Once you have narrowed down the focus of your research paper you need to decide what you hope to accomplish with your paper. The earlier you can figure this out the better as it will help you to properly channel your research time and efforts. With that said, though, you may find yourself changing your goals based on your research.
One possible goal of your paper may be to provide an overview of a subject. In such a paper you would clearly explain the various positions surrounding a particular issue while noting each of their benefits and problems. This is an excellent paper to write when people need help understanding a complicated issue.
Another possible goal is to argue a particular side in a topic. In this example, you would attempt to argue why one particular side is correct by demonstrating the strengths and advantages of that position while noting the shortcomings and problems of the opposing views. This is a great paper to write when you passionately believe in one side or another.