To get started you need to ask a research question. Research is finding out the answers to what you don’t know. The answer to your research question is your thesis statement for your research paper. Start by finding your focus: what is it you are looking for or what questions are you trying to answer? Then consider how your purpose will affect your research. Are you trying to persuade your audience or to inform them?
After you have determined your question and before you begin your research think abut what kinds of research do you need to do. One way to do this is by using a mind-map such as in Fig. 1.3:
In this mind map the person wants to know whether or not solar power can be used to heat the Science and Industry Building. The major steps indicate ways to determine if it is feasible. The minor steps are things to be researched to answer the question. Thinking about your research methodology even before you start your research will help you do better research and better present the information once the research is finished.