A strong essay will have a sophisticated insightful thesis supported with appropriate textual evidence based on a strong analysis of a text, argument, image, or film, developed in coherent paragraphs that are governed by clear topic sentences and arranged in a logical manner.
A Great General Site to improve your academic writing is The Dartmouth Writing Cente
r list of resources for students. Pay special attention to their section on "Writing in the Humanities." This section includes very helpful articles on writing papers in Art History, English, Film, Philosophy, and Religion. Their section on "Writing the Academic Paper" will help you with all facets of the writing process. Below you'll find links to a few additional resources.
You should also check my general ESSAY GRADING RUBRIC which will let you know how your grade for each essay will be determined.
Essays without a clear thesis, with inadequate support, or that fail to demonstrate an adequate understanding of course materials, will fail to get a "C" (or higher) grade.
Essays that do no present and consistently argue for a clear, arguable thesis that demonstrates a superior understanding of course materials, will fail to get a "B" (or higher) grade.
Only essays that consistently and effectively argue for an original, complex, and well-defined thesis that is sophisticated in statement and insight will be eligible for an "A" grade.