How To Write the Perfect Position Paper

position paper example high school

Opinions are like cars. Lots of people have them, but very few know how they actually work. At some point in high school, or college, you will be required to have an opinion on something. That’s the easy part. The hard part is providing that your opinion has merit. That’s the basic premise behind writing a position paper, or a persuasive essay. This is the time-tested academic tradition where you are required to stake out a meaningful position on an important subject and, subsequently, to provide relevant and verifiable evidence that your position is grounded in solid fact.

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This is an important skill, not just in school or on social media, but in real life. So if you’re on the hunt for solid facts, check out our constantly growing library of The Most Controversial Topics For Your Position Paper .

We recognize, however, that knowing a lot of facts isn’t the same as being able to write about these facts in a convincing or authoritative way. Writing an excellent position paper is a multi-step process that requires you to integrate both fact and opinion into a coherent and compelling essay. Lucky for you, we’ve got a handy step-by-step guide on how to do this.

Read on to find how you can write the perfect position paper in 10 steps...

How To Write a Position Paper

1. choose a topic that interests you.

Start with something you actually care about. If given the freedom, choose a subject that has personal meaning for you. Having real passion for the subject matter can be energizing as you dive into the research and it can infuse your writing with authenticity.

Many students like to write about controversial topics. Our study starters cover the top 25 controversial topics today .

2. Develop a Thesis Statement

Once you’ve got a subject, it’s time to define exactly where you stand on the issue. What is the point you hope to prove in your position paper? And how do you plan to prove it? If you’re not sure exactly where you stand, this is the starting point in your research. Find out what some of the leading thinkers, journalists, and public figures are saying on the subject. Which viewpoint resonates most with you? You should come away from this process with a thesis statement that both indicates your viewpoint and lays out the supporting points that will ultimately shape your essay. For instance, if you’re writing about a policy issue, your thesis might say something like “The newly proposed policy to ______ would be beneficial to the general public because it would ______, _________, and ________.

3. Identify Credible Sources

As you begin your research, it is absolutely critical that you identify only credible sources including primary sources, scholarly journals, and articles from legitimate news outlets. Of course, every source has its own implicit biases. But as you identify and use these sources, it’s your job to identify and recognize those biases. You can use a source provided by a politically biased think tank as long as you explicitly identify that bias. The most important thing you can do, as you gather resources, is ensure that they come from valid outlets , that you recognize any affiliations that might shape their perspective, and that you eliminate any sources that peddle in disinformation.

For more tips on how to do this, check out our article on How Students Can Spot Fake News .

4. Build Your Reference List

Now that you’ve identified credible resources, create your reference list. Citation is a building block of both the research process and the broader concept of academic integrity. As a student, you are expected to draw on the findings of those who came before you. But you have to credit those scholars in order to do so. Make sure you adhere to the formatting style indicated by your academic institution, course, and instructor , whether you are required to write in MLA, APA, Chicago, or its exotic-sounding twin, Turabian. Purdue’s website provides one of the more reliable style guides for your formatting reference needs .

We have a database to help you find influential scholars in a variety of subjects. We also point out influencers related to nearly 30 of the most controversial topics

5. Do Your Research

This step is all about gathering information. Now that you’ve locked in your sources, it’s time to dive deeper. If you enjoy learning new things, this is the fun part. Get comfortable and start reading. Research is the process of discovery, so take your time. Allow yourself to become absorbed in the subject matter, to be immersed, to lose yourself in the information. But come up for air every once in a while so you can take notes. Gather the ideas, statistics, and direct quotes from your research that ultimately strengthen your argument. And don’t shy away from information that contradicts your argument either. This is meant to be a learning process, so allow your position on the subject to evolve as you are presented with new information. The thesis that you’ve written is a starting point, but it’s not set in stone. If your research leads you in a different direction, don’t be afraid to refine or even revise your thesis accordingly.

