I believe writing must be most difficult with a rapidly approaching deadline, and the pressure of an unpleasant prompt only adds to the stress. The most crucial advise I have ever received on the matter is to own the piece regardless of how little interest or connections you share with it. That can be done simply enough by allowing your voice to flow freely across whichever method of prewriting you find to be the most helpful. It is in this conceptualization period that an idea of self-interest should be pursued as it is the idea that is inherently most interesting to you, and intuitively most intriguing to the reader.
Before I begin to seriously construct an essay, I personally prefer to write intro paragraphs with a naked skeleton until my thesis is revealed in order to toy with how many offshoots I can create. In doing so I consider certain questions to shape its course. These questions include: why are you writing this piece? What purpose are you attempting to offer? If it’s persuasive, then you’re most likely attempting to open the reader’s mind to accept your point of view. The easiest way to shape an essay is with these questions, because questions are much easier to follow structurally and form a sort of checklist to establish a well-rounded essay that considers all opinions and formally refutes or reinforces them.
Once the thesis is established, it is time for the shitty first drafts. There is no time for writer’s block or pausing for grammatical ingenuity, this period is strictly for the quickest typing, no thought to anything other than keeping up with the internal voice that bursts through your fast-working fingers.
After your ideas are down, it is time to review and revise. Revisions need serious considerations for the flow of thoughts through transitions, word choice for clarity and subconscious moods, and a thorough scan for unneeded or redundant or confusing points. Revisions should be done until you believe every word, every thought to be perfect. Once you’ve had your fill, allow a peer to revise your work, then afterwards consider their revisions and edit your work for the last time. What you’re left with is the final product.