Writing an essay shouldn't be a chore. They always are, but they shouldn't be. They are an opportunity to craft words in order to express an opinion sharply and concisely. They can be compared to dining at a fabulous restaurant.
First is the planning phase. The restaurant needs to be chosen, the day set aside and people invited. It then needs to be booked. Like research.
On arrival at the restaurant, an apertif is the norm. This is comparable to the plan. It relaxes you, gives you chance to look at the menu and generally think about food. The plan gives guidance, explores your ideas and implements order.
Once food has been ordered, the first course comes; each course of food should have very different tastes, but not so different that they don't compliment one, and should be enjoyed thoroughly. A good wine binds it all together. This is like writing each paragraph. Delicious to write, exciting and different. With all the crumbs swept up because it's just that good. But bound together by a solid idea.
There. Essays are just like good food.