Usually the topic is given by a professor or a teacher, or at least the boundaries are set within which to find a topic. If a topic is clear, it is good. If not, then think of some familiar ideas and facts that you may already know in the assigned realm of knowledge. It is better to settle on some familiar area as you will not need to dig deep into unknown information and will spend precious time on planning and writing instead. You actually need limited scope of information, but most probably you need to express your own opinion or attitude towards it. So take time to shape it to yourself, and then put down as a rough draft. Add key words related to facts and ideas you want to include in the essay. Just bullet-point them before the opinion part, so that you do not miss out on anything. Done? Wow! Now you have everything necessary to create a whole lot of successful 500 word essays. We can now move to the very mechanics of writing.