Hello, and welcome to Science Buddies!
I'm sure your teacher means they want to see progress on your background research. Background research is a crucial step in the scientific method process. This allows you to better understand what you are about to test. Better understanding helps you design the best experiment possible. It should help you from hopefully repeating mistakes already made by others, consider all the variables that could affect the outcome of your test, and understand why what you are testing is important. There are many other reasons research is important...I just listed a few.
The research paper is the final product. Check with your teacher to see whether he/she expects a final product or just a draft of your research paper to see your current progress. As you're doing your research, be sure to log all of your sources: websites, papers, books, journals, magazines, interviews, etc. This consolidated list will be your references with bibliography. Be sure to include Science Buddies as a reference!
More information on conducting background research:http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_background_research_plan.shtml
Help with generating your bibliography. It's free!http://www.easybib.com/
Good luck. Be sure to write back if you have any more questions.