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Position Paper – Example, Format and Writing Guide

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Position Paper

Position Paper

Definition:

Position paper is a written document that presents an argument or stance on a particular issue or topic. It outlines the author’s position on the issue and provides support for that position with evidence and reasoning. Position papers are commonly used in academic settings, such as in Model United Nations conferences or debates, but they can also be used in professional or political contexts.

Position papers typically begin with an introduction that presents the issue and the author’s position on it. The body of the paper then provides evidence and reasoning to support that position, often citing relevant sources and research. The conclusion of the paper summarizes the author’s argument and emphasizes its importance.

Types of Position Paper

There are several types of position papers, including:

  • Advocacy Position Paper : This type of position paper presents an argument in support of a particular issue, policy, or proposal. It seeks to persuade the reader to take a particular action or adopt a particular perspective.
  • Counter-Argument Position Paper: This type of position paper presents an argument against a particular issue, policy, or proposal. It seeks to convince the reader to reject a particular perspective or course of action.
  • Problem-Solution Position Paper : This type of position paper identifies a problem and presents a solution to it. It seeks to convince the reader that the proposed solution is the best course of action to address the identified problem.
  • Comparative Position Paper : This type of position paper compares and contrasts two or more options, policies, or proposals. It seeks to convince the reader that one option is better than the others.
  • Historical Position Paper : This type of position paper examines a historical event, policy, or perspective and presents an argument based on the analysis of the historical context.
  • Interpretive Position Paper : This type of position paper provides an interpretation or analysis of a particular issue, policy, or proposal. It seeks to persuade the reader to adopt a particular perspective or understanding of the topic.
  • Policy Position Paper: This type of position paper outlines a specific policy proposal and presents an argument in support of it. It may also address potential objections to the proposal and offer solutions to address those objections.
  • Value Position Paper: This type of position paper argues for or against a particular value or set of values. It seeks to convince the reader that a particular value or set of values is more important or better than others.
  • Predictive Position Paper : This type of position paper makes predictions about future events or trends and presents an argument for why those predictions are likely to come true. It may also offer suggestions for how to prepare for or respond to those events or trends.
  • Personal Position Paper : This type of position paper presents an individual’s personal perspective or opinion on a particular issue. It may draw on personal experiences or beliefs to support the argument.

Position Paper Format

Here is a format you can follow when writing a position paper:

  • Introduction: The introduction should provide a brief overview of the topic or issue being discussed. It should also provide some background information on the issue and state the purpose of the position paper.
  • Definition of the problem : This section should describe the problem or issue that the position paper addresses. It should explain the causes and effects of the problem and provide evidence to support the claims made.
  • Historical perspective : This section should provide a historical perspective on the issue or problem, outlining how it has evolved over time and what previous attempts have been made to address it.
  • The organization’s stance : This section should present the organization’s stance on the issue or problem. It should provide evidence to support the organization’s position and explain the rationale behind it. This section should also address any counterarguments or alternative perspectives.
  • Proposed solutions: This section should provide proposed solutions or recommendations to address the problem or issue. It should explain how the proposed solutions align with the organization’s stance and provide evidence to support their effectiveness.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should summarize the organization’s position on the issue or problem and restate the proposed solutions or recommendations. It should also encourage further discussion and action on the issue.
  • References: Include a list of references used to support the claims made in the position paper.

How to Write Position Paper

Here are the steps to write a position paper:

  • Choose your topic: Select a topic that you are passionate about or have knowledge of. It could be related to social, economic, environmental, political, or any other issues.
  • Research: Conduct thorough research on the topic to gather relevant information and supporting evidence. This could include reading scholarly articles, reports, books, and news articles.
  • Define your position: Once you have gathered sufficient information, identify the main arguments and formulate your position. Consider both the pros and cons of the issue.
  • Write an introduction : Start your position paper with a brief introduction that provides some background information on the topic and highlights the key points that you will discuss in the paper.
  • Present your arguments: In the body of your paper, present your arguments in a logical and coherent manner. Each argument should be supported by evidence from your research.
  • Address opposing views : Acknowledge and address the opposing views on the issue. Provide counterarguments that refute these views and explain why your position is more valid.
  • Conclusion : In the conclusion, summarize your main points and reiterate your position on the topic. You can also suggest some solutions or actions that can be taken to address the issue.
  • Edit and proofread : Finally, edit and proofread your position paper to ensure that it is well-written, clear, and free of errors.

Position Paper Example

Position Paper Example structure is as follows:

  • Introduction:
  • A brief overview of the issue
  • A clear statement of the position the paper is taking
  • Background:
  • A detailed explanation of the issue
  • A discussion of the history of the issue
  • An analysis of any previous actions taken on the issue
  • A detailed explanation of the position taken by the paper
  • A discussion of the reasons for the position taken
  • Evidence supporting the position, such as statistics, research, and expert opinions
  • Counterarguments:
  • A discussion of opposing views and arguments
  • A rebuttal of those opposing views and arguments
  • A discussion of why the position taken is more valid than the opposing views
  • Conclusion:
  • A summary of the main points of the paper
  • A call to action or recommendation for action
  • A final statement reinforcing the position taken by the paper
  • References:
  • A list of sources used in the paper, cited in an appropriate citation style

Purpose of Position Paper

Here are some of the most common purposes of position papers:

  • Advocacy: Position papers are often used to promote a particular point of view or to advocate for a specific policy or action.
  • Debate : In a debate, participants are often required to write position papers outlining their argument. These papers help the debaters clarify their position and provide evidence to support their claims.
  • Negotiation : Position papers can be used as part of negotiations to establish each party’s position on a particular issue.
  • Education : Position papers can be used to educate the public, policymakers, and other stakeholders about complex issues by presenting a clear and concise argument supported by evidence.
  • Decision-making : Position papers can be used by decision-makers to make informed decisions about policies, programs, or initiatives based on a well-reasoned argument.
  • Research : Position papers can be used as a starting point for further research on a particular topic or issue.

When to Write Position Paper

Here are some common situations when you might need to write a position paper:

  • Advocacy or lobbying : If you are part of an organization that is advocating for a specific policy change or trying to influence decision-makers, a position paper can help you articulate your organization’s position and provide evidence to support your arguments.
  • Conferences or debates: In academic or professional settings, you may be asked to write a position paper to present your perspective on a particular topic or issue. This can be a useful exercise to help you clarify your thoughts and prepare for a debate or discussion.
  • Public relations: A position paper can also be used as a tool for public relations, to showcase your organization’s expertise and thought leadership on a particular issue.
  • Internal communications: Within an organization, a position paper can be used to communicate a particular stance or policy to employees or stakeholders.

Advantages of Position Paper

There are several advantages to writing a position paper, including:

  • Organizing thoughts : Writing a position paper requires careful consideration of the issue at hand, and the process of organizing thoughts and arguments can help you clarify your own position.
  • Demonstrating expertise: Position papers are often used in academic and professional settings to demonstrate expertise on a particular topic. Writing a well-researched and well-written position paper can help establish your credibility and expertise in a given field.
  • Advocacy: Position papers are often used as a tool for advocacy, whether it’s advocating for a particular policy or for a specific point of view. Position papers can help persuade others to adopt your position on an issue.
  • Facilitating discussion : Position papers can be used to facilitate discussion and debate on a particular issue. By presenting different perspectives on an issue, position papers can help foster dialogue and lead to a better understanding of the topic at hand.
  • Providing a framework for action: Position papers can also be used to provide a framework for action. By outlining specific steps that should be taken to address an issue, a position paper can help guide decision-making and policy development.

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How to Write a Position Paper

Last Updated: March 22, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 235,453 times.

Just like an argument paper, a position paper supports one side of an issue, similar to in a debate. Your goal will be to provide convincing evidence to the reader that your position is the correct stance to take on an issue. You can write a great position paper by choosing your position carefully, developing your argument, drafting your paper, and revising and editing your work.

Position Paper Outline and Example

how to write a position paper with example

Choosing Your Position

Step 1 Make sure your topic is arguable.

  • For example, you wouldn’t want to write a paper arguing that children need proper care, as no one would disagree with that stance.
  • A better topic may be taking a stance on what should be done if children are not receiving proper care.

Step 2 Research your topic and the alternative sides.

  • Visit your local library to find books, journals, and newspapers.
  • Access online databases, credible websites, and news sources.
  • To decide if a source is credible , look for peer-reviewed journals, check the credentials of the author, locate the information in two separate sources, and check the date to make sure the information is the most recent available. You should also avoid self-published sources.

Step 3 Make a pros and cons list for at least 2 positions on your topic.

  • Looking at both sides not only helps you pick the best position, it will also help you choose a good counterargument. [3] X Research source
  • For example, if you are writing a paper about whether or not your community should invest in new park equipment, your two sides would be either in favor of the new park equipment or against it. A pro of buying new equipment might be purchasing safer equipment, while a con would be the expense of the purchase.

Step 4 Think about your views on the issue.

  • In some cases, it’s easier to argue a position if you don’t have strong opinions either way. This is because you can focus on the evidence, not on your personal views.

Step 5 Consider your audience's views on the topic.

  • While you don’t have to change your position to fit your audience, you may want to adjust your reasons behind the position or the counter-argument you choose.

Building Your Argument

Step 1 Establish your claim.

  • If possible, look for supporting reasons that are shown through 2 or more different pieces of evidence, as this will make your argument stronger.
  • Use your assignment sheet or the parameters of your paper to determine how many supporting reasons you should include. For many academic papers, you will use 2 to 3 reasons.

Step 3 Compile your supporting evidence.

  • Use an organizing strategy that works for you.
  • Compiling your evidence now will help you more easily write your paper.
  • Keep in mind that it is important to cite your sources. If you use a direct quote from a source, then put it into quotation marks and identify the author when you use it. If you paraphrase or summarize something from a source, give credit to the author for the ideas.
  • Don’t go overboard on including evidence! Remember that most of the ideas in the paper should be your own. It’s good to quote sources, but avoid quoting entire paragraphs from other sources. Keep your quotes to a sentence or two and try to avoid including more than one quote per paragraph.

Step 4 Identify a counter-argument that you can easily dismiss.

  • For example, if you are writing a position paper arguing that your community should purchase new playground equipment, your counter-argument could be that the purchase will be too expensive. To strengthen your argument, you would cite this possible point against you but show why it's not a valid reason to dismiss your position. A good way to do that would be to show that the equipment is worth the expense or that there is outside funding to pay for it.
  • You will also want a piece of evidence that supports your counter-argument. This evidence, which should be easy to dismiss, will be included in your paper.

Drafting Your Paper

Step 1 Develop your thesis.

  • One easy way to set up your argument in your thesis is to include both your counter-argument and claim, preceded by the word “although.” For example, “Although installing new playground equipment in the park will be expensive, new playground equipment would provide a safe play area for children and offer options for special needs children.”
  • If you’re an expert writer, you may not need to include supporting reasons in your thesis. For example, “As parents learn the benefits and dangers of outside play, communities across the nation are turning their eyes toward their parks, making safe, accessible equipment a public necessity.” [11] X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source

Step 2 Write your introduction.

  • Start with a hook that introduces your topic. For example, you could provide a statistic of how many children are injured on old playground equipment every year.
  • Include a few sentences that provide more information on your topic, narrowing down toward your stance.
  • End your introduction with your thesis.

Step 3 Include at least 2 body paragraphs.

  • Follow the requirements for your paper, which may state how many paragraphs you should include.

Step 4 Use topic sentences that link back to your thesis.

  • For example, you could write: “Installing new playground equipment would make the park more inclusive for special needs children because updated designs are accessible to those who are disabled.”

Step 5 Provide evidence to support your position.

  • Documented stories

Step 6 Provide commentary to explain your evidence.

  • Without commentary, there is no link between your evidence and your position, leaving your argument weak.

Step 7 Conclude your essay by reasserting your position.

  • Restate your thesis. For example, "While new playground equipment is expensive, it's worth the investment because it serves the best interests of the community by providing children with a safe area to play and making the park more accessible for special needs children."
  • Sum up your argument.
  • End on a high note with a call to action. For example, "Children need a safe, accessible place to play, so the only choice is to install new park equipment in Quimby Park."

Step 8 Cite your sources...

  • If you don’t cite your sources, then you will be guilty of plagiarism. You could lose credit or face harsher penalties if you are caught stealing someone else’s words or ideas.

Revising and Editing Your Paper

Step 1 Use your spell check tool.

  • Before you change a word, re-read the sentence to make sure that the new suggestion fits. The spell checker may think that you mean one thing, while you really mean something else.

Step 2 Take a break from your paper.

  • Waiting at least a day is best. If you are short on time, wait at least 30 minutes before reviewing what you’ve written.

Step 3 Re-read your paper with fresh eyes.

  • If possible, have a friend or mentor read your paper and suggest edits or revisions.

Step 4 Revise your paper.

  • Combine short, choppy sentences, and break up long sentences.
  • Fix sentence fragments and run-ons.

Step 5 Proofread your paper to make final edits.

  • If possible, ask a friend or mentor to proofread your final draft. They may be able to spot errors that you don’t see.

Step 6 Prepare your works...

  • If you are presenting or turning in a printed paper, check to see if you should place it in a presentation folder.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Avoid using the words “I” and “you” in your thesis. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure that you stay focused on your claim throughout your paper and that all of the evidence you present in the paper is supporting your claim. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

how to write a position paper with example

  • Give credit when you use someone else's opinion, statistics, facts or quotations. Avoid plagiarism by referencing and citing your sources. Thanks Helpful 10 Not Helpful 3

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  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-position-paper
  • ↑ https://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~rmartin/teaching/fall15/Writing_a_Position_Paper.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.nmun.org/assets/documents/nmun-pp-guide.pdf
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/argumentative_essays.html
  • ↑ https://bowiestate.libguides.com/c.php?g=442189&p=3014828
  • ↑ https://opentextbc.ca/writingforsuccess/chapter/chapter-12-peer-review-and-final-revisions/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/proofreading/steps_for_revising.html
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/proofreading

About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

If you need to write a position paper, choose a topic that has at least 2 clear sides, then pick one of those sides as your position. Gather research from books, newspapers, academic journals, online databases, and other credible sources, making sure to cover your own position and at least one opposing side. Open your paper by stating your claim, or the position you have taken, then offer at least 2 pieces of evidence to support that stance. Identify and dismiss a counter-argument to your position as well. For tips on how to use topic sentences to link your paragraphs to your thesis, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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A Brief Guide to Writing a Position Paper

13 July, 2020

13 minutes read

Author:  Mathieu Johnson

Speaking your thoughts out loud happens to be easier than doing the same in writing. Why is that so? Every time you prepare a speech, you need to write it down first. And your writing needs to be precise because readers are about to know what you’ve put down on a paper. When it comes to a position paper, your mission is to express your opinion on a controversial topic. You will have to take a side on a specific topic and make up a case based on your opinion. To succeed in this writing task, you may need some guidelines.

Position Paper

What Is Position Paper?

A position paper is a kind of essay in which you express your opinion or position regarding a particular subject matter. It can be used for different purposes, from a discussion of international challenges to an analysis of business strategies. As a result, a position paper format is widely used in business and politics. Also, it can take a form of a report revealing your plans for the subject matter at hand. A position paper should contain a smooth flow of thoughts and ideas that provide a rock-solid evidence for your line of reasoning.

what is position paper

What Are The 3 Parts of a Position Paper?

