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From the outset, keep in mind one important point: Writing a research paper is in part about learning how to teach yourself.
At the beginning of a course, you will probably not know enough about the major scholarly topics that are of most importance in the field, the topics that are most well-covered in the secondary literature or the topics that have already had the life beaten out of them by successive generations of writers.
You should begin by doing some general reading in the field.
Most university courses involve some sort of extended writing assignment, usually in the form of a research paper. Long after you leave college, you will continue learning about the world and its vast complexities.
Papers normally require that a student identify a broad area of research related to the course, focus the topic through some general background reading, identify a clear research question, marshal primary and secondary resources to answer the question, and present the argument in a clear and creative manner, with proper citations. There is no better way to hone the skills of life-long learning than by writing individual research papers.
Why did the Labour Party win the last British general election?
How have conceptions of race changed in the US since the 1960s?
In your research, you should endeavor to get as close as possible to the events or phenomena you are studying.
But, of course, no one can speak every language and interview every participant in a political or social event.
Think of it as a puzzle: Why did a particular political or social event turn out as it did and not some other way?
Why does a particular pattern exist in social life?