Watch this first.
In spite of a certain dryness and predictability it actually serves the interests of its intended audience quite well. The key is to see that this audience is a very specific type of audience; it’s an audience of professional peers. This is an example of how essay style can relate to essay structure. Having the main thesis of the essay stated up front, in the introduction, is a structural feature of an essay, but it’s also a feature of academic writing style.
This is a pretty good diagram on how to structure an essay.
And this is a decent illustration on how to construct an essay. Tedious but effective.
Her website is here. I liked her point about the hook in the introduction. She said that it doesn’t have to be the best hook, but that if you simply make the effort at a hook, your instructor will definitely credit you for that effort.
On writing Transitions, this is a pretty good overview. Learn it and apply it effectively. There are words and phrases that you can, even should use to signal transition. Having these in there will clearly announce to the reader that you’ve honored your obligation as a writer to include these important features of an essay. So be sure to put them even though you might be tired and find them extremely boring to your poetic essay. See this list of transitional words.
The purpose of these transitional phrases and words is to make your points flow logically so that by the time the reader is finished they are inspired. Obviously, better flow in an essay is not achieved by transitional phrases and words alone. Better flow is achieved by paragraph arrangement with the least important placed at the top and the most important placed at or toward the end of your essay. These tips get you there.