A good way of starting a university essay is to include some discussion of relevant things other writers have said as part of the introduction. This is known as a "review of the literature" and doesn't have to be particularly original - the idea is to present a synthesis of what has already been written about the topic by referencing it.
You will be able to find such literature reviews in much secondary literature, and they can often be very helpful when you are searching for publications relevant to the academic field. Most academic books will include a review of the literature in their first chapter, even if it is not explicitly called this. Many academic journals regularly publish what are called "review articles", which are entirely made up of a review of the literature which has been published recently in a particular academic field.