have worked to overcome them.

Honesty and authenticity permeate these college essay samples. Arham’s example college essay reveals his genuine passion for debate. He provides several examples, both personal and academic, that demonstrate his interest in that topic. Importantly, successful Common App essay examples include details not present in other areas of your application. This gives readers a more personal look into your values. These examples of college essays reveal the quirks and obsessions that round out the author’s personality and set him apart from his peers.

Both of these successful examples of college essays contain strong conclusions that look ahead to the future. These personal essay examples provide insight into how the writers will contribute to a college community. Arham uses the phrase “lifetime of questioning” to show that he will bring his curiosity and thirst for knowledge to whatever college he attends. Good college application essay examples show readers why they should accept you and what you will bring to their campus.

Although these examples of college essays are different from each other, they were both successful for a variety of reasons. Now let’s look at how to replicate these examples of college essays in your own writing!

Personal Essay Examples–How to get started writing your own college essays that work

Do you feel ready to sit down and write your own personal statement for college? Let’s break down some tips to help you use our sample college essays to write your own. Be aware that every writer has their own personal style. So, try to find ways to make these tips work for your own college admission essay examples about yourself! 

So, what can we learn from these college application essay examples? Reflecting on these two Common App essay examples, there are several steps you can take in your own writing process to craft a college essay that works for top schools. 

In addition to reviewing other examples of college essays, we recommend that you do some prewriting exercises to help you write the best college essays you can. First, take a moment to review your candidate profile. Then, decide on what 3-5 adjectives you would use to describe yourself. After you’ve reviewed our college essay examples, click here for a list of strong adjectives you might use. 

Consider the word count

This exercise helps focus your essay on the most important themes. Because college essay topics are so broad, students want to cover as much ground as possible. However, the best Common App essay examples recognize the limits set by the word count. With this in mind, these examples of college essays use specific details to illustrate broad concepts. You may have a lot to share, but the best college essays highlight qualities not found elsewhere in your application. Reflect on our personal essay examples as you write. Instead of rehashing your extracurricular achievements, follow the lead of our Common App essay examples. Tell a story the admissions team hasn’t heard. 

After you have your five adjectives, look over the Common Application’s college essay prompts. Then, choose one that lets you showcase the qualities you selected earlier. When writing college admission essay examples about yourself, it’s better to tell a single story in vivid detail than to write a broad survey of all your accomplishments. The first of our Common App essay examples focused on a single day of Elinor’s high school career. She then uses this anecdote to make a larger claim about her ability to solve problems. The second of the college essay samples starts with the story of a single fifth grade class before broadening out to other topics. As you choose your college essay topics, keep specificity in mind.

Expect to write multiple drafts

The best college essays take multiple drafts. So, make sure you allow yourself enough time to write your personal statement for college. The college application essay examples in this guide weren’t written in a day. Rather, these college essay examples each went through several drafts to become good college essays. So, take a cue from our examples of personal essays. After you write the first draft of your Common App essay, review it after a day or two. This will help you approach it with a fresh perspective. Having others review your writing can also help transform good college essays into the best college essays.  

There is no single formula for writing good college essays. However, you can learn to develop your own voice by reading articles and reviewing sample college essays written by other students. As we’ve stated, examples of personal essays can help you find your own voice and narrative as you start the writing process. This article from U.S. News contains more college essay examples along with short essay examples of supplemental prompts. It also provides advice from admissions counselors about how to write college application essay examples that stand out from other examples of personal essays. Top colleges like Tufts , Johns Hopkins , and Connecticut College often post examples of college essays that worked for their schools. Reading Harvard essay examples along with other college essay samples from top schools gives you a sense of what it takes to get into top schools.

Showing vs. telling

With the above Common App essay examples, we’ve presented two college essays that worked. Both of these college application essay examples show—rather than tell—the reader important details about the applicant’s identity. These college essay examples show what kinds of students these writers would be on campus. Based on these sample college essays, top schools could imagine these students in their communities. That’s why these examples of college essays stand out. 

examples of college essays

Beyond the Common App Essay

These Common App essay examples are not the only personal essay examples we will look at in this guide. Next, we’ll discuss supplemental college essay examples—short essay examples that usually range between one hundred and four hundred words. 

These college essay prompts are unique to the schools that assign them. However, looking at many different short essay examples will help you prepare for the variety of college essay prompts you may encounter. Let’s take a look at these examples of college essays!

Short essay examples: What types of college essay topics will you see?

Now that you have some useful Common App essay examples to use as you write your personal statement for college, let’s look at some other examples of college essays. As we mentioned, there are several types of college essays . 

The short essay examples we’ll discuss effectively and efficiently answer the prompt. Keep in mind that you will often work within the constraints of a word limit. Reading examples of college essays will help you learn this writing style. Still, remember that the best college essays will reflect your own voice. Once again, use our examples of college essays as a guide—don’t try to be someone you’re not. 

In this section, we’ll focus on four main types of supplemental college essay samples. These include why this college essay examples, why this major essay examples, other less typical supplemental essay examples, and “additional information” essay examples. As we look at these examples of college essays, we’ll focus on what made these some of the best college essays out there. We’ll talk about what makes each of these college essay examples unique—and how you can use them as you craft your own college essays.

