Many students skip this step, and then wonder why they receive a low grade on a paper they worked hard on or were excited about.It’s often because they didn’t read the instructions. Look at everything your instructor has provided you with.It can be very helpful to write about something you’re interested in or passionate about, but don’t worry about choosing the perfect topic.In many cases, a controversial topic can be ideal, so that you can exercise your ability to objectively explain differing positions, and even defend one if the assignment calls for that.However, it’s important to stay focused and move pretty quickly. Learn how to identify key points and arguments without getting bogged down and reading every word. Although this may run contrary to what you’ve been told, you can use Wikipedia to write a research paper. You can use general sources like Wikipedia to get familiar with a topic, find keywords that can further drive your research, and quickly understand large amounts of information.After all, you still have to write your research paper. You don’t have to read in-full everything ever written about your topic. But, for the information you use in your paper, you have to find reliable resources.
You will be somewhat of an expert in the topic by the end of this process, but you don’t have to know everything right now. This step is pretty flexible; different people will research for a paper in different ways.
Carefully read the writing assignment, prompts, grading rubric, or any other materials you’ve received.
It might even be helpful to highlight and take notes on the assignment.
Take time to understand exactly what you are being asked to write and how you will be graded on it. Ask your teacher for clarification before you even pick a topic.
That way, you will be sure you are on the right track.