Avoid using many long, direct quotes. Although your paper is based on research, the point is for you to present your own ideas. Unless the quote you intend on using is absolutely necessary, try paraphrasing and analyzing it in your own words instead.
Whenever possible, choose a topic that you feel passionate about. Writing about something you enjoy certainly shows in the final product, making it more likely that you will be successful writing a paper about something you enjoy.
Once you’ve gathered all your research, print it out (if it is an online source) and gather post-its or anything you need to mark notes in the books/magazines you are using. This step is very important: read through your research, take notes on what you think is important, and highlight key facts and phrases. Write directly on copies you’ve made, or use slips of paper tucked into pages to mark places of importance.
When you outline your main ideas, putting them in a specific order is important. Place your strongest points at the beginning and end of your essay, with more mediocre points placed in the middle or near the end of your essay.