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Process Analysis

The essays below give directions so that you can replicate the results, or they explain how something works. You can learn to write using this pattern here, here, and here.

All writers in this collection speak for themselves—and themselves alone.

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The Creepy Language Tricks Taco Bell Uses to Fool People Into Eating There

Kiera Butler, a senior editor at Mother Jones, asks author and food linguist Dan Jurafsky to analyze the menu at Taco Bell.

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Five Steps for Fixing the Civil Justice System

Former Colorado Supreme Court justice Rebecca Love Kourlis lists five steps for changing civil court so that it is more simple, affordable, and effective.

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Five Ways to Write a Damn Good Sentence

Demian Farnworth, a contributor to CopyBlogger, gives advice on composing effective sentences.
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How Facebook Makes Us Unhappy

Psychology expert and New Yorker contributor Maria Konnikova reports how Facebook may be affecting users' emotional states.

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How Hurricane Katrina Turned Pets into People

Author David Grimm explains how one natural disaster changed the status of American pets and the way we care for them.

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How Not to Help Grads with Student Loans

By the time most students finish college, they are tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Robert Shireman, Executive Director of California Competes, helps decipher "helpful" payment-plan web guides.

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How to Get a Real Education

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, explains how he got the most out of his college education and offers advice to students now enrolled.

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How to Tell When Someone Is Lying

Maria Konnikova, a New Yorker blogger who focuses on psychology and science, investigates people's conscious and unconscious abilities to detect lies.

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How to Write a Personal Letter

In this humorous essay, Garrison Keillor examines the long forgotten art of writing letters. Published in 1987, this essay predates e-communication and creates a longing for a simpler time.

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Love and Money

The two most common reasons for a relationship to fail are money issues and communication problems. Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary posits the problem is usually a fusion of the two—a lack of communication about financial matters—and offers suggestions to avoid a potential relationship disaster.

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Neither a Wallflower Nor a Paris Geller Be: The Use and Abuse of Class Participation in the College Classroom

Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate, explains how to participate in class successfully.

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Pets Allowed: Why Are So Many Animals Now in Places Where They Shouldn’t Be?

Writing for the New Yorker, Patricia Marx explains how someone can take a pet anywhere because most people don't understand the difference between an "emotional support animal," which is a pet, and a bona-fide service animal, which is a highly-trained professional with a distinct skill set.

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Sneakernomics: How Golf Lost the Millennials

Are young people captivated by the sport of golf? Author Matt Powell says no, exploring the reasons for their lack of interest.

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Think Rich: Six Money Mistakes Millionaires Don't Make

Most people want the secret to making a ton of money. Instead, argues freelance writer Molly Triffin, avoid the mistakes that keep that fortune out of reach.

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Want More Energy? Mind Your Peas, Zzzs, and Queues

Psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter offers ideas for gaining energy and lowering stress.

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Writing Your Way to Happiness

This article suggests that focused, expressive writing can lead to greater insight and personal satisfaction, which means that everyone with a journal will one day see the light of their own lives.

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