Using a stratified or laddered approach to research.
According to Bloom's Hierarchy of Learning, research projects require students to function at the highest cognitive levels, synthesizing and evaluating new information to complete a final paper or product. As shown by this diagram, if students have not mastered lower steps on the "ladder," they will be unable to produce high quality products that make them feel successful and confident and that make grading enjoyable for instructors.
Students with limited research experience benefit from two or three smaller assignments that help them prepare their final research paper. For example, they might move from finding and evaluating one academic article on a topic to creating an annotated bibliography, which then serves as the foundation of the large research paper. Librarians have crafted a possible timeline and created sample assignments to help you with the design of such a project.