Process Analysis Essay

  • Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write a formal, college-level essay.
  • Distinguish among different patterns of development.
  • Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific purpose and audience.
  • Write an effective thesis statement.
  • Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate detail, supporting evidence, and transitions.
  • Apply the conventions of standard written American English to produce a correct, well-written essay.


Your purpose is to illustrate the process you use to manage your time to successfully balance your home, work, and school responsibilities. You should identify and describe the steps you’ve taken and to illustrate to your readers how these steps have worked for you.

You’ll be writing in the first-person point of view because this is your process. Your audience is other Penn Foster students. The goal is to show your readers how you manage your time, not to instruct them on how to do it. Don’t use second person or use “you” to address your readers. While the audience is other Penn Foster students, focus on explaining how you manage your time.

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Writing Your Essay

In your prewriting, you focused on what’s happening in your life. For your formal essay, you’ll revise and reorganize your prewriting to create an essay that shows other students how you manage your time when taking online courses, maintaining a job, and focusing on family responsibilities.

You’ll use your prewriting as your foundation, but it will require major reorganization and revision to include the following:

  • An introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that addresses the purpose of the essay
  • Three to four body paragraphs that each begin with a topic sentence that identifies a step, tool, or technique you included in your second prewriting paragraph. Each body paragraph should then build on that step, tool, or technique with the narration and description from your first prewriting paragraph. Each body paragraph should fully describe how you implemented the step and the benefits of this step. These steps should be discussed in the same order they’re mentioned in the thesis statement.
  • A conclusion that reinforces the thesis statement and purpose of the essay.

Note: Use the Process Analysis Essay Worksheet on your student portal to help you organize your essay.


Skill Realized Skill Developing Skill Emerging Skill Not Shown
Traits of Good Writing

Review the complete explanation of the "Six Traits of Good Essay Writing" Criteria and the rating you earned for each trait, as well as references you can study to improve your writing skills.

100–85 84–70 69–60 59–0
Ideas and Content

The writer provides a clear thesis statement that addresses the purpose of the essay and combines elements of narrative, description, and process analysis to illustrate the purpose of the essay.

30–28 27–25 24–22 21–0

There’s a clear introduction with a thesis, body, and conclusion. The writer uses topic sentences to organize body paragraphs and transitions appropriately to guide the reader from point to point. The conclusion reinforces the thesis statement and provides a satisfactory ending to the essay.

25–23 23–21 21–19 19–0

The writer interacts with the assigned audience using an appropriate, consistent point of view and tone. The writer offered adequate evidence from his or her own experience to effectively engage readers’ interest and address the purpose of the essay.

20–18 18–17 17–16 16–0
Grammar, Sentences, and Word Choice

The writer uses correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure. The writer makes correct word choices, defines unfamiliar terms, and conveys a clear message. The writer has edited and proofread the essay.

15–13 13–10 10–8 8–0

The writer met the required length (1,000–1,200 words), used the assigned font and margins, and included the required header information correctly.

10–8 8–7 7–5 5–0

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