Our college essay examples shouldn’t hold you back. Don’t feel limited to the same or similar college essay topics that you read in our college essay examples. Reading some short essay samples or Common App essay samples may help you brainstorm, but the stories you tell should be uniquely yours. When reading college application essay examples, keep in mind that authenticity will impress colleges the most. 

‘Why this college’ essay

First, let’s break down some why this college essay examples. As you’ll see from our examples of successful essays, your why this college essay should discuss in detail what attracts you to that particular school. 

Many colleges will require you to write an essay about why you want to attend that particular school. Good college essays that answer these prompts will reflect a given school’s mission, opportunities, and personality. When you read successful why NYU essay examples, why Stanford essay examples, or why UPenn supplemental essays, you’ll notice that the writer isn’t afraid to be specific. 

Questions to consider

What classes will you take? Is there a professor whose work inspires you? What clubs will you join? The best examples of college essays are detailed and convincing . When reading short essay examples, notice how many details the writers include. Then, think about how you can include details with the same specificity—but ones that are applicable to your life, plans, and interests. 

Most schools will have their own supplemental essays. This is one area where Common App essay examples and supplemental college essay examples will differ. Our Common App essay samples were submitted to all colleges, while these short essay examples were submitted to individual colleges. 

As our example why this college essays show, it’s important to research the schools on your list before you complete any college essay prompts. Why this college essays that work establish three things—a personal anecdote, details about the college’s offerings, and the connection between a writer’s personal story and the college. Essentially, the best college essays help the reader visualize how a student will succeed at that school. 

college essay examples

A ‘Why Dartmouth’ essay that worked

Why this college essay examples are a useful tool as you prepare your application for any top school. When reading this Dartmouth essay, pay attention to the clearly articulated and cohesive details. The best college essay examples will be easy to read and convey lots of information in a limited number of words. 

I always had a keen interest in numbers, probability, and finance. Early on, I could quickly calculate sales tax, analyze probabilities, and visualize complex mathematical models. After taking AP classes in economics and statistics, I became intrigued with mathematical representations for economic markets and statistical models. This sparked my desire to pursue an actuarial career to utilize my talents in quantitative reasoning. The Major in Mathematical Data Science will provide me the skills to apply abstract mathematical and statistical theories to the concrete world. I will also have the opportunity to stimulate my academic intrigue through an intensive research project. 

Good college essays do more than discuss why the applicant wants to study their major. They also go beyond why that school would be a good fit for their interests. College essays that worked also show why the applicant would make that school a better place.  

As this Dartmouth essay shows , the best college essays illustrate a track record of involvement to support the applicant’s proposed path forward. In this Dartmouth essay, the applicant plans to become an actuary. Given this student’s background, this feels like an attainable and sincere goal.

Something else to note about this Dartmouth essay is that the writer doesn’t use big fancy words or elaborate sentence structure. Good college essays are well-planned, written intentionally, and free from errors. However, they still sound like high schoolers wrote them! Like our examples of college essays, your short essays should feel natural and authentic. 

‘Why UChicago’ essay examples

Why UChicago essay examples provide useful insight into what UChicago —and other top schools —look for when evaluating applicants. These Why UChicago essay examples also have qualities that you can think about when looking at Stanford essay examples, why NYU essay examples, or others!

Ex. 1: ‘Why UChicago’ essay example

When I visited UChicago, a friend invited me to step into her Comparative Literature class: Monstrosity and the Monstrous. Desperate for refuge from the cold (as a Bay Area resident, I hadn’t packed for the Chicago winter), I quickly obliged. I expected to silently observe, but when I mentioned that I’d read Antigone, her professor was thrilled–he immediately invited me into the discussion. For an hour and a half, we weighed the pros and cons of civil disobedience: did Antigone’s actions permanently destabilize Thebes, and in the modern day, when does protesting against a government cross the line? Was Antigone justified in interpreting the will of the gods? And, if so, would Sophocles support pardoning well-intentioned criminals? Beyond the enthralling analysis of the play, I was captivated by the spirit of UChicago: a campus that invites everyone (including a loitering high school student) to contribute and develop their ideas.

In this first section of our UChicago short essay examples, notice that the writer shows a knowledge of campus based on their campus visit and research. Though UChicago does not track demonstrated interest , the best college essay examples include references to visits, school-specific events, and specific details about the school’s offer. This establishes a connection between the reader and the writer. Strong college essay samples will show genuine interest. 

When reading examples of college essays, you should also think about the tone. In the first excerpt of these college application essay examples, the tone is passionate and enthusiastic. The tone of this sample college essay conveys excitement, and the reader can almost see the applicant walking around campus. Let’s read more UChicago essay examples: 

Ex. 2: ‘Why UChicago’ essay example

Now, it’s surreal to imagine taking “The Economics of Crime” from someone as renowned as Professor Levitt (I’ve been a fan since reading Freakonomics) and staying after class to clarify the finer points of the latest Freakonomics podcast (I particularly enjoyed “Speak Softly and Carry Big Data,” on using data analysis to perfect foreign policy decisions). I hope to add to UChicago’s legacy of pushing the boundaries of our economic understanding by participating in undergraduate research, and perhaps put my findings to use through crafting social policy for the Harris School’s Public Policy Practicum. Prior to graduating, I’ll sample tastes of future careers through the Fried Public Policy and Service Program or the Trott Business Program. Simultaneously, as someone who enjoys conversing and respectfully challenging ideas, I look forward to immersing myself in the Core Curriculum and obtaining a strong foundation of knowledge. Above all, I appreciate that UChicago teaches students how to think, encourages dialogue, and prompts students to question norms. 

