Develop a thesis. Your thesis is your central argument, and your entire paper should be based upon your thesis. A strong thesis gives specific information about the topic you're addressing as well as your primary arguments. Give your primary reasons for your arguments and, if you are responding to a text, a brief statement of the author's arguments. For example, you might argue, "Kant argues that ethics are based on a categorical imperative, but this categorical imperative does not provide guidance for all ethical dilemmas." This statement provides a succinct summation of the argument and hints at the direction the paper will take.
“To keep Jake Barnes drunk, fed, clean, mobile, and distracted in The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway employs a large retinue of minor functionaries: maids, cab drivers, bartenders, porters, tailors, bootblacks, barbers, policemen, and one village idiot. But of all the retainers seen working quietly in the background of the novel, the most familiar figure by far is the waiter. In cafés from Paris to Madrid, from one sunrise to the next, over two dozen waiters deliver drinks and relay messages to Barnes and his compatriots. As frequently in attendance and as indistinguishable from one another as they are, these various waiters seem to merge into a single emblematic figure as the novel progresses. A detached observer of human vanity, this figure does more than serve food and drink: he serves to illuminate the character of Jake Barnes.”