The key to good, sustainable research, and consequently, a great paper or presentation, is making sure you have a focused topic. Focused means not having a topic that is too broad or too narrow. Research questions that are too broad generate more information than can reasonably be presented or written about. Questions that are too narrow have little information or information that only addresses the topic in a superficial, shallow manner.
How do you focus a question that you may know little to nothing about?
A good place to start is the background information that subject specific encyclopedias and dictionaries, known as reference books, can provide.