Generally, speaking, there are two types of research paper: an argumentative research paper or an analytic research paper. Each requires a slightly different focus and writing style which should be identified prior to starting a rough draft.
A research paper is different from a research proposal (also known as a prospectus), although the writing process is similar. Research papers are intended to demonstrate a student’s academic knowledge of a subject. A proposal is a persuasive piece meant to convince its audience of the value of a research project. Think of the proposal as the pitch and the paper as the finished product.
APA format is used by researchers in the social sciences field, and requires in-text citations as well. It ends the paper with a “references” page, and may also have section headers between body paragraphs.
The body of your essay will revolve around the ideas that you judge to be most important. Go through your research and annotations to determine what points are the most pivotal in your argument or presentation of information. What ideas can you write whole paragraphs about? Which ideas to you have plenty of firm facts and research to back with evidence? Write your main points down on paper, and then organize the related research under each.