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Lesson 4: Prewriting:
Process Analysis
OBJECTIVES
For this exam, you’ll
? Use prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing to write
formal, college-level essays
? Distinguish between different patterns of development
? Apply an appropriate pattern of development to a specific
purpose and audience
? Develop paragraphs using topic sentences, adequate
detail, supporting evidence, and transitions
? Apply the conventions of standard written American
English to produce correct, well-written essays
ASSIGNMENT
Topic
How to balance Penn Foster studies with work, family, and
other activities and responsibilities
Drafting Your Essay
This assignment requires two paragraphs. Each paragraph
employs a pattern of development that was covered in the
reading for this lesson. Before you begin, you should
refamiliarize
yourself with narration, description, and process
analysis by reviewing the required readings for Lesson 4.
For your first paragraph, use the narrative and description
techniques you learned in this lesson to describe daily
activities.
You’ll write about the activities you dedicate your time
to: schoolwork, family responsibilities, and your job. Don’t

forget to include other pursuits such as hobbies, sports,
and
volunteer and social activities. Since this is your
prewriting,
write between 500 and 550 words.
In your second paragraph, focus on how you manage your
time to accomplish everything you need and want to. For this
paragraph, use process analysis to explain how you manage
your time. Consider the tools you employ such as a planner
or calendar, whether paper or electronic, or even a chart or
list.
Again, write between 500 and 550 words, to clearly
illustrate
your process for managing your busy schedule.
This is an example of what the description portion might
look
like:
It has been a challenge to balance all the areas of my life
since I became an online student. Each day, I struggle to
balance my full-time job, my personal life, and my
schoolwork.
I work as a Physicians’ Aid at Holy Cross Hospital.
Monday through Friday, I leave at 6:00am to make the
hour and ten minute commute from my home so I can be
on time. My job is multifaceted. I help the nurses and
doctors by doing intake for their patients, taking patient
weight and height measurements, temperature, and blood
pressure. I also go over each patient’s medical history to
ensure everything is correct. Most of my job, though, is
focused on administrative duties. With all these
responsibilities,
my work day is a blur, and I often don’t have time
to take a break before it is 3:30pm and I begin my commute
home. Even though my workday responsibilities are
done, my weeknight responsibilities often make me feel as
though my day has barely started. I have two teenaged
daughters, Zella and Jade, so I spend much of my
evenings enforcing rules, dispensing advice, helping with
homework, and occasionally providing a shoulder to cry
on. Our dog, Gizmo, also needs attention. I must have
dinner ready for the whole family by 7 PM, when my husband
gets home. After dinner, I am responsible for
cleaning the house. As if this weren’t enough, I am
responsible for looking after my aging mother, since my
sister Alyce is only eighteen and can barely look after
herself.
Two or three evenings a week, I go to my mother’s
house, I pay her bills, help with household chores, and
provide her some much-needed company. I must also
complete my coursework. Though I like my job, I would
like to help animals, not people. So, I enrolled in Penn
Foster’s Veterinary Technician program. I find it very hard
to complete schoolwork amid my other responsibilities. I
am currently taking English Composition and Veterinary
Office Management. I am really enjoying the Veterinary
course. My English Composition course, however, has
been a big of a struggle. The readings for this course
requires my full attention. I find the writing assignments
in the English course interesting and applicable to my
future career, but the amount of effort I must put into
each paper is exhausting. I need at least a two-hour
chunk of time in order to get any meaningful work done,
and that is hard to come by during the day with everything
else going on in my life. I usually try to study
around 11:30pm, once my children and husband have
already gone to bed. However, Gizmo is usually still
awake, and between him vying for my attention and my
sister texting me every three seconds, I am behind on my
schoolwork. Each night, as I stumble into bed around
12:30am, I wonder why I am putting myself through all
this. Here’s an example of what the process portion might
look
like:To help find a way to balance all the home, work, and
school responsibilities together, I decided to use some
time-saving techniques, ask my family for help with
responsibilities at home, and set up a distraction-free
study space to help me balance my life. First, I started
saving time by planning out our weekly meals instead of
wasting hours each night trying to think of what we
should have for dinner. I also started making a grocery
list, based on my weekly meal plan, to save time while
grocery shopping. Before I made these changes, I wasted
several hours each week deciding what to make for dinner
or haphazardly picking out random items when grocery
shopping. Now that I have all those extra hours available,
I am able to devote about an additional hour each weekday
evening to my school work. Second, I decided to call a
family meeting to delegate some of the chores and
responsibilities
at home to my husband and my energy-filled teens. Zella now
handles all the laundry during the week for both herself and Jade, Jade cleans
the bathrooms every other weekday, and I now handle these chores only
Saturdays. My husband also agreed to cook or bring home
take-out two weekday nights per week, so that I would only
have to cook three weekday evenings. He also agreed to take one of my three
weeknight visits to my mother’s so
that I could have more quality time with the kids, as well
as more extra time for my schoolwork. This is a big relief. With all this extra
help, I now had a total of three full hours I could study every weeknight. But
I still needed way to avoid distractions during my designated study
time. So, for my third step, I converted our guest bedroom
into a dedicated office, since we so rarely get visitors anyway. I sold the
guest bed and used the money to buy a sturdy office desk. Then, I got some good
lights to help me see my schoolwork and a bookshelf on which I organized all my
study guides and work materials. I close the door whenever I am working so
Gizmo can no longer devour my schoolwork. I also advised my sister that I will
be unavailable
each weeknight evening between 9:00pm and 12:00pm, and I
shut my phone off and do not log into my email or messenger services on my
computer during this time, to avoid temptation. My new office has made is so
much easier to get my work done, and I’m now back on track with all my
schoolwork. I even have enough time left over to take a full day on the
weekends (Sunday) to relax and spend time with family. Honestly, now that I
have a plan and everyone has agreed to help out more, I don’t feel so stressed,
I remember why becoming a Veterinary Assistant is so important to me, and I
know I can do this. Essays must be typed, double-spaced, using a standard
12-point font
and left justification. Use 1-inch margins on all sides.
Each page
must have a properly formatted header containing your name,
student
number, exam number, page number, mailing address, and
email address (see page 6 for an example). Name each
document
using a unique file name which will help you identify the
file, such as
this example: Process Analysis Johnson. Exams may be
submitted in
Rich Text Format or MS Word. Preview your document before
you
submit in order to ensure that your formatting is correct.
You should
take care to check that the document you’ve uploaded is the
one
containing your final work for evaluation.

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