1. As soon as you get an essay assignment, draw up a timeline for the following tasks: selecting a topic, doing research, organizing, drafting, and editing. This should set you off to a good start.
  2. Often the topic assigned by your professor will be broad enough to enable you to focus on a specific aspect. Think about the possible topics and choose one you are interested in.
  3. Next, you should focus on how you are asked to respond to the essay topic as they contain clues to the type of information required. The essay question should include words like examine (identify different aspects), analyse (identify causes), discuss (prepare a comment), compare (identify similarities and differences), etc.
  4. A good essay focuses on one aspect of the topic. To do this, you need to develop a thesis or position statement regarding the topic. The thesis should be interesting and should convey a specific attitude that you hold towards the topic.
  5. Reflect on the topic and brainstorm all the points that you can think of. Record these on a sheet of paper or a Word document. Do not filter any ideas at this stage.
  6. Look over your brainstorming notes and link related points to identify any emerging patterns. These should form the basic arguments or discussion points for your essay.
  7. Once you have your basic arguments, you need facts and evidence to add weight to them and support your reasoning. Conduct detailed online and library research to get interesting data from credible sources.
  8. With all the data you need at hand, now is the time to develop a structure for your essay. The basic introduction + body paragraphs + conclusion structure should suffice in most cases. You may also consider different organization patterns depending on your topic, e.g. chronological order, order of complexity, order of specificity, etc.
  9. Write the essay in simple, readable language. Do not complicate ideas unnecessarily when they can be expressed in easily understandable words. Use transitions and emphatic words to convey ideas clearly.
  10. Finally, review the essay to correct errors in grammar, spelling, sentence construction and general flow of the narrative.