QUOTE(Teigr @ Jan 28 2008, 10:09 PM)
I wonder just how bad it is to write the bit of an essay that draws together the two main parts of it before you've written the second main part. Like, "waffle about x"...blank space..."the connection between what I said about x and what I said about y is...", leaving the task of inserting "waffle about y" into the blank space in such a way that whatever it is you say about y doesn't stuff up the concluding section.
I think this is going to be pretty grim....
I used to love writing essays (weirdo!)
The easiest way to do it is to remember never
to waffle - no matter how tempting it gets. Each and every point you make must somehow relate to the question you have to answer - and no more
Keep the original essay question in front of you the whole time you are writing. If you say something that bears no relation the question - scrub it. No matter how wonderfully written it is, if it's irrelevant, it's worthless.
In the introduction, constantly refer back to the question, and state in no uncertain terms how
you intend to answer it.
As to which paragraphs you write first, it probably doesn't matter as long as they deal with one subject at a time, and answer the question in the way which you set out in the introduction. In your case I'd probably write the paragraph about y and then you might re-think the "connection" part to make sure everything adds up and every point has been tied up.
Sorry if that's not much use