If you haven't done a research paper before, or if you aren't happy with how you've written one in the past, The SAGE Research Methods Project Planner can help take you through the steps.
You can find the whole project planner here
But the basic steps you will need are listed below.
What is it you want to know about? I helps if you can try to be as specific as possible, because there is often more than you would expect on most topics. The SAGE Defining a Topic section can help you.
Sometimes it is enough to find a few good articles on your topic, but other times you need to do a more extensive literature review.
This SAGE Research Methods Reviewing the Literature guide can help.
But there are also research guides from SDSU:
General information on SDSU Library resources can be found in our How to Research Tutorials guide.
For a more extensive search, try Steps in a Thorough Literature Search.
Once you have read your papers and have your major points figured out, it is time to write your paper.
The SAGE Research Methods Section on Writing Up covers lots of types of papers and the sections of a paper.
There are also a couple of online books that can help: