Picking a topic for your research paper isn’t as easy as it sounds. Unless you are already an expert in the area, picking a good, well-defined topic is going to be difficult until you do some background research.
Start by reading up on your topic in places like an encyclopedia, which will give you an overview of the subject and provide some context on key themes or issues. You can even use Google to look up your topic to find out more about it. This type of research might not actually be used in your paper, and that is okay! Background research is important for helping you define your topic and thesis.