Showcase your various interests

In this sample college essay excerpt, the author reveals a strong passion for learning. In this and many other why this college essay samples, the writer doesn’t focus solely on one academic area. Instead, the best college essays reveal qualities and traits of someone who is eager to explore a variety of interests. 

Another strength of this sample college essay excerpt is that it sticks to the facts. The best college essays limit overly emotional appeals, avoid cliché phrases, and don’t make vague statements about the future. You’ll see many examples of college essays that acknowledge a degree of uncertainty about what the author will study—and that’s okay! As our examples of college essays show, you don’t need to have everything figured out. 

Note too, that both excerpts of UChicago college application essay examples are part of a much longer essay. The UChicago supplement is closer in length to Common App essay examples. Though the college essay topics are different for UChicago, you can learn from reading Common App essay examples, too!

For more examples of college essays from UChicago, check out this article!

‘Why this college’ essays—Additional tips

There are a few more tips to learn from reading these examples of college essays. First, notice that you have a lot of freedom to choose your college essay topics. All that matters is that you discuss why you want to go to that particular college. Perhaps you are attracted to a niche academic program, or maybe you want to combine two of your interests and engage with an institute on campus. 

Also, choose your college essay topics and words carefully. Effective college essay samples avoid “spending” words complimenting colleges, telling them information they already know, or regurgitating marketing materials. Strong examples of college essays don’t focus on rankings, acceptance rates, or prestige. Writing about the beautiful buildings, the weather, or the student body size will seldom effectively answer college essay prompts. 

Dig deep and make connections

The most effective college essay examples mention major-specific electives or particular clubs. Most importantly, they’ll explain why these programs matter to the writer. You will notice that college application essay examples often describe how college will be an extension of existing passions, interests, and activities. 

In these why this college essay examples, the writers each point to specific reasons why they would like to attend their respective schools. These why this college essays are detailed and specific. Both of these sample essays showcase what their writers would bring to a college campus and how they would benefit from attending their respective schools.

As you start writing, think about our college admission essay examples about yourself. Stay true to your identity, be specific, and tell a story—then, you have a great chance of writing the best college essays you can. 

examples of college essays

‘Why this major’ essay examples

Next, let’s discuss some why this major college essay prompts. A why this major essay tells the admissions team what inspires you about your chosen field. By reading our why this major essay examples, you can understand how to discuss your academic interests in an engaging way that tells the admissions team more about your identity and passions. Let’s read some sample college essays. 

Ex.1: UPenn ‘Why this major’ essay

The University of Pennsylvania, with its strong emphasis on pre-professional learning is ideal as a learning environment. That focus is what drives many students with an eye to the future — we hope to apply our learning, impact the real world in ways that inspire change.  I find the Cognitive Science program, specifically its concentration in Language and Mind most appealing. As someone who places great emphasis in words, the idea of analyzing the cognitive aspects behind linguistics, whether philosophically, psychologically, or computationally draws upon various fields that showcase various perspectives on the meanings of language. It’s fascinating that despite the various languages and cultures there can be a biological scientific breakdown explaining the complex processes underlying syntax and semantics. 

Ex. 2: Brown University ‘Why this major’ essay

As someone who places great emphasis in words, the idea of analyzing the cognitive aspects behind linguistics, whether philosophically, psychologically, or computationally fits my ideal of using interdisciplinary methods to study human behavior holistically. I am also concerned with quantitative methods. For example, AP Psychology allowed me to talk about the ethics and methodology. I had read about the Asch conformity tests. But when my teacher set up the experiment with three classmates as subjects and the rest of us as confederates, two subjects did not conform; our ratio of nonconformity was lower than Asch had found. Could it be a trait of the magnet population and experience? Should I remain pre-med, a strong background in neuroscience will support my study of anatomy and help me become a better physician. Directly linking biology and behavior,  Cognitive Neuroscience will contribute to my holistic view of my patients.

Express your passion and curiosity

Each of these why this major essay examples gives the reader a sense of the writer’s intellectual passions. These why this major essay examples are clearly written, specific, and personal. When reading these examples of college essays, notice how detailed they are. For example, “I find the Cognitive Science program, specifically its concentration in Language and Mind most appealing.” Good college essays dig underneath the surface. Winning essays will identify how and why a student connects with their identified major or program.

Note too, that the author of the Brown sample college essay build a clear connection between their past experiences in high school (“For example, AP Psychology allowed me to talk about the ethics and methodology”) and future goals in college (“Should I remain pre-med, a strong background in neuroscience will support my study of anatomy and help me become a better physician. Directly linking biology and behavior, Cognitive Neuroscience will contribute to my holistic view of my patients.”)

