Once you've determined a topic, issue or subject of interest, you'll need to narrow the topic into a researchable question. Here are some helpful tips:
Mind mapping allows you to collect, organize and structure your ideas for a research paper.
Spending a little time with background sources and encyclopedias at the beginning of your search process can save you time in the long run. They can give you the big picture before you start getting into really granular articles, help you see what experts are talking about your topic, and often help you find great books and articles.