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A Complete Guide to Writing a Position Paper

UserElla Thompson time22 February,2019

Writing a stellar position paper can be a difficult task for many students. You need to conduct thorough research and choose an argument that you will defend. If you are struggling to write a stellar position paper, the blog will surely help you.

position paper

In this blog I am going to discuss the following points:

  • What is a position paper? It’s Definition.
  • Characteristics of a position paper
  • Correct Position paper format
  • How to write a Position paper outline?
  • 5 winning Position paper topic examples

Now let us get into the details of writing a winning position paper.

What is a position paper? It’s Definition

Source: https://www.chambersofflavour.co.uk/what-is-it

A Position paper is a written piece that presents an arguable statement about a particular topic. It must demonstrate why you believe your stand is valid and worth listening to. A position paper takes part in the larger debate on the issue. You need to state and support your opinion.

While writing a position paper, it is mandatory to choose a side on a particular topic. You need to build up a case to defend your position or opinion. It is mandatory to use facts, statistics, and evidence to convince your readers that your position is the best among all.

Components of a position paper –

Figure 1: Components of a perfect position paper

Check out the components below that make a perfect position paper:

  • It must be persuasive.
  • It should assert an arguable claim.
  • It must explain both sides of the argument or the controversy.
  • It must contain reasoning and evidence to support the claim.
  • It should have a reasonable tone.

Correct Position paper format –

Source: https://www.writeneed.com/single-post/2017/09/18/A-Prescribed-Format-for-Thesis

After understanding the meaning of a position paper, now let us proceed to know the correct format of a position paper. Your teacher might provide you with a guideline for correct position paper format. In case you do not have a guideline, you can follow the below-mentioned format.

  • Choose the font size 12
  • Use Times New Roman font
  • Use a single inch margin
  • Keep the entire text single spaced
  • Write in paragraph form
  • Write maximum one page per topic
  • AVOID including graphs, maps, pictures, and charts. You can add statistics to the format (if applicable).

How to write a Position paper outline?

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Given a choice between jumping straight into the water and writing a position paper outline, most of the students would choose to go for the first option simply because they find the second option to be extremely difficult.

As per the experts, outlining your position paper can actually save precious time. Let us know how to create a position paper outline.

  • Pick a topic – When you pick your position paper topic, make sure that it has many sides. If your topic is challenged, it must hold up a position. Therefore, before you select your topic, make sure that you do thorough research. Pick the one that you can defend. You can choose a simple or complex topic as per your wish, but make sure that your argument must be logical and sound.

Note: The topic must be controversial with two sides that can be argued upon.

  • Conduct the research

Source: https://www.sfu.ca/cmns/130d1/WritingaPositionPaper.htm

Doing effective research is mandatory to determine whether there is enough evidence available to position your argument. For that, you need to understand your position paper topic and defend it. It is vital to consider the background information and the reasons behind each side. Make sure that you develop supporting evidence for both sides.

To get relevant information about your topic you can check reliable web pages with (.edu) and (.gov) extensions. You can visit your university library to find books, journals, magazines, etc. Look for peer-reviewed journals. Make sure you avoid self-published sources.

Note: Even after hours of research, if you find that there is limited information on your chosen topic, pick another topic.

  • Collect supporting evidence – Once you are clear about your topic, collect supporting evidence. Based on your findings, write down the reasons why you are considering taking (for and against). Look at both sides of the topic. Choose a position that can be easily defended based on the evidence that you have collected.
  • State the thesis statement – The first thing that you need to do once you gather your supporting evidence is to write the thesis statement. There are many ways to write a thesis statement for the position paper. One possible approach could be including both sides of the argument. For example: “Although school uniform will be expensive, they would ensure equality.”

Here you can check the visual guide for writing a position paper.

Wondering how to write a position thesis statement?

Check out the table below for better understanding.

TopicSchool Uniform
Arguable ViewpointsFor or Against School uniform

Table 1 Position paper topic

Collect a list of reasons to support a particular viewpoint.

ViewpointFor School uniformAgainst School Uniform
Supporting reasonsSaves money

 

Ensure equality

Expensive to buy

 

Eliminate free expression

Table 2 Pick arguments for/against

Write sentences that make your stand clear to your readers.

For School uniformAgainst School Uniform
A uniform policy ensures true equality and saves enough money.A uniform policy can eliminate one’s free expression and can be too expensive to buy.

Table 3 Proceed with the slant

  • Write the introduction – Use the introduction to inform your readers about your point of view. It mainly has two primary goals. One is to identify the issue and the other to state your assertion. Begin your introduction with a strong hook – include everything that will grab your reader’s attention. Keep in mind that you are writing a research-based paper. Therefore, make sure to write it in the third person.
  • Write the Body paragraph – The body of your position paper must consist of a minimum of three body paragraphs. Depending on your paper’s length, you might decide to add more content. Make sure that each paragraph states the main argument to support your position. You can include statistics and quotes to support your argument. Do not forget to explain why your point of view is valid.
  • Conclude your position paper – Write a strong conclusion that restates your position. Stress the importance of your thesis. Sum up your argument on a high note.

5 Winning Position paper topic examples

Once you are clear about how to write a position paper, it is time to check out some winning position paper topics. A few of them are listed below.

  1. Gender and racial discrimination
  2. Border security

iii.    Anti-smoking advertisements

  1. Media coverage on elections
  2. Recycling goods

Check out position paper template here.

If you have any other insights on what makes a stellar position paper, share with us in the comment section below.

We would love to hear from you.

Struggling to write a position paper?

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