I like essays because they address ideas,thoughts and opinions more liberally than technical papers. Every essay has 3 parts: Beginning. Middle and End. Be sure you understand where you are when you are writing. You don't want to write the ending in paragraph 3 and be stuck for what else to say. Your beginning is the engaging introduction to your topic, the invitation to read your essay, or the reason you are writing it.
The Middle is the body of the essay and needs to focus on the main points of your essay. A lead sentence followed by qualifiers or modifiers is an excellent and traditional strategy. With each of your three internal paragraphs you are strengthening your case for the opening paragraph.
The End is your conclusion where you weave it all together and restate the obvious conclusions that you drew from the beginning to the end.
The simple outline is to State what you are going to write about. Tell them about it. Conclude by telling the reader what you told them about.
Francis Bacon's essay on Friendship was my guide for essay writing throughout my high school years. Though, I confess, I do not recall how many paragraphs he used. Have fun. Write it early and then leave it alone for a day or so. Then go back and read it to see if it does what you intended it to do.