Content comes first

As you can see in these examples of college essays, it’s crucial to focus on the content of the essay. So, when you write, complete all college essay prompts with specific details about why you want to attend that college. This will improve your overall application narrative. And, don’t forget to make that narrative cohesive. Strong college application essay examples tie extracurriculars, background , and identity together with future plans. 

Whether you’re writing UPenn supplemental essays or Brown supplemental essays, try to write about interdisciplinary interests if possible. You’re likely interested in more than one area, and many schools offer majors, minors, and certifications with unique combinations. Many short essay examples will go beyond the surface to discuss how the applicant’s seemingly disparate interests mesh. 

These college admission essay examples about yourself might raise some questions. Inevitably, some of you reading college essay samples are asking, “what if I don’t know what major I want to study?” Of course, college essays that worked can come from students who are certain of their future career. However, they can also come from students who change their major multiple times. 

So, don’t panic if you haven’t chosen a major. Instead, look at how you spend your time. What excites you now? College essay prompts give you the flexibility to expand on your reasoning.

examples of college essays

Unconventional college essay topics

Some supplemental essay prompts aren’t as straightforward as the why this major or why this college essay examples. For instance, Stanford has some unconventional college essay prompts that help the admissions team learn more about each student. Stanford asks students to write letters to their future roommate. So, let’s look at some Stanford roommate essay examples.

Stanford roommate essay 

Stanford roommate essay examples—like any college essay examples—can be helpful as you craft your application for Stanford or any other top school. Unlike some examples of college essays, the question these Stanford roommate essay examples answer is a bit more personal. College essay prompts like these give you the chance to show off what makes you unique. The best college essays for these types of prompts will show off your unique character.

When tasked with writing an unconventional essay like the Stanford roommate essay, it’s helpful to look at a few examples of college essays. These will help give you a feel for college essays that worked. Let’s read two sample college essays.

Ex.1: Stanford Roommate Essay

In the spirit of inaugurating the life-long relationship I hope we’ll build this year, let me tell you a little about myself. Hi, I’m Allison. I’m the second child of a comically over-optimistic refugee mother (my Vietnamese name translates, literally, to “celestial being”) and a proud Kentuckian with a deep passion for student-driven advocacy. I have two parents, two stepparents, a nineteen-year-old sister (a junior in Product Design, here, at Stanford), a three-year-old half-sister, two cats, one dog, and a complicated life that spans two households. So, I’m used to sharing space and managing shifting schedules. I’ve also always been the “Mom” friend. To me, the little things—a chocolate chip cookie when I know a friend has a rough day ahead, words of encouragement before a big presentation, or staying up late to explain a tough physics problem—mean the most. I’ll be there when you need me—be it studying for tests or navigating personal challenges. I recycle incessantly and am known to snatch cans out of the trash, wash them, and relocate them to neighboring blue bins. I keep a regular sleep schedule, rarely going to bed past midnight or waking up later than 8:30. I’m averse to gyms, opting instead to go for runs in the morning or follow along to a YouTube workout in the afternoon.  I’m passionate, but also even-keeled. I think life is best taken in stride—worrying has never gotten me anywhere, but flexibility has taken me everywhere. I look forward to an awesome year!

Ex.2: Stanford Roommate Essay

Hey Roomie! Yesterday was insane. I still can’t quite get over the energy in that stadium after that final play. I guess Berkeley couldn’t take back the axe to cut down these Trees! I’m writing you this since I have an 8:30 Syntax and Morphology with Dr. Gribanov. I know, it’s early, but that class is honestly worth waking up for. Last Friday, he spent the entire period rambling about why regardless and irregardless are the same thing, but responsible and irresponsible aren’t. Just a fun little thought to start your day. I’m also writing you this as a quick apology. I won’t be back from Mock Trial until late evening, and then I’ll be practicing for Stanford Symphony auditions. So, if you hear cacophonous noises in your sleep, it’s most likely me. Plus, it’s Mahler Symphony No. 1, so you might not sleep much anyway. Kidding. These next few days are jam-packed, but I’m craving some much-needed bonding time! I have a proposal: how does a jam session this Friday at Terman Fountain sound? I’ll bring the guitar and plenty of oldies sheet music, you just gotta bring a snack and the desire to sing! I’ve sold a few people already. Join us? Well, I’m headed to breakfast now. Text me if you want me to grab you anything.

Casual tone and style

These examples of college essays have a more casual tone and style. This works because it fits the prompt for the Stanford roommate essay. Writing a formal styled response in this case would be inappropriate. Instead, in these college application essay examples, both authors discuss their quirks, interests, habits, and personalities . Try to replicate this in your own Stanford roommate essay. Reading a variety of examples of college essays can help you brainstorm your own, but your ideas should still be original!

You and your freshman roommate will come to know each other well, so respond to this prompt with openness and honesty. While they aren’t as prevalent in Common App essay examples or supplemental college essay examples, jokes and humor are more common in these letters. 

Examples of college essays that are a letter to your freshman roommate are less formal. However, they should still be specific and vivid. Include details and stories to show the reader who you are. The strongest college application essay examples for Stanford will illustrate your identity through vivid stories and specifics details. 