6. Outline Your Position Paper

Now that your thesis has been reinforced by research, create a basic outline for what you’ll be writing . If you do this part correctly, the rest should simply be a process of filling in the blanks. Below is a basic framework for how you might structure a position paper:

  • Introduction
  • Setting up the subject
  • Thesis Statement
  • Basic Argument
  • Identification of Supporting Evidence
  • Supporting Evidence 1
  • Explanation
  • Supporting Evidence 2
  • Supporting Evidence 3
  • Counterpoint
  • Identification of Opposing Viewpoint(s)
  • Refutation of Opposing Viewpoint(s)
  • Reiterate Thesis
  • Tie Together Supporting Arguments

7. Build Your Argument

The outline above is merely a framework. Now it’s up to you to infuse that framework with your personality, your perspective and your voice. Your thesis and supporting quotes are the bones of your essay, but you’ll be adding the flesh to those bones with your set ups and explanations. This is your chance to explain why the evidence located in your research makes you feel the way you do. Remember, you are writing a fact-based essay on something that should trigger emotions in both you and the reader. Do not be afraid to lean into these feelings for your writing, as long as you keep those feelings strongly grounded in the facts of the case.

8. Address the Counterpoint

No argument is complete without recognition of its counterpart. Your willingness to acknowledge opposing viewpoints is a show of faith in your own argument. This gives you a chance to provide an honest appraisal of an opposing viewpoint and to confront this appraisal with fact-based refutation.

9. Tie It All Together

Now that you’ve spent your time fully immersed in the argument, it’s time to pull the pieces together. Revisit your introduction. Your opening paragraph should be crisp, engaging, and straight to the point. Don’t bury the lead. The purpose of your essay should be stated early and clearly. Likewise, build a concluding section that offers a compelling way of restating the thesis while incorporating some of the new things we’ve learned from reading your essay. Tie your various supporting arguments together to illustrate that we have all learned enough to agree with your initial position. And revisit each of your supporting paragraphs to ensure that each idea logically flows into the next. Write natural segue sentences between paragraphs and ensure that the connection between each supporting argument and your thesis is clear .

10. Proof, Edit, Revise, Repeat

Now you’ve assembled an essay, but it needs work. That’s not an insult. Anything ever written always needs work. Start with proofing. Look for typos, grammatical errors and incomplete sentences. Give your essay a technical cleaning. But you should also read for style, tone and substance. Does your argument hang together? Is it compelling? Do you adequately prove your point? You may find that this is an opportunity to trim gratuitous information or to add supporting information that might strengthen your argument. And as you revise your essay, try reading your work out loud. Hearing your own words out loud can reveal areas where your point might not come across as clearly. Spend as much time as you need on this step. Don’t be afraid to make substantive changes during this process. Invariably, your final draft will be significantly stronger than your rough draft.

And I’ll leave you with just one more thought-one that has always helped me as a writer. This tip comes from author Henry Miller’s famous 11 Commandments of Writing . Among the numerous valuable tips you can draw from his list, my personal favorite says “Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.”

This is great advice at any stage in your writing career. Dive in and write fearlessly.

And now that you’ve got a step-by-step roadmap for attacking your position paper, get more valuable tips, tricks, and hacks from our comprehensive collection of Study Guides and Study Starters .

And if you are struggling with how to take effective notes in class, check out our guide on note taking .

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Home » Position Paper – Example, Format and Writing Guide

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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Kings Park High School

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What is A Position Paper?

A position paper is a paper required by a majority of MUN conferences which detail your country's position on topics regarding your committee. Position papers are written before the conference and requires research of your country and topic of your committee and allows you to summarize your ideas to help you explain your position in your committee. Furthermore many conferences that require a position paper have an award for best position paper in each committee or overall, so try your best to make your position papers precise and filled with information. Guides to help write your position paper and example position papers can be found in the sub pages to the right and in the Resources tab. GOOD LUCK!

