Writing an essay was explained to me as writing a set of rules, that is academically written. It has a form to stick to so you know where you are going. This form usually consists of:
Introduction – 200/300 words –
Here you write about what you are going to talk about before setting in to write it. Here you can also write about what you think your essay is asking of you to write about.
Body – 500 words each –
The body piece is usually set into three points, or a paragraph per point that you are using to substantiate your point. These are usually based on the point made, a reference to go alongside it and an explanation of how the reference proves the point as a sort of short evaluation of support. The points also must be concrete facts and not all descriptive.
Conclusion – 200/300 words –
Finally you have a conclusion, something that summarizes the whole of your essay and brings it round to finishing it off nicely with your own opinion being incorporated.
After all that you then finish it off completely with referencing, noting down where you got all your information from. This includes one’s from lecturer, research, etc.
Here you have to write who said it, where it was found, the page number and the source.
Although I feel that I am able to write an essay OK as I follow this set-up anyhow. Something that was mentioned to do yet I have never done before is “write an essay plan”. An idea of what you are going to use in your essay and then organized so that it all fits together. This way it only uses what it needs, has an order worked out and is easier to create instead of coming up with the idea off the top of your head. A useful tool really!