1- Decide what the prompt is asking.
When you know what you need to answer, answering said question will become much easier. Read over the prompt and break it up into easy to answer questions.
2-Know your audience
The content of your essay should be determined by who you’re writing it to, specially if it’s a persuasive essay. This is because the way you convince or speak to a professor is very different to how you speak or convince a peer.
This is the most important step in my process. Before doing any research, before looking further into the prompt, brainstorm your own answer. Write down key ideas that come to you when it comes to the topic at hand. This will allow to guide your research.
4- Remember your thesis statement
Thesis statements are the foundation in which you build the essay. It will come from your rewrite and your research. Write down your thesis statement on a post it note and have it in your viewing area. This technique will allow you to not stray away from your thesis statement and keep your points organized.
5-Worry about citing last
When I write essays, I don’t think citations until the end. Whenever I use information from my sources I make a small note at the end of a sentence. (Ie.: “25% of people like Pepsi better than coke (CITE PEPSI).) This allows me to not lose the flow of writing when doing my essay. If there is something that will stump you is if you’re in “The Zone” and get dragged out of it by a citation.