Procedure guides action and is the essence of everything you do. The broad definition for it in business is; documents that describe daily operations. Some of these documents could be a machine operating manual, safety guidelines, or procedural essays.
In the case of collecting and presenting judicial evidence, did you know that there’s a stringent procedure to collecting and presenting it? You can’t collect evidence using haphazard means and expect it to pass in a court of law.
There are clear guidelines on how to do it to ensure trust in the entire justice system. An organization needs these procedure guidelines as references for employees. To further ensure consistency in their work, employees need to understand and internalize these procedures. For instance, you don’t want everyone issuing their ideas on how to operate machinery, do you? This consistency is also vital to yield quality products and services.
Furthermore, the procedure ensures:
• Compliance with laws and regulations
• Guides decision making
• Streamlines operations
When creating your document, say a procedural essay, there are certain factors to bear in mind: Differing communication styles, team habits, and cultural norms. You must ensure employee engagement to get buy-in. Explain to them how uniformity of process makes things more accessible and more efficient.
Thus to gain skills in documenting procedures read this factual article on how to write a procedural essay.
What is a procedural essay?
A procedural essay is also known as 1) Procedural text, 2) Procedural writing, 3) Process analysis essay, 4) Process essay, 5) How-to essays, 6) Process instructions. At the basic level, it’s a standard operating procedure or checklist.
The general procedural essay definition thus suits all these terms. It’s a piece of writing that gives instructions on the steps to follow for a specific task. The instructions remain consistent in all projects. But if there’s an issue such as underperformance, you can tweak it to improve it.
There are tons of terms on processes and procedures that could confuse you. In consequence refer to these clarifications on the difference between:
1) Process instructions
2) Process descriptions (or explanations)
You’ll realize their main difference lies in their purpose, audience, and format. Yet, they share the same goal of describing the steps leading to a specific desired destination.
Process instructions guide you step by step to perform a specific task yourself. Process descriptions promote understanding of what you are doing in a particular task.
So whatever you’re doing, be it baking a cake or writing a manual, there are guidelines to follow. Besides, there are other valuable purposes for a procedural essay, such as:
1. Training employees
It’s useful for onboarding new employees. They’ll understand their qualifications and experience in the context of the procedure and your organizational requirements. Veterans can also refer to the procedural essay to upgrade their skills.
2. Preserve knowledge
Each time you or someone else does something often, there’s bound to be a discovery. Recording these habits ensures they become know-how.
3. Reduce risk and enhance consistency
There’s no better way to build consistency and discipline than through a procedure. People learn by doing and get habits by practice. Documenting these habits ensures there’s only one correct way to do something.
4. Proof of ownership (patents and intellectual property)
Say a random person decides to produce Coca-Cola and even packages it. How can they prove it’s the real Coca-Cola? They would need to have patents and trademarks. As well as clear documentation of processes they undertake.
How do you create a procedure?
To write a resourceful like on the political essay, you must first understand how to create processes and procedures.
1. The creation stage
• You must execute and complete the task without flaw
• Record all the steps you took. Don’t leave out anything
• Divide the process into a list of steps in an orderly sequence of execution
• Break down the steps into appropriate sections and subsections
• Include diagrams, images, videos, and other resources for further reference
• Estimate the cost and time spent
• Establish improvement metrics. For instance;
o Cut out bureaucracy
o Boost value-adding activities
o end redundancy
o Shorten or simplify reports and forms
o Apply automation
2. The testing stage
• Repeat the entire process in the creation stage as it is. Don’t add or remove anything
• Tweak, edit, or make the necessary eliminations
• Have someone else test it, review and give feedback
• Check the first task completed without flaw. Do this by repeating the entire process in the creation stage
• Change or tweak what you don’t like
• Launch the procedure and invite users to improve it by recording against each step
3. The optimization stage
• Allow frequent users to give feedback and edit (ensure there are checks and balances for this)
• Keep tracking progress to ensure that it’s efficient, effective and a boost to operations
• Please review the current procedure and test it yourself now and again
In accounting, billing is a procedure with the same guidelines in every sector. Every accountant knows what needs to be done. It consists of the following key steps:
I. How to bill the client or customer – for cash and credit transactions
II. What to bill – products and services, price-lists
III. Who to bill – organization, contact details
IV. How to present the bill – cash on demand, billing cycles
V. What to bill to whom – key contact
Writing a procedural essay is a weighty affair. The reason being, someone has laid significant stakes on its content: their life savings, reputation, and even life. So, ensure that you base your essay on fact, not hearsay.