Your letter to your Stanford roommate is a great opportunity to show the admissions committee another aspect of who you are. Take advantage of it!

The “Additional Information” essay

Finally, let’s turn to one last set of examples of college essays. One of the college essay prompts you’ll encounter is the “additional information” section of the Common App. This also appears as an optional supplement for some schools. Not all students should write this college essay. However, if you have something important to share about your background or experiences, the “additional information” section can be helpful. 

Let’s look at some college essay examples for this prompt. Keep in mind when reading college essay examples for this prompt that the content will differ from applicant to applicant. So, use this space in whatever way feels natural to you. 

Ex. 1: Harvard University Additional Information essay

I would like the Harvard Admissions Committee to know that my life circumstances are far from typical. I was born at twenty-four weeks gestation, which eighteen years ago was on the cusp of viability. Even if I was born today, under those same circumstances, my prospects for leading a normal life would be grim. Eighteen years ago, those odds were worse, and I was given a less than 5% chance of survival without suffering major cognitive and physical deficits.  The first six months of my life were spent in a large neonatal ICU in Canada. I spent most of that time in an incubator, kept breathing by a ventilator. When I was finally discharged home, it was with a feeding tube and oxygen, and it would be several more months before I was able to survive without the extra tubes connected to me. At the age of two, I was still unable to walk. I engaged in every conventional and non-conventional therapy available to me, including physical and speech therapy, massage therapy, gymnastics, and several nutritional plans, to try to remedy this. Slowly, I began to make progress in what would be a long and arduous journey towards recovery. 

This short essay example shares critical information about the writer. In doing so, this sample college essay excerpt helps the reader learn more about how medical circumstances have shaped the student’s perspective. It is factual—and so are many “additional information” short essay examples you will read. 

The best examples of college essays covering additional information are concrete. They often detail special circumstances, background information, or ways your life has been impacted. If you don’t have important information to write about, then don’t feel like you have to write something. Many students leave this section blank!

Focus on impact

You’ll notice that examples of college essays for the additional information prompt could also include details about your extracurriculars . You might use this area to detail additional extracurriculars and awards that would not fit in that section. These short essay examples typically take the form of a list rather than an essay. These short essay samples should focus on impact; don’t include unimpressive extracurriculars just to put something in the box. Examples of college essays come in all shapes and sizes.

You don’t need to include any additional information on the Common App if you have nothing more to share. However, as you can see from our college essay examples, this section can be useful in some cases. So, use our sample college essays to help you determine whether you should include any additional information in your own applications.

Final Thoughts—Examples of College Essays & College Essays That Worked

In this guide to college essay examples, we’ve walked you through several different kinds of college essays prompts. We’ve also provided details on why these sample college essays impressed admissions officers at top schools. Reading and analyzing college essay examples can be an excellent part of the brainstorming process. 

Colleges admit you based on your potential. So, when reading college essay samples, note the key qualities that the writer reveals. Each of the college essay samples is original and authentic. This should be one of your primary goals when writing your own college essays. 

As you write your college essays, keep these college essay examples in mind. Think about how these short essay examples show impact and character. Then, use your voice to tell your unique story. Good luck!

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This guide to college essay examples was written by Caroline Marapese, Notre Dame ‘22,  Alex Baggott-Rowe , Davidson ’16, and Stefanie Tedards. At CollegeAdvisor, we have built our  reputation  by providing comprehensive information that offers real assistance to students. If you want to get help with your college applications from Alex or other  CollegeAdvisor.com  Admissions Experts ,  click here to schedule a free meeting with one of our Admissions Specialists. During your meeting, our team will discuss your profile and help you find targeted ways to increase your admissions odds at top schools. We’ll also answer any questions and discuss how CollegeAdvisor.com can support you in the college application process.

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Writing help, paraphrasing tool, retail gateway to trendsetting: mastering the fashion nova login process.

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Fashion Nova, a name that resonates with contemporary trends and affordability, has emerged as a juggernaut in the online retail space. The brand, known for its trendy and budget-friendly attire, caters to a diverse demographic eager to embrace the latest in fashion. An integral aspect of the Fashion Nova experience is its online presence, particularly the login process, which is the gateway to a world of fashion at your fingertips. This essay delves into the nuances of the Fashion Nova login experience, exploring its ease of use, security features, and the overall user interface that facilitates a seamless shopping experience.

Security is a paramount concern in online transactions, and Fashion Nova has implemented robust measures to protect user data. The login process incorporates essential security features, including encrypted passwords and the option for two-factor authentication. This layer of security is crucial, considering the sensitivity of personal and financial information shared during online shopping. The brand’s adherence to these security protocols not only safeguards user data but also fosters trust, an essential ingredient in building customer loyalty in the digital age.

Moreover, Fashion Nova’s login system is integrated with its overall marketing strategy. Users who log in are often privy to exclusive deals, early access to new collections, and personalized recommendations based on their browsing and shopping history. This integration demonstrates how login systems can transcend their basic function of user authentication and become a tool for enhanced customer engagement and brand loyalty.

