So let's begin, in this instructable I'll show you a powerful way to improve your panorama style (..all right, your style could be already better than mine... let's say it's for anybody loves my panoramas!).
[UPDATE: for a full hand-book about making 360° pictures see here: the-Ultimate-Guide-for-easy-awesome-VR-panoramas]
Step 1: Bracketing?!
Exposure bracketing is essential in photography to save a wide range of details, each one in different light conditions, at least until someone will invent a sensor with a very wide dynamic range... but that's another story.
Step 2: Shot the serie
With the bracketing function the three photos will be taken in a very fast interval, so in my opinion you can take them hand-held (obviously only in daylight), but you'll need in that case to align them in post processing. If you use a tripod your work will be faster and more precise. For best result set the continuous drive mode H (the faster you have) and the bracketing function, turn on the lens stabilization (if you've it and if you shot hand-held, if you use a tripod set the 2 sec delay), and take your shots. Use RAW for best quality.