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.
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.
If your teacher requires you to turn in a bibliography with your research paper; you ought to already know exactly what the assignment is by now!), create a bibliography that meets the requirements for the paper. If you are just making one just for yourself, think about how you would like to organize your research.
Even if you aren’t arguing for or against anything, your paper needs a thesis. A thesis is a short statement that you — as researcher and author output forward for the readers of your paper as what you are trying to explain or prove.
As you read and evaluate the information you discover, take notes. Keep track of your reference materials so you can cite them and build your bibliography later. The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) and other university writing lab websites are excellent resources to help you understand what information you’ll need to collect to properly cite references.