In conclusion, Fashion Nova’s login process is a fine example of how online retail platforms can balance ease of use, security, and personalized user experience. The brand has effectively utilized its login system not just as a gateway to its products but as a means to foster a deeper connection with its customers. This approach to the login experience is reflective of Fashion Nova’s broader business philosophy – to offer an inclusive, secure, and engaging shopping experience that resonates with its diverse and global customer base. As e-commerce continues to evolve, Fashion Nova’s login system stands as a model for how brands can leverage technology to enhance customer experience and build lasting relationships in the digital world.

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What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis

On this page:

What are the signs and symptoms of dementia?

What causes dementia, what are the different types of dementia, how is dementia diagnosed, who can diagnose dementia.

Older woman with glasses wearing a sari

Dementia affects millions of people and is more common as people grow older (about one-third of all people age 85 or older may have some form of dementia) but it is not a normal part of aging. Many people live into their 90s and beyond without any signs of dementia.

There are several different forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common.

Signs and symptoms of dementia result when once-healthy neurons (nerve cells) in the brain stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. While everyone loses some neurons as they age, people with dementia experience far greater loss.

The signs and symptoms can vary depending on the type and may include:

  • Experiencing memory loss, poor judgment, and confusion
  • Difficulty speaking, understanding and expressing thoughts, or reading and writing
  • Wandering and getting lost in a familiar neighborhood
  • Trouble handling money responsibly and paying bills
  • Repeating questions
  • Using unusual words to refer to familiar objects
  • Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
  • Losing interest in normal daily activities or events
  • Hallucinating or experiencing delusions or paranoia
  • Acting impulsively
  • Not caring about other people’s feelings
  • Losing balance and problems with movement

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities can also develop dementia as they age, and in these cases, recognizing their symptoms can be particularly difficult. It’s important to consider a person’s current abilities and to monitor for changes over time that could signal dementia.

Dementia is the result of changes in certain brain regions that cause neurons (nerve cells) and their connections to stop working properly. Researchers have connected changes in the brain to certain forms of dementia and are investigating why these changes happen in some people but not others. For a small number of people, rare genetic variants that cause dementia have been identified.

Although we don’t yet know for certain what, if anything, can prevent dementia, in general, leading a healthy lifestyle may help reduce risk factors .

Clinical trials on dementia

Volunteers are needed for clinical trials that are exploring how to reduce risk of developing dementia. By joining one of these studies, you may learn more about dementia risk factors and contribute useful information to help yourself and others reduce their risk of dementia.

Understanding types of dementia

Various neurodegenerative disorders and factors contribute to the development of dementia through a progressive and irreversible loss of neurons and brain functioning. Currently, there is no cure for any type of dementia.

Types of dementia include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease , the most common dementia diagnosis among older adults. It is caused by changes in the brain, including abnormal buildups of proteins known as amyloid plaques and tau tangles.
  • Frontotemporal dementia , a rare form of dementia that tends to occur in people younger than 60. It is associated with abnormal amounts or forms of the proteins tau and TDP-43.
  • Lewy body dementia , a form of dementia caused by abnormal deposits of the protein alpha-synuclein, called Lewy bodies.
  • Vascular dementia , a form of dementia caused by conditions that damage blood vessels in the brain or interrupt the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.
  • Mixed dementia, a combination of two or more types of dementia. For example, through autopsy studies involving older adults who had dementia, researchers have identified that many people had a combination of brain changes associated with different forms of dementia.

Scientists are investigating how the underlying disease processes in different forms of dementia start and influence each other. They also continue to explore the variety of disorders and disease processes that contribute to dementia. For example, based on autopsy studies, researchers recently characterized another form of dementia known as LATE. Further knowledge gains in the underlying causes of dementia will help researchers better understand these conditions and develop more personalized prevention, treatment, and care strategies.

Learn more about how researchers are using neuropathology to address questions and complexities of dementia diseases in Inside the Brain: The Role of Neuropathology in Alzheimer’s Disease Research .

What is LATE?

Researchers who investigate what’s happening inside the brain after death recently helped characterize a new form of dementia: limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE). LATE causes symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s, including problems with thinking, remembering, and reasoning, but has different underlying causes involving abnormal clusters of a protein called TDP-43. This protein is also involved in frontotemporal dementia, but LATE exhibits a different pattern of brain changes and tends to affect people over the age of 80. For example, a team of researchers analyzed the brains of 6,196 people with an average age at death of 88 years and found that almost 40% of them may have had LATE.

Currently, there is no way to diagnose LATE in living people. Researchers are working to further explore the causes of and risk factors for LATE and to identify pathways that could help develop methods for doctors to diagnose LATE.

To learn more about LATE, visit What Is Limbic-Predominant Age-Related TDP-43 Encephalopathy (LATE)?

Other conditions that cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms include:

  • Normal pressure hydrocephalus , an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease , a rare brain disorder
  • Huntington's disease , an inherited, progressive brain disease
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, caused by repeated traumatic brain injury
  • HIV-associated dementia , a rare disease that occurs when the HIV virus spreads to the brain
  • Heavy alcohol use over a long period of time
  • Head injury, such as a concussion from a fall or accident
  • Emotional problems, such as stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Delirium, a sudden state of confusion and disorientation

In addition, medical conditions such as tumors, vitamin deficiencies, medication side effects, or problems with the thyroid, kidney, or liver can also cause serious memory problems that resemble dementia. Some causes of dementia symptoms can be halted or even reversed with treatment. For example, normal pressure hydrocephalus often resolves with treatment.

