Once you understand what you’re being asked to write in your research paper, it’s time to decide what to write about.
After your outline, you can start on your first draft. Take your outline and get the ideas jotted down and form sentences and paragraphs with them. This is the part where you put more detail and life into the paper so people can read it and actually understand it. You can do more needed research if you feel like you’re lacking information. This is only the first draft, so you can still make changes as you go on.
Take time to understand exactly what you are being asked to write and how you will be graded on it. And if you aren’t sure, ask! Ask your teacher for clarification before you even pick a topic. That way, you will be sure you are on the right track.
Now that you understand what you’ve been asked to do, have chosen a topic that fits the assignment, and have researched and organized that research, you’re ready to articulate your own opinion, argument, or assertion.
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.