Descriptive process outline

What we did in class, today – We reviewed the Prescriptive Essay “Balloon Magic” (available from MyGUST). We then discussed the major differences between prescriptive and descriptive process essays.

  1. Prescriptive process essay. Uses the imperative mood (It gives orders, and the subject (you) is understood) – First, gather three or four balloons that are ordinary in color and one balloon that’s an unusual color.
  2. Descriptive process essay.  Uses the indicative mood (Both the subject and verb are stated, and it describes a process.) First, the magician gathers three or four balloons that are ordinary in color and one balloon that’s an unusual color.

Essay 1 will be a descriptive process essay.

Next, using their notes on the process they chose from How Things Are Made, students organized their material into three steps and filled out the topic of each body paragraph of the outline on p. 29 in Great Writing.

Example 1 – Body of paper: Jelly beans

  1. Assembling the ingredients
  2. Mixing the ingredients
  3. Steaming the mixture

Example 2 – Body of paper: Plastic bottles

  1. Assembling raw materials
  2. Melting the raw materials
  3. Forming the mixture into bottles

They finished the body outline by filling in the sub-points of each body paragraph.

Then, we worked on the outline for the introduction. We analyzed the different types of hooks on p. 10 in Great Writing. I pointed out that, regardless of the type of hook chosen, it must be related to the general topic of the essay. For example, Shirin, who is writing about making chocolate, might choose the following quote from author Linda Grayson as a hook to start her introduction: “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” This is a good choice because it is related to her general topic chocolate and it is a humorous quote by a famous person. Students were asked to bookmark or copy the URL of the page where they found their hook and where they found their background information (connecting information). For example, Shirin will copy and paste into her Essay Template.

Connecting information is background information. It must be directly related to the hook. It usually is a brief history of the topic. For example, people who chose to wrote about the process of making chocolate might include information about who first discovered that cocoa beans can be roasted, ground, and used to make a beverage.

Students were asked to choose one of the thesis statements shown below for the introduction outline.

  1. Making ___ involves ___ distinct steps. – Making chocolate involves four distinct steps.
  2. ___ major steps comprise the process of making ___. – Three major steps comprise the process of making plastic bottles.
  3. The process of making ___ can be divided into ___ major steps. – The process of making jelly beans can be divided into three major steps.

Students were reminded to go pay KWD 15 in Registration for Achieve3000.



  1. Complete the outline, except for the conclusion, before class on Monday. (Section 6 students must do this before Wednesday.)
  2. Section 6 Students (11:00-12:20 students) – Take the Achieve3000 Levelset once I send your username and password. This is necessary because your section – ONLY – will not have class on Monday, Sept. 14. All other sections will meet on Monday.

What we will do in class on Monday, Sept. 14 – Sections 11 and 12 students (2:00-3:20 and 3:30-4:50) will start writing the rough draft of their descriptive process essay. Be sure to bring your textbook, laptop and USB.

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