After you have decided on a subject, the next step is to read a general, authoritative article from a trusted source. It is always best to start with an overview and then work your way down to details. Time and time again, this approach proved to be the most effective way to start writing a research paper. One of the immediate benefits of doing this is that you will immediately understand whether you want to pursue that topic or not. You will also learn what information to look for next. Look for the ideas that prompt you to ask why or how they are true or in what specific way they must be true. These ideas will provide a basis upon which you will formulate a temporary thesis and temporary outline.