Step 1. Write down everything you deem even slightly relevant to your paper when you're researching. All it takes is attention to detail—Microsoft Word has all the tools you need to score perfectly there. Tips for writing research papers include: Develop a clear and focused research question, hypothesis, thesis or topic.
See where the prof tells you exactly what your paper should be? Tips for writing expository papers include: Determine the approach required for the assignment: compare and contrast, cause and effect, procedure or process.
Also, note the use of old tricks, like opposing vocabulary extracurricular v. Constructing the Specifics. In teaching my students how to write a college paper, I call this the Power of Three.