Starting a research project means developing and picking a topic. You may have been given a list of topics to choose from by your professor. Once you have chosen which topic you might want to research, you might want to brainstorm your idea by concept mapping it like below:
This student wanted to write a paper about the music industry and as she discovered many subtopics were worth persuing.
From there, she was able to break down some of these subtopics into smaller topics.
Project: After you've picked your topic, Brainstorm by creating a concept map. Develop subtopics. Once you're done that you can move onto the next step.
Once you have your topic and you've brainstorm, try to narrow your topic. Applying limiters may help narrow your topic.
Examples of limiters:
The graphic on the left shows how we could narrow down the topic of Athletes & Steroids (limiters in black):
Thus resulting in a research question that may sound like:
How did the rules help baseball players to use steroids in the 1990s?