What are some steps to writing a good, solid essay?

What are some steps to writing a good, solid essay?
An essay in which you want to prove a point and defend your views.

I teach my students “SECSy writing.” You want to convince someone of your opinion, so you need:

Spicy Sentences

Your introduction should have a hook or grabber (a statement about or related to the topic of your paper that draws in the reader), a citation (the title and author of a book) if you are doing a literary analysis, some brief background information on both the topic and the text, and your thesis statement.

WRITING A THESIS: Your thesis is what you are trying to prove. It is the answer to a question. It is not something that everybody already knows – it should be insightful and, most importantly, DEBATABLE. You can consider it an “I think” statement with the “I think” removed. You can also make it more complex in order to set up the structure of your argument.

Use SECS (see above)

-Restate thesis statement
– Explain how the examples you provided showed this to be true (do this without saying exactly what you said before – offer new insight, don’t be redundant)
– End by explaining why the topic as a whole is important to literature (or whatever subject) as well as life.