All essays makes a statement and the statement is a point supported by a proof with a comment on how our understanding has grown or changed based upon this research.
A standard essay contains three parts
Each part of an essay is composed of paragraphs.
All paragraphs are composed of three elements.
A small essay may look like this.
The opening paragrapsh asserts a point, proves that the assertion is valid by pointing to evidence, and then makes a comment on why the point is of interest.
Point: All red balls are red.
Proof: Red balls collected from all parts of the globe and studied by experts in colour have concluded that all red balls are red.
Comment: Accordingly funding for further study has been denied based upon the matter being classified as worthy of notice only.
The body of the essay may make three points that support the opening point.
The three points are dealt with separately in three paragraphs in accordance with the format.
Support Point 1. The work of Sampson and Goliath tells us that all balls gathered in Asia were determined to be of a red colour.
Supporting proof 1. The records of Sampson and Goliath were preserved in a mudslide and are considered to be accurate recounts.
Comment. This study is probative of the premise that all red balls are red since all red balls in Asia are red.
Support Point 2. The work of Sodom and Gemhora done a century later expanded the study in Europe.
Proof of point 2. Their work was conducted under the scrutiny of J who was credited with dilligence and precision as a reputation.
Comment. The Asia study is confirmed by the European Study.
Support Point 3. This matter was ordered closed by the Emperor after riots broke out over fraudulent claims of some red balls as being brown. The Emperor was unsuccessful in keeping the matter closed. Proof 3. The excavations of Utrichia disovered wall paintings. At that time paint specialist had devised new techniques for analyzing pigment. It was found that brown changed into red over time.
Comment. The purity of the Asian study and the European study was now open to question.
The final paragraph has the same format but it synthesises the three points in the body as its point. It reviews the proofs by linking them together. Then it makes a comment.
Final Point: While all red balls are red, not all balls are red and this alters the purity of findings on red balls. The third point in this essay examined ancient wall paintings and the proof therein tells us that some pigment change colour over time.
The comment of the final paragraph should contrast the opening point and the final point.
Final comment. It may be the case that not all red balls are red all of the time. Funding for new studies on this matter will give preference to those who demonstrate valid suspicions regarding the true colour of other balls. We will not consider squares or triangles at this time.
The final comment and the opening premise should cover some intellectual distance. In other words the opening premise should evolve into the closing comment or stand in oposition to it.
This is an example of a well composed essay. Research means to learn about something. You are going to examine the nature of a matter by showing how it develops or you are going to examine the nature of a matter by contrasting it to what it is not.
As to citation you have to inquire what format of citation is expected from the nature of the essay. Citation in a legal essay has its own special rules. Generally however a citation is the name of the source, the author, and an indentification of where in the work your informaiton can be found such as XXXX journal, 1990 series 4, Spring issue, page 43.
Example: Asian Red Balls and Thier Predecessors, by Sampson and Goliath, Pompeii Collection, facsimile release 1990 by Excavations International, files 112 to 117.
You can yahoo search "academic citation standards". However your professor or teacher will have a preference.
Primarily the goal is to keep yourself clean of claiming credit for the work of others. So long as you do that then the details of format are of secondary importance.
Research is incredibly siimple. Just remember POINT PROOF COMMENT over and over and over. Every point you make should have proof and a comment. Every proof you use should have a point and a comment. Every comment should have a point and proof. Every essay is making a point and demonstrating the proof with an explanation of the proof and the point which is the comment. Every part of the essay is a unit of a point, proof, comment. Stack all of them together in an orderly fashion and you have a research paper. From a children's story to a doctoral thesis the format is the same. Ta da! You just got an education that your teachers do not have. Go knock em out!