Whenever one is writing an essay they need to ask very specific questions. By asking these questions, the writing of the essay becomes more defined for the writer as to what is expected of for the essay.
1.There are many different types of essays one can write. Four general essays are the Expository Essay, the Descriptive Essay, the Narrative Essay, and the Argumentative, or Persuasive, Essay. Therefore, before writing, one must know what type of essay they are to write.
2. There are many different ways to focus an essay. Sometimes an essay is written using a specific critical theory (or lens). The different critical theories one can use when writing an essay are: Moral Criticism, Formalism, New Criticism, Neo-Aristotelian Criticism, Psychoanalytic Criticism, Jungian Criticism, Marxist Criticism, Reader-Response Criticism, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism, Deconstruction, New Historicism/Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Criticism, Feminist Criticism, and Gender/Queer Studies.
Therefore, one must also ask if a lens needs to be applied to the essay.
3. One final question which needs to be addressed when writing an essay is: What is the essay meant to detail? Basically, what needs to be stated and supported in the essay.
Once these questions are answered an essayist has a much better chance of creating a properly functioning essay.
Two wonderful sites to use when writing essays are linked for you below.