A position paper consists of three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Here is an explanation of what you can write in each part:

Introduction

The introductory part aims to attract the reader’s attention to the covered subject matter. Ideally, you should begin with several opening sentences about the specific issue to hook the reader.

The body part involves background information, evidence to back up your opinion, and analysis of both sides of the subject matter. By conducting thorough research, you will collect enough data to support your claims. The main point is to address both aspects of the argument. That way, you will show the reader that you are objective in your statements.

In the conclusion part, you need to restate the key points of your essay without adding anything new. Depending on your topic, it  makes sense to suggest a solution to the problem.

How to Write a Position Paper?

To start writing a position paper , you should have a clearly stated topic that is debatable with logical details. While writing a paper, you should examine your vision of the problem through the prism of available arguments. Consider practicability, cost-effectiveness, and local environment when evaluating possible solutions and necessary actions. In other words, you should express, explain, and back up your opinion. And don’t forget to be specific in stating and supporting your arguments.

Select a Position Paper Topic

If you want to create a good position paper, you should focus on a subject matter that has enough findings to support it as well as some controversy to produce an argument. If you are dealing with a position paper assignment, you will want to skip your personal values and focus on something that can get you the highest grade. Here are some of the position paper topics to consider: 

  • Should reality TV shows be regulated?
  • What are the positive and negative sides of video gaming?
  • Are there any parallels between video gaming and addiction?
  • Can beauty contests have a positive impact on women?
  • Should children have a schedule for school and after-school activities or be given more free time for playing?
  • What affects the rapid increase in child obesity?
  • How to reduce the number of abortions without legislation?
  • How can pro-life and pro-choice groups cooperate?
  • Should the production of Barbie dolls be banned?
  • What is the meaning of true beauty?
  • Should young children be forced to compete at athletics?
  • What are the reasons for blood cancer?
  • How does COVID-19 pandemic affect the business sector?
  • Is COVID-19 a real problem or a huge fake?
  • How does COVID-19 affect our lives?
  • Should media coverage be taken under control?
  • Is private school tuition really worth it?
  • How can the country’s school system be amended?
  • What role should technology play in the business sector?
  • Should college athletes receive a salary?
  • Should college athletes be allowed to skip classes?
  • Technologies are changing the way people think.
  • How are online technologies affecting the way we live?
  • What laws should regulate the use of cell phones in cars?
  • Should parents limit teenagers’ use of social media?
  • Should scientists be allowed to experiment on human embryos?
  • What causes people to immigrate illegally?
  • Is there any way to reduce the immigration rate?
  • Can illegal immigration be justified?
  • How do people justify war?
  • How significant is race to American identity?
  • What is the world culture?
  • What is the value of knowing your cultural background?
  • Should schools teach multiculturalism?
  • Is global warming a problem?
  • Is racism the problem of the modern community?
  • How can clean water be provided to everyone?
  • Is the problem of air pollution exaggerated?
  • What needs to be done to reduce the level of air pollution?
  • Who should take responsibility for air pollution?
  • Will the worldwide population increase?
  • What needs to be done to stop poaching of endangered species?
  • Is hunting good for the environment?
  • Are citizens responsible for their local environment?
  • What can manufacturers do to reduce the air and water pollution across the world?
  • What is the real importance of clean water?
  • Is there any connection between health and pollution?
  • What can people do to stop global pollution?
  • How can people be encouraged to recycle more?
  • How does global warming increase?

Preliminary Research

How do you write a position paper? Where to start from? Preliminary research requires you to find sufficient evidence for the covered subject matter. At the same time, you don’t need to rely on a subject matter that falls apart under a challenge of hefty research. You will also need to specify the sources you are planning to use. Follow them in bibliography and make some notes about every particular book, journal, or document you take information from. Thus, you will save a lot of time in the writing process.

By searching a couple of education and social sites, you will be able to find professional research data. Our professional essay writer recommends to narrow your focus, you will develop a list of questions that you have to answer in your paper. If you find no valuable information after spending several hours on research, you should understand that your position cannot be supported by sufficient findings on trustworthy sites.

Challenge Your Topic and Collect Supporting Evidence

You will need to dispute the truth or validity of your topic by finding supporting evidence. If you have some doubts, you may need some time to identify all the possible challenges that you have to deal with. Your position paper will address the opposing view and address it with counterevidence. It will make sense to have some discussions with friends, colleagues, or family about the topic. That way, you will be able to learn some additional thoughts and ideas that can be used for further research. As soon as you find some counterarguments, you will need to analyze them. Once it is done, you will see whether they are sound or not.

Another useful approach to challenging the topic requires you to mention your arguments on one side and opposing arguments on the other one. In which part of the paper do you have more points collected? Which points are stronger? If counterarguments seem to outnumber your arguments, you will have to reconsider your subject matter or your opinion on it .

Position Paper Outline

Before taking action, you’ll need to develop a position paper outline to organize your thoughts and ideas. With an outline, you will find it easier to write a position paper. So how will you do that? It depends on your personal preferences. Some writers find it easier to apply pictures and diagrams, others just follow a template offered by the teacher. If you feel like writing an outline yourself from scratch, don’t hesitate to do so. You can create it on your computer or write it down in your notebook. After all, there is no right or wrong approach to developing an outline. The main point is that an outline contains all the key points that you have to add to your position paper. You may want to look at a position paper sample before starting the writing process. Here is the format to be followed:

Decide on your topic with some background details. Develop a thesis sentence that addresses your position. Some examples are as follows:

  • Smoking is a bad habit causing breathing problems.
  • Fast food packages should be marked with health warnings .
  • Air pollution requires certain actions from the national governments.

Decide on potential contradictions to your position. Here are some examples: :

  • A medical examination needs to be conducted on an annual basis to monitor the possible negative health conditions .
  • Health warnings  can affect the companies’ revenues.
  • The national program can be quite costly.

Cover the opposing points. Make sure that you aren’t contradicting your own thoughts and ideas. Sample points are as follows:

  • It can be hard to determine the monitoring process.
  • Citizens don’t want their government to abuse its power.
  • Program funding will fall on the shoulders of average taxpayers.

Explain your position through the prism of counterarguments. This is how you can contradict some of the counterarguments and back up your own one. Sample points are as follows:

  • The government has already tried to reduce smoking statistics in the country.
  • Restaurants will enhance the quality of food in case of using health warnings .
  • The government’s primary role is to protect citizens.

Sum up your arguments and express your opinion in different words. You should finish your paper by focusing on your arguments and responding to the counterarguments. You need your reader to understand and accept your opinion on the covered subject matter.

When you create a position paper, you should act with confidence. In the end, your mission is to reveal your position from the best side.

Tips on Writing a Position Paper from Our Experts

Even if you have a position paper example, you still may need some practical recommendations to make things easier for you. Here are some tips you need to follow during the writing process:

  • Decide on a topic. While choosing the topic for discussion, you should find the one you have a clear idea of. You can broaden your outlook by reading some literature on the desired subject matter. Ideally, you should embark on different  viewpoints to consider them for further analysis.
  • Express your position idea. Focus on one specific aspect of the topic in order to express it in a one-sentence opinion. Make sure you have found a really arguable idea. If the topic cannot be debated, then it can hardly be used for writing a good position paper.
  • Be precise in your statement. Try to express your opinion briefly and clearly.  A position paper is not meant to be vague.
  • Lead the narrative in the present tense. You are discussing the topic here and now, so the use of the past tense is quite inappropriate.
  • Minimize the use of superlatives . Avoid using superlatives such as biggest, major, extremely, and so on because they make the context sound exaggerated.
  • Use frequently used terms. To make the content look appealing and well-written , you should use the most common thematic terms such as world community, member states, recommendations, development, realization, regulations, international, and so on.
  • Use commonly used verbs . You should include some commonly used verbs such as comprehend, enable, recognize, acknowledge, believe, suggest, consider, addresse, highlight, and so on.
  • Proceed with final proofreading . You cannot consider your position paper as completed unless a successful spelling and grammar check is done. To achieve the maximum result, you should read your paper aloud a couple of times. That way, you will find it easier to indicate and fix mistakes.

While there is no universal formula for writing a perfect position paper, you can still follow some simple tips that’ll  make you closer to the desired result. Just think analytically and act logically throughout the writing process.

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Students obtaining degrees in fine art and art & design programs most commonly need to write a paper on art topics. However, this subject is becoming more popular in educational institutions for expanding students’ horizons. Thus, both groups of receivers of education: those who are into arts and those who only get acquainted with art […]

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How to Write a Position Paper: Step-By-Step Guide with Examples

Learn how to write a position paper with our step-by-step guide, including topic prompts and example papers.

A position essay or research paper is a paper that requires you to take a position on a controversial subject or question. Often, these papers cover argumentative essay topics that evoke emotion, like illegal immigrants, climate change, violent video game age rating or animal testing.

Your position on the topic because your topic sentence and the rest of the paper or essay back up your point with your research. A high-quality position essay will conclude with a final push toward getting your audience to believe your topic sentence based on the research you present.

You must have the right topic to write a position paper that will persuade an audience to your point of view. These position essay topics will get you started on your research. For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers .

How to Write a Position Paper?

A. is cloning humans to help with medical procedures ethical, b. should covid-19 vaccinations be mandatory, c. is cheerleading a sport, d. should the minimum wage be raised, step 2. conduct preliminary research, step 3. write your thesis, step 4. create an outline, step 5. write a draft , step 6. review and write, 1. the death penalty has no place in america by anthony langdon, 2. universal healthcare provides americans the security needed in uncertain times by jeremy c. kourvelas, 3. should sex education be taught in schools by peter dewitt, 4. we are the ones failing our teens, not social media by emma mccarthy, 5. communication is key to a successful roommate relationship, 6. the growing demand for limits on speech in academia.

Grammarly

Step 1. Pick a Topic

Pick a Topic

The purpose of a position paper is to pick a side of a question and aim to convince the reader of the writer’s stance by using research data to back up their views. Choosing a topic is the first step to writing a position paper.

Sometimes, your high school teacher or college professor might have assigned you a topic. But if you’re choosing your own topic, you can begin the process by considering your academic interests or deciding on a specific industry.

You can brainstorm topic questions from here by narrowing in on one section of your chosen interest. For example, if you’re writing about sports, you might choose to write about cheerleading as a sport. Whether you believe that cheerleading is a sport or whether you believe it’s not – you can use the paper to prove your point. Check out these position paper prompts to help you:

The ability to cline humans still hasn’t made it to reality , but the question is there. Would it be ethical to clone humans for help with medical procedures, such as organ transplants? This question raises a few concerns, including the ethics of experimenting on a newly created clone and the general ethics of cloning a replica of another person.

Discuss this important question in your argumentative essay. Back your choice with facts found in your research. For this topic, you don’t have to research the science behind cloning, just its ethics, so you can do the piece even if you don’t fully understand its science. Check out our explainer on how to write a thank you letter .

 Should COVID-19 Vaccinations Be Mandatory?

As we near the end of the pandemic, many people wonder whether or not COVID-19 vaccinations should be required by law . Some claim that vaccination is for the greater good and is something everyone should do, while others state that it should be a personal choice.

If you argue for mandated vaccines, consider whether or not there should be exceptions to this rule. If you decide to argue against it, be prepared to show other measures society can take to slow or stop the spread of the virus.

Ask any cheerleader, and you will get an emphatic “yes” to this question. Cheerleading is physically demanding and often requires careful diets and exercise routines to find success.

Yet others will argue that cheerleading is not a sport because it is not a competition in the way that basketball or soccer are. You can argue either way based on your opinion after doing the research. You might also find our headings and subheadings examples helpful.

Federal labor laws have the minimum wage set at $12 an hour . Yet, this is not enough to live off a full-time income in many parts of the country. You could argue whether or not the minimum wage should increase to accommodate inflation.

Here’s the problem with that argument, which you should also consider. If you raise the minimum wage, you will have increased inflation to accommodate the higher labor costs. This can backfire, preventing you from enjoying the benefits of higher base pay.

Conduct Preliminary Research

Position papers use evidence to support the claims and to persuade the reader to join their stance on the chosen topic. It’s essential to use supporting evidence for your statements and to supply background information when writing your paper. 

Gather evidence from reliable and credible sources to support your point of view and make a compelling argument to convince the reader. Doing this before writing your arguments and counterarguments is a great way to make writing easier and complete a good position paper.

Remember to include citations in your paper. Failing to include citations can put you at risk of being penalized for plagiarism. Also, ensure you use the correct format, such as MLA or APA. If you’re unsure of the citation style to use, check with your teacher or professor. You might also find our guide on how to write a case study useful.

Once you’ve decided on your topic and stance and gathered your preliminary evidence, it’s time to write the thesis statement! The thesis statement is a summary sentence that states your position on the topic and includes your key supporting evidence. Place your thesis statement after your introductory paragraph to help readers understand the main parts of your argument. 

Create an outline

Use your thesis statement and notes to create a template and outline your argument. To do this, split your page into sections for the introduction, body, and conclusion. 

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic and your position on the topic chosen for the paper. Include background information on the chosen topic, and explain why the topic is important to you.
  • Body: This section should include your arguments and claims with supporting evidence. Split your content into body paragraphs for each point of your argument, and include supporting evidence and counter arguments to support your stance. The body is the most important part of your paper, so make sure to include as much information on the subject matter as possible and use all of your research. Short position papers usually include three body paragraphs, but longer papers may have multiple sections and several body paragraphs.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion of a position paper is used to highlight the key points of your argument, emphasize your stance, and summarize your paper in a way that is compelling to the reader. Use a conclusion as an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the reader and finish strong. 

Write a draft 

Write the first draft of your position paper using the outline template and bulk up the content with your research and arguments. Creating a draft is a great way to get into the flow of your paper and not get hung up on the details of writing. Use this as an opportunity to get your ideas on paper. 

A great way to approach your draft is to add your evidence to each section of your outline template and build your content around the research. Once you’ve outlined the main points and counter arguments, you can work on bulking up the content.

Review your final draft and fill out your paper by adding emotive language, supporting your arguments with contextual information, and fully explaining your research data. Once you’ve completed your paper, it’s time to proofread and review your work. A great way to review your work is by using an AI assistant like Grammarly to tidy up the grammar, improve readability, and ensure your points resonate with the reader. Check out our Grammarly review !

Position Paper Examples

“Racial bias is obvious throughout our prisons and police departments, so it tracks that capital punishment is afflicted, as well. Katherine Beckett and Heather Evans studied the role of race in Washington state’s capital sentencing from 1981 to 2014 and found that, controlling for all other legal factors, Black defendants were four and a half times more likely to be sentenced to death as non-Black defendants.” Anthony Langdon

In this article, Langdon discusses his opinion that the death penalty should not be part of the American justice system. He cites problems with racial bias as a reason for this belief.

“Universal healthcare would free small business owners from having to provide coverage while simultaneously enhancing the freedom of the worker. Lifespans could be longer, people could be happier and healthier in systems that are simpler and more affordable.” Jeremy C. Kourvelas

In this piece, Kourvelas discusses the benefits of universal healthcare for Americans and the economy. He uses these benefits to show how, in his opinion, universal healthcare is the right choice for Americans.

