Before you even consider starting, make sure you understand all the questions and all the essay parameters. There are plenty of students that take their research paper away with all the questions and topics, and then they leave it until the night before, they sit down to write their research paper. When they get to it, they see they do not understand what it is all about and it is then too late to get any help. Go through every question and research paper parameter to be sure you understand it 100% before you do anything else.
Define your research methodology
The word “research” is a little too broad of a concept for your college professors and the academic community to accept. They need to know that you used an approved research methodology otherwise your research is not academically credible.
Write your plan
All you need is a bullet point list. Skim over the pieces of research you think you will need and write their references down so you can come back to them later. Start to research a little to help define your theme and the direction you will go, but be careful not to overwork at this stage because the research comes later.
Remember to review the work you are researching
Simply reading something to find out if it is useful is not often very productive. You should read and create a few reviews of the work you are going to research so that you understand it and so you can check its credibility.
Always start with the reading list
Many college professors hand out a preferred reading list for their students to work from. This is always the best place to start. You can expand your research outwards once you have gone over the material your professor wanted you to read.
Proofread your work at the very end
Do not try to proofread your work as you go. Do it at the very end of your project because it will make you less productive if you try it beforehand. Plus, your draft may need multiple changes before the final polish.
Check for weight and balance
Did you cover one point or research element more than another? Have you sided one way too often without giving enough counter evidence? Is there a part of your paper that covers seemingly unimportant things in a little too much detail? Are there any contradictions? These sorts of things may be difficult to spot because you are very close to your work, but you will have to check anyway because your professor will notice.