Taking from previous tutoring experience, I would like to provide students with some essay-writing tips (plus practice, myself, for future tutoring/teaching necessities):
1.Planning: Whether it is a persuasive essay or a comparison between two or more poems/two stories, planning is a crucial part of developing a student's personal idea of how he or she wishes to write the essay. It also provides the student with excellent organisational skills. If it is comparing two poems, for example, it is important that the essay compares and contrasts poetic techniques and concepts by creating a chart/table (labelling two columns 'comparisons' and 'contrasts,' for example; each student has his or her own techniques). Not only charts, but also bullet points under proposed section breaks may be another planning technique.
2.Construction/Structure: Structure gives clarity to the essay. Sometimes, section breaks make the essay appear neat.
3.Development: Most students might find it easier to write the body of the essay before developing the introduction.
4.Conclusion: It usually sums up the entire essay.
Generally, an essay is five paragraphs long. A student should avoid saying, 'I think,' or 'In my opinion' because the reader is well aware of the student's opinion as the essay is written accordingly. It is important to use transition terms like 'similarly,' 'therefore,' 'on the contrary,' 'on the other hand,' 'otherwise,' and 'likewise,' 'moreover,' and 'furthermore.' Transition words help the essay flow well. A student must not be afraid to express his or her opinions (providing evidence). Sometimes, a question might be asking the student to write what he or she 'thinks' is happening; this is where students become most confused; they always think there is a 'right' or 'wrong' answer, when sometimes there really isn't one. I always tell the students, 'don't be afraid to give your opinion; there is no right or wrong answer.' Also, students should write as if they are writing for someone who knows NOTHING about the topic at hand so instead of imagining that they are writing for their teacher, it is important to write for someone who is simply doing research on the topic they are writing about.