“Thinking about sex education conjures up all of those uncomfortable moments as an adolescent when we had to sit at our desks and listen to our health teachers talk about things that we joked about with friends but never wanted to have a conversation about with adults. But things have changed a lot since then.” Peter DeWitt

As a former public school principal, DeWitt has a strong opinion on this topic. In this opinion piece, he looks at how middle school and high school students benefit from sex education in school and what people should consider when discussing this topic.

“It’s no secret that social media is taking a toll on teenagers, especially girls. Filters and photo editing create the facade of a seemingly perfect life and put an emphasis on unrealistic beauty standards and constant comparison. This often leads to decreased self-esteem and to body image concerns.” Emma McCarthy

There’s no denying that social media use by high school and college students is creating a mental health crisis. Still, in this article, McCarthy argues that the lack of parental and educator input into young people’s lives may have the most significant impact. She claims that a lack of education about how teens use social media among adults is the biggest problem.

“We respected each other by setting boundaries. We discussed when we typically went to bed during the week and then decided when to turn the lights out. We also always asked if it was okay to have a visitor, to borrow personal belongings or to call family. Our constant conversation allowed us to start off our college dorm experience seamlessly, as we both agreed to be honest with each other.” Maggi Abboud

Moving out of home is tough, but it becomes even tougher when you realize it’s time to navigate roommate relationships. In this position paper example, Maggi Abboud discusses the importance of creating a healthy relationship with her roommate through communication. She states that setting clear boundaries at the start of college helped them maintain respect and build a positive relationship with respect.

“The protection of free speech on campus should not be valued over the protection of students from the possible harm that the content of this speech may cause. In college, students are still learning who they are and how to love themselves and they should be free to grow into their identities without shame or embarrassment.” Sophia Eppley

Sophia Eppley believes that the protection of free speech should not be valued over the protection of students at University campuses.  Georgia House Bill 1 was passed in 2022, which removed any restriction of free speech by making every accessible, common area on a college campus a free speech zone. Although free speech is arguably a positive thing, it’s important to remember that free speech also allows the freedom of those with controversial ( and often offensive) opinions to speak freely. This position paper example gives great insight into the experiences of students who face challenging confrontations by free speech activists.

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of informative essay topics !

how to write a position paper with example

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5 Steps to Writing a Position Paper

  • Writing Research Papers
  • Writing Essays
  • English Grammar
  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

In a position paper assignment, your charge is to choose a side on a particular topic, sometimes controversial, and build up a case for your opinion or position. You will use facts, opinion, statistics, and other forms of evidence to convince your reader that your position is the best one. To do this, you'll collect research for your position paper and craft an outline in order to create a well-constructed argument.

Select a Topic for Your Paper

Your position paper centers around a topic that is supported by research. Your topic and position have to hold up when challenged, so it's helpful to research a few topics and pick the one you can best argue, even if it may not reflect your personal beliefs. In many cases, the subject matter and your topic are not as important as your ability to make a strong case. Your topic can be simple or complex, but your argument must be sound and logical.

Conduct Preliminary Research

Preliminary research is necessary to determine whether sufficient evidence is available to back up your stance. You don’t want to get too attached to a topic that falls apart under a challenge.

Search a few reputable sites, like education (.edu) sites and government (.gov) sites, to find professional studies and statistics. If you come up with nothing after an hour of searching, or if you find that your position doesn’t stand up to the findings on reputable sites, choose another topic. This could save you from a lot of frustration later.

Challenge Your Own Topic

You must know the opposite view as well as you know your own stance when you take a position. Take the time to determine all the possible challenges that you might face as you support your view. Your position paper must address the opposing view and chip away at it with counter-evidence. Consider having friends, colleagues, or family debate the topic with you to get alternative points of view that you might not have readily considered yourself. When you find arguments for the other side of your position, you can address them in a fair manner, and then state why they are not sound.

Another helpful exercise is to draw a line down the middle of a plain sheet of paper and list your points on one side and list opposing points on the other side. Which argument is really better? If it looks like your opposition might outnumber you with valid points, you should reconsider your topic or your stance on the topic.

Continue to Collect Supporting Evidence

Once you’ve determined that your position is supportable and the opposite position is (in your opinion) weaker than your own, you are ready to branch out with your research. Go to a library and conduct a search, or ask the reference librarian to help you find more sources. You can, of course, conduct online research as well, but it's important to know how to properly vet the validity of the sources you use. Ensure that your articles are written by reputable sources, and be wary of singular sources that differ from the norm, as these are often subjective rather than factual in nature.

Try to collect a variety of sources, and include both an expert’s opinion (doctor, lawyer, or professor, for example) and personal experience (from a friend or family member) that can add an emotional appeal to your topic. These statements should support your own position but should read differently than your own words. The point of these is to add depth to your argument or provide anecdotal support.

Create an Outline

A position paper can be arranged in the following format:

1. Introduce your topic with some basic background information. Build up to your thesis sentence , which asserts your position. Sample points:

  • For decades, the FDA has required that warning labels should be placed on certain products that pose a threat to public health.
  • Fast food restaurants are bad for our health.
  • Fast food packages should contain warning labels.

2. Introduce possible objections to your position. Sample points:

  • Such labels would affect the profits of major corporations.
  • Many people would see this as overreaching government control.
  • Whose job is it to determine which restaurants are bad? Who draws the line?
  • The program would be costly.

3. Support and acknowledge the opposing points. Just be sure you aren't discrediting your own views. Sample points:

  • It would be difficult and expensive for any entity to determine which restaurants should adhere to the policy.
  • Nobody wants to see the government overstepping its boundaries.
  • Funding would fall on the shoulders of taxpayers.

4. Explain that your position is still the best one, despite the strength of counter-arguments. This is where you can work to discredit some of the counter-arguments and support your own. Sample points:

  • The cost would be countered by the improvement of public health.
  • Restaurants might improve the standards of food if warning labels were put into place.
  • One role of the government is to keep citizens safe.
  • The government already does this with drugs and cigarettes.

5. Summarize your argument and restate your position. End your paper focusing on your argument and avoid the counter-arguments. You want your audience to walk away with your view on the topic being one that resonates with them.

When you write a position paper, write with confidence and state your opinion with authority. After all, your goal is to demonstrate that your position is the correct one.

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Top 10 Tips for Writing a Strong Position Paper

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As scientists and researchers, you might be familiar with objective research papers, which tend to consider both sides of an argument and present findings based on facts. But are you aware of another important piece of academic writing known as the position paper? In this article, we will discuss different aspects that make position paper share expert tips on writing a great position paper that clearly presents an argument or opinion.

Table of Contents

What Is a Position Paper?

A position paper discusses a controversial issue and focuses on one aspect of an argument, providing valuable insights on how to interpret issues where science is ambiguous. It can also act as a medium for scientists and researchers to put forth solutions to resolve problems. Similar to objective research papers, position papers are still rooted in facts, statistics, evidence, and data. Additionally, they further enable authors to take a position on what these facts and data are telling us.

The purpose of a position paper is to gather support for an opinion on an issue by explaining the author’s stance and providing factual evidence to back it up. It critically evaluates the position, acknowledging its strengths and weaknesses.

Types of Position Paper

There are several types of position papers, each serving a unique purpose.

Ready to gauge your understanding of position papers? Take our short quiz today!

Fill the Details to Check Your Score

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How to Write a Position Paper?

1. choosing a good topic.

Selecting a good topic for your position paper is just as important as having a well-structured paper that presents a strong argument. A well-written paper about an uninteresting or uncontroversial topic is simply a waste of time and effort. So how can you best  choose a topic for your argument ?

Like all types of research, you should begin with preliminary research. A good topic for a position paper  will answer yes to the following questions :

  • Does the topic represent a genuine controversy?
  • Are there two clear positions?
  • Do you care enough to argue for one of those positions?
  • Is the scope of the topic manageable?

Once you have found a topic that meets these criteria, you will need to conduct research to build a solid case in favor of your argument. This means finding supporting evidence (for both sides!) just as you would for an ordinary  research paper . By including supporting evidence for the opposing side, you will be able to more clearly refute the conflicting arguments. In other words, you can point out weaknesses in the evidence cited by the opposing side or highlight strengths of evidence that supports your stand in comparison.

2. Conducting a Preliminary Research

Conducting preliminary research is crucial before delving into any topic. Evaluate evidence quality from reputable sources institutional websites, white papers, policies, scholarly articles, research reports, etc. Stay objective, dedicating some time for research. Be adaptable; reconsider your topic if evidence is lacking or contradictory. Prioritize quality over quantity in source selection. This ensures a well-supported and credible argument.

3. Crafting and Testing Your Thesis Statement

Crafting a thesis statement is a pivotal step in developing a coherent paper. This statement depicts your stance on the topic. A clear and focused thesis statement serves as the backbone of your argument, guiding the reader and shaping the trajectory of your analysis. Once established, subject it to rigorous examination by challenging it.

While it may seem counterintuitive, actively challenging your own thesis statement is a vital exercise in academic integrity and intellectual rigor. By earnestly considering opposing viewpoints and potential counterarguments, you not only demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter but also fortify your position through logical reasoning and evidence-based support.

4. Collecting Supporting Evidence

When gathering evidence for your position paper, prioritize relevance and credibility. Use expert quotes sparingly, ensuring they directly support your argument. Prefer research-based evidence over anecdotes, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Verify the credibility of sources and regularly update evidence to reflect the latest research. Following these guidelines enhances the credibility and persuasiveness of your paper.

5. Drafting and Structuring the Position paper

The structure of a position paper is flexible, but it should generally follow a simple flow that clearly conveys the problem and the position of the author(s). A position paper should  begin by clearly stating the problem  and  its relevance  to the scientific community or even to the society as a whole. It should then address the main position of the author. For example:

a. Background: For decades, the WHO has urged the adoption of a tax on unhealthy foods to discourage the consumption of products that are harmful to our health.

b. Relevance: Sugar has been shown to have a negative impact on health, and play a major role in the rising obesity rates in America.

c. Position: The United States should adopt a tax on drinks with added sugar, to reduce the consumption of sugar, and promote healthier eating habits.

The author should then  clearly list the common arguments and possible objections  against this position. To continue with our example:

Argument 1: A sugary drink tax that focuses on soda may not impact other products that have an equally negative health impact such as fruit juice or candy.

Argument 2: A sugary drink tax is regressive and places a financial burden on the poorest consumers.

A strong position paper  acknowledges the validity of the counter-arguments  and then puts forth reasons why the author’s position is still the correct one. In our example paper, the author can address the counter-arguments in the next section like so:

Counter-argument 1: It is true that a sugary drink tax would not impact all sources of added sugar in the average American diet. However, it would still have a significant impact on a major source of added sugar to achieve its goal of reducing overall sugar consumption.

Counter-argument 2: All consumption taxes are regressive. A sugary drink tax would be most effective accompanied by subsidies for healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Finally, summarize your main points and re-state your position in your conclusion. All arguments in the paper  should be backed up by facts, data, and evidence , with proper citation attributed to your sources. In this way, a position paper is no different from an ordinary research paper . If you wish, you can  include a brief literature review  in your discussion of the background of the issue. While such a  literature review  is not essential, it can make your paper stronger.

Ten Tips for Writing a Strong Position Paper

Now that we know what a position paper is, let us review some tips to write a great position paper.

  • Select a timely, relevant topic with two clear opposing sides.
  • Conduct thorough preliminary research,  collecting evidence supporting arguments for and against your position.
  • Identify your intended audience. You should tailor your tone depending on who the paper is written for (the public, other scientists, policymakers, etc.).
  • Clearly state your position on the topic.
  • List and refute the counter-arguments to your position.
  • Include supporting data and evidence to back up your argument.
  • Properly attribute your sources  using correct citation .
  • Keep it simple! Position papers  don’t need to go into excessive detail . Present your points clearly and briefly.
  • Each paragraph in the paper should discuss a single idea.
  • Have someone  proofread your paper to ensure it reads well and looks professional.

A position paper can be a great way to expand your horizons and write a new type of research paper. Use these ten tips to write an effective position paper!

Are you seeking advice on writing a position paper? Seek  professional assistance  to craft a compelling argument in your position paper that effectively communicates your perspective to the scientific community.

Frequently Asked Questions

The length of a position paper can vary depending on the requirements set by the institution or conference. However, typically, position papers are concise and focused documents, usually ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 words.

The purpose of a position paper is to articulate an author's stance on a particular issue or topic, backed by factual evidence and logical reasoning.

Characteristics of a position paper include: 1.Focus on a controversial issue or topic. 2.Clear statement of author's stance or position. 3.Incorporation of factual evidence, statistics, and data. 4.Acknowledgment of counterarguments and addressing them effectively. 5.Concise and well-structured presentation of arguments.

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How to Write a Position Paper: Definition, Outline & Examples

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A position paper is a written statement that presents a particular perspective on any issue or topic. It typically argues a specific point of view and presents evidence to support that position. To write a position paper, you need to research and understand the topic, develop a supported argument, and address opposing viewpoints.

In this comprehensive guide, you will find all important information that will help you prepare this type of assignment. More specifically we will talk about:

  • What is a position paper?
  • How to write a position paper?
  • Position paper example you could use for inspiration.

As an experienced paper writer team, we always come to support fellow students by providing them with helpful information and tips. Our readers can find detailed definitions and high-quality supporting materials on this website – all of that available for free! 

What Is a Position Paper: Definition

First of all, let’s define it. Your position paper should clearly display and support your own view of a specific problem. Typically, position papers explore more or less controversial questions, which is why they must include argumentation supported by valid data. Providing evidence to the readers is the main distinctive feature of such an essay. Your work should demonstrate your ability to put up a strong case, not just describe your beliefs. Before you write a position paper, think it through and start with understanding your purpose. What do you try to tell your audience, and what is the best way to convey it? This helps with building good argumentation and structuring your essay.

Position Paper

Keep in mind that unlike a persuasive essay , convincing your readers to accept your point isn’t your primary task. Your piece should mainly focus on information that makes an argument strong. That’s why you should use supportive evidence that backs up your viewpoints. 

Purpose of a Position Paper

Why do you need a position paper? First of all, it serves as great supporting material when talking about your viewpoint in front of an audience. Writing a position paper beforehand helps to organize your thoughts on the topic and set your defenses properly. Besides, you can use it when speaking to ensure you haven’t forgotten to mention something important. You might also be required to submit your paper before or after your speech. If it is your college or university assignment, this document will be your main output, which is why its structure and format are so important.

Position Paper Outline

One of the main first steps is preparing an outline for a position paper. After you’ve done some research and gathered enough data on your topic, spend additional time and create a concise draft. It should display your paper’s entire structure, including the key arguments, without going into much details. Your writing should follow a basic 5 paragraph essay outline . Once done with your plan, you can review it and easily spot major gaps or inconsistencies. Checking your work at this stage is typically much more productive than after writing the full text. Here is an example of position paper outline:

  • Hook the reader with stats, numbers or facts
  • Introduce the issue
  • Include a thesis statement presenting your central idea and stand on the problem
  • Present counterclaims
  • Offer evidence that backs up counterarguments
  • Refute the counter arguments using examples
  • Strong opinion
  • Supporting examples
  • Restate your main claim
  • Offer a course of action

Hopefully, this position paper template will speed up your progress with your own work. Check the attachments below – complete sample papers along with outlines are available there.