The following are selected links which should help in writing position papers and gathering reliable information for your country's viewpoint:

  • CIA World Factbook Country Statistics and Research Information
  • Global Classrooms Position Paper Guide
  • State Department Research Database  
  • Cornell MUN Position Paper Guide
  • Cornell MUN Resolution Guide
  • Cornell MUN Guide to CRISIS COMMITTEES 
  • United Nations Official Site
  • United Nations News

Committee: UNESCO

Country: Zimbabwe

School Name: Kings Park High School

Delegate Name: Zachary (Zak) Marcone

MITMUNC Position Paper

            The interests of the Republic of Zimbabwe conform to those of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO’s support of proliferating educational opportunities across the world is at the core of the mission of Zimbabwe’s most prestigious institutions of higher education. Namely the African University (AU), Great Zimbabwe University, and the Harare Institute of Technology are several of Zimbabwe’s highly accredited universities. Additionally, the government of Zimbabwe has committed itself to providing education for all citizens. Despite this there remains an uphill battle in Zimbabwe as 16.4 percent of the population is illiterate and only 2.5 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on education. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe continues to be an active member of UNESCO contributing to the committee’s ambitious goals. Zimbabwe’s active participation has contributed to the designation of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the nation including Great Zimbabwe National Monument.

            Utilization of drone technology by belligerent nations is unacceptable. Zimbabwe supports the inhibition of drone use for militant purposes while simultaneously encouraging the advancement and investigation of its economic, scientific, and peace-keeping potential. Limitation of militant drone use can be achieved through a prohibition of drone technologies on the battlefield. Though prohibition is not within the powers of UNESCO, Zimbabwe will initiate and seek any and all resolutions that encourage the elimination of battlefield drones. It is envisioned that such a prohibition will resemble prior prohibitions on chemical weaponry. Current times necessitate such limitations as drones are contributing to the deaths of thousands of individuals; such occurrences do not conform to the mission of UNESCO nor the United Nations. Furthermore, possession of such drones exacerbates disparities and dichotomies present in the global balance of power. Nations in possession of militant drone technologies demonstrate a considerable advantage over under-equipped nations effectively forcing them into submission. This furthers the separation of the global periphery from the world’s powers. Despite this, Zimbabwe considers allowing Security Council sponsored drone attacks as a compromise.

Such a ban should only affect militant drones, however. Zimbabwe supports drone-incorporated peacekeeping missions. Zimbabwe presents a novel solution wherein all nations in possession of drones and/or drone technology must contribute a supply of drones to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces. A fleet of drones would allow UN Peacekeepers to monitor belligerent forces and will not allow any nation to veil its activities while simultaneously accelerating current peacekeeping missions. Such drones could have identified the employment of chemical weaponry in Syria much earlier.

Zimbabwe expresses immense support for the incorporation of green technology and sustainable schools in the current global educational framework. However, Zimbabwe recognizes that much of the world struggles with the provision of basic education let alone green education. Therefore, Zimbabwe will attempt to shift the focus towards general education with some incorporation of green technologies. Within the realm of green incorporation Zimbabwe recognizes the necessity of enumerating specific criteria that must be met to deem educational institutions as “sustainable schools.” Such an enumeration would resemble the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Any and all schools that meet the criteria will receive recognition by UNESCO and all those graduating will receive a distinguished diploma highlighting the students’ and the school’s dedication to green education. Such an incentive will entice many institutions in pursuit of recognition. Furthermore, Zimbabwe will support and initiate any and all resolutions that encourage the enactment of programs similar in nature to the Open Space Stewardship Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Programs of this nature encourage the development and preservation of local green environments by local students. Such programs have the potential to encourage global stewardship of the world’s finite resources.    

