As you can tell by the name, you have to conduct a research in order to write a research paper. Before you begin your research, you should ask yourself some questions. These will help narrow your search parameters. Do you want facts? Opinions? News reports? Research studies? Analyses? Personal reflections? History?
If, for example, you are searching for information on some current event, a reliable newspaper like the New York Times will be a useful source. Are you searching for statistics on some aspect of the U.S. population? Then, start with documents such as United States census reports. Do you want some scholarly interpretations of literature? If so, academic periodicals and books are likely to have what you’re looking for. Want to know about commercial products? Will those companies have Web sites with information? Are you searching for local history? Then a county library, government office, or local newspaper archive is likely to be the most useful. With some careful planning, primary research can be done by anyone, even students new to writing at the university level.