Now that you've done the research, you should have an idea as to what your thesis statement should be. Professors always hate broad thesis statements so try to make it seem as specific as you can without limiting the amount of things you can talk about. Since this is a research paper it doesn't have to be controversial, revolutionary, super innovative, etc. It just needs to provide direction on where your paper is going. So if you are writing about a person you can talk about how they were influential, made an impact on issues of that time period, thrived through difficult circumstances, something like that. A general rule I learned in high school is that thesis statements should be the last sentence of the introductory paragraph. I've always put it there and haven't had a teacher correct me so I would go with that.
I've found that the fastest way to get going on your paper is to do the research first, then develop your thesis later. If you develop your thesis too early, you may find that there's not enough to research to support it, it's too specific, it's super lame, etc.
So where's the best place to start? Wikipedia. Despite all the Wikipedia trash talk you've heard from teachers, Wikipedia is the best place to get an outline going. It usually gives a broad overview of the topic, then has an outline with a bunch of different topics that I usually steal for my own body outline. Just make sure that you never plagiarize from Wikipedia. I mean don't ever plagiarize anything, but that is the first place your professor will go to check for plagiarization.
Once you have a rough outline, copy and paste specific quotes, passages, terms etc. from Wikipedia into Google and look at other sources that come up. Professors prefer book/print sources over online sources any day...so if your search comes up with a book or print article that has been made available online, definitely go for that. Even if it's just a sample of the book, try to find the page number, or worst-case scenario - make an educated guess. Your professor probably won't go buy the book and scan every page to check up on your citation. If you find a cheap Kindle book on your topic, you might want to buy it. Just remember to only scan through the relevant sections because you don't have time to read an entire book at this point. If your Google search leads to a sketchy looking website with no author, don't use it. It might have awesome info but your professor will not like it if the website isn't valid. That being said, if you know your professor has 200 papers to read and they aren't going to check all sources...and you're feeling lucky...then go for it.
Copy/Paste all the sentences or paragraphs you wish to paraphrase into a word document and put each section into your own words. This is to make sure you don't accidentally plagiarize...because later on you could think you have an awesome original idea but it actually came from an old source you forgot about. The sections don't need to flow together or have any kind of order, it's just about putting things into your own words. Make sure to cite your source after each section...that will save you some time when you're writing your final draft. After you're finished rewriting, delete the original texts.
Now you're ready for your introduction and conclusion paragraphs. I typically devote my introduction paragraph to putting my topic in some sort of context. If the paper is about a person I'll give a super short bio. If it's about a thing or concept I'll briefly explain what it is, how it's used, why it's important, etc. I try to go for 5-6 sentences in the paragraph. The first sentence starts introducing the topic, then each sentence leads more and more to the final sentence, which is the thesis statement.
I find the conclusion paragraph to be the most difficult section to write. I mean you've already said everything that needs to be said, so now you're just filling space until you can stop writing. It's like when you're stuck in a boring conversation and you're trying to find an excuse to leave. But it has to be done so here we go. When writing about a person I usually use this space for their legacy. Like how they impacted their children, the next generation, the ideas of today, etc. I kind of use that strategy with a concept as well, like how did that invention/idea/concept change society or culture.
The two outlines below are intended to show both what are the standardparts of a proposal and of a science paper. Notice that the only real difference is that you change "expected results" to "results" in the paper, and usually leavethe budget out, of the paper.