Make sure your paper fits the assignment. Know your instructor's requirements concerning:
Topic choice - Is it up to you or is it assigned?
Scope - Just an overview or in-depth coverage?
Goal - Simply presenting information or taking a position?
Length - Is there a minimum or maximum length?
Sources - How many and what type?
Format - APA, MLA, or something else?
Due date - It will be here sooner than you think!