If you're not sure where to start with your research question, create a mind map and use the 6 question words to think about your topic.
Mind Maps by Tom Peterson © 2013 Thunderhead Works. All Rights Reserved. Used for educational purposes only under Fair Use.
If your topic is broad, consider asking yourself the 6 Ws (who, what, when, where, why, and how) and trying a combination of these elements with your broad topic:
Examples with the topic concussions in sports:
Research Question: What is the effect on adults of sports concussions received in childhood?
If you're not finding information on your topic, it might be too narrow and needs to be broadened. Consider removing a word or element from your research question/thesis/topic.
Image from Unbxd, all rights reserved. Used for educational purposes only under Fair Use.
You will need to use keywords to search for information online and in library resources. Follow this guidance to identify keywords that will be useful for searching.
Step one not only requires that you come up wth a research question or topic that is narrow enough to explore for an undergraduate research paper, but it also requires that you consider what type of information you will need to find in order to answer your research question.
Mount Hood reflected in Mirror Lake, Oregon, USA. Image in Public Domain.