                                                                                                                                                                       Example 2:                                                                

  Written by Julian Ubriaco for CMUNCE 2014:

Through his cabinet appointments, President John F. Kennedy amassed an unprecedented amount of knowledge in a compact body of close advisors. My selection as Kennedy’s Secretary of State reflects Kennedy’s predilection for Rhodes Scholars as well as his recognition of his narrow election margin, as I am a centrist at heart. I plan for my tenure as Secretary of State to reflect my background in the army, Department of State and private enterprise. I was first associated with East and Southeast Asia when I enlisted in the army during World War II and served in the China-Burma-India theatre of war. After the war, I went on to join the East Asia Desk of the Department of State during a particularly pivotal point in United States East Asian diplomacy. As a member of the Department of State, I am noted to have favored the deployment of American UN-supported troops to South Korea during the Korean War. Towards the end of the McCarthy Era, I left the Department of State and went on to head the Rockefeller Foundation, a private philanthropic organization which fosters the growth of education and public health around the world. Through my experiences, I have not only become very pragmatic, but I have also displayed attention to detail and technicalities, which will prove to be a vital part of my foreign policy.

            In terms of Soviet-American relations, I believe that the United States must favor a foreign policy which embraces the Soviet Union as a long-term foe. It is my opinion that the Soviet Union is not collapsing anytime soon and that it’s likely that relations will worsen before they get better. I emphasize that the United States must do all it can to keep all options open concerning Soviet diplomacy. I believe that a more flexible relationship will allow the United States to use a combination of trades, threats, military procedures and intelligence to keep as much of the world under democratic control as possible. In addition, I advocate the reduction of nuclear warheads and nuclear tests by both sides, to prevent mutually-assured destruction in the case of war. Reflecting my time as Rockefeller Foundation president, I also note that it is the United States’ responsibility to develop the “Third World,” in order to prevent the majority of it from falling to Soviet-supported communism. I support issuing a standardized package of humanitarian and military aid to American allies in Africa, Asia and Latin America. My hope is that with better education and a higher standard of living, people around the world will favor American democracy over Soviet communism. Concerning the Republic of China, I assert that it has been a consistent American ally and must not be alienated after being expelled from the mainland by the communist People’s Republic of China (PRC). I regard “Red China” as an extremely belligerent state, whose grasp must not extend to South and Southeast Asia. I favor an even more aggressive foreign policy with the PRC, as it is a relatively young state which is experiencing many perils, including a potential split with the Soviets. Long-term, I hope that it will be fit to be displaced by the return of the Republic of China or be the target of an American-sponsored assassination attempt on its leader, Mao Zedong. Perhaps my position concerning the Soviets and Chinese is best represented by the cliché, “Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.”      

            Considering the recent spread of communism into Southeast Asia, I believe that the United States must support the current non-communist governments of South Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma with both financial aid and military assistance. I also support a policy of collective security in these nations, as was defined in the Manila Pact (SEATO charter) of 1954. At the upcoming Geneva Convention concerning Laos, I believe the United States must take a bold stance and campaign for the partition of Laos along the 17th parallel, creating a communist North Laos and a democratic South Laos, to be overseen similarly as North and South Vietnam (or North and South Korea). While this solution would leave only approximately one quarter (by land area) of Laos under democratic control, it would give the United States the ability to construct a system of linear defenses south of the DMZ, which would discourage or hamper the success of any possible invasion from the communist northern countries. I also stress that another vital point of American foreign policy must be securing necessary military bases in Thailand and the Republic of Vietnam, as well as persuading King Sihanouk of Cambodia to form an alliance on the basis that his power is threatened by the growing communist insurgency. With a strong union of democratic Southeast Asian nations, I hope that the region can collectively fend off the communist insurrections to which the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and People’s Republic of China have already succumbed to.

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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 !

