A research paper uses data/information from various sources to answer a question. It is not just an explanation of or report about a topic.
A good research paper begins with a good question. You should choose a narrow aspect of the topic which you can explore in depth. You start with a question, collect data or information, synthesize the data/information, analyze the data/information in light of the question, and then make your conclusions about the question.
A thesis statement is a hypothesis of the answer to your research question. Since you haven't collected all the data/information yet, it is only a proposal of what your conclusion may be. You will need to demonstrate whether this proposal is correct. Remember, though, to look at all sides of the question. Don't just select information that proves your hypthesis is correct!