Position Paper Outline Example.png

Position Paper Structure

What exactly does the structure of a position paper include? This is quite easy: similarly to any other scholarly essay, your position paper should contain three main parts:

Introduction

  • Main body part
  • Conclusion.

You’ll write a good position paper if you make it readable and concise in addition to preparing string argumentation backed by valid evidence. Otherwise, your poorly structured text won’t impress your readers. We’ve prepared more helpful information on how you should compose each of these sections. You can find it below, so please read it attentively. Also, check out the sample position papers available on this page. You can find more tips and ideas below.

Good introduction for a position paper should make your reader well familiar with the problem you are arguing about. This typically involves explaining why it is important for everyone or why you’ve decided to discuss it. Besides, the introduction must engage your audience so that they would be interested in hearing more about your position and evaluating its validity. This is how to start writing a position paper:

  • Clearly state your position, giving the thesis statement.
  • Give enough context about the problem and its background, explaining why you stand this ground.
  • ‘Hook’ your readers by making it sound interesting.

The latter can be achieved by making some hints about upcoming evidence, using some kind of wordplay, or just making a suitable joke.

Body of a position paper is where its argumentation should be placed. When you make a position paper, be sure to divide it into logically interconnected paragraphs – each one for one of your major arguments expressed in the topic sentence . Make proper transitions between them. Leave at least one paragraph for the counter argumentation you may have faced and for its rebuttal. The evidence you’ve collected to support your claim should also be presented in the main body, together with quotes and references (if any). Remember to use solid and relevant data and avoid unnecessary facts, as they don’t bring value and may just make the text less readable. Pay attention to the consistency and readability of this section. Its structure and contents show how well you’ve built your argumentation. And that is what makes position papers persuasive.

This is how to write a conclusion for a position paper that adds real value to it:

  • Properly summarize your argumentation, showing how it supports your take.
  • Make it sound strong; ensure that it is logical and well-readable.
  • Keep it brief, don’t repeat anything from the main part.

Remember that your proposition paper conclusion will be the last thing your audience reads, so making a strong and persuasive ending would help with leaving a good impression on it. You’ll find a conclusion template in one of the sections below.

How to Write a Position Paper in 9 Steps

Let’s get to the point – you must write a good position paper, and now you’re looking for some helpful tips on that. We’ve got your back! First and foremost, the best beginning is to set up a strong position. Otherwise, your essay will simply be uninteresting. Now make sure you can actually prove what it states. But that’s just the beginning: think about captivating headings, add some clever techniques and diligent work to that, keeping focus on your goal – and you’ll get an excellent paper. What should be added? Just keep reading. We’ve prepared an elaborate guide on how to write a position paper step by step. Let’s go and check it!

1. Choose a Topic

Creating position papers requires some hard work, but choosing a proper subject may save a lot of time and effort. If it is uninteresting or too narrow, that might result in an issue. Better to choose a topic that:

  • Is relevant and controversial: this will draw your readers’ interest.
  • Is understandable for you, so it would be easier for you to discuss some points about it.
  • Has received some coverage in news, books, or other sources, making it simpler to find enough evidence about it.

Before commencing the writing process, search among good topics for position papers and select one most suitable for taking a point around it.

2. Do Research Before Writing a Position Paper

Conducting preliminary research for position papers is a key step before starting with actual writing. This is where you can collect evidence about your subject:

  • Google it This is easier but remember to filter out results with low credibility.
  • Media If this is a recent and big event, it should be mentioned in the news; make sure to pick the most credible resources.
  • Check the sources used by books or articles written on the subject This way, you might find some ‘hidden gems’ that are difficult to google.

Don’t know if you’ll write a winning position paper? Follow the next steps closely. And don’t forget to explore the free samples available on this page, check their structure and style.

3. Draft a Position Paper Thesis

Thesis of a position paper is basically its foundation. Make it strong, and you’ll ensure your success. Don’t be too wordy. One sentence is enough to deliver your thesis and summarize your position on the topic. You can put it closer to the start or put it at the end of your introduction so that it summarizes the explanations you would give about the problem. Examples of a position paper thesis:

• Online education is cost-effective, being more affordable for both students and educational institutions. • Schools should offer low-income pupils summertime educational resources.

4. Create an Outline

Once you have decided about the direction you’re taking with your essay, proceed with the position essay outline. This step is often overlooked, but it will be much easier to find and correct mistakes and gaps at this early stage. So, writing a position paper outline actually saves you time. This is how to write a position paper outline:

  • Keep it brief, just one sentence per idea. No need to always use full sentences, just make them readable.
  • Include your thesis, mention the context, then write one sentence per each argument.
  • Briefly summarize it, one sentence will suffice as well.

Don’t forget to review your outline carefully.

5. Begin Writing Your Position Paper

Once you’ve ensured the outline of an essay doesn’t have any gaps or logical flaws, go ahead and complete the full-text version. If you wonder how to start a position paper at this stage, begin with the introduction. You already have its shortened draft, so just add necessary details and list explanations if needed. But don’t give particular arguments or refute opposing opinions yet, those should come in the main body part. See how to write an introductory paragraph for a position paper in the next section.

Position Paper Introduction Example

Looking for introduction position paper examples? We’ve got one for you. Here’s how you can start your essay:

Traditional education is commonly regarded as a better alternative since live interaction with teachers often facilitates the learning process. However, given the ever-growing problem with student loans, the affordability of online education has become an important factor. Additionally, when studying online, people don’t have to commute, thus saving extra time and money. So, we can see that online education is more effective for common students.

Check our sample position paper for introduction examples. They are available for free download.

6. Include Evidence in Your Position Paper

As we’ve already explained, position papers must be backed by solid evidence. You have to prove your point, and that requires addressing it with data, not just stating it with confidence. When you write your position paper, there are two main requirements for backing your claim:

  • collect valid and relevant data;
  • present it in your text properly.

Here’s an example of evidence in a position paper:

As shown by many researchers (particularly by Kim and Norton in their work, 2018), more than 60% of students in the US attend online courses on a regular basis.

7. Provide Counterarguments and Refute Them

Still learning how to write position paper? If it is your first one, consider an important fact: ignoring evident contradictions to your claim doesn’t add credibility. Instead, you must work with counter arguments which is similar to writing an argumentative essay . You may be aware of the opposite opinions or think and assume which objections your opponents would make. Better mention them in your essay and show how you counter these claims.  Here are some examples of counterarguments for position papers:

Evidently, e-learning doesn’t allow face-to-face interaction with your tutor, which may make it harder to exchange experience. However, the affordability factor still makes it a better choice, especially for motivated students. The price difference between traditional and online education might not be that big. But if we add the price of commuting and time spent on that, this difference becomes much bigger.

8. Summarize Your Position

When writing your position paper, it is important that you make it sound impressive in the end. Your position paper conclusion should properly summarize all arguments and rebuttal of counterarguments . Keep it brief, without repeating much, just highlight how all your findings support the claim. You can also add some extra notes, e.g., making additional assumptions, different predictions about this problem’s impact in the future, or hints about extra evidence you haven’t mentioned before to keep your text brief. This may help to make a lasting impression on your audience. Finally, review your conclusion once again, ensuring that it is logical and doesn’t contradict any claims, arguments, or assumptions provided above. Check the next section for an example of how to write a position paper conclusion.

Example of a Position Paper Conclusion

Need an actual conclusion for a position essay example? It can be something like this:

According to the statistical data presented above, e-learning is already gaining increasing popularity among students below 25 ages all over the globe. Since it is better compatible with the part-time work schedule most students have to follow, this format has actually proven its efficiency in recent years. And it is quite safe to assume it will become a new dominant way of education within the next decade or two.

You can also find the conclusion of a position paper essay example if you check the free samples that are available on this page.

9. Proofread Your Position Paper

After your position essay is complete, you absolutely should spend some extra time and review it again. Try adopting a critical view, putting yourself in your potential opponent’s shoes. Are there any logical gaps or grammar mistakes left? Paper position is not clear enough? Wrong source mentioned? Nearly every text has some issues to correct. Sometimes even evident typos are left overlooked when writing. It is best to have someone else review a position paper since its writer may be biased toward their own text. Another way is reading it aloud to yourself prior to submission. Some flaws may be uncovered this way too.

Position Paper Format

Your position papers format is another element that shouldn’t be overlooked. Proper headline and paragraph styles make your text more readable. Also, there might be specific requirements for making citations. All your evidence must be presented correctly so that it doesn’t get mixed with your own opinions. Format depends on the discipline. You might need to use one of the popular styles: MLA, APA, or Chicago. If you don’t see which one of them is required, better ask your tutor. You can find some position paper format sample in our free attachments, available below.

Position Paper Examples

Need an example of a position paper so that you could learn how all these recommendations can be implemented? We’ve got some for you! Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and you’ll find sample of position papers available for free download. Each position paper example essay has been written by professional research writers and can be used for inspiration or as a reference. Just don’t copy any of those materials in your own text, as you should only submit 100% original works. Position paper example 1 

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Position paper example 2

Position paper example 3

Position Paper Sample 4

Tips for Writing a Position Paper

Finally, some extra tips on writing a position paper that is really persuasive:

  • Choose topics that are interesting for you. This will motivate you to discuss them.
  • Plan ahead and consider your deadlines. Don’t spend too much time conducting the preliminary research or perfecting your argumentation if it is already valid.
  • Pay attention to your sources. Some books or research might be considered dubious by your opponents or might have some obvious gaps.
  • Review your position papers as many times as possible. Ideally, ask a person with an opposite side on this issue to read and refute it.
  • Keep it professional. Maintain a confident tone but stay logical and correct, avoid emotional or derogatory remarks.

More examples of position papers are available here – you can check them below.

Final Thoughts on How to Write a Position Paper

So, in order to write a position paper, you need to choose an appropriate topic and elaborate on your position regarding the specific problem. Then you should defend it using logic, facts, and confidence. Still not clear what are position papers and how one should write them? Check out this sample position paper for students available below, and you’ll find all our tips illustrated there. Follow its structure and style, just don’t copy anything to avoid plagiarizing.

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If you are stuck in any stage of the writing process, don’t hesitate to use professional academic writing services. StudyCrumb is always here for you to solve any academic challenge you may have. Let us know your task, and we will match you with the most fitting expert who can write an excellent position paper for you. 

FAQ About a Position Paper

1. how long should a position paper be.

The length of a position paper is usually limited to one page and a half (up to 350 words). Don’t make it too long, stick to the facts and brief statements. When given with confidence, concise claims are more persuasive. At the same time better include all necessary evidence, not rely just on confidence. So don’t make it less than one page.

2. What are the kinds of support in a position paper?

You can use these support types in your position paper:

  • Factual knowledge: either well-known facts (e.g., historical or biological) or data retrieved from credible sources;
  • Statistical trends: always helpful for making assumptions but also need to be backed by sources;
  • Informed opinion: citations from renowned specialists in fields related to your topic.

3. What is forbidden in a position paper?

When writing a position paper, avoid the following:

  •  Taking opinions for facts.
  • Using threats or derogatory language as a means of persuasion.
  • Comparing unrelated situations and making some conclusions from that.
  • Copying other works without citing them.

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Examples

Position Paper

how to write a position paper with example

1. Sample Position Paper

Sample Position Paper

Size: 382 KB

2. Position Paper Format

Position Paper Format

Size: 351 KB

3. Student Position Paper Example

student Position Paper

Size: 388 KB

4. High School Position Paper Example

high school Position Paper

5. Position Paper Outline Example

Position Paper Outline

6. Education Position Paper Example

Education Position Paper

Size: 950 KB

7. Position Paper Introduction Example

Position Paper Introduction

Size: 140 KB

8. Position Paper Template

Position Paper Template

Size: 563 KB

9. Poverty Position Paper Example

Poverty Position Paper

Size: 156 KB

10. Position Paper Essay Example

Position Paper Essay

Size: 11 KB

11. Position Paper Bullying Example

Position Paper Bullying

Size: 22 KB

12. Position Paper Teenage Pregnancy Example

Position Paper Teenage Pregnancy

Size: 92 KB

13. Position Paper on Depression Example

Position Paper on Depression

Size: 225 KB

14. College Position Paper Example

College Position Paper

Size: 311 KB

15. Position Paper on Business Example

Position Paper on Business

Size: 703 KB

16. Research Position Paper Example

research Position Paper

17. Mental Health Position Paper Example

mental health Position Paper

Size: 355 KB

18. Position Paper on Social Media Example

Position Paper on Social Media

Size: 125 KB

19. Law Position Paper Example

law Position Paper

Size: 273 KB

20. Early Pregnancy Position Paper Example

early pregnancy Position Paper

Size: 566 KB

21. Position Paper Argument Example

Position Paper argument

22. Writing a Position Paper Example

Writing a Position Paper

Size: 73 KB

23. Position Paper Guide Example

Position Paper Guide

24. Simple Position Paper Example

Simple Position Paper

Size: 767 KB

25. Basic Position Paper Example

Basic Position Paper

Size: 181 KB

26. Standard Position Paper Example

Standard Position Paper

27. Printable Position Paper Example

Printable Position Paper

Size: 877 KB

28. Position Paper Policy Example

Position Paper Policy

Size: 72 KB

29. Position Paper Checklist Example

Position Paper Checklist

Size: 81 KB

30. Health Position Paper  Example

Health Position Paper

Size: 43 KB

What is a Position Paper?

How to write a position paper.

Are you ready to make your voice heard and influence opinions? Our step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of writing a persuasive position paper. From defining your stance to addressing counterarguments, we’ll provide you with the tools and strategies to create a compelling and impactful document. Let’s get started on your journey to persuasive writing success!

Step 1: Define Your Position:

Begin by clearly defining your stance on the issue at hand. Conduct thorough research to gather relevant information, statistics, and expert opinions that support your position. Consider the context and the target audience to tailor your arguments effectively.

Step 2: Create an Outline:

Developing a well-structured outline is essential for organizing your thoughts and ensuring a logical flow in your position paper. Use different outline formats such as alphanumeric or decimal to categorize your main points, supporting evidence, and counterarguments.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Introduction:

The introduction sets the tone for your position paper and should grab the reader’s attention. Start with a thought-provoking observation , a simple sentence that highlights the importance of the issue, or provide relevant context to establish the significance of your position. Clearly state your thesis statement, which encapsulates your main argument.

Step 4: Present Your Arguments:

In the body paragraphs, present your arguments in a clear and concise manner. Use a persuasive tone and employ various literary devices , such as metaphors or rhetorical question , to engage the reader. Support your claims with credible evidence, including data, research findings, and expert opinions. Use strong verbs and common nouns to convey your message effectively.

Step 5: Address Counterarguments:

Acknowledge and address potential counterarguments to strengthen your position. Anticipate opposing viewpoints and provide well-reasoned rebuttals. This demonstrates your ability to consider different perspectives and strengthens the overall credibility of your position paper.

