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1.    An essay is written on a specific, given topic.
2.    It is meant for a particular audience.
3.    Any essay should try to cover the topic from all possible angles.
4.    Research and in-depth study of the topic is required to write a proper essay
5.    .The language and grammar has to be paid attention to.
6.    All this depends on the tone of the given topic: an argumentative essay will have both pros and cons of the topic.
7.    A descriptive essay will state facts and figures.
8.    Sequence markers help to connect the different paragraphs.
9.    There has to be a clear beginning, middle and an end. An essay is usually between three to five paragraphs at the school level. Use of too many or too less paragraphs is a big no.
10.  Make sure that any paragraph in the essay is linked with its preceding and succeeding paragraphs in a logical manner.
11.  The first paragraph is the introduction that states the theme/topic. Try to start with a quote or a saying.
12.  Use the last paragraph to recapitulate the main points that you want to emphasize upon in the essay. An impressive ending improves your chances of a better score.