• A position paper is an essay that presents an opinion about an issue, typically that of the author or another specified entity; such as a political party. Position papers are published in academia, in politics, in law and other domains.Position papers range from the simplest format of a letter to the editor through to the most complex in the form of an academic position paper. Position papers are also used by large organizations to make public the official beliefs and recommendations of the group
  • A position paper is a critical analysis of current facts, data, and research literature.

    A key feature of the paper is the position statement, which presents the Academy’s stance on an issue.

  • A position paper is a document promoting a particular viewpoint on an issue or event. These documents are used by political campaigns, think tanks and non-profit organizations to compile thoughts on a single issue for mass consumption. The consumers of position papers include interested voters, academics and competing organizations with the desire to write opposing viewpoints.

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    Position papers can offer simple positions, like white papers, or provide blueprints for resolution, like green papers.

  • Like a debate, a position paper presents one side of an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and defensible. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper. It is very important to ensure that you are addressing all sides of the issue and presenting it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand.

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    Your job is to take one side of the argument and persuade your audience that you have well-founded knowledge of the topic being presented. It is important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims, as well as to refute the counterclaims to show that you are well informed about both sides.

Parts of Position Paper

Position paper can be a reasoned defense or a critique of an ethical thesis. It should not be done as a research paper or a collection and arrangement of diverse sources. Instead, your paper should exhibit two central characteristics:

  1.  an intensive analysis of a ethical thesis, and
  2. your criticism of the thesis and your supporting arguments. The expression of your opinion or feelings, although important in its own right, must be supported by rational argument or justification (with supporting details) acceptable to a reasonable person.

Position paper should consist of the following parts:

  1. An Introduction — where you state the purpose of the paper and what you intend to show. This might include summarizing the main parts of your paper.
  2. An Explication — where you explain the basis for the philosophical view you are examining. Be sure to present this argument or thesis as persuasively as possible.
  3. The Counter — Argument where you present objections to the thesis and give your supporting reasons for those objections.
  4. The Resolution of the Problem — where you either support the original view by overcoming the counter arguments or you reject the original view by showing the objections constitute unanswerable difficulties. (If you cannot take either of these two positions, then explain carefully why the problem cannot be solved in its present form. On many philosophical issues this is the best course to take. In such a case, try to suggest what further work needs to be done.)
  5. A Conclusion — where you restate the purpose of the paper and summarize the main parts. Finally, restate your position.

Kinds of Position Paper

Position papers can be written for academic and advocacy purposes depending on the goal of the writer. Professors and researchers publish their latest research while explaining their methods in academic position papers. Position papers written by gubernatorial candidates, non-profit leaders and religious groups offer evidence as well as solutions to major problems. These papers assume a position as well as a desired remedy with the goal of demonstrating a position different from the status quo.

  • Internal Position Papers

This type of position paper is intended as a preparatory tool for the individuals on your delegation and for the delegation as a whole. Internal position papers are very valuable tools for individual preparation, as they force students to think about the full complexity of the issues they are confronting from your delegation’s perspective. Also, by asking students to put their ideas in writing, an internal position paper can force each student to condense a large amount of research and ideas into a small, more comprehensible argument from your nation’s perspective. These types of position papers do not need to be more than one or two pages in length and may be written either in paragraph form or with bullet points for each unique idea/issue in the topic area. Also, the entire delegation can benefit from each individual’s work if these papers are copied and shared with each group member, thus providing a more well-rounded view of the represented country’s positions on all issues.

  • Public Position Papers

This type of position paper is intended as a public statement of your country’s positions on the topics being discussed. It should include brief statements about where your country stands on the issue in question and on what has done to confront this issue. It should also include your country’s public position on the options.

Uses of Position Paper

Write a position paper to:

  • Organize and outline your viewpoint on an issue
  • Formally inform others of your position as a foundation to build resolution to difficult problems
  • Present a unique, though biased, solution or a unique approach to solving a problem
  • Frame the discussion in order to define the “playing field.” This can put you in an advantageous position with those who may not be so well prepared as regards the issues behind their positions
  • Establish your credibility. Here you are demonstrating that you have a command of the issues and the research behind them, and can present them clearly
  • Let your passion be demonstrated in the force of your argument rather than in the use of emotional terms
  • Guide you in being consistent in maintaining your position in negotiation

What are the objectives of writing a position paper?

  • Formally inform others of your position or viewpoint in an issueas a foundation to build resolution to difficult problems.
  • Present a unique, though biased, solutionor a unique approach to solving a problem
  • Frame the discussion in order to define the “playing field.” This can put you in an advantageous position with those who may not be so wellprepared as regards the issues behind their positions
  • Establish credibilityHere you are demonstrating that you have a command of the issues and the researchbehind them, and can present them clearly
  • Let your passion be demonstrated in the force of your argumentrather than in the use of emotional terms
  • Consistency is a key here

Directions for Writing a Position Paper

  • Choose a topic that has has two clear sides and that you have an opinion about. Topics can come from the news, popular culture, school or anywhere. All that matters is that your position is valid, can be defended and the counter position can be argued against. These are the main parts of the position paper.
  • Create an outline of the topic and list your position and points in your favor, as well as the counter position and arguments against it. You will use this as a plan for the paper and will often refer to it when writing.
  • Write the introduction by stating the problem and your position. The introduction is the reader’s first impression of the paper, so it should be concise and interesting. The introduction should grab the reader’s attention, and should contain your thesis statement. Your thesis statement will clearly present your position on the issue and the purpose of the paper.
  • Create the main body of the paper using the points from the outline. Each paragraph should address a different point that supports your main argument. Each point should be stated and defended using logical reasoning and information from appropriate sources. Present evidence in the form of statistics, interviews from experts and academic articles and other credible sources. Do not simply state your opinions; back them up with evidence.
  • Debate the other side after writing the points for your argument. Throughly research opposing arguments, and then defend your own position against those counter-positions.
  • Give the audience a summary of your position in the summary, but do not repeat the introduction and body. Add possible courses of action or solutions to the problem, but do not introduce new questions with the conclusion. You want the reader to feel satisfied and convinced.

Cite this page

What is Position Paper?. (2017, Jan 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/what-is-position-paper-essay

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