See Assignment Ideas to explore different possible approaches beyond a traditional research paper.
Your students may not have prior experience with academic research and resources. State (in writing) details like:
Also consider discussing how research is produced and disseminated in your discipline, and how you expect your students to participate in academic discourse in the context of your class.
Breaking a complex research assignment down into a sequence of smaller, more manageable parts:
Periodic class discussions about the assignment can also help students
By testing an assignment, you may identify practical roadblocks (e.g., too few copies of a book for too many students, a source is no longer available online).
Librarians can help with this process (e.g., suggest research strategies or resources, design customized supporting materials like handouts or course research guides).