Step 6: Craft a Convincing Conclusion:

In the conclusion paragraph, summarize your main arguments and restate your thesis statement. Emphasize the strengths of your position and highlight the weaknesses of opposing viewpoints. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Are citations necessary in a position paper?

Yes, citations are crucial in a position paper to provide evidence for your claims and give credit to the original sources. Use a recognized citation style, such as APA or MLA, to ensure accuracy and consistency.

What elements should be included in a position paper?

A position paper should include an introduction, body paragraphs with supporting arguments, counterarguments, and a conclusion. Additionally, it should have a clear thesis statement , well-structured paragraphs, and logical transitions between ideas.

Can I use compound sentences in a position paper?

Yes, using compound sentences can enhance the clarity and coherence of your position paper. However, ensure that the sentences are concise and effectively convey your message without becoming overly complex.

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What Is a Position Paper – Free Writing Guide for Beginners

Emily Walker

Academic writing covers all course units in the form of different essay types. A position paper is a type of essay where the writer provides concrete opinions relating to a certain study. The writer can express their own opinion or from another credible source. These essays are applicable in various fields such as academics, law, and political affairs, among other disciplines.

Since this assignment focuses on argumentation, most students might find it challenging to develop exceptional essays. Writing it well needs intense planning, research, and meticulous writing skills. That is why college students turn to professional services to get expert assistance.

This article discusses essential aspects that offer insight into how to write a position paper and things to consider to get remarkable results.

Table of Contents

5 Things to Consider Before Writing a Paper

What is a position paper ? It is imperative to comprehend its definition before we embark on the writing phase. Learners often think that a position paper is a regular report, but it comprises one-sided argumentation from the writer’s perspective.

Express your standpoint to the readers through adequate research and presentation of findings from other published works.

However, before you embark on the writing phase, below are a few factors you must consider to compose a remarkable product.

Understand the Topic

Read the essay question carefully to understand the paper’s expectations. Ensure you comprehend the topic before you pick an argumentative side. If you don’t understand the topic, you might argue irrelevant points that might jeopardize your entire paper.

Research Sources

Conducting extensive research is a crucial aspect that allows you to get relevant resources. It is essential to have an arguable topic with a broad perspective. You can use online sites, the public library, or other available resources.

Intend Audience

Who are the target readers? Having the audience in mind will help you compose relevant opinions that will convince them to back your perspective. Make sure you also know where the audience stands.

Pick Your Standpoint

It is essential to choose a standpoint after reading through the essay question. Picking a stand will allow you to organize your thoughts and see whether they are sufficient to back your arguments.

Deliberate Arguments

Evaluate the argument thoroughly and weigh the upsides and downsides. Make sure your stand has strong arguments to give you the upper hand in persuading the audience.

Position Paper Example – Get Creative First

A position paper example, in this case, will help you learn more about the contents of each section. It would help if you organized you articulated your thoughts in a logical and transitional flow to ensure your readers follow through with the entire text.

Below is a guideline to use as an example when composing a position paper.

1. Introduction

  • Topic introduction
  • Background information
  • Thesis statement

2. Body Paragraphs

  • Counter argument

– Supporting evidence

– Refute counter-claims

– State your argument with evidence

  • Your perspective

– Present your opinion

– Evidence

– Reliable resources

3. Conclusion

  • Summarize main arguments
  • Offer solutions
  • Avoid adding new information

Position Paper Format: APA, MLA, and Other Styles Explained

Difference between APA and MLA

Academic writing has various formatting styles that students must learn to incorporate in the various essays. How do you know the required style? Usually, the essay instructions have the specified format expected from the students. Therefore, if you are unsure, you can consult with your tutor on the required formatting style. The most common styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago formatting styles. Each style is unique and has subtle differences from the rest.

When citing a position paper, format APA is usually recommended by scholars. In this style, you start with the author’s name, publication year, title name, location, and publisher’s name. You must note the comma, full stop, and semi-colon placements to avoid compromising the citation rules.

It is imperative to learn more about the formatting styles to know which style is the best for a particular essay.

How to Start a Position Paper Like a PRO

Starting any academic paper is a tricky section since it is critical to determining its direction. Therefore, students must know how to start a position paper to capture to keep it interesting.

The first step is to introduce your topic with captivating hook sentences that inform the audience about the topic. Research comprehensively and come up with background information about the research issue and explain why the investigation is essential. Not forgetting to formulate a relevant thesis statement to guide the audience.

To engage readers, your introduction sentence can be in a question form that invokes curiosity. You can also add a thought-provoking statement that leaves the reader with an excellent first impression. Or a quote from a reputable scholar that relates to the research topic.

The body comprises three to five paragraphs with the arguments. You can start the body paragraph by generating the counter-arguments first. You can do this by stating what people who disagree might say about your position. Present your arguments and disprove the counter-claims objectively with factual information. For each argument, ensure you provide supporting evidence from reliable sources.

Finally, compose a conclusion paragraph that reiterates your main argument and offers a recommendation. However, don’t introduce new ideas or arguments in this section.

If you are still stuck and don’t know how to write a position paper , you can seek professional help from our academic experts. We guarantee you top-notch essays that will score you top-of-the-class grades.

FAQ on How to Write a Position Paper

Read the detailed FAQs below to help you make an informed decision about our writing services.

How do you start an introduction for a position paper?

Make sure you capture the readers’ interest by using hook sentences. You can pose a captivating question, interesting quote, or introduce a strong declaration that will evoke curiosity to continue reading the essay.

How do you outline a position paper?

A position paper is similar to a standard academic paper. It has an introduction section that reveals your position, which captures several arguments, and the conclusion section summarizes the major research points.

How important is the position paper in an academic setting?

Position papers are significant in academics because it helps students discuss different topics without having the original research. It presents various opinions and perspectives with supporting evidence of the subject matter.

Why is it essential to make a reliable position paper?

It is vital to craft an accurate paper with factual information because the primary purpose is to persuade the readers to understand your opinion through your arguments.

Don’t Understand a Thing? Contact Us for Help!

Need help to write an outstanding position paper? You are on the right platform. We have dedicated experts working round the clock read to deliver flawless papers. Excellence is a paramount aspect of our service since we guarantee exceptional essays that will score you super grades.

If you are still asking yourself, “what is the purpose of a position paper?” then you need immediate academic assistance.  Why stress yourself with detailed research and argument presentation? We hire skilled authors with years of experience in the academic writing industry. Each writer writes the orders from scratch without lifting content online. Therefore, you will submit 100% original essays without a doubt.

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How to Write a Winning Position Paper

Edited by Anish Vedantham, October 2022

Most Model UN conferences require delegates to submit a position paper, an essay covering a country’s perspective on the assigned topics of a conference. Crafting a thorough position paper not only allows you to gain a better understanding of your country and the intricacies of its foreign policy but also to position you to earn awards, be it a best position paper recognition or by supplementing your knowledge to become best delegate. This video showcases the five things you should know about your country when writing a position paper:

how to write a position paper with example

An effective position paper can be broken into five simple parts:

The heading is hardly the most important part of a position paper, but it provides the Chair with a snapshot of what your paper will be about. Form should follow function, but it’s much easier for a Chair who’s been reading twenty position papers to judge a book by its cover.  By making sure that your heading is clear and organized – and by making sure that you have a header – you’ll help the dais process your paper better and win some brownie points. 

While each conference mandates what should be in the heading differently, the general rule is to include your country name, committee, topic, and delegate name. For example, if you were representing South Korea in a DISEC committee on the topic of nuclear disarmament, your heading might look something like this. 

Flags and seals are also acceptable, although they should be used sparingly and should be relatively small and not detract from the professionalism of the paper. Furthermore, when dealing with fonts, sticking to a clean, easy to read font like Times New Roman or Arial at a decent size (11 or 12 points) with 1.5 length spacing is the best and easiest for your chairs and for you to find information quickly. 

In all, your format is the first impression that you’ll make on the Chair, so it’s best to stand out by not standing out and ensure that your paper looks as normal as possible.

Click here to download our guide for MUN beginners!

2. Introduction and Topic Background

Like all papers, your position paper needs a good introduction. Chairs will be reading many position papers, so starting off with a good hook will entice them to read further without skimming. Of course, starting off with a quote, a question an “interesting” fact are all very cliché, so the best way to hook your reader is by going into the topic background. 

While it may be tempting to rattle off everything you know about the topic: what’s happening, the history of the topic, the technical jargon used while discussing it, the related issues and more, it’s important to remember that Chairs value quality over quantity. To write a good topic background section, you’ll want to provide a little bit of information about the topic and then proceed to analyze it. To do this, you can employ a couple of strategies. 

One potential strategy is determining where the issue will go from here by looking at trends and analyzing obstacles to resolving it. This can help show the chair that you are synthesizing with the material and are prepared to handle the topic in committee, where you’re focusing on the present rather than the past. Another way to show that you’ve understood the topic is by breaking the issue down into sub issues. While some background guides may provide sub issues, looking further into the issues and noting the major roadblocks to resolving the issue will show your chair that you’ve understood the issue well.  

In a similar vein, make sure to read the background guide well. If your committee is on peacekeeping, you want to ensure that you’ve researched peacekeeping and not peacebuilding.

3. Past Actions by the UN

The past UN actions section of your position paper can either be a great way to stand out and score points with your committee or be relegated to obscurity. Many people tend to list resolutions or treaties that have been undertaken by the United Nations. The delegate may then proceed to explain the resolutions and treaties in depth; however, this only scratches the surface of past UN action. 

Your goal in this section is twofold: to look at past solutions – both action plans implemented by the UN and other international organizations and resolutions proposed by the General Assembly and Security Council and analyze those actions and where they went wrong. 

By examining specific actions, and looking at their successes and failures, you show the chair that you are engaging with different ideas, and this can help you brainstorm specific actions that you can take. Additionally, by looking at resolutions proposed (whether they passed or failed) you can look at what is currently in effect and what went wrong, and what could have been in effect, who opposed it, and what reasons they had to opposing it. By analyzing the actions, your Chair will have something more interesting to read than a list and explanation of the same treaties and will allow you to brainstorm viable solutions easier. 

4. Country Policy

It’s easy to assume country policy by looking at geographic region and your country’s allies or to write off policy altogether since you can’t find anything. But, claiming to be a neutral nation when you have some stake in the matter will case you to lose standing with the dais but also reduce your own enjoyment in the conference. 

When researching country policy, you should be looking both at international action (resolutions voted for/against, programs supported/been involved with) and domestic action (legislation and policies within the country). You should also look at trends to see what your country favors/doesn’t favor broadly and understand the general goals of your country – whether those be sovereignty, human rights, or a focus on Islamist principles. 

Country policy is the section that truly makes your position paper unique from others, and by taking a clear stance and by understanding your policy in depth, you’re able to form opinions and judgments from the perspective of your country on a whole host of issues whether you researched them in their entirety or not.

5. Proposed Solutions.

Solutions are by far the most crucial step in your position paper and should be the qualitatively densest part. Using the sub issues you addressed in the topic background section, the history of what has and hasn’t worked in the past UN action section, and your general philosophy and specific domestic actions from your country policy, you can begin to build an arsenal of solutions that will withstand scrutiny. 

To frame this, start by thinking of any programs that need to be removed or discontinued, as the UN is always looking to save resources. Then, shift your focus to amending current programs, such as changing the scope of a peacekeeping mission, or changing the roles of an existing organization. Finally, drop the bombshell and talk about any proposed new solutions that you might have – especially those that have worked in your country before – and explain how they will work. 

Finishing off your solutions paragraph, you should recap in brief the solutions that you’ve proposed and again highlight why they will work to resolve the issue.

A Couple Notes

  • Remember: Quality over Quantity. Chairs are reading many position papers so an absurdly long one will make them tune out and lose focus. Be as concise as possible. 
  • Avoid technical jargon. While a little bit of jargon will make you seem professional and using one or two Latin terms never hurt anyone; aim for comprehension. 
  • Remember to cite your sources using either in text citations or footnotes.
  • Reframe writing a position paper as a step in the research process rather than a chore. 

About Crisis

A crisis position paper is in some ways, remarkably different than a GA one. Many of the sections do not apply at all and others are difficult to replicate. It’s helpful to structure your crisis position papers as a letter – using personal pronouns – covering the background of the issue using the tips mentioned above, talking about your personal philosophy (political, economic, social, religious, etc.), and then addressing specific solutions you have with evidence that they will work. Crisis position papers are considerably easier and shorter than GA ones, so feel free to experiment and have fun. Especially with historical crises, take some dramatic liberties and use more poetic language to draw your reader in. Above all, remember that seeing as you’ll be thrown challenge after challenge, so a personal philosophy is much more applicable than a specific set of solutions. 

Position papers, despite their bad name, are an extremely useful tool for your Chairs and for you, so make the most out of them.  

Tackle your writing in these five sections to create a position paper that packs a punch!

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How to Write a MUN Position Paper

A MUN Position Paper, also known as Policy Paper, is a strategic document that gives an overview of a delegates country position.

A good MUN Position Paper has three parts:

1) Country’s Position on the Topic 2) Country’s Relation to the Topic 3) Proposals of Policies to Pass in a Resolution

The following guide will show you how to write an excellent Position Paper, make the right impression to your chair and fellow delegates while achieving your overt, and covert, goals.

Table of Contents:

What is a Position Paper?

  • The Sections of a Position Paper
  • The PREP Formula

Types of Position Papers

The purpose of a position paper.

A Position Paper/Policy Paper, is a document, normally one page, which presents your country’s stance on the issue/topic your committee will be discussing. A solid position paper has three parts 1) Country’s position, 2) Country’s relation 3) Country’s Proposal

Great Position Papers require research and strategic analysis to effectively convey your countries position. Most MUN conferences require Policy Papers for a delegate to be eligible to win an award. Having an outstanding Position Paper could be the tiebreaker to win an award.

Why is the Position Paper important?

A MUN Position Paper is important for a wide variety of reasons beyond ensuring that delegates do a basic level of research before the conference. Understanding why a Position Paper is important lays the foundation to help you sort your thoughts as well as delivering your desired message to the chair.

The chairs oversee the committee from start to finish and as a delegate, you will want to show consistency with the principles and values present in your Position Paper.

Goals of a Position Paper

1. Show your country’s unique understanding of the issue being discussed . 2. Show your country’s previous relationship with the topic (preferably with relevant examples). 3. Show policies and ideas that your country would like to see in the resolution .

As most position papers are limited to one page, a minimum of one paragraph should be devoted to each of the aforementioned goals, and there should be clear transitions from paragraph to paragraph. The following position paper outline is universal, with options to expand in specific sections if you see it is needed.

The Sections of a Good Position Paper

A position paper is the result of proper preparation and research for your Model UN conference . Once you finish researching, follow the position paper guidelines (the conference should provide you with these). With the formatting instructions in mind, follow the instructions below to produce a high-quality position paper.

Model UN Position Paper Structure

1) How you / your country sees the situation/problem in general

2) Your country’s relation to the topic

3) What you want to pass in your MUN resolution

1) Your Position on the Topic Being Discussed

To answer the question “how to start a Position Paper’, keep in mind that you are not only sharing your position, but also introducing the reader to see the topic being discussed from your eyes.