What’s more, a procedural essay is resourceful if the person reading implements it well. As a result, give the user the correct road map for duplication. The essay must also include caveats or warnings of possible errors or risks.
• Understand your audience: Have enough details about the user – their level of expertise and familiarity with the procedure
• Introduction: You must include information that the user can refer to at each stage. The information could be various definitions and theories for further reference
• Use lists: Lists, whether lettered, numbered, or bulleted, help make content
o Easy to read
o Quick to reference
o Understandable due to emphasis on salient points.
Use label lists for special instructions using appropriate terms like note, result, or outcome.
• Use headings and subheadings: Task headings make reading easy and motivate the reader to proceed with the next task. They also make it easy to find specific information.
• Use clear illustrations for emphasis: This is mainly for safety procedural essays. Use graphics, images, and varying font sizes to emphasize risks, caution, and warnings.
• Please keep it simple: Use distinct explanations, language, images, and graphics. Ensure that your font is legible and in the right point size of 11 or12.
Types of procedural texts
Below are procedural text examples that you can consider for use.
• ‘How-to’ instructions or operation manuals: This explains how to use something or how it works. For instance, a fridge, TV, or phone.
• Guides or rules: This gives you instructions on how to carry out a specific task. A clear example of this is a guide to playing video games.
• Recipes: This gives you instructions on how to make something such as lasagna, a cocktail, or a cake.
Now, even with that breakdown of the types of procedural texts, there are two basic types of procedural essays you should know about. These are; directional (directs you how to do something) and informational (explains how something works). For further clarity, see below procedural writing examples of these essays.
Example 1: Directional
Rather than incur the cost of buying new drinking glasses, why don’t you consider recycling? To make this happen, you will only need a glass cutting machine that goes for $10 and empty wine bottles. Below is a simple, five-step process to use.
Example 2: Informational
If you’re planning to have a wedding and don’t have a clue where to source a planner and vendors it can be stressful. The best part is; it’s pretty easy if you use the checklist below to identify and narrow down your search.
That’s why it’s essential to clarify which of these two basic types of essays, directional or informational, you’re writing before you start. As you set about writing, there are important preparations to make:
• User insights: Ensure you have helpful feedback from users of your procedural essay. The idea is to ensure you have sufficient opinions on the procedure and how to improve it.
Your insights should include:
o The objectives for the procedural essay
o Timeliness – start to finish.
o Level of detail expected.
o The complete process – steps, theories, and principles
o Research on industry trends for the type of procedure.
• Choose a topic that implies procedure: 50% of your success in this paper depends on your topic. So, ensure you do thorough research on procedural essay topics. Here are examples of some of the best procedural essay topics to consider.
o How to plan a mountain hike
o How to maintain a Pagani Huayra
o How to create a macramé wall hanging
o How to bake cornbread
o How to play the viola
• Create your procedural essay outline: The structure of your procedural essay is like any regular essay. It consists of the introduction, body (main paragraphs), and conclusion. By creating an outline, you create a robust structure and logical flow for your essay. You can also use it as a checklist to ensure you have covered every necessary detail.
Something else: Create a critical path by immersing yourself in your user’s experience. If you’re creating a safety procedural essay, do practice such as wearing a helmet or going up a ladder. This will make your writing authentic to resonate with them.
1. Write the introduction
Start by acknowledging the users and introducing the topic. You should also note the date of creation to track (subsequent edits) purposes.
Your primary goal in this section is to get buy-in. So set out to make it enjoyable. Share a relevant, captivating story or quote from a respectable leader that your users admire – back up your claims with genuine examples.
At the end of the introduction, specify the intent and the aims of your essay. Note: There is no problem statement in a procedural essay. This is a proven procedure that doesn’t need proving or disproving.
For example, here’s what you can write as an introduction for your procedural essay on – How to use the Drummer H2.
This document is written as a guide for anyone working on the Drummer H2 machine. The Drummer H2 is a sensitive piece of equipment that needs high-level expertise to operate well. By the end of this document, any user will find it easy to operate and will also have insights from users all around the world for reference.
Make a list of everything you’ll need to work through the procedure. For accuracy, think of what you need to complete the procedural essay. Include stationery and tools.
3. The body of paragraphs
There are three main steps to writing a procedure paragraph. These are; a topic sentence, a description of the procedure in steps and, the ending to close the procedure. The process paragraph should have at least five brief sentences.
To start writing your essay, create an overview by listing all the steps required for the procedure. Your focus should be on getting all the text information and instruction right.
Next, divide the overview into paragraphs and devote a process step to each paragraph. Ensure the topic is precise and list the instructions step by step in a logical manner. Finally, make your point on the value of that process step.
