1. A set of notecards
2. An idea of the direction you want to head in with your research.
3. A hard-copy printed article about a subject which interests you, has depth, involves a social issue, and can be explored in the context of voice/power or the lack thereof.
If you need help finding a topic, type "subjects for research papers" into the Google. Many colleges and universities have lists of worthy topics posted.
You do not YET have to commit to a topic, but you will soon enough, so consider it carefully.