Algorithms are usually included in software and consist of instructions on what to do, with what and in what order. In a textbook, we find that algorithm is an accurate plan, a finite set of rules that determine a sequence of operations to solve a specific type of task.
Algorithms are sometimes compared to recipes that describe the order in which ingredients should be brought together and how they should be handled to achieve a result. If we take the metaphor further, the various choices that are made determine which cake it will ultimately be. The choices are determined by a number of circumstances. The circumstances that should lead to the choices are what is described in an algorithm.