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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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29+ Position Paper Examples in PDF

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1. Sample Position Paper

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2. Position Paper Format

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3. Student Position Paper Example

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4. High School Position Paper Example

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5. Position Paper Outline Example

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6. Education Position Paper Example

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7. Position Paper Introduction Example

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8. Position Paper Template

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9. Poverty Position Paper Example

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10. Position Paper Essay Example

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11. Position Paper Bullying Example

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12. Position Paper Teenage Pregnancy Example

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13. Position Paper on Depression Example

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14. College Position Paper Example

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15. Position Paper on Business Example

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16. Research Position Paper Example

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17. Mental Health Position Paper Example

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18. Position Paper on Social Media Example

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19. Law Position Paper Example

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20. Early Pregnancy Position Paper Example

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21. Position Paper Argument Example

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22. Writing a Position Paper Example

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23. Position Paper Guide Example

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24. Simple Position Paper Example

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25. Basic Position Paper Example

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26. Standard Position Paper Example

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27. Printable Position Paper Example

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28. Position Paper Policy Example

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29. Position Paper Checklist Example

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30. Health Position Paper  Example

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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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201 Great Position Paper Topics To Try

Position Paper Topics

The first step in putting together a great college or university paper is choosing a great topic. This can be hard for some students because it can time consuming as well as stressful digging through the countless topics for position papers. If you are having trouble coming up with something to write about, these position paper sample topics should give several ideas:

Position Paper Topics for Psychology

These claim of fact topics are among the first types of essays students learn in this discipline. These are a handful of topics they should consider if they are interested in the psychology field:

  • What are the major causes of social anxiety disorder?
  • How does spending time working out at the gym impact body confidence?
  • What is the link between the number of times people watch TV and obesity?
  • What is the relationship between physical activity and mental illness?
  • How do males and females experience depression differently?
  • Why does the U.S. rank among the highest in-home sexual abuse cases?
  • How does depression affect physical health?
  • What is the state of sports psychology in today’s world?
  • What impact does athletic coaching have on young people?
  • How do certain teaching methods work better with specific personality types?
  • Why are professional sports athletes in need of mental health checks?
  • How are social hierarchies formed at the workplace?
  • How do children learn to solve problems at an early age?
  • What is the relationship between mental health and obesity?
  • Which factors affect guilt more than others?
  • How does social media affect our social interactions?
  • Do restrictions of short-term memory affect the way the elderly socializes?
  • What are some factors that contributed to childhood obesity?
  • What causes attraction among couples?
  • How do packaging and advertising affect consumer choices?

Criminal Justice Position Paper Topics

Criminal justice is a field that is constantly evolving. We are at a point where you can find all the background information you need on the web. But there is a lot you can learn by conducting some in-depth academic research in the library:

  • How has online security changed the way people commit fraud?
  • Should society consider decriminalizing marijuana use?
  • What impact does a person’s education have on the kind of crime he/she commits?
  • What are the challenges of social cohesion and criminal justice?
  • Should young adults who commit violent crimes be charged as adults?
  • Do juries consider crimes committed by law enforcement more seriously?
  • What kind of crimes are teenagers more likely to commit?
  • Should people that commit public shootings face the death penalty?
  • How can noncriminal behaviors be acquired by imitating role models?
  • How important is education when it comes to prison terms?
  • What is a natural legal crime and how does it affect the legal system?
  • Does a person’s gender affect how he or she is penalized?
  • Should drug use be considered when giving sentences to criminals?
  • Does a person’s employment status affect how he or she is sentenced?
  • Should the federal government ban certain types of firearms?
  • How much effort should the government put into rehabilitation?
  • Should the United States invest in privately owned prisons?
  • Is the jury selection process fair for all races and ethnicities?
  • Is it possible to remain neutral in mental disorder cases?
  • Is there a gender bias when people testify in criminal cases?

