Before you can begin your research, you have to know what you are looking for. Oftentimes, a topic will be given to you by your instructor. Other times, you will need to select a topic. If selecting your own topic, make sure to pick something that is of interest to you that meets the requirements of the assignment.
How do I know if my topic is a good one? It is critical to develop a manageable research topic. This can literally make or break your paper.
Do a quick search on your topic in a general reference database such as Credo or on Wikipedia
Talk to your teacher
Talk to a librarian