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Exercise in Organizing a Process Analysis Essay

Practice in Reconstructing a Coherent and Cohesive Essay


This exercise has been adapted from a process analysis essay composed by Janice Waters, a student in a freshman composition class. The exercise will give you practice in organizing a clear, coherent, and cohesive essay of approximately 500 words.


Below is the introductory paragraph from a student's 500-word essay on how to bathe a cat. The rest of the essay follows the introduction; however, the sentences have been rearranged so that the information no longer appears in logical (or chronological) order. Your job is to reorder the sentences and arrange them in paragraphs to create a clear, well-organized essay.

When you have have completed the exercise, compare your version of the essay with the original version, How to Bathe a Cat.

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How to Bathe a Cat

Bathing the common house cat can be one of the most highly complex, disappointing, and even dangerous chores if done without proper instruction. Therefore, I have set down some guidelines for first-timers to follow until they develop their own techniques. I urge you to read through the instructions carefully and make sure you understand each step completely before you attempt to bathe your cat.

  1. Once you have all the equipment in place, lock yourself in the bathroom with the cat.

  2. Begin by clearing the bathroom of all objects that you don't want broken or soaked.

  3. Allow the cat to entertain herself while you fill the tub with warm water.

  4. If the cat eyes you suspiciously, just try to act nonchalant.

  5. When the tub is about one-third full, grasp the cat firmly by the back of her neck (she will wriggle out of a collar) and, holding her as far away from you as possible, place her in the tub.

  6. If you don't have a wet suit, at least wear an arm guard.

  7. An arm guard can be purchased from any store that sells archery supplies.

  8. Continue to hold the cat by the back of her neck so that she will not be able to get her teeth and claws close enough to wound you.

  9. Then, gather the equipment: some liquid soap or shampoo, a hair dryer (or a few towels), and a leash.

  10. When the cat is completely wet, rub the soap or shampoo into her fur.

  11. Be sure to dress for the occasion.

  12. A wet suit will keep you dry and protect you from the cat's claws.

  13. As the lather thickens, the kicking and clawing should subside, but it is always a good idea to position the cat so that her legs extend away from you.

  14. Once you have washed the cat thoroughly, you are ready to rinse and dry her.

  15. When the fur is completely free of soap, empty the tub and use a towel to dry excess water from the fur.

  16. You will also need a hose and spray nozzle for rinsing the cat later on.

  17. First, wash away the excess soap with water from the tub.

  18. Then, without loosening your grip on the cat, douse her fur thoroughly with warm water from the hose you connected to the faucet.

  19. To keep the cat from bounding across the bathroom, attach one end of the leash to her collar and the other end to a towel rack.

  20. To avoid static cling, leave the fur slightly damp and comb it down.

  21. If you have not yet drowned the cat or been clawed to death by this terrified creature, you should be ready to apply the finishing touches.

  22. Next, set the hair dryer on "warm" and rub the cat under the warm air until the fur grows fluffy.

  23. A final word of warning: do not let the cat outside until she is completely dry.

  24. Otherwise, her shiny coat will immediately turn to mud, and you will have to begin the process all over again.

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