Writing is part of the intellectual work that takes place in educational institutions. It is also a communication and learning tool that allows us to transcend time and space to record facts in the form of data and ideas, and organized in a meaningful way to provide information. This helps us to move from data to information and from information to knowledge, in such a way that it can become actions that affect reality.

Academic writing as a process analysis essay has as its distinguishing characteristics: a critical perspective, objectivity, clarity, precision, conciseness and fluency. It is intended for a specific type of readers who share interests and develop around research, teaching tasks, or converge in a specific field of knowledge. There are different purposes for academic research writing. This difference is reflected in different forms of documents, such as the thesis, research reports, reviews, essays, scientific articles and books.

The thesis of the essay: process analysis essay topics

The word “thesis” is derived from the Greek thesis, which means position, put or affirm a doctrine. In the academic environment, the thesis refers to an original opinion or judgment that an author advances and supports with arguments about a topic or problem in order to contribute to the knowledge of a specialized field in which there are different positions. The purpose of proving the validity of an idea or personal appreciation gives rise to the approach or thesis.

The thesis in line with process reflective essay may be hidden in the text, but, if the reader is expected to follow it and fulfill its communicative function, it must be made explicit, since with it the author proves the quality of his arguments and expresses his intention to subject it to scrutiny of others and to establish an intimate dialogue with their readers. The thesis makes clear the personal position of the author. Therefore, it must specify its orientation and scope to have full confidence and security in the idea it intends to defend. The thesis will have as a distinctive feature the quality of being original. It is the resource to convince others about the validity and relevance of what the author proposes, without ignoring that it faces other positions that may be contrary or different with respect to the same issue. A good practice: before formulating an opinion and presenting it as a thesis, you must prove that it is defensible and that you have the arguments and evidence to sustain it successfully.

When we want to convince someone that our position or our ideas are correct, we resort to reasoning or present the evidence. We only argue if we are convinced that we should and can support or refute an idea or proposal and, therefore, that it is worth persuading others of its validity that they adhere to our point of view and thus become followers of our idea. If the author proposes to deepen a problem or defend a point of view or a personal assessment, these should be stated or delimited in a precise manner, and it will be necessary to indicate if it is to prove its validity, to refute the position of others, of propose a new conjecture or examine some observations on the subject in question.

Test structure

Regardless of the purpose or type of test, we can recognize a process analysis essay examples structure that can be explicit or implicit, but that responds to the same scheme:

► Introduction: is the initial description of the topic and the objective of the trial; explains its content and sub-themes. Its objective is to catch the attention of potential readers. The introduction should lead us to the presentation of a debatable assertion or thesis. This should be incorporated explicitly at the end of the introduction, so that the reader has a reference to follow up throughout the text.

► Development of the process essay topic: it contains the exhibition and its analysis. In him the own ideas are raised and they are sustained with citations of the consulted sources (books, magazines, pages of the Internet, interviews, etcetera). Citing the sources, in addition to an exercise in honesty, helps develop and take a position on the interpretation of the texts. The insertion of the sources must necessarily establish their connection with the author’s thesis and show how they fit into what he proposes to demonstrate, that is, how they support, refine or refute his thesis. The opinion of the author is compared with the opinions of other authors and the coincidences and differences are highlighted.

► Conclusions: it is the final part of the work, where the author exposes the ideas that arise and are a consequence of the previous exercise, since he is already able to give some suggestions, close the ideas worked on the development of the topic and propose lines of analysis for later writings. The conclusion occupies the other 10% of the body of the trial.

► Notes and references: if there is a need for marginal comments or clarifications, they may be incorporated at the end of the text in a notes section. Under the term “references” all the sources consulted (books, magazines, interviews, videos, Web pages) that served to support the ideas of the author or to collect data and ideas are listed. They are presented in alphabetical and chronological order, taking care to include the necessary descriptive elements so that readers can identify and go to the sources.

Ideas and steps: how to prepare essay topics

  1. Specify the subject of the analytical essay topics that you want to write, a necessary condition to delimit its scope and limitations, show its relevance, identify the information needs to address its treatment and design the search strategy for facts, data and information. Here it is necessary to identify a controversial issue in which there is a conflict of opinions or interests, in which the author sets out to show his own opinion about the topic and provide evidence to support it.
  2. Perform the search for information sources. This involves identifying, evaluating and selecting texts that address the subject in books, journals and on websites of recognized authority, which allow the identification of other opinions and different ideas, regardless of whether or not they coincide with the position proposed.
  3. Carry out the reading, taking care to identify the main and secondary ideas that, due to their content and orientation, are relevant and pertinent for the purposes of the essay. Paul, Richard and Linda Elder (2003) recommend that at the time of reading we appropriate, first, the main ideas, as they are the key to understanding secondary ideas.
  4. Prepare a summary of the ideas that can help to substantiate the proposal or position of the author of the essay with literal or paraphrased texts.
  5. Analyze the information obtained, which consists of separating and classifying data and ideas according to their similarities and differences to understand them, use them and build their own ideas.
  6. Elaborate the synthesis of the information: it consists of integrating and expressing the ideas of the different authors, but using the language and style of the author of the essay, which allows to appropriate concepts and ideas, as well as to contribute a uniform style. With the synthesis begins the writing of the paragraphs that will make up the essay.
  7. To formulate the conclusion in line with process essay ideas is to consign the personal contribution of the one who elaborates the essay. It consists of an explanation accompanied by reflections, criticisms, comments, proposals and, where appropriate, recommendations.

Final comments

The concept of any type of essay, as an descriptive essay, is associated to different interpretations and is inserted in the communicative function. However, its origin is related to the action of testing or sustaining ideas, a necessary condition in the learning process. For this reason, it is interesting to practice and master the argumentative essay until appropriating it as a way of approaching the academic works. Performing an essay is a learning experience that can be undertaken in different ways, but the best results are achieved by combining exposure, argumentation and the differentiation of own ideas and those that are taken as reference in the development of those.

The intention of persuading others of the ideas that the author proposes has, first, an effect on himself: it leads him to reassess and modify his own concepts and his mental model, because he must justify and convince himself that his thesis contributes to an advance in the explanation of an issue or in the solution of a problem and that, therefore, that thesis is defensible and can subject it to the scrutiny of others. A good essay does not convince by the acritical accumulation of data, but by the way in which its author articulates them to sustain and express his ideas. It should not be overlooked, however, that being convinced of an idea and believing that you have enough elements to defending it does not justify the erroneous practice of ignoring, hiding or putting aside opposing positions that also provide reasons to support its validity. In any case, these positions must be consigned so that the reader can make his own judgments and deliberations.

The transition from the informational model, in which the teacher speaks and the student listens, to one where the student takes control of their learning process is one of the purposes of the models in vogue today. However, sometimes it only goes from the teacher’s dependence as a single information provider to the dependence of the Internet, without changing the relationship much. Access to information does not mean access to knowledge; it is necessary that the student has the intellectual skills to be an actor and not just a passive spectator. The essay is a tool to involve it in the construction of knowledge.