Task analysis is an important instructional tool for special educators. Despite widespread use of the technology, there remains considerable diversity in descriptions of the technique and in procedures for application. This paper examines issues of definition of task analysis and attempts to offer a classification system which may assist in selecting an appropriate task analytic strategy. Guidelines are presented for selecting an appropriate form of task analysis, developing and evaluating the task analyses, and dealing with unobservable subtasks. The issue of using task analytic approaches to teach cognitive strategies and the educational appropriateness of this reductionist strategy are also briefly considered.