Position Argument Topics for Middle School Students

These ideas are designed for students that are learning how to conduct research and properly form a reasonable argument to support their arguments. They can be easily researched on the web and using school resources:

  • Should schools emphasize art education?
  • Should books with questionable scenes or language be banned?
  • Should students be required to attend summer school?
  • Should student-athletes maintain a certain GPA?
  • Should students have the choice to take virtual classes?
  • In which grade should sexual education be taught?
  • Should public colleges be free for all?
  • Should physical education still be a required school subject?
  • Should students be allowed to skip a grade level if they overachieve?
  • Why do Americans eat so much fast food?
  • Should home chores be mandatory?
  • Should graffiti be considered art?
  • Do parents of the right to put restrictions on internet use?
  • Why is it important to participate in school politics?
  • Should the school day have fewer hours?
  • What are the best activities to do during the summer?
  • Should students be allowed to take more electives?
  • Should the minimum wage be increased?
  • Should music sharing on the internet be allowed?
  • Do online streaming services adequately regulate content?

Topics for Position Paper for High School Students

When writing any assignment, you always want to make sure you choose a good topic. These types of position paper ideas are great for students that are still learning skills in researching and writing. The ideas listed below don’t require a lot of in-depth academic research and can be dealt with by doing some easy background research on the web:

  • Should military service be mandatory in the United States?
  • Should the Covid-19 vaccine be made mandatory in all workplaces?
  • How effective are anti-bullying policies at your school?
  • What are the best professional traits to have in the workplace?
  • What is the best food to serve at a party?
  • Is the dress code at your school fair?
  • What are the pros and cons of distance learning?
  • Should the United States raise the federal minimum wage?
  • Will the U.S. ever become 100% green?
  • Why is exercise important to enhance mental focus?
  • Should the U.S. limit the number of immigrants that come into the country?
  • Is it a good idea to make school uniforms mandatory?
  • Should students be expelled for cheating?
  • Should companies force employees to get periodic Covid-19 tests?
  • How long should detention be for students caught smoking on campus?
  • Why do Americans have the world’s unhealthiest diet trends?
  • Should schools allow students to choose what courses they want to take?
  • Should the U.S. government offer better incentives for properties that use solar power?
  • Should the U.S. provide universal healthcare coverage?
  • How does listening to music help students finish assignments?

Position Paper Topics Ideas for College Students

If you are a college student, these topics may suit your needs. They cover a wide range of topics across several disciplines and are sure to earn the interest of your readers:

  • Should the United States stop selling weapons to countries around the world?
  • How much should parents be involved in their children’s education?
  • Should the United States ban unpaid internships?
  • Should the federal government legalize prostitution?
  • Does the DSM-IV adequately characterize abnormal symptoms?
  • Should corporations have a lower or higher tax rate?
  • Why does the U.S. have an obesity problem?
  • Do healthy diets impact your mood negatively or positively?
  • What are the characteristics of high-functioning adults suffering from schizophrenia?
  • Does law enforcement need to be reorganized and regulated?
  • Should the FDA take a bigger role in regulating the American diet?
  • How does the average American diet compare to other diets from around the world?
  • Do public schools provide adequate nutritious meal choices?
  • Are college students forced to take too many courses per semester?
  • How much influence should parents have on their children’s relationships?
  • Should the United States allow companies to form monopolies?
  • Does the U.S. effectively deal with misdemeanors committed by youth?
  • Should females be allowed to participate in professional male sports?
  • Should the United States end the use of privately owned prisons?
  • Should transgender people be allowed to participate in professional sports?