To establish your position, start with a brief history of the situation / problem the committee will be discussing (How you see the situation / your position on the topic). Define what you see as the challenge to the global community (or at least what some of them face). Keep in mind that your goal is to meet this challenge by the end of the paper.

Frame the issue to be discussed as something that does not only pertain to your country but, ideally, also the other countries you would want to support your policy.

It helps to keep in mind that you will not get support for your clauses, or pass a resolution, alone. It is only if other countries see the topic the same way you do, that they will want to join you to implement your solution.

Example of Position Country: Angola Committee: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Topic : Improving Access to Clean Water

The Republic of Angola believes consistent access to clean water is a basic human right. Some countries have an abundance of water, such as: Canada, Scotland and Switzerland. Others have next to no water, such as: Yemen, Libya and Djibouti, or low rainfall like Namibia and Sudan which creates water scarcity and desertification. The solution to all of these problems is the weather control that comes from cloud-seeding, with richer countries already reaping the benefits. The National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) witnessed an increase in rainfall of 10%–15% in polluted air and 30%–35% in clean air. China uses cloud seeding over several increasingly arid regions including Beijing, the capital. In 2017, the United Arab Emirates launched 235 cloud-seeding operations by five cloud-seeding planes based in Al Ain. The use and success proves the technology works, but it is only accessible to those who can afford setting up the mechanisms to cloud seed, or pay for the chemicals from companies like Bayer and DowDuPont Inc, who control the patents and sales rights.

2) Your Country’s Relation To The Topic

presentation of the policies your country has used to deal with the issue in the past. You should also describe the successes or failures of those policies (Your country’s previous relation to the topic and the precedents it set).

Note: This is also the place to write previous actions your committee has with the topic ONLY IF it is relevant to how your country introduces itself. Otherwise, you are repeating factual information that is not related to you introducing your position. Writing facts that do not forward your case is a trap many fall into. In the cases where your country has a strong link to the issue, the examples in the 2nd paragraph should be about your country’s connection to the specific issue.

If your country has no direct relation, see if similar countries to yours, or countries with similar positions, have a relation to the topic. You can also conduct research to find out if your country has a relation to a similar topic, from where you can draw inspiration and a direction to justify your policies. (More on this in our article about ‘ How to effectively represent your country ’)

Example of Relation Country: Angola Committee: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Topic : Improving Access to Clean Water

Angola’s history is scarred with conflicts arising from the abuse and mismanagement of natural resources, such as iron ore, petroleum, uranium, and diamonds. Angola is oil-rich while our people are dirt-poor. We stand at 149 out of 186 on the 2016 Human Development Index poverty scale. In rural areas, which contain 11.4 million people (38.5% of our total population), only 6% of households having access to electricity and 38% do not have access to safe water sources. Approximately 15 out of every 100 children do not survive beyond the age of five, leaving us with a child mortality rate is around 17%. These challenges are especially difficult for our president Joao Lourenco, who entered the office in September 2017. President Lourenco biggest challenge is reforming 38 years of cronyism and corruption under former President José Eduardo dos Santos. During his 38 years in power, infrastructure has not been developed while tens of billions of petrodollars disappeared. The 2014 oil slump made our situation worse reaffirming that we are unable to pull ourselves up on our own. Additionally, we do not get enough rain. We only get 32 days of rain with more than 0.1mm of rainfall meaning only 2.7 days of quality rain, sleet, and snow per month. Not enough to maintain adequate crop yields.

3) Extra Supporting Material

be hard data needed to support paragraph 2 or justify paragraph 3; this 4th paragraph still comes before the final section where you describe your desired policies.

what was originally read in the committee study guide.

Example of Extra Country: Angola Committee: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Topic : Improving Access to Clean Water

The global system that depends on technologies provided by companies like Corteva is strongly entrenched in the Sub Saharan agriculture sector, as well as all over the world. The four biggest companies, Bayer-Monsanto, ChemChina, Corteva and Syngenta have 59 percent of the world’s patented seeds, 64 percent of all pesticides and held near-monopolies over other agrichemicals. The use of these crops and chemicals has become fundamental to grow corn in Tanzania, potatoes in Kenya and other crops in sub-Saharan Africa throughout their diverse range of crops and terrains. This position of power persists because the sub-Saharan farmers are similar in their lack of access to best practices, techniques, technologies, finances and markets. This lack of skills is combined with limited resources results in the agriculture sector that is as under-development in agriculture as it is dependent on companies like ChemChina.

4)Proposal – What You Want to Pass in a Resolution

Give an outline of possible / likely solutions that your country proposes and would advocate to see implemented during the Model UN simulation. Do this within the limits of what your particular committee can do (What you would want to pass a resolution about). If you want to do additional actions beyond the mandate of your committee, you can outsource them to other committees. If this is an integral part of your strategy they should also go here. In the Proposal section, you can either commit to one strong Call to Action, a few different policies or two extreme red lines, which you say you intend to work between. Remember, while you do not need to fully commit yourself to what you write in your Position Papers, it is important that you show the margins within which you will be operating at the conference. Doing this shows there is thought behind your actions and gives you more credit with the chairs for diplomatic progress. It is thus strongly advisable that you not write something that you will directly contradict through your actions in committee sessions.

What is a Policy? A policy is a course of action proposed, or adopted, by a government, party, business, or individual. Your policies are a Call to Action telling the UN officials, who get the resolution, what to do.

You want your MUN policy to be clear, concise, and SMART .

The SMART MUN Policy

SMART is an acronym to describe the criteria needed to set policy goals. S pecific – Target a specific area for improvement in your policy.

M easurable – Suggest an indicator of progress once the policy is in place.

A ctionable – Specify what action this policy will do.

R ealistic – Given available resources and committee mandate, ensure your proposed policy can realistically be attained.

Timely – Specify when the result(s) from your proposed policy can be achieved, or when to revisit.

Example of Proposal Country: Angola Committee: The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Topic : Improving Access to Clean Water

Angola advocates for a UN-sanctioned policy that gives permission to dry developing countries to make generic replicas of their patented chemicals at a fraction of the cost to achieve water independence. An example of these technologies belongs to German rainfall enhancement leader WeatherTec Services GmbH. WeatherTecs cutting edge technologies to improve water access are cheaper than many of their competitors but the operating costs start at 11 – 15 million Euros a year. Angola does not believe the United Nations should subsidize the cost of the chemicals, as the subsidy is a temporary solution and it would take funds from other important programs while leaving the corporations with the same level of control. Today, aside from South Africa, none of us can afford cloud seeding. We can cloud seed on our own if freed from the shackles of patent laws that benefit the rich. Dupot made net sales of $62.5B in 2017, by charging prices which the poorer dry countries could never afford. The UN should allow the relevant member states to locally produce WeatherTecs technologies so we can join the ranks of self-sufficient nations who can provide for themselves the basic water needs to survive.

The PReP Formula for Successful Position Papers

PReP stands for Position, Relation, extra & Proposal , which are the essential parts of every position paper . PReP will help you remember the formula.

Position – Your view / interpretation of the issue being discussed. (Paragraph 1)

Relation – Your connection to the topic being discussed. (Paragraph 2)

extra – The optional 4th paragraph which can contain extra information your feel is critical to your case, but doesn’t naturally fit into one of the other three paragraphs. This paragraph still comes before the one containing your policies.

Proposal – The practical policies you would want to see in the resolution. (Paragraph 3)

The PReP Strategy

With the Proposal ( paragraph 3), you solve the issue shown in your Position (paragraph 1) with the tools and relevance you set up in your Relation (paragraph 2). (The examples used in paragraph 2 should, preferably, also show the policy margins of your country).

The policy outlined in the final section of the Position Paper should show ideas that address the issues outlined in your position associated with the committee topic (as should have been specified in the first paragraph). This position should be justified by the country’s relation (or guesstimate relation) to the topic (the second paragraph). These should be used to justify the policy proposals you outline in the third paragraph. Each of these paragraphs should try to have as much unique information as possible that can’t be found in the committee study guide (because everyone in the committee should theoretically know that information). Obviously, your paper should have some connection to the main issues of the topic, but if you feel the paper should go in a different direction, that is completely your right.

Topic: Finding the cure for the Zika virus

Country: Greece

While this topic is one that is important, the delegate of Greece can decide that he doesn’t want his country to fund viruses they don’t have and only exists half a world away. In such a case, we would see:

Position (First paragraph) : How the global community spends collective money on local issues.

Relation (Second paragraph): How Greece doesn’t have the money to spend and how it has local diseases and problems at home.

Extra (Fourth Optional Paragraph): Optional paragraph could include data on regional diseases that broke out in neighboring countries and remain a viable threat for Greece.

Proposal (Third paragraph): Passing laws that would have localized diseases with body counts that don’t cross the tens of thousands, to be funded by local unions. There can also be a second idea that the World Health Organization divert extra funds instead of countries collectively forking out money.

There is no set amount of space each section needs to have. Some Position papers need a longer first section while others need double the space for the policy. What is certain is that no paper can miss any of the sections (except the extra part) and each one should be developed to at least 25% of the paper.

Practicum: The four-step plan to implement PReP

Writing a Position Paper should come after you finish your MUN research . Once you have completed that (and especially if you haven’t), follow this three-step plan and don’t over complicate things.

– Position Papers chairs read – Position Papers delegates read – Position Papers everyone will read – Position Papers no one will read

“Everyone has a story to tell or a product to sell. Know your audience before you open your mouth.” – April Sims

While not all Model United Nations conferences require Position Papers, many of them do. Whether it be your Chairs, other delegates, a mix or none of the above, knowing who will be your audience will help you craft the right paper and achieve your desired goal.

Position Papers Only The Chair Will Read

When the chair is required to send feedback, this usually means they will have read your Position Paper. This is an excellent opportunity to go all out, regarding the reasons for why your country has the position that it is taking and why you chose the policies that you did. (See our article on ‘Properly Represent Your Country?’) This is also the place to describe your Call to Action / the policies you want to implement in detail. The reason for such open and clear (but not too clear) writing is because no one but the Chair will read it, meaning you don’t need as much nuance as you would in a public Position Paper or opening speech. This is the place to give your ideas in a clear, unfiltered manner so that the Chair can understand it later when you give a more layered speech during the formal sessions.

‘For Chair eyes only’ Position Papers are also an excellent opportunity to bring facts and ideas that you want known to the chair, but don’t have time to fit into your first speech or two. While not bluntly giving away your country’s real motivation, you have a lot more liberty to flag things you’re afraid might be missed once the committee session starts.

Position Papers Only Delegates will Read (but not Chairs)

These are Position Papers where all the delegates are able to read each other’s work, research and position on the topic at hand. An example of where this can happen, is a large conference (e.g. 200 delegates), where the Position Paper deadline is the day before the conference.

For these papers, you still want to use the Position Paper platform to show why the discussion should focus on where you want it to go. For this reason, the Position Paper should be written more to frame the issue than give concrete detailed policies. Delegates who did not research to the same extent, or have no clear position, can be introduced to your interpretation of the topic. Some may completely adopt it, or at least be familiar with it when they hear it in a speech. (See our article on ‘ Writing the Killer Speech ’)

Position Papers Everyone Will Read (Chairs and Delegates)

The Chair + Delegate Position Papers are the most complex to write. In these cases, the ideal situation is for the chair to see what you would want them to see, as if it was written just for them, while at the same time, the other delegates would see a Position Paper customized for them. This is a hard balance to find, but if erring to one side, it is better to build a paper for the delegates and hope the chair has the experience to read between the lines.

One more variable to take into consideration is when Position Papers are written for a gigantic committee (100 or more delegates).

In gigantic rooms, the Position Paper should have at least the basics of the policy, because one might not speak in the first few hours and this might be the only way to get you onto the floor.

Position Papers No One Will Read

Yes, this actually exists in MUN. Some Position Papers will not be read by the Chairs  or anyone else at all. However, the conference requires submission to qualify for a diplomacy award. A few conferences will admit that no one will read the Position Papers, but most will not.

Here are a few things to look out for to know your Position Papers likely won’t be read:

-When Chairs are not required to send you feedback on the Position Paper

– The deadline is the day before the conference.

In these cases, the main benefit of writing a Position Paper is to organize your thoughts. However, in practice, a poor document can be just as easily submitted to qualify.

Pitfalls to Avoid

Potential issues you may run into:

  • You may run into a situation where your country does not have a clear policy towards a topic, or they have recently changed policy. For example, with the election in the US and the change from one ideology to another, their rhetoric towards the Iran Nuclear issue changed almost overnight. It would be tempting to follow the words of the leaders in a case like this, but pay attention to actual actions. Nothing has changed.
  • When faced with conflicting positions from your country, choose one and stick with it. Use the position that you can find the most research on.
  • Sometimes you will be stuck with a topic or committee that your country has little to no interest in. This will cause a lack of information to work with. For example, if you are in UNESCO and the topic is oil drilling in Ecuador’s rainforest, you may find that Malawi has not put out any statement on the issue. Don’t despair.
  • In a situation like this, when your country has no position on a topic, you have to get creative. Find similar issues that affect your country and extrapolate that to the current topic. For the Ecuador example, Malawi can use their position of environmental issues in their own country and throughout the continent as a guide as to how they would respond.
  • If you find yourself on a topic with indigenous people’s rights, but your country does not have a strong position, find out if there are indigenous groups in that country. Do they treat them well or poorly? Both will give you a direction to take with your Position Paper.
  • There shouldn’t be a single sentence that has no purpose.  Each fact or statement should support the identity you are constructing.
  • If you feel a fact or statement that doesn’t seem to have a place, must be in the PP, think about why. If it is so vital that it fits into the first, second, or sometimes the  third paragraph. If it does not, perhaps it can be replaced with one which does.
  • The information can be used later – this fact or statement can be important and be saved for a later speech. However, the position paper needs to be a self-supporting document and just because it is important doesn’t mean it has to go here.
  • You want to end every Position Paper on a strong note, but you do not want to have a conclusion that is overwhelming or concrete. Remember, you will not have many pages, usually, one to get your country’s position across. The Chair is not judging your Position Paper on how well you close, they are judging it based on your understanding of the issues and the solutions you bring to the table.
  • That being said, it helps to close the paper well. There is an old saying about writing an essay that can apply to a Position Paper as well:
  • “Your introduction tells them they will be intrigued. The body is the meat of the argument. The conclusion reminds them that they were impressed.”
  • How do we apply this to a Position Paper? In the beginning, you frame the problem, not wasting your time giving a detailed research paper. The bulk of the paper is letting the Chair know that you understand your country’s relationship to the topic and your proposed solutions. Your conclusion is going to close briefly with a strong, concluding remark. BRIEFLY is the key word here.

Position Paper Format

The format of each Positions Paper, or Position Paper template, varies from conference to conference. However, even if you have no format instructions you do not want to have a messy position paper.

An unorganized paper can:

  • Make you look less serious (to chairs and delegates)
  • Make your text harder to follow
  • Give your reader less incentive to pay attention

Messy Position Paper – Example

You can see here how the bunched lines, uneven spacing, random bullet points, different sizes, confused margins and everything else makes the paper unappealing to the eye before we even start reading.

