Regardless of topic, the steps to essay writing are as follows:
- Use brainstorming, free writing, and/or mind mapping to generate ideas.
- Identify purpose, message (thesis), and audience.
- Plan and conduct any research necessary to obtain supporting evidence for thesis.
- Organize ideas and supporting evidence into an outline
- Draft essay according to outline, using language appropriate to your purpose, message, and audience
- Revise draft
- Proofread draft
- Get feedback
- Revise again
- Proofread again
... repeat as necessary
So, since you have a topic, you have to think about what you might say for or against this idea. Use brainstorming, jotting down all of the arguments for or against the idea that college students should be required to take classes outside their field of study. After reflecting on those ideas, choose your position: For, against, or with mixed feelings (i.e. knowing that it is a good idea but still feeling resentful because of the extra time and money this will cost you as a student).
Next, decide which of the ideas that came up in brainstorming you will include in your essay. Will you need to do any research to support any claims that you want to make?
After that, you can decide in what order to make your arguments. Start with an introduction in which you state your position and list your arguments. Then devote a paragraph to explaining and supporting each argument. Conclude with a summary and strong restatement of your position.