Position Paper Topics on Health for Graduate Students

The health field is constantly evolving and this poses challenges for students looking for topics that do not become outdated by the time they need to write their dissertations. Here is a list of ideas to consider:

  • What impact will Juneteenth have on American society?
  • What are the major problems with the BLM movement?
  • Should the pledge of allegiance remove its reference to God?
  • Should the possession of drugs be decriminalized?
  • Does capital punishment deter people from committing crimes?
  • How does the U.S. justify giving tax breaks to large corporations?
  • Should minors be able to purchase birth control without parental consent?
  • Should collegiate athletes be given guaranteed contracts?
  • Is it a good idea to invest in pieces of art?
  • Should the United States allow Presidents to serve a third term?
  • Should the Electoral College be eliminated?
  • Should there be term limits for the Supreme Court Judges?
  • How do religious organizations justify not paying taxes?
  • Should Puerto Rico become the 51 st state?
  • What are the pros and cons of animal testing?
  • Should people have the right to elect Supreme Court Judges?
  • Should birth control pills be available for free?
  • What impact do third-party candidates have on elections?
  • Should students be allowed to hire problem solvers?
  • Should college students be taught how to invest?

Good Position Paper Topics for a Short Project

If you are working on an assignment that needs to be completed in a few days, you need a topic that you can quickly find information about online and at the library. The following topics are perfect for this situation:

  • Should teachers use social media in their lessons?
  • Are students prepared to return to a full day of classes?
  • What are the benefits of making virtual friends?
  • Should men receive paid paternity leave?
  • Should high school students learn how to budget?
  • Should employees have the right to evaluate their supervisors?
  • What is the best type of music to listen to when studying?
  • At what age should children start school?
  • How effective is online learning?
  • Should the pass/fail system be applied to all classes?
  • Should cooking be a mandatory subject taught at school?
  • Should journalists be forced to reveal sources in court cases?
  • What are the pros and cons of social media?
  • What are the benefits of having a dog or cat as a pet?
  • Should students have to repeat the grade lost to Covid-19?
  • Should students have the right to evaluate their teachers?
  • Can society adequately conserve energy to reduce pollution?
  • Can media outlets be held accountable for spreading false news?
  • What is a subject that is underfunded at your school?
  • Should driver’s education be made mandatory?

Position Research Paper Topics for a Long Project

This set of ideas are tougher than the ones we listed earlier. These ideas are geared towards students that have gained ample experience writing research papers and know how much hard work needs to go into putting them together:

  • Should doctors be allowed to share confidential information in certain cases?
  • Is public school better than private school education?
  • Does the use of smartphones help or hinder employee performance?
  • What is the negative impact of watching reality shows?
  • Why do people become addicted to social media communication?
  • Why do people idolize celebrities?
  • Are genetically modified foods safe for human consumption?
  • Why is it important to teach children family traditions?
  • Why do people create misleading online profiles?
  • Should standardized testing be eliminated?
  • What are the negative effects of staying “connected” through technology?
  • Why do young adults feel more confident communicating online than in person?
  • Do colleges put too much value on standardized test scores?
  • Should young adults be allowed to get tattoos with parental approval?
  • Should felons be allowed to vote in state elections?
  • Should parents be allowed to choose the public schools their children attend?
  • How important is it for employees to take vacations?
  • How much does culture influence health in American health?
  • How does social media affect a person’s physical activity?
  • Should people be mandated to participate in local politics?

Position Paper Ideas are Great for a Tight Deadline

These claim of value topics are great for assignments that have tight deadlines. You can quickly find information on the web and find current information by checking journals at the library. You should be able to complete these topics within a week:

  • What are some subjects that should be removed from the curricula?
  • Should the United States’ taxation system be revamped?
  • What are the negatives of winning the lottery?
  • What life experiences are important for character growth?
  • How much does music impact the way people learn?
  • Should schools make the study of classical music mandatory?
  • Have we reached a state of gender equality?
  • What influence does religion have on our perspective of life and death?
  • How do males and females raise children differently?
  • Should sports betting be made legal nationwide?
  • Does a college degree make a person smart?
  • Which genre of music has had the most influence on modern society?
  • Do schools do enough to prepare students for the real world?
  • Should there be a reasonable age gap between couples?
  • Do we need to do more than work hard to achieve financial success?
  • Is it still important to earn a college or university degree?
  • What impact did the MeToo movement have on romantic relationships?
  • Should eSports be considered sports?
  • Are female athletes sexualized by the uniforms they are forced to wear?
  • Should student-athletes receive money for playing sports?

