How to Write a Position Paper Guide & Tips

In simple terms, a position paper represents an essay writing that shows an arguable opinion about a certain issue or a problem. The purpose of paper is to convince your target audience that the opinion that you show is valid and reliable. Our guide will show you how to write a position paper in a simpler way without making you feel confused. The most important is to choose your opinion based on a specific topic. It can be basically anything from reflective to controversial as long as you can choose a position and pose your opinion.

What is a Position Paper?

Turning to a clear definition of the position paper, you might also encounter it as a point of view paper, which is much like a debate. If you are not sure about what is a position paper, you should start with an outline analysis where you must define the major parts. A position paper, however, should pick both sides of an arguable opinion related to an issue. Still, you should also explain the reasons behind your position and convince your audience that what you have stated in your thesis statement is valid and sufficient for the defense. The ideas that you have discovered must be examined in your paper as you discuss the chosen topic.

As a rule, you will have to start with the facts, different opinions, statistical data, and certain pieces of information that will make your position essay strong. Our position paper guide will help you to show how to collect research, craft a perfect position paper outline, and make everything right! The crucial thing is to make sure that you are covering all sides of the issue and show it in a specific manner to let your audience see why your position is different and what makes it vital and important.

Your purpose is to take one side and try and persuade your audience by telling them that you have enough knowledge with the references. It is also important to show that your claim has been supported in your final part of the paper. Since you should focus on a single position, it does not mean that you should not provide your readers with the opposite opinion with a brief explanation regarding relevant grounds. For example, if you are taking a controversial topic, you should focus on the opposite opinion, even more, to make sure that your opinion has the facts to deal with.

The Types of Position Paper

You must think about the differences when you are dealing with a position paper based on what you must achieve. For example:

  • Introductory Information and Overviews. You should implement directories, handbooks, textbooks, and academic sources to defend your position.
  • In-depth Studies. It should include government reports and various books. You must narrow down your topic.
  • Scholarly Research. In this case, you should use academic journals and focus on various articles. It is usually based on specific courses.
  • Current Issues. You can use certain magazines, newspapers, websites, and even social media. Remember to use your personal experience.
  • Statistical Data. If you are dealing with numbers, consider using government agencies and associations. Make sure to introduce a strong fact with the explanation in your position paper introduction.
  • Position Paper Analysis. Start with the reports and the websites dealing with your problem. This is where you should use a 50/50 pattern that consists of your sources and personal analysis.

Of course, you should always think about your audience and make sure that you provide a viewpoint. If something is too complex, remember to provide basic explanations. It must be inspiring and interesting. Therefore, avoid being too complex.

Position Paper Outline

The most important is to focus on your position paper outline. Regardless of what topic you may choose, start with the structure. Here is how to start a position paper:

1. Introduction.

Introduce your topic clearly. 

- Provide some general background related to your chosen topic with an explanation regarding why your paper's subject is important. 

- Assert your thesis that reflects your view of the issue.

Your introduction must have a dual purpose where you should define both the topic and your approach to it, and to impress your reader's interest concerning what you should say. The way how you approach your topic must be reflected in your thesis statement. The most efficient way to introduce a topic is to explain the context. You should talk about your topic that will place your position in perspective without making it unclear as to what you think. If your topic is complex, discuss all the technical details and lead your target audience into your thesis statement. Moreover, writing a position paper, you can add even another sentence to your thesis if it requires an additional explanation.

 2. Counter Argument (Body Paragraphs).

- Summarize the counterclaims to identify your position and explain it.

- Provide supporting information and sources for counterclaims.

- Make sure to refute the counterclaims.

- Provide evidence for every argument that you make.

Since you would like to provide your position, it is necessary to think about counterarguments by questioning why someone disagrees with your opinion. Think about how to respond to them and explain to your audience why they should accept your argument. You should tell why the counterargument is mistaken. The purpose here is to make your readers see that your argument is stronger than the counterarguments that you have. Make sure that you present each argument fairly and remain objective. It will make your position paper valid.

3. Your Main Argument (Body Paragraph).

- Provide your main point. Provide an educated and informed opinion.

- Talk about support and proof by showing your reference (statistics).

- Provide your second point with the same points.

- Provide your third fact that is the weakest, yet strong.

Of course, you should provide more than three main points, yet the academic writing rule even when you learn how to write a mun position paper still provides at least three facts.

4. Conclusion.

- Make sure to restate your thesis statement.

- Provide a certain plan of action, yet avoid introducing any new information.

You should remember that your conclusion is mostly summing up your thesis in different words. Once done, you must provide your readers with the key facts that confirm your arguments.

Position Paper Example

Subject: Sound Synthesis

Course: Sound Engineering

Topic: Why Digital Impulses Are Flexible

When the IR impulses have been introduced, we have seen numerous debates from the sound purists who would turn to their ears to determine every little aspect of sound. However, one did not provide any physical research or analysis in terms of numbers and soundwaves because it has been a specific bias. It should be noted that IR impulses have been created from the original analogue (or digital) speakers fueled by numbers and audio frequencies. If one takes a single IR 10ms impulse and studies the file through the audio frequency analyzer, it will be possible to make a comparison between digital representations and the real thing. What makes the flexibility of IR impulses extensive is the ability to edit and truncate various waveforms, which is not really possible in the analogue environment. It makes it safe to assume that IR impulses provide a more flexible copy of the original sound sample pattern that can be made reliable by turning to simple sound analysis.

As you can see from our position paper example, you must introduce some topic and talk about why your position matters. Make sure to discuss the opposite opinions by breaking things down to explain why some people think differently. See the example above as the template and always start with the main argument.

Writing a Position Paper Step-by-Step Guide

Considering that you have already chosen a topic that inspires you, think about a mental outline that will help you position your paper as if you are writing an essay for someone else or talking to a friend. Here is how to write a position paper:

Dealing with an introduction:

  1. Introduce your topic briefly.
  2. Provide a little background information that will explain your subject.
  3. Introduce your subject and the importance. 
  4. State your position.

Your content argument:

  1. Provide a summary of all the opposite opinions and the facts.
  2. Think about what would someone say against your thesis.
  3. Outline your information with the statistics.
  4. Fight the counterclaims.
  5. Provide evidence that explains why your position is better.

Your opinion paragraph:

  1. Provide your informed and clear opinion with the facts.
  2. Prove that you are right by turning to at least three arguments with the sources.
  3. Write down your position essay points by turning to similar research and the relevant data.

Conclusion part:

  1. Restate your thesis statement in different words.
  2. Provide a clear resolution by stating what you have learned and why.
  3. Proofread and edit your text.

These are fifteen vital steps that you must take to provide a perfect position paper. Of course, your style may differ a little bit, yet you must always start with an outline!

Position Paper Topics

When you are choosing your position paper topic, you should always take a side on a specific subject. You must start with the arguability of a topic that inspires you. If something is not inspiring you, your topic will not sound motivating and confident. Ask yourself the following questions that will help you to provide a strong argument:

  • What does the issue represent for you?
  • Does it have a controversy?
  • What are the main counterarguments?
  • Is it a moral issue?
  • Are you personally biased in terms of advocating one of the existing positions?
  • Can the issue be narrowed down to make your topic strong?

Here are 15 competitive position paper topics:

  1. Global Warming is a political hoax.
  2. Gambling should be prohibited by law.
  3. Rap music in the last decade became more obscene than in the 90s.
  4. Black Lives Matter is not only a social movement.
  5. Video games are dangerous for young children.
  6. It is still important for the students to read books in print instead of eBooks only.
  7. Asians should work even harder to get accepted to the university.
  8. Alcohol is a part of the culture in several communities and nations.
  9. The French and English are still the enemies.
  10.  I voted for X person because he/she is a better leader.
  11. It is safer to choose to travel by car than to fly.
  12. Cats are better pets than dogs.
  13. Community colleges are cheaper because they provide a safer academic path.
  14. Soccer is safer than tennis in terms of traumas because…
  15.  Vaccination is the link to numerous infant diseases and immune mutations.

As you can see, every statement for the topic contains a clear opinion, which is why you should always talk about why French and English still have some old rivalry or why video games are dangerous because of their violent games and addictive aspects. You must provide your audience with clear evidence and statistical information dealing with both camps. For example, you may talk about those people who think otherwise and provide their argumentation.

Of course, these are only some starting points that will provide you several subjects. If you are not sure about what topic to choose, think about the problems that relate to your course. As a rule, do not take controversial topics like religion or morals because you will have to provide counterarguments. If you are not too confident about researching such topics, it is better to avoid them!

Useful Position Paper Tips

As you might know, some position papers are better than others. Starting from stellar grammar and choosing a position topic to collect good evidence with clear counterarguments, it is all in the mix. Here are some tips that will make you write a better position paper:

  1. Choose a timely, relevant topic that makes you feel inspired.
  2. It should be a subject that you know well.
  3. Remember to provide both opinions. It is better to provide a position paper outline in two columns.
  4. Start with the preliminary research and find similar papers.
  5. Collect evidence and write down your evidence.
  6. Identify your intended audience.
  7. Keep your tone confident.
  8. Clearly state your position.
  9. List and refute every counter-argument.
  10. Include supporting data and use quotes.
  11. Pay attention to your reference and format.
  12. Keep things simple to be accessible.
  13. Each paragraph that you use should talk about a single idea.
  14. Always proofread your paper and make sure to read it aloud. Remember that you should check your writing style in terms of quotations (like format APA rules).
  15. Double-check your position paper grading rubric.

Following these rules and tips, you will feel much better. The major difference between a research paper and a position paper format is that you should act more like a compare-and-contrast paper.

When Your Position Paper is Challenging

When you are dealing with a position paper, it is easy to get confused and feel stressed, especially if you are dealing with a controversial topic that you have been provided. Even if you can choose something that you would like, it is difficult when you have little time to complete your essay and find relevant sources. Do not give up because our EduBirdie experts can help you with any type of paper by writing a perfect paper from scratch, which eliminates plagiarism risks! Do not wait and worry when you can place an order and receive an immediate reply 24/7.

FAQ

- What is the purpose of a position paper?

The purpose is to show an argument where you place an opinion with the list of supporting evidence. The main objective is to choose a topic and take a certain position. It is not enough to say that you think that smoking marijuana is bad for your health. You must provide counterarguments and prove why your position is valid and better.

- How long should a position paper be?

The position paper usually follows a classic research paper pattern where you have an introduction, three to five body paragraphs, and the conclusion. While there is no specific word count, your position paper should be at least 3-4 pages long not counting your title page and the Bibliography. It should be at least three pages (1000 words) because you must provide a clear writing position and all the relevant references.

- I have a position model UN paper that must be revised for my college course. My professor provided me with some notes but I do not know what to do. Could you help me, please?

It is only natural to feel lost when you have a paper for revision. You can contact our EduBirdie experts in case you are not sure about the problem. We shall be able to provide you with an explanation and explain what each note means according to the best of our knowledge.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Related Blog Posts

Receive regular updates, discounts, study guides and more

By clicking “Subscribe”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related emails.