The first step to a research paper is deciding on the topic or problem to be researched. Why do the readers want to know more about the topic? Write down who wrote the article, the title of the article, the name of the journal or website, and the date.
Creating the thesis of the research essay will help in the research process. The research paper will have many different headings that relate to the thesis. This information can be put in the body of the term paper and later in the works cited page. Find sources that are credible and can be used as evidence supporting the thesis. Once the outline is created it will be time to write a rough draft.
So, think about carrying a notebook, keeping a journal, running an index card system, and using a project box.
For more advice, see referencing and plagiarism and writing skills.
The key to this is to have a retrieval system that is sufficiently adaptable to catch the material whenever and wherever it shows itself, and then provide us with a means of accessing it easily whenever we want it.
To create such a system isn't difficult, but it means going beyond the normal loose-leaf folder, a few wallet files and a reliable source of A4 paper.
Once you've learnt to do this, you will be able to make two important things clear to yourself before you start your research: Most of us spend hours reading texts that we need not have read.
To avoid this you must read purposefully: you need to be clear why you're reading a particular text, what questions you need to answer, and what reading strategy is the most relevant for this purpose.
Brainstorming is a great way to kick off this process.
However, your reading skills are just as important to how well you research, as are your note-taking skills and an effective retrieval system.