Many people have found the following suggestions helpful in writing essays for this kind of course. Although some of the suggestions may sound elementary or obvious, they involve basic principles of good writing that are often neglected, with uniformly bad effects.
1. Answer the question, dealing with each part explicitly.
2. Make a systematic argument, progressing from an introduction to a conclusion. Don not just meander from point to point.
3. Try to take the viewpoint of the general, intelligent reader. Do not assume that the reader has the specialized knowledge of your instructor. What does the reader need to know to understand your argument? Take his or her viewpoint requires at least the following:
a. Introduce the topic to be discussed. Do not simply jump into the middle of things without any introduction or overview.
b. Define the central concepts. Do not assume that the reader knows what they mean.
c. Be explicit in your explanations, laying out exactly how, for example, a given concept explains the behavior in question.
d. Give concrete examples of behaviors. Vague references to general types of behaviors will not help most readers. People understand concrete examples much better than general categories, and working out the concrete specifics will help you to clarify our concepts as well.
e. State your conclusion explicitly, capping and tying together your argument.
4. Please do not at least one quick revision and editing before handing in the paper. Dashed-off papers sound dashed-off.