An essay explaining the steps necessary to complete a task

There are a multitude of different essay types which may be assigned. Persuasive, comparative, analytical, and argumentative are just a few different types of essay assignment. Another common essay style assigned for academic assignments is the instructional essay. Instructional essays are written in order to explain each step necessary in completing a task.

Decide on a Task

The first step to writing an instructional essay is deciding on what task you’ll describe. Choose something interesting that you’ll enjoy writing about, but don’t choose something overly complex. If your initial idea seems too complicated, choose a simpler task, or only one stage of the original task.

Create a Detailed Outline

This is vital with an instructional essay, because often students leave out important steps in their haste. Creating a detailed outline ahead of time can help avoid having to do involved rewrites at the last minute. First, break the task down into three to five “stages.” These stages will help divide the body of the essay into coherent paragraphs.

Another way to separate the task into paragraphs is to have a section on preparation, a section on doing the task, and a section on final steps.

Write the Body of the Essay

Once you’ve created a detailed outline, it’s time to write the body of the essay. For the moment, set the introduction and conclusion aside. You can come back to those in a bit. Following the outline, begin writing each stage, step by step. Because instructional essays are meant to convey information very clearly and concisely, use simple, straightforward vocabulary. You should have each basic step in your outline, so this stage is just filling in the rest of the essay.

Writing the Introduction and Conclusion

There are a few types of introduction you can write for an instructional essay. You can address why you chose the task you did. You could explain why the task is important to understand. You could describe its cultural significance, or its entertainment value. Whichever you choose, simply be sure that it’s a common sense way to introduce the reader to the topic at hand.

For the conclusion, you can cover the same types of topics as in the introduction, written in a different manner. You can also address troubleshooting any potential issues the person might have had in trying to follow the instructions to complete the task.

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