Six steps to successful research
Research Topic: the subject you are interested in. This might be a time period, an event, a person - anything you find interesting.
Research Question: the question you are attempting to answer in your research paper. This should be debatable, with ample evidence of historian disagreement on at least two aspects of your question.
Your research question should not be one that can be answered with a simple yes or no, and should not result in a list (i.e. "what were the causes of the US Civil War?").
Help! I don't know what I want to write about.
If you're struggling to find a research topic, look at these sites for ideas:
Use quotation marks around words or phrases for an exact match e.g. “Russian Revolution”
Use a ~ before a word/phrase to pull up synonyms e.g. ~“global warming” will also include climate change, etc.
Use a hyphen before a word to eliminate it from a search e.g. “global warming” -hoax
Use insite: to limit by website e.g. “global warming” insite:nytimes.com
Use site: to limit by domain e.g. “global warming” site:.edu
Use filetype: to search by a specific file or extension type e.g. filetype:pdf
Use intitle: e.g. searching for intitle:russian revolution stalin ensures EACH term shows in the title
Use Google Scholar for academic journals and scholarly publications