The similarity in symptoms of various dementias can make it difficult to get an accurate diagnosis. But a proper diagnosis is important to get appropriate treatment.

Doctor studying brain scans

A review of a person’s medical and family history can provide important clues about risk for dementia. Typical questions might include asking about whether dementia runs in the family , how and when symptoms began, changes in behavior and personality, and if the person is taking certain medications that might cause or worsen symptoms.

The following procedures also may be used to diagnose dementia:

  • Cognitive and neurological tests. Used to evaluate thinking and physical functioning, these tests include assessments of memory, problem solving, language skills, and math skills, as well as balance , sensory response, and reflexes.
  • Computed tomography (CT), which uses X-rays to produce images of the brain and other organs
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of body structures, including tissues, organs, bones, and nerves
  • Positron emission tomography (PET), which uses radiation to provide pictures of brain activity — such as energy use — or specific molecules in different brain regions.
  • Psychiatric evaluation. If someone is experiencing behavioral or mood changes, a psychiatric evaluation may be recommended to help determine if depression or another mental health condition is causing or contributing to a person's symptoms.
  • Genetic tests. Some forms of dementia are caused by a person’s genes. In these rare cases, a genetic test ordered by a doctor can help people know if they have the altered genes. It is important to talk with a genetic counselor before and after getting tested, along with family members and the doctor. There are also genetic tests that look for genetic variations that affect someone’s risk of developing dementia, but these tests cannot be used to diagnose dementia.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tests. CSF is a clear fluid that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord, providing protection, insulation, and nutrients. Doctors collect CSF by performing a lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap . Measuring the levels of proteins or other substances in CSF may be used to help diagnose Alzheimer's or other types of dementia .
  • Blood tests. It is now possible for many doctors, dependent on state-specific availability reflecting U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines, to order a blood test to measure levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates abnormally in people with Alzheimer’s. Several other blood tests are in development. At present, blood test results alone should not be used to diagnose dementia, but may be taken into consideration along with other tests. However, the availability of these diagnostic tests is still limited.

Some of the tests and procedures used to diagnose dementia may not be covered by health insurance. Check with your insurance provider and talk with your health care team to determine what options may work best for you.

Early detection of symptoms is important as some causes can be successfully treated. However, in many cases, the cause of dementia is unknown and cannot be effectively treated. Still, obtaining an early diagnosis can help with managing the condition and planning ahead. In the early stages of dementia, it may be possible for people to continue with their everyday activities. As the disease progresses, people will need to adopt new strategies to help adjust.

Planning ahead may also include deciding what happens if and when the disease becomes more severe. Sometimes, a person with dementia will volunteer to donate their brain after they have died. Brain donation helps researchers study brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. By studying the brains of people who have died, researchers have already learned a great deal about how types of dementia affect the brain and how we might better treat and prevent them. But much more remains to be understood. When donating as part of a research study or to the NIH NeuroBioBank , there is no cost to the family for the donation and an autopsy report. Learn more about brain donation .

Visiting a primary care doctor is often the first step for people who are experiencing changes in thinking, movement, or behavior. However, neurologists — doctors who specialize in disorders of the brain and nervous system — are often consulted to diagnose dementia. Geriatric psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and geriatricians may also be able to diagnose dementia. Your primary care doctor can help you find a specialist.

If a specialist cannot be found in your community, contact the nearest medical school neurology department for a referral. A medical school hospital also may have a dementia clinic that provides expert evaluation. You can also visit the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers directory to see if there is an NIA-funded center near you. Researchers at these centers can help with obtaining a diagnosis and medical management of conditions.

Sign up for email updates

Receive weekly tips and resources on Alzheimer's disease and related dementias from NIA's Alzheimers.gov

For more information about dementia

NIA Alzheimer’s and related Dementias Education and Referral (ADEAR) Center 800-438-4380 [email protected] www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers The NIA ADEAR Center offers information and free print publications about Alzheimer’s and related dementias for families, caregivers, and health professionals. ADEAR Center staff answer telephone, email, and written requests and make referrals to local and national resources.

Alzheimers.gov www.alzheimers.gov Explore the Alzheimers.gov website for information and resources on Alzheimer’s and related dementias from across the federal government.

Alzheimer's Association 800-272-3900  866-403-3073 (TTY) [email protected] www.alz.org

Alzheimer’s Foundation of America 866-232-8484 [email protected] www.alzfdn.org

This content is provided by the NIH National Institute on Aging (NIA). NIA scientists and other experts review this content to ensure it is accurate and up to date.

Content reviewed: December 08, 2022

nia.nih.gov

An official website of the National Institutes of Health

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Process Essay

    A process essay is a type of essay that explains a process step by step and gives guidance for a certain process, working mechanism, procedure, etc. Process essays range from very simple ones, such as instructions for how to ride a bicycle, to more complex ones, such as a chemistry lab report of an oxidative reaction experiment.

