Examine the topic for your essay. This is easier if you are assigned a topic with a specific text. If it is an open ended essay, choose a topic you know you can find plenty of legitimate resources for research.
Write your thesis. A thesis in an academic essay is usually written at the end of the introduction. It is the statement you intend to prove with the rest of the essay. For example, you can use a certain action by a literary character as ground that he or she is insane, and expand upon it.
Write an outline. An outline is an organized list of points you wish to make in your essay, in the order they make sense and should be written. Getting your thoughts organized before hand makes writing the actual essay much quicker and easier, since you know what direction you’re going in.
Write the first draft of the essay. This will not be the final product, so you should not treat it as such. Write what first comes to mind following your outline, it is okay if it doesn’t meet the length requirements quite yet.
Divide your thoughts into paragraphs. Each point on your outline should be its own paragraph. A paragraph should contain a minimum of 3 sentences to stand on its own.
Try to follow a pattern of ‘Claim’ followed by ‘Evidence’ and then by ‘Impact’. The claim is a statement, which is then supported by the evidence such as a reference or a quotation in context and then the impact is an intelligent review of how or why that claim is important in the context of the essay. The ‘impact’ then becomes the claim of the following paragraph, and so on.
Write the second draft. Beef up any paragraphs that don’t provide much information or argument. Additional research may help you in this process.
Use transitional phrases. A transitional phrase eases the reader from one paragraph to the next. If your outline was written well, these phrases should link the content in one paragraph to the next.
Write your final draft. Be sure this is in the correct format (see Tips). Use both the computer’s spell-check, and read it over yourself as well. If you are unsure of your spelling or grammar, have a friend, classmate or family member read it before you print the copy you plan on handing in.