Before you start developing your essay, look once again at the topic you have selected or have been assigned. It is important to know what type of paper you are expected to produce: whether it is a general overview, or, let's says, a specific analytical essay. If you are about to prepare a specific analysis, be sure to work with more specific subject in case your topic is too general. For example, the topic "MEDIA" is a general one, which is perfect for an overview. If you are assigned to write a specific analysis, you need to narrow this topic to something like "Media's exposure to world events".
During library research on your topic you may also want to write down some quotes or paragraphs to be paraphrased. Do not forget to put the sources next to your notes, so that you'll be able to properly reference them in your paper. For links to different referencing styles, please, refer to the Appendix.
[how to write essay]