The research process can have many, many variables, but one of the most important and helpful steps you can take is to spend some time in tutorials with your teacher who assigned you the research paper and ask for specific requirements or even a rubric, so you will know his or her expectations for your final product.
Research paper formats can vary, depending on the teacher's preferences, like MLA, APA, or Chicago style. Sometimes your teacher will want you to incorporate direct quotes and textual evidence while other teachers prefer you to paraphrase.
One of the most valuable tools you can acquire is learning how to communicate effectively with your teacher or professor to develop a clear understanding of their expectations. Scheduling time to talk one-on-one not only will give you a clearer picture of the research assignment, but also will convey to the teacher that you are a committed student who wants to succeed.