Controversial Position Paper Topics

A written assignment should try to engage with personal interests while simultaneously trying to push the envelope when it comes to academic research. You can also research and write about something controversial to capture the attention of your readers:

  • Are students learning less because of the amount of homework they receive?
  • What causes young adults to bully other young adults?
  • Would there be less street crime if marijuana were legalized?
  • Can someone under the age of 18 be allowed to vote in elections?
  • Are children safe using social media and the internet?
  • Should the United States interfere with international laws protecting rainforests?
  • What right does the government have in regulating who smokes?
  • Is it ethical to euthanize a patient that is suffering from excessive pain?
  • What are the scientific and moral arguments for and against human cloning?
  • Should prostitution be legalized and regulated to increase revenue?
  • Is it fair to ban smoking in open public spaces like parks and sidewalks?
  • Is it ethical to prevent cross-cultural marriages?
  • Should students receive financial compensation when they perform well?
  • Should the federal government take an active role in lowering the cost of college?
  • Should public schools ban public prayer in classrooms?
  • What are the negative effects of banning controlled substances?
  • Should sex workers be given the same employee rights as in other industries?
  • Does placing bans on controlled substances lead to more crime?
  • Is the amount of homework harmful to students’ mental health?
  • Should rich people pay more taxes to reduce the cost of social services?
  • Should states invest in building same-sex schools?

Our experts for hire specialize in a variety of academic disciplines. We create professional high-quality assignments that earn the best grades in class, no matter the topic or discipline. We can also provide hundreds of topic ideas and sample assignments for students needing a jump start. Check out our other topic lists, resources, or contact us for specific needs.

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100+ Position Paper Topics to Ace A+ Grade

Position Paper Topics

A position paper is an academic paper that incorporates controversial topics or arguable issues that are evaluated for their pros and cons. These papers are significant pieces of writing that help keep the discussion flowing.

In general, the purpose of a position paper is to persuade the audience reading it of a fact or truth that has never been acknowledged before. In this case, the truth is only partially actual right now. Showcasing such points is challenging for anyone; perhaps this is why students usually get tormented before writing a position paper. Choosing a controversial topic for a position paper that contradicts common values and social taboos or shares a contrasting mass opinion can assist you in developing strong and enticing arguments. We have compiled a list of compelling position paper ideas and topics that will guide you in framing a strong argument. To earn high grades, continue reading this article and select the most appropriate topic.

Table of Contents

Before Topic Selection

A well-written paper is only possible if its topic is clear and exciting. Choosing the ideal topic for your paper is essential for framing the entire document. After all, it will be the topic around which your arguments will revolve. If you want to frame strong arguments, choosing a strong topic with a strong background is imperative.

To select a topic for your position paper, you should conduct preliminary research on current popular topics. Whenever you find an exciting topic, ask yourself the following questions:

  • From your viewpoint as a diplomat, is this topic genuinely significant or controversial?
  • Is this topic intriguing to you?
  • In response to that question, what recent events have taken place?
  • Can you frame arguments around it?
  • Does the topic have a manageable scope?
  • What crucial questions can you raise about such a topic?
  • What previous actions have various global bodies taken regarding this issue?
  • Are there any recent findings concerning the topic?

This process allows you to narrow down a few appropriate topics for your paper. Ensure thorough research into whatever topic you select. Make sure that the topic you choose has a solid case and that you can support it with strong arguments.

Like a typical research article, finding supporting evidence for both sides is essential. You can counter competing claims by including supporting evidence for the opposing side. Alternatively, you can identify the strengths of the evidence that strengthens your position compared to the deficiencies of the negative evidence.

Choosing a Position Paper Topic

After you have narrowed down a few position paper topics, the next part is preliminary research and sees if the following topics would be ideal for your paