Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline.
Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you.
It's important that you learn early on how to write effective essays that communicate clearly and accomplish specific objectives.
An essay is a written composition where you express a specific idea and then support it with facts, statements, analysis and explanations.
Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay.
Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics.
An example of an analytical thesis statement: An analysis of the loan application process for citizens of third world countries reveals one major obstacle: applicants must already have money in order to qualify for a loan.
An example of an argumentative (persuasive) thesis statement: Instead of sending tax money overseas to buoy struggling governments and economies, U. residents should be offered tax incentives for donating to companies that provide micro loans directly to the citizens of third world countries.
You'll need to narrow down your topic to something like "Russian Politics: Past, Present and Future" or "Racial Diversity in the Former USSR". Or to education about a person, place, thing or idea?
If you're expected to choose your own topic, then the first step is to define the purpose of your essay. The topic you choose needs to support the purpose of your essay.