While this research paper is written for a Crime and Law class, it can easily be adapted for any type of class-all you would need to do is change the topic for the paper and then begin!
Once I have gone over the directions, I then read short descriptions about each person and encourage students to make notes on the paper and which people they would really like to research. I then have students sign up for a person (only one student may research a person). To determine the order the students sign up, I simply mark the order that they enter the classroom in that day.
When beginning this paper, students have several days in class to begin conducting their research so I can check they are on the right track and to answer any questions they may have.