Here’s another trick. Begin your essay by reading a good encyclopaedia or general reference book. This type of resource helps you to get a feeling for the big picture. Once you can see the view from the hill, you can begin to answer the question from your gut feelings. Begin to ask questions and answer them by finding relevant facts. If other people are likely to argue with your position, then you need to quote relevant authorities, people who believe the same as you.
Introductions: or, “How to Begin an Essay - Women Writers