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    1 Assess your audience's skill level. Before you put pen to paper, take a few moments to consider who will be reading your essay. This will narrow down the type of language that you'll use and the information that you'll include.

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    (process) (point about the process) Ex: Applying for a driver's license is both exciting and nerve wracking. How to Write an Effective Process Essay: Present your stages and steps in chronological order. The correct order of your steps is vital. They must follow the actual order in which they would be performed, from beginning to end.

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    A process essay is written to teach the reader how to do something (e.g., how to break a bad habit). This essay should describe any steps that are necessary in order to complete the process. Process Essay Example 1 Process Essay Example 2 Prewriting Writing Skill: Unity Revising Revise A Process Essay Timed Writing (Choose a Position ...

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    The Structure of a Process Analysis Essay The process analysis essay opens with a discussion of the process and a thesis statement that states the goal of the process. The organization of a process analysis essay typically follows chronological order. The steps of the process are conveyed in the order in which they usually occur.

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    Guides 18 June, 2020 14 minutes read Author: Tomas White How to Write a Process Essay? What is a "process essay"? What makes it different from dozens of other papers you create on a daily basis? What are its main components and what the main goal of this type of writing you need to bear in mind?

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    Process Essay Examples What is Process Essay? A process essay can be one of two things. It can be an essay that explains how to do something, or it can be an essay that explains how something works. It'll be more common if you study a subject that follows linear protocols, such as the sciences. Process Essay Structure

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    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.

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    How to Write a Process Essay: Excellent Guide with 10+ Examples Updated 30 May 2023 Process essay explains how to do something. This is a kind of tutorial that describes a process step by step. For example, you need to cook a pie or draw a picture. In this case, you will need to follow step-by-step instructions.

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    In this directional process analysis essay example, the writer tells the reader how to make cut-off shorts. You'll notice that the transitions in this essay let the reader move easily from paragraph to paragraph. The essay is organized into steps with each body paragraph providing details about one step in the process of making the shorts.

  13. How to Write the Perfect Process Analysis Essay (With a Sample Essay)

    A process analysis essay is a kind of expository essay that explains the process or actions someone needs to take to complete a task. You can think of it like a recipe, stating all of the necessary ingredients and steps, allowing the reader to follow along in logical order.

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    50 Process Analysis Essay Topics Writers will have an easier time writing process analysis essays and following the above guidelines for topics they know well. To begin, choose a subject that you enjoy writing about and know that you can explain well. These prompts offer potential process analysis essay topics to get you started.

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    A process essay is an essay that explains or outlines the process for making something or completing a process or activity. Process essays are most often organized in a chronological or step-by-step manner, such that the reader is lead through the process of making something or completing an activity.. Because of the step-by-step nature of a process essay, transition words are critically ...

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    📑 Examples & Bonus Tips ♻️ What Is Process Analysis? A process analysis describes and explains the succession of actions, points out a specific result, and provides a detailed plan. To be more precise, process analysis is targeted at explaining: how things work; how to do or make something; how something operates or happens.

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    Process Essay Definition of Process Essay As the name suggests, this type of essay explains a process of making or breaking something. These essays are often written in chronological order, or in numerical order to show step-by-step processes. They are written in descriptive or prescriptive modes.

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    Process analysis is an essay which explains how something is done, how something occurs, or how something works. In this type of essay, the writer is required to present the steps of the process in sequential order, from first to last. All concepts or terms that might appear uncommon are defined. For Example:

  19. How to Write a Process Essay: Useful Tips and Examples

    A process essay refers to the type of academic writing which contains a detailed description of the particular process in the shape of the step-by-step guide. This form of essay is popular in business & technical writing. Some of the best examples of process essays include: Recipe; Instruction/owner's manual; User's guide; "How to ...

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    Process Essay Example 1 How to Live a Happy Life People are always searching for things that make them happy. For example, many people work very hard to improve their employment because they want to find a better job to make themselves happy. Other people search for happiness by purchasing things they want.

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    Blog Essay writing guides Writing Guide Navigation What is an essay Essay format Essay structure Types of essay Essays by subject Essays by length 85 Fantastic Process Essay Topics for Students Updated 07 Nov 2023 Writing different essays on different topics requires different processes.

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    The essay writing process consists of three main stages: Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline. Writing: Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.

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    A college essay is a piece of writing that responds to a given prompt, either on the Common App lication, Coalition Application, or on a school's individual application. College essays can range anywhere from 50 to 800 words. There are two main types of college essays: personal statements and supplemental essays.

  25. Retail Gateway to Trendsetting: Mastering the Fashion Nova Login Process

    Essay Example: Fashion Nova, a name that resonates with contemporary trends and affordability, has emerged as a juggernaut in the online retail space. The brand, known for its trendy and budget-friendly attire, caters to a diverse demographic eager to embrace the latest in fashion. ... In conclusion, Fashion Nova's login process is a fine ...

  26. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis

    Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis. Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning — thinking, remembering, and reasoning — to such an extent that it interferes with a person's daily life and activities. Some people with dementia cannot control their emotions, and their personalities may change. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage ...