9. Process Paragraph

Process Paragraph

Parlindungan Pardede

Universitas Kristen Indonesia

A process paragraph is a series of steps that explain how something happens or how to make something. It can explain anything from the way to enrich vocabulary to overcoming insomnia to the procedure of operating a machine. It may also give tips for improving pronunciation or for answering a telephone call. Because such explanations must be clear, the process paragraph must be written in chronological order, and it must include a topic sentence that clearly states the paragraph’s purpose. It must also include transition words and phrases such as “first,” “next,” “finally,” that connect each of the steps.

There are two kinds of process paragraphs: directional and informational. A directional process paragraph explains the directions to perform a task. It provides the reader a set of instructions or a step-by-step guidance. The following is an example of a directional process paragraph:

How to Make a Good Cup of Tea

Making a good cup of tea is exquisitely simple. First, the teapot is heated by filling it with water that has just come to a boil. This water is then discarded, and one teaspoon of loose tea per cup is placed in the teapot (the exact amount may vary according to taste). Fresh water that has just come to a boil is poured into the pot. A good calculation is six ounces of water for each cup of tea. The tea must now steep for three to five minutes; then it is poured through a strainer into a cup or mug. A pound of loose tea will yield about two hundred cups of brewed tea. Using a tea bag eliminates the strainer, but it is still best to make the tea in a teapot so that the water stays sufficiently hot. The typical restaurant service—a cup of hot water with the tea bag on the side—will not produce the best cup of tea because the water is never hot enough when it reaches the table and because the tea should not be dunked in the water; the water should be poured over the tea. Although tea in a pot often becomes too strong, that problem can be dealt with very easily by adding more boiling water. (From: Scarry S. and Scary J., 2011: 422)

An informational process paragraph explains how something works or how something worked in the past. Its purpose is purely to provide information. Such writing could be found easily in history books. For instance, if you described how General Diponegoro planned his battle strategy, this would be informational process writing. The following example explains the developmental phases of the use of literature in the second or foreign language teaching. In the paragraph, the transitional words that signal the steps or stages of the process have been italicized.

 The Use of Literary works in Second/Foreign Language Teaching

The use of literary works in the second/foreign language curriculum varies greatly depending on the method dominating the practice. First, literary works were notable sources of material when the Grammar Translation Method dominated until the end of the 19th century. But they were absent from the curriculum until 1970s when the Grammar Translation Method was successively replaced by Structuralism Approach, Direct Method, Audio-lingual Method, Community Language Learning, Suggestopedia, the Silent Way, Total Physical Response, and the Natural Approach because these methods tend to regard a second and foreign language teaching as a matter of linguistics. They emphasize more on structures and vocabulary. Then literary works became even more divorced from language teaching with the advent of the communicative approach which focuses on the teaching of “usable, practical” contents for enabling students to communicate orally. In this period the second and foreign language classrooms were dominated by dialogues. However, the situation changed quite radically since the 1980s when literature has found its way back into the teaching of second and foreign language though not in the way it was used with the Grammar Translation Method. Afterward, literature undergoes an extensive reconsideration within the language teaching profession.

To write a good process paragraph, you should pay attention to three important things. First, make sure that the steps in the process are complete. Following a procedure whose steps are incomplete will fail to produce the expected result. Second, present the steps in the right sequence. For example, if you are describing the process of cleaning an electric mixer, it is important to point out that you must first unplug the appliance before you remove the blades. A person could lose a finger if this part of the process were missing. Improperly written instructions have caused serious injuries and even death. (Scarry S. & Scary J., 2011: 415). Finally, use correct transitional words to indicate the sequence of the process you are writing. the followings are transitions commonly used in process analysis.

the first step

in the beginning

first of all

to begin with

to start with

the second step


while you are . . .

as you are . . .


after you have . . .



the last step

the final step


at last


Scarry, Sandra & Scarry, John. 2011. The Writer’s Workplace with Readings: Building College Writing Skills (7th ed.) Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning


14 thoughts on “9. Process Paragraph

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  2. Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog so i came to return the want?
    .I’m attempting to to find things to improve my website!I suppose its adequate to use a few of your ideas!!

  3. Learning to appreciate time

    Learning to appreciate time is very difficult and It needs some best way to do it. Firts,thinking that one time that you have wasted is never come back again in the future. Once you have wasted your time it means that you have throught your chance that have given to you.Then, Do it as long as you can.Time never can be stopped therefore do something that you must to do and never cancel it for useless.After that,completely it. Work perfectly will give the best result and satisfied. Finally, something that you have done is completly faster.There are proverb that “Time is Money” so don’t waste your time for useless.

    Desi Maharani
    Majoring in English literature

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  5. I Love Reading
    I always believe reading is the main source for people to learn language. Reading books is like a culture in western countries. Every child gets use to read books both school and home. I happened this when I still lived in US. My kindergarten teachers used to do teach us to like reading. We had reading activity twice a week in class. What my teachers did first was to show us the book. The book was with nice pictures and big letters. Then she asked us about the cover, what we could see on the cover and if we could guess what the story was about. My teachers sometimes dressed up, adjusting to the story she told. Once she told us a story of Red Riding Hood. She wore a red hood and brought a wooden stick. While telling the story, she used clear intonation and dynamic tone, so we could differentiate the characters in the story. After that she retold the story, but this time, we were very excited to follow to tell the story together with them. Next, teachers asked us to do an activity related to the story. It could be drawing, coloring, or even shape play dough. Finally, we presented what we did to remind us about the story. I enjoy reading now and then. I think this method can be used to any levels. What teachers need to do is just adjust the reading passages to the student level.

  6. Dear Sir,
    Below is my respone to process paragraph:

    How to teach children to love reading
    First of all, “Book is the window of the world”. It means, there is a lot of advantages from reading. Many people loves reading, but some others do not like it. Of course, we do not want our children hate reading. So, how to teach children to love reading? In the beginning, read daily with your child and choose books that suitable for their age. Next, subscribe to one child magazine and let your child choose the magazine. Eventually, point out ways that reading is a part of daily life and make reading relevant to your child (if you likes to cook, discuss how reading recipes helps make you a better cook). Then, reward your child for reading; buy them books that they love and read it together. Afterward, visit the library and borrow books. And the last be an example to your children; let them see you read books too.

  7. Dear Mr. Parlin
    Below is my response to process paragraph:
    1. How to deal with anger
    Everyone gets angry. Using some of these techniques might help if you are dealing with anger . First, breathe deeply. The simple act of breathing deeply will help considerably with removing anger.Then, learn to let it go. Once the situation has passed that caused you to get angry in the first place forget about it. It’s done. It’s over. After that, don’t let anger consume you. Learn to forgive. Within forgiveness comes freedom. When we try to transcend anger, it doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce to injustice and unfairness.Finally, self-control is all about thinking before you act. It puts some precious seconds or minutes between feeling a strong emotion and taking an action you’ll regret.

  8. Dear Sir,
    Below is my response to the assignment of Writing II

    How to Overcome Depression

    There are two steps how to overcome your depression. The first step is to become aware of your depression. Many people go through life and don’t really know what’s going on. I advise you to start by asking yourself, “What’s going on?” .This question will help you focus not only on whether you’re depressed, but on what some of the issues of your depression are. The second step is Surrendering to change. In this stage, it’s critically important to begin to move. Physical exercise, talking with another sympathetic, intelligent, trained Person, are the best treatments for depression. Depression might come over to you, but be assured that there is always a way out of your problems.

  9. Dear Mr. Parlin
    Below is my process paragraph assignment:

    Process paragraph: How to teach children to love reading.
    Making children love reading is quite difficult. Firstly you have to support them with many kinds of books. We don’t know what kind of books they interest, so we have to find out by buying some books that they maybe interest in. Then after we know what kind of books they prefer, we have to buy more new books alike frequently to support their interest. Afterward, bring them to a book store or library, and let them choose and buy their own books. Eventually, be a good model. We can’t push children to love reading if we don’t. Children learning from the environment, make the situation that supports them to love reading.


  10. Pingback: 7. Process Paragraph « PARLINDUNGAN PARDEDE

  11. Dear all attendees of Writing 2,
    Write a paragraph of 80-120 words based on one of the following topics.
    1. How to deal with anger
    2. How to increase your productivity
    3. How to deal with depression
    4. How to teach children to love reading
    Good luck!

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