It definitely is meticulous because of the intensive research that comes with it, but if you really look at the big picture of it, a research paper just needs a few basic tips for it to be less challenging for individuals that are struggling.
A prospectus is a formal proposal of a research project developed to convince a reader (a professor or research committee, or later in life, a project coordinator, funding agency, or the like) that the research can be carried out and will yield worthwhile results.
Any information that doesn’t fit within the framework of your outline, and doesn’t directly support your thesis statement, no matter how interesting, doesn’t belong in your research paper. Keep your focus narrow and avoid the kitchen sink approach.
Finally, don’t ignore information. You can find an article that says anything you want it to say. Did researchers recently discover that octopus DNA is made of alien DNA from outer space? Are the spires on the Cinderella Castle at Disney World removable in case of a hurricane? Did a cook attempt to assassinate George Washington by feeding him poisoned tomatoes?
If you want to find helpful and reliable sources of information, the library is literally the best place to look around. There are numerous books, published articles, journals and etc. that you can choose from about your chosen topic.