Organized Position Paper – Example

Here you can see the Position Paper is more organized and easier to read.

Sometimes, the conference will give you an unfilled Position Paper template, with the logo and blank headings for you to fill in. Other times, the conference will send you a Model UN Position Paper sample. Other conferences will send you specific, or loose, Position Paper instructions about how they want the paper formatted.

Each Position Paper should be measured by its content and its ability to inform and influence the respective Chairs and delegate. However, the Position Paper will not reach that point if it is not accepted. It is a pity when your work is not be read or forwarded on because you got the font wrong, exceeded the margins or sent the paper in late. For this reason, whether strict or lax, read and follow the Model UN Position Paper formatting instructions so the hard work you put into the document will achieve its strategic objective.

Examples of Position Paper Instructions

Position Paper Instructions Example #1:

Write the Position Paper for ExampleMUN 2026 using the standards below:

  • Length must not exceed two pages.
  • Margins must be 2.54 cm or 1 inch for the entire paper.
  • Font must be Times New Roman, size 12.
  • Justify the paragraphs. The left and right margins must both have straight edges.
  • Country name / institution committee name must be clearly labeled on the top of the 1st page.
  • Agenda topics must be clearly labeled as the title.
  • National symbols, such as flags, logos, etc. are deemed inappropriate for ExampleMUN Position Papers.
  • Send your document in PDF format.

Position Paper Instructions Example #2:

We ask delegates of ExampleMUN to each produce a position paper before the conference. It must outline their country’s position, main objectives and issues they are seeking to address during the conference. Your Chairs will return the Position Papers to you with feedback a fortnight before the conference. This will give you time to ascertain which countries would be considered natural allies for you and for you to read which issues the other delegates may deem important.

A Position Paper the length of one side of A4 should be sufficient to state your position.

Example of Formatted Position Paper

Angola feels that in this day and age, hunger should be a thing of the past. However, in 2018, over 795 million people do not have enough food to lead a healthy, active life. This does not include the half of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, who live on less than $2.50 a day. For better or worse, the road to more accessible and cheaper food is strongly related to water supply. Some countries have an abundance of water, such as: Canada, Scotland and Switzerland. Others have next to no water, such as: Yemen, Libya and Djibouti, or low rainfall like Namibia and Sudan which creates water scarcity and desertification. The solution to all of these problems is the weather control that comes from cloud-seeding, with richer countries already reaping the benefits. The National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) witnessed an increase in rainfall of 10–15% in polluted air and 30–35% in clean air. China uses cloud seeding over several increasingly arid regions including Beijing, the capital. In 2017, the United Arab Emirates launched 235 cloud-seeding operations by five cloud-seeding planes based in Al Ain. The use and success proves the technology works, but it is only accessible to those who can afford setting up the mechanisms to cloud seed, or pay for the chemicals from companies like Bayer, Dupont and Dow Chemical Company, who control the patents and sales rights.

How to Win a Best Position Paper Award

T he difference between a good and a great Position Paper

Good Chairs will give credit to delegates who properly predict the room and are able to guide their policies from the Position Paper to the final resolution. This is because it means that the delegates accurately predicted which direction the discussion would go in, or better still, were able to direct the room in that direction.

This does not mean that the best delegate must have an excellent Position Paper, or perfectly stick to it. Aside from the ‘Best Position Paper’ award, the actions that take place in the committee are almost completely what Chairs will consider for awards. However, it is not uncommon that a Position Paper is used as a tiebreaker between two extremely close delegates.

In all these cases, you need to have an opinion. To win the ‘Best Position Paper’ award, your Position Paper needs to be full of new solutions, it must follow proper format and it has to be concise and ‘ fluff-free ’. Neutrality on an issue, or saying your country has no opinion, is admitting that you will let other delegates take the lead on the issue. It is better to find a policy of a country similar to yours, or your own policy on a similar issue, than saying nothing. More on how to deal with this can be found in our ‘ Research ’ and ‘ How to Represent Your Country ’ articles.

Top Position Paper Strategies

  • The Chair of your committee will be reading so many Position Papers about the same exact topic that they will be bored to death of seeing the same solutions over and over again. To stand out, come up with a viable, new strategy that other countries may not have thought of. We say viable because it cannot be so outlandish as to be impossible, but it should be something that makes the Chair stop and focus on your paper.
  • You can get a little off-the-wall with solutions, as long as they have a basis in reality.
  • Alexander Hamilton employed a similar strategy during the Constitutional Convention in the US. When debating an overhaul of the US government, there were two main plans (the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan). The New Jersey plan was closer to what was already in place, while the Virginia Plan was a change almost too much for people to handle (though most knew this was the only way to save the nation). In order to discredit the New Jersey Plan, Hamilton boldly proposed a plan so radical, that the Virginia Plan became moderate in comparison.
  • Hamilton’s plan opened the discussion and changed the conversation. It caught the attention of everyone present and moved them towards a solution.
  • You can do this with a position paper. Even if you do not ultimately get what you want, you have caught the Chair’s attention and have become a player in the game.

While this seems self-explanatory, you would be surprised how many people disregard the format rules given by the conference. Do not ignore this. As Chairs are reading the papers, they will come to expect certain formatting and anything not following the rules will stand out, and not in a good way. Do not get on the Chair’s bad side before the conference even begins. You can be sure that they will take points off for improper formatting and keep your name written down for conference time.

When you think about how to start a Position Paper, don’t go for an intense sound-bite. Flare is not good without substance. Try to be as clear as you comfortably can and reach your important points as quickly as possible.

What Chairs Look For

Similarly to how Position Paper format instructions are given to delegates, Chairs are also given instructions by the Model UN Conference Secretariat on how to evaluate Position Papers. Chairing, from when you write the study guide until the closure of debate, is a sacred responsibility.

Sometimes, the instructions given by the secretariat on how to evaluate Position Papers are clear and uniform. However, often, a Chair needs to fill in some gaps between the secretariat’s instructions and doing the job in real-time.  To better understand the considerations regarding Position Papers, read the following instructions, given by an Under-secretary General of Chairing to their staff.

 ————————————–

Dear Chairs,  

As of this weekend, all the registered delegates should receive their study guides. While a few delegates will still be getting allocations over the next week, most of them will have received guidelines for how and when to send Position Papers. The delegates are required to send the Position Papers to the committee email from the 20th – 26th of February. Any Position Paper received by the 26th before midnight should receive feedback from one of the Chairs. You are not obligated to give feedback to papers received from the 27th onwards. Hopefully, you should get most or all of the papers before the deadline. Papers received after the 28th are not eligible for the best position paper award, as you may not have time to check them. Position Papers that are received after March 1st, or not at all, will make the delegate ineligible for an award.

In the Position Papers, we want to see that delegates show they understand (a) the topic (b) their countries positions and history and (c) the policies they propose to solve it / perpetuate it (if they are evil).

The Position Papers which arrive on time should get feedback. This does not need to be more than a few lines per topic. However, we do require you to tell the delegates if they did a good job or if they are lacking in one of the three sections mentioned above. You should also tell them what you want them to improve. In the feedback, where possible, please use examples from their text. To do this most effectively, divide the position papers amongst yourselves and return them when you can. You are not required to send feedback if the delegate sends you an improved position paper. Our main goal is for you to have prepared delegates in your committee, and a rewritten position paper generally indicates better preparation.

  If anyone would like more information on how to give feedback, or have any other questions relating to Position Papers, please let me know in a reply to this email.

  If your delegates write you asking how to write a policy paper, or any other questions, we expect you to be helpful, courteous and available.

  Good Luck

USG Chairing

Not every MUN conference secretariat will have this level of instruction for their Chairs. Some have more; a few give online workshops about Position Papers, while others give no instruction at all. However, in most cases, the final feedback is left to a Chair’s discretion.

If your secretariat left you alone, giving feedback on the basics according to the guidelines at the beginning of this article is a good start. You can also give topic-specific feedback, which uses examples of where more research or analyses can be used, based on what you wrote in your study guide .

11 Questions Chairs Ask When Reading Your Position Paper

Question chairs ask about a quality position paper.

  • Did the delegate reframe the topic to make the problem-specific and relevant to them?
  • Did they show their country’s relation to the topic?
  • Did they offer policies that can gain a majority in the committee?
  • Do these policies represent their countries stated interests?
  • Did the delegate use examples?
  • Do the examples go beyond the information in the study guide?
  • Did the writer bring something new, unique and interesting?

Questions You Hope Your Chair Never Asks

  • Was this position paper copied and pasted from Wikipedia or some other online source?
  • If I change the country name on this super vague paper will it be just as “valid”?
  • How inebriated was the delegate when they wrote this?
  • Has the writer even heard of Model UN?

Using these questions to measure the quality of your paper will let you review your work with a Chair’s eyes. If the answers to these questions aren’t good enough, then you now know what to work on. A few appropriate modifications can result in a complete makeover of a Position Paper, and possibly a much-improved delegate as well.

Closing thoughts on Position Papers

Position Papers are important. Knowing if the Position Paper will be read only by the Chair or by the delegates should be taken into account when choosing what to write and focus on. Position Paper format should also be taken into account, but not at the expense of quality.

A Position Paper should accomplish three goals: 1. Show a country’s position on the topic being discussed. 2. Show a country’s previous relationship to the topic (preferably with relevant examples). 3. Show policies and ideas that (1) represent the interests of your country and (2) you would ideally like to see in the resolution.

When you’re the Chair, give instructive feedback with specific examples. Your comments could be the difference between a lost delegate or an effective one, or between a good conference and a great one.

Lastly, don’t forget the PReP strategy:

In Policy (paragraph 3) you solve the issue in Position (paragraph 1) with the tools and relevance you set up in Relation (paragraph 2).

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How to Write a Position Paper

October 25, 2023

Understanding What is a Position Paper

A position paper is a written document that outlines and advocates for a specific viewpoint on a particular issue or topic. It presents a clear and concise argument, supported by evidence and logical reasoning, in order to convince readers of the validity of the stated position. The purpose of a position paper is to influence and persuade others, whether it be policymakers, organizations, or the general public.

When writing a position paper, it is important to thoroughly research the chosen topic and gather relevant information and data to support your stance. Begin by introducing the issue and providing a brief background to provide context. Use examples, statistics, and expert opinions to strengthen your arguments and make them more persuasive.

To effectively write a position paper, address and refute counterarguments that may arise, demonstrating a thorough understanding of different perspectives. Use clear and concise language, and structure your paper in a logical and organized manner. Conclude by summarizing your main points and restating your position.

Understanding what a position paper is and how to write one is essential for effectively communicating your ideas and influencing others. By following these guidelines, you can create a well-reasoned and persuasive position paper that can have a significant impact on the intended audience.

Selecting and Researching a Controversial Topic

When it comes to writing a position paper, selecting a controversial topic is crucial as it allows for a diverse range of opinions and perspectives to be explored. Here are some tips to help you choose the right topic and conduct thorough research:

  • Choose a topic that interests you: Select a subject that you are passionate about and genuinely curious to learn more about. This will make the research process more enjoyable and encourage you to delve deeper into the subject matter.
  • Identify key issues: Once you have chosen a broad topic, narrow it down by identifying specific issues or subtopics within that area. This will enable you to focus your research and provide a specific and targeted argument.
  • Gather credible sources: Look for reliable and authoritative sources such as academic journals, reputable websites, and books written by experts in the field. Ensure that the information you gather is up-to-date and supported by evidence.
  • Analyze multiple perspectives: To write a comprehensive position paper, it is essential to consider various viewpoints on the topic. Analyze arguments from different sides and critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take notes and organize information: Keep a detailed record of the information you gather during your research. Organize your notes systematically, making it easier to refer back to specific sources and key points as you write your position paper.

By following these steps, you will be well on your way to selecting an engaging and controversial topic and conducting thorough research for your position paper. Remember that a well-researched and informed position paper carries more weight and has a higher chance of making a compelling argument.

Articulating Your Position

Once you have conducted thorough research on your chosen topic, it’s time to articulate your position in your position paper. Writing a strong and persuasive position statement is crucial to effectively convey your stance. Here are some tips to help you express your position clearly and convincingly:

  • State your position clearly: Start by writing a concise and assertive declaration of your position. Be direct and make sure your stance is unmistakable to the reader.
  • Provide supporting evidence: Back up your position with strong evidence and persuasive arguments. Incorporate the research you have conducted, using facts, statistics, expert opinions, and examples to lend credibility to your position.
  • Anticipate counterarguments: Acknowledge and address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. By doing so, you show that you have considered alternative perspectives, further reinforcing the validity of your position.
  • Use persuasive language: Choose your words carefully to create a compelling and persuasive argument. Utilize strong and assertive language to convey your conviction and to engage your reader.
  • Organize your thoughts: Structure your position paper in a logical and coherent manner. Use clear headings and subheadings to guide your reader through your arguments.

Remember, writing an effective position statement requires clarity, persuasive language, and solid evidence. By following these tips, you can craft a strong and compelling position paper that communicates your stance convincingly.

Example outline for a position paper

I. Introduction A. Background information on the topic B. Briefly introduce your stance C. Thesis statement

II. Overview of the Problem A. What is the problem or issue? B. Why is it important? C. What are the implications of this issue?

III. Outline of Evidence A. Provide evidence to support your position B. Include examples, statistics, and expert opinions C. Address counterarguments and refute opposing views

IV. Conclusion A. Summarize your main points B. Restate your position using strong language C. End with a call to action or a final thought

V. References A. List of sources used in the paper B. Follow proper citation guidelines

Note: This is just a sample outline and should be modified as per the specific requirements of your position paper. Your outline may include additional sections or subheadings based on the complexity of your topic and the depth of the research. However, this outline should serve as a starting point to help you structure your paper in a logical and organized manner.

Writing the Introduction

The introduction sets the tone for your position paper and provides a glimpse into what the rest of the paper will cover. It should grab the reader’s attention and clearly state your stance on the topic. Here are some tips to help you write an effective introduction for your position paper:

  • Start with a hook: Begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a relevant quote to engage your reader right from the start.
  • Provide background information: Introduce the topic of the paper and provide some context to help the reader understand what you will be discussing.
  • Identify the problem: Clearly state the problem or issue that the paper will address, emphasizing its importance and urgency.
  • Present your position: In one clear and concise sentence, state your position on the topic. This should be the thesis statement of your paper, and it should be the main focus of the entire paper.
  • Preview the paper: In a few sentences, provide an overview of the main points that your paper will cover. This will help the reader understand the structure and flow of the paper.

By following these steps, you can create an engaging and informative introduction for your position paper that effectively sets the stage for the rest of your argument. Remember, the key is to be clear, concise, and persuasive in presenting your stance.

Providing Supporting Evidence and Examples

To persuade your audience to accept your position, you should support your arguments with relevant and credible evidence. Here are some tips to help you provide convincing evidence and examples in your position paper:

  • Conduct thorough research: Before you start writing, it’s important to conduct thorough research on the topic. Gather as much reliable and relevant information, data, and statistics as possible to support your claims.
  • Use credible sources: Rely on credible and authoritative sources to back up your arguments and provide evidence for your claims. Peer-reviewed articles, scholarly publications, and government reports are good sources that you can rely on.
  • Provide real-world examples: Real-world examples and case studies can help illustrate your points and make your arguments more convincing. Use case studies, anecdotes, and other examples to add weight to your claims.
  • Address opposing views: Acknowledge opposing views and arguments, but use counterarguments and evidence to demonstrate why your position is stronger.