Note that the critical highlight per paragraph is the steps of instructions. Each ending should restate the topic sentence. Repeat this process until you cover the entire overview (all the listed steps). For an idea of what this section should look like, follow this link for some procedural paragraph examples.
Your narration should be either in the second or third person. The reason being, you want the user to trust and put in place your instructions. Rather than saying, ‘I’ll take you through the steps of……’, say, ‘This paper will take you through….’. It sounds more authoritative, researched, and convincing.
Avoid making the user work for information or spend time trying to decipher the context. Make it as simple as possible. Ensure your paragraphs are in order. Use word variations to maintain a logical flow. Have clear transitions and make appropriate references to previous steps.
Examples of transitions to use;
• What you need to do…
At the end of this section, highlight any risks or cautions the user needs to know. For example: ‘Before you climb the ladder, check to ensure the harness has 4 stopper valves…’
To add to this, include pacing instructions as well. Let the user know what pace they should use while performing the task, fast, slow or, moderate.
4. Add supporting media
Once you’re satisfied with the text part of your content, add pictures and relevant diagrams. If it’s a technical procedural essay, use relatable imagery or illustrations. Use fewer text and more diagrams or images. If your procedural essay is online, include videos. This can help to substantially cut out some text.
Other documents you can attach to make your procedural essay resourceful are logs and feedback forms.
Like any regular essay, procedural essay conclusions, recap by rephrasing all your salient points. Some users might choose to skim through before deciding whether your procedural essay is worth anything.
Let them know that the procedural essay has all the relevant information they need to do the specific task. Review the old procedure, pinpoint its shortcomings and highlight the improvements you’ve made.
Finally, invite them to ask questions and share feedback. Expect anything and if you get a question that you can’t answer immediately, give a reasonable timeline for the response.
Here are interesting procedural essay conclusions for you to review.
6. Include relevant resources
In this section, you can list your sources of information. The same goes for recommended reading and links to other similar procedures for comparison.
Check for accuracy: Your procedural essay will be of no use if it doesn’t immerse in the user experience. Have you factored in current trends? Does it capture relevant details, and is it usable? Check with the users that it’s accurate and captures their daily experiences.
Test: This is a critical stage for your procedural essay. With feedback from checks for accuracy, make the necessary edits. Once done, test the procedure to verify that it’s complete.
Go back to the preparation stage and review the insights. Has your essay covered them all? For thoroughness, use a success metric relevant to the procedure to determine the efficacy of your procedural essay.
Edit or Tweak: Feedback from testing will determine the next steps. Are you launching or reverting to the drawing board? If you need to make improvements, be swift about it.
Meet with some of the users and put in place together with them a plan to cut errors. Any small stride that saves on time and cost is a massive gain.
Remember, any slight improvements, no matter how minuscule, will need testing. So, repeat the test until you’re happy with the final results.
Proofread: Once you verify the authenticity of your content;
• Delve into the language, format, and structure. If it helps, have a second and third eye preview it for you and share feedback
• As a matter of fact, get one of the users to review it too
• Check for readability and ease of understanding
• Browse in detail for misspellings, typos, and other errors that can whittle down the relevance of the content
Launch: With your final results in, it’s time to deploy it to the users. Invite them to edit and include dates to any edits they make in the future. Keep a constant watch by reviewing the edits and even testing them.
1. Procedural essay examples
A procedural essay is a piece of writing that gives instructions on the steps to follow for a specific task. The instructions remain consistent in all projects. But if there’s an issue such as underperformance, you can tweak it to improve it.
2. Procedural essay topics
The topic spells out the issue you’re writing out. It allows the user to identify the procedural essay. You should never write on a topic you don’t enjoy or understand. Search for how-to content to get an idea of all the diverse topics you can use.
3. Process essay structure
The process essay structure is similar to that of any other academic paper or technical essay. It includes an introduction, body of paragraphs, and conclusion. The only difference is that it’s not mandatory to have a problem statement.
The other notable difference is the process paragraphs. This consists of a topic sentence, a body of paragraphs that detail the instructions in steps. The ending is like a conclusion but focuses on that particular procedure.
A procedural essay is simple. It gives directions on how to do (or make) something. It also gives information (by explaining) on how to do something. To be an effective writer you must have excellent procedural essay ideas, from which you derive the best topics.
Next, you must understand the procedural essay outline which is slightly different from other essays. Finally, you must have mastery of the procedure to ensure that users benefit from it.
If you need help, have any questions or feedback, contact us or order now. We have a team of professional writers ready to support you.
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