How-To Essays

“How-to” essays are oftentimes called “process” essays. They can be compared with creating recipes because one should follow specific instructions related to an action or a procedure. In most cases, students are allowed to choose a topic they want to explore in a how-to essay. However, be sure that your topic complies with your professor’s task assignment.

Before writing a how-to essay, it is advisable to rely on some brainstorming techniques.

  1. You can create a table with two columns. One column should be called as “materials” and another one – “actions/steps.”
  2. Now you should shake your brain and write down everything that appears in your mind. Do not think about grammar mistakes or anything else. You simply have to empty your brain.
  3. If you have already written down every fact you can recall, you can begin to number your steps/actions. You should simply put a number near every item. You are welcome to apply some changes in the sequence of actions. At this stage, your order will not be neat and clearly organized because it is a sketch of your work.
  4. Now you have to create an outline of your future essay. You can create your essay with a numbered list or a typical essay form can be used as well. If you want to create a common essay without numbers, you should be very careful with an organization and include all major elements (introduction, main body, and conclusion). However, in your introductory paragraph, you should explain why the chosen topic is significant. For instance, if you want to address the topic “How to Clean a Bedroom,” you should state that it is relevant because neatness and tidiness are important for one’s health and well-being.
  5. Do not forget to mention all the materials and equipment needed to complete the process. Such information should be mentioned in the introductory paragraph. For example, you can write in this way “The basic materials needed to clean one’s bedroom include a mop, rag, vacuum cleaner, etc.”
  6. Your main body paragraphs should be focused on the discussion of the process. Make sure to precisely follow your outline. The easiest way to check your process is to reproduce the same procedure by following your steps. If you manage to reach the same result, you definitely included all relevant steps.
  7. Your concluding paragraph should restate the importance of topic and the outcome of the described procedure.

What Topics Can Be Addressed in How-To Essays

Some students think that they cannot effectively write how-to essays, which is not true. There are many topics that can be covered in this essay type and you will surely manage to address them in an effective manner. One of the key points is to choose a topic that interests you.

Here is a small list of topics that students adore to explore in how-to essays:

  • How to organize your homework
  • How to bake a cake
  • How to earn one thousand dollars
  • How to write a letter of complaint
  • How to ask somebody out
  • How to organize a road trip.