An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what. You may be writing an essay to argue for a particular point of view or to explain the steps necessary to complete a task.
Either way, your essay will have the same basic format.
If you follow a few simple steps, you will find that the essay almost writes itself. You will be responsible only for supplying ideas, which are the important part of the essay anyway.
This guide to thesis writing gives simple and practical advice on the problems of getting started, getting organised, dividing the huge task into less formidable pieces and working on those pieces. It also explains the practicalities of surviving the ordeal. It includes a suggested structure and a guide to what should go in each section.
Many times college students have not had to manage their time efficiently prior to college because they are bright and weren't really challenged in high school. The situation often changes in college because everyone who goes to college did well in high school but the full range of grades are assigned.
The following seven steps outline a simple and effective strategy for finding information for a research paper and documenting the sources you find. Depending on your topic and your familiarity with the library, you may need to rearrange or recycle these steps. Adapt this outline to your needs.