How to Write an Essay? 7 Steps to Writing an Essay. Decide what kind of essay to write. Brainstorm your topic. Research the topic. Develop a thesis. Outline your essay. Write your essay. There are two approaches to teaching essay writing; the approaches overlap and are often taught together. Writing an academic essay means fashioning a coherent set of ideas into an argument. Because essays are essentially linear—they offer one idea. Aim for Variety. Sentences and vocabulary of varying complexity are one of the hallmarks of effective writing. When you are writing, try to avoid using the same. An essay is, generally, a piece of writing that gives the author’s own argument — but the definition is vague, overlapping with those of a paper, an article.