Though there are several different types of essays, in general, the best way to set up an essay is first of all, to begin with a good introduction. You need a hook to get your audience interested in your topic and a thesis statement which tells what your essay will prove. The thesis should clearly state the point or the argument that you are addressing in your paper, and it is usually the final sentence in your introduction.
In the body of your essay, you should write about three main points or arguments which support your thesis. Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, details, and evidence. Your evidence is quoted from your sources and explained. Everything in your body paragraphs should support your thesis statement. Each of your main points should be in a separate paragraph with evidence and commentary. Don't forget good transition sentences between paragraphs!
Finally, you write a conclusion which should restate your introduction in a different way. In other words, don't just copy and paste your introduction into your conclusion. Wrap up your essay so that it sounds complete. Good luck!