By providing relevant and compelling evidence and examples in your position paper, you can demonstrate your expertise and persuade your audience to accept your position. Remember to use credible sources, include real-world examples, and anticipate and address opposing views to create a strong and persuasive argument.

Structuring the Body Paragraphs

The body paragraphs of your position paper are where you present your arguments and provide supporting evidence to validate your position. Structuring your body paragraphs effectively is crucial for organizing your thoughts and ensuring a coherent and logical flow. Here are some tips to help you structure your body paragraphs:

  • Topic sentences: Start each body paragraph with a clear and concise topic sentence that introduces the main point or argument of that paragraph.
  • Supporting evidence: After stating your topic sentence, provide supporting evidence such as facts, data, examples, or expert opinions. Make sure your evidence directly relates to and strengthens your argument.
  • Analysis and explanation: Analyze and explain your evidence in relation to your position. Clearly demonstrate how the evidence supports and reinforces your argument.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals: Address potential counterarguments or opposing viewpoints. Present alternative perspectives, but then refute them with strong evidence and reasoning to show the validity of your position.
  • Transition words and phrases: Use transition words and phrases to create a smooth and logical flow between paragraphs and ideas. Examples include “furthermore,” “moreover,” “on the other hand,” and “in addition.”

Using this structure, each body paragraph should focus on a specific argument or supporting evidence while maintaining a clear connection to the overall thesis statement. By organizing your body paragraphs effectively, you can present a compelling and cohesive argument in your position paper.

Writing a Convincing Conclusion

Your conclusion is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader and drive home the significance of your position. Here are some tips to help you write a strong and convincing conclusion for your position paper:

  • Summarize your position: Restate your thesis statement or main argument to remind the reader of your position.
  • Recap key points: Provide a brief recap of the key points and arguments you presented in your paper, highlighting their importance.
  • Emphasize significance: Emphasize the significance of your argument and its relevance to real-world issues.
  • Call to action: End with a call to action or a final thought that inspires your readers to take action or consider your position.
  • Leave a lasting impression: Make a lasting impression on your readers by using a powerful quote, anecdote, or example that summarizes your position.

When writing your conclusion, avoid introducing new ideas or arguments. Instead, focus on summarizing and reiterating your main points and arguments. By providing a well-structured and persuasive conclusion, you can leave a positive impression on your reader and reinforce the strength of your position.

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Essentials of Psychology: How to Write a Position Paper

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Writing Cover Letters For A Career Change: Tips And Examples

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Embarking on a career change is a pivotal moment, fraught with uncertainty but brimming with potential. And especially in cases where your resume might not directly align with the job at hand, your cover letter becomes the narrative that connects the dots. A well-crafted cover can illuminate your strengths, align your past experiences with your future aspirations, and persuade potential employers to see the value you bring.

The Importance Of A Cover Letter In Career Changes

In career transitions, your cover letter is your storyteller. It explains the why and the how of your career change, showcasing your enthusiasm and demonstrating how your background equips you with unique perspectives and transferable skills. It addresses potential concerns about your career shift head-on, presenting your transition as an asset rather than a liability.

Tips For Writing A Career Change Cover Letter

1. Personalize Your Approach : Address the letter to a specific person whenever possible. Doing so demonstrates attention to detail and a genuine interest in the position. You want to show that you’re not conducting a generic job search, but that you’ve done your research. You’ve perused (not skimmed) the company website and you read that 20-page yearly report from the CEO. You’ve even read their blog and can quote freely from it. You’ve educated yourself.

2. Emphasize Transferable Skills : Highlight the skills and experiences from your previous roles that are relevant to the new position. Be specific and quantify achievements where possible.

3. Show Enthusiasm and Commitment : Employers want to know that you are genuinely interested in the new field. Express your passion for the career change and your eagerness to contribute.

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4. Tailor Your Narrative : Connect your past experiences to the job you're applying for, demonstrating how your unique background can bring a fresh perspective to the role.

5. Address Potential Concerns : Be upfront about your career change, framing it as a positive decision guided by clear motivation and a strong understanding of the new field.

6. End with a Strong Call to Action : Conclude by expressing your desire to discuss your application further in an interview, showing proactivity and determination.

7. Use Strategic Language : Avoid clichéd adjectives. Opt for vivid, specific language that paints a clear picture of your capabilities and achievements.

Example: General Career Change Cover Letter

Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],

I am excited to apply for the [Position] at [Company], transitioning from a career in [Current Industry] to [New Industry]. My experience in [Current Industry] has equipped me with valuable skills that I am eager to apply in [New Industry]. For instance, while working as [Previous Position], I developed a keen ability to [transferable skill], resulting in [specific achievement].

In [Current Industry], I honed my skills in [relevant skill] and demonstrated my ability to [relevant achievement], directly benefiting my team by [specific outcome]. I am particularly drawn to [New Industry] because [reason for interest], and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring my [specific skill] and [another skill] to the [Position] at [Company].

[Your Name]

Tweaks For Various Career Stages

Whether you are making a change early in your career or transitioning later, your cover letter should reflect your rationale and excitement for this new path.

Example: Early Career Cover Letter

As someone at the early stages of my career, I am eager to leverage the foundational skills I gained in [Initial Field], such as [specific skill], in [New Field]. My recent role as [Previous Position] allowed me to develop [relevant skills or experiences], which align closely with the requirements of the [Position] at [Company].

Example: Late Career Cover Letter

Transitioning into [New Field] at this point in my career is a deliberate and enthusiastic choice, driven by my deep-seated interest in [aspect of New Field]. With extensive experience in [Previous Field], I bring a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective that can contribute to innovative solutions and strategies at [Company].

Tweaks For White And Blue-Collar Roles

Transitioning between white and blue-collar roles offers a unique opportunity to highlight diverse skills and experiences.

Example: White To Blue Collar Cover Letter

I am eager to apply the strategic and managerial skills honed in my white-collar career to the hands-on, dynamic environment of [Blue Collar Field]. My experience in [White Collar Role], where I developed [specific skills], aligns well with the challenges and responsibilities of the [Blue Collar Position] at [Company].

Example: Blue To White Collar Cover Letter

Transitioning from [Blue Collar Field] to [White Collar Field], I bring practical, on-the-ground experience that can inform and enhance the strategic decisions in [White Collar Role]. My background in [Blue Collar Role], where I mastered [specific skills], equips me with a unique perspective beneficial for the [White Collar Position] at [Company].

Including A Career Change Statement On Your Resume/CV

While your cover letter is the ideal place to elaborate on your career change, your resume/CV should also reflect this transition. A brief career change statement, positioned at the beginning of your resume, can effectively set the context for your career narrative. This statement should succinctly convey your transition, emphasizing your commitment to the new field and highlighting any transferable skills or relevant experiences.

How To Craft A Career Change Statement For Your Resume

1. Objective Statement : Begin with a clear, concise objective that outlines your career goals and demonstrates your enthusiasm for your new field.

2. Summary of Qualifications : Follow your objective with a brief summary of your most relevant qualifications, focusing on skills and experiences that transition well into your new career.

3. Highlight Transferable Skills : Clearly identify and emphasize any skills from your previous career that are pertinent to your new path. This not only demonstrates your capability but also shows your proactive approach in aligning your skill set with the new role's requirements.

4. Tailor Your Experience : Adjust the descriptions of your past positions to highlight the responsibilities and achievements most relevant to your desired career path. Use quantifiable achievements to underscore your adaptability and impact.

5. Education and Training : If you have pursued any education or training relevant to your new field, highlight this prominently on your resume to illustrate your dedication and commitment to your career change.

Make Your Language Unique

To avoid sounding like everyone else, remember to use distinctive and precise adjectives in your cover letter and resume. For instance:

  • Instead of "experienced," try "seasoned" or "accomplished," providing specific examples that demonstrate this experience, like spearheading a successful project or leading a team to exceed its targets.
  • Replace "passionate" with "enthused" or "committed," detailing a project or initiative you pursued with zeal, which can resonate more authentically with hiring managers.
  • Substitute "results-driven" with "outcome-focused," illustrating this with a particular scenario where your focus on results led to tangible success for your organization.

Your cover letter and resume are your advocates, narrating your professional journey and articulating why you are not just seeking a new job, but embarking on a new career with purpose and passion. By carefully crafting these documents to reflect your individual story, you position yourself as a memorable and compelling candidate, someone who stands out from the crowd.

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  1. HOW TO WRITE A POSITION PAPER

    how to write a position paper with example

  2. Lesson 10 Writing a Position Paper.docx

    how to write a position paper with example

  3. Sample Position Paper

    how to write a position paper with example

  4. How To Write A Position Paper

    how to write a position paper with example

  5. Position Paper Template

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  6. Example Of Position Paper / Position Paper Example Philippines : United

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COMMENTS

  1. Position Paper

    Position Paper Example. Position Paper Example structure is as follows: Introduction: A brief overview of the issue. A clear statement of the position the paper is taking. Background: A detailed explanation of the issue. A discussion of the history of the issue. An analysis of any previous actions taken on the issue.

  2. How To Write a Position Paper in 7 Steps (With a Template)

    A position paper requires three basic parts: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Follow these seven steps to help write a position paper on any topic: 1. Choose a topic. In some classes or jobs, you can choose the topic of a position paper. If you're choosing your topic, consider ones relevant to your industry or academic interests.

  3. How to Write a Position Paper (with Pictures)

    End your introduction with your thesis. 3. Include at least 2 body paragraphs. A short position paper may only contain 2 body paragraphs - one for the counter-argument and one for the supportive points. However, most position papers will have 3 or 4 body paragraphs, with 2 dedicated to supportive evidence.

  4. How to Write a Position Paper

    Express your position idea. Focus on one specific aspect of the topic in order to express it in a one-sentence opinion. Make sure you have found a really arguable idea. If the topic cannot be debated, then it can hardly be used for writing a good position paper. Be precise in your statement.

  5. PDF Writing a Position Paper

    Writing a Position Paper. A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper.

  6. How To Write A Position Paper

    Step 1. Pick a Topic. You can brainstorm topic questions from here by narrowing in on one section of your chosen interest. The purpose of a position paper is to pick a side of a question and aim to convince the reader of the writer's stance by using research data to back up their views. Choosing a topic is the first step to writing a position ...

  7. 5 Steps to Write a Strong Position Paper

    5. Summarize your argument and restate your position. End your paper focusing on your argument and avoid the counter-arguments. You want your audience to walk away with your view on the topic being one that resonates with them. When you write a position paper, write with confidence and state your opinion with authority.

  8. Top 10 Tips for Writing a Strong Position Paper

    4. Collecting Supporting Evidence. When gathering evidence for your position paper, prioritize relevance and credibility. Use expert quotes sparingly, ensuring they directly support your argument. Prefer research-based evidence over anecdotes, focusing on quality rather than quantity.

  9. how to Write a Position Paper

    How to write a Position Paper | Academic WritingTimestamps:00:00 Introduction00:48 What is a position paper?02:03 Guide questions in presenting a strong arg...

  10. Position Paper

    A Position Paper is a common type of academic argument writing assignment. Typically, a Position Paper is written after reading about and discussing a particular issue. Quite often, the readings cover more than one issue, and as a writer you must choose a particular area of focus. The central goal of writing a position paper is not only to ...

  11. How to Write a Position Paper: Guide & Examples

    4. Create an Outline. Once you have decided about the direction you're taking with your essay, proceed with the position essay outline. This step is often overlooked, but it will be much easier to find and correct mistakes and gaps at this early stage. So, writing a position paper outline actually saves you time.

  12. Position Paper 29+ Examples, Format, How to Write, PDF

    Step 3: Craft a Compelling Introduction: The introduction sets the tone for your position paper and should grab the reader's attention. Start with a thought-provoking observation, a simple sentence that highlights the importance of the issue, or provide relevant context to establish the significance of your position.

  13. How To Write A Position Paper ️ Format, Outline & Samples

    It would help if you organized you articulated your thoughts in a logical and transitional flow to ensure your readers follow through with the entire text. Below is a guideline to use as an example when composing a position paper. 1. Introduction. Topic introduction. Background information. Thesis statement. 2.

  14. How to Write a Winning Position Paper

    Enter your email to watch the video. An effective position paper can be broken into five simple parts: 1. Heading. The heading is hardly the most important part of a position paper, but it provides the Chair with a snapshot of what your paper will be about. Form should follow function, but it's much easier for a Chair who's been reading ...

  15. How to Write a Position Paper

    Learn how to write a position paper step by step in this video! I'll show you what resources you can use to research, how to write a thesis, and what to incl...

  16. How to Write a Model UN Position Paper

    Goals of a Position Paper. 1. Show your country's unique understanding of the issue being discussed. 2. Show your country's previous relationship with the topic (preferably with relevant examples). 3. Show policies and ideas that your country would like to see in the resolution.. As most position papers are limited to one page, a minimum of one paragraph should be devoted to each of the ...

  17. 2 Position Paper Examples That Stand for Something

    Knowing where you stand on a topic is an important step in writing an effective position paper, but it's also a good idea to check out a few examples just to see what a well-written position paper looks like. This post shows you two position paper examples that stand for something. But First… A Few Position Paper Resources

  18. How to Write a Position Paper

    Present your position: In one clear and concise sentence, state your position on the topic. This should be the thesis statement of your paper, and it should be the main focus of the entire paper. Preview the paper: In a few sentences, provide an overview of the main points that your paper will cover.

  19. Easy Steps to Write a Position Paper

    How to Write a Position Paper: 10 Easy Steps. Decide on a topic: The best topic will be one you have a strong interest in or opinion about. Find some articles to read about your topic. It is best to read different positions. Try to get a feel for the various views on the topic. Write your position idea: Pick one particular aspect of the topic ...

  20. PDF How to write a Position Paper?

    write two types of main documents: Position Papers and Draft Resolutions. Each of them requires different approaches and writing skills. Prior to the beginning of a MUN, each Delegation prepares its Position Paper in each of the topics that will be discussed in the different committees in which the country will participate. . In the event that ...

  21. Essentials of Psychology: How to Write a Position Paper

    Contains over 380 core topics, each with an overview (objective background / description), point (argument) and counterpoint (opposing argument).

  22. How to Write a Position Paper

    Position papers are usually one page in length. It should include a brief introduction followed by a comprehensive breakdown of the country's position on the topic (s) that are being discussed by each of the committees. A good position paper will not only provide facts but also make proposals for resolutions. A good position paper will include:

  23. Create your Europass CV

    The best-known CV format in Europe. The Europass CV is one of the best-known CV formats in Europe. It is easy-to-use and familiar to employers and education institutions. You will first have to create your Europass profile with information on your education, training, work experience and skills. After you complete your Europass profile, you can create as many CVs as you want with just a few ...

  24. Writing Cover Letters For A Career Change: Tips And Examples

    Example: General Career Change Cover Letter. Dear [Hiring Manager's Name], I am excited to apply for the [Position] at [Company], transitioning from a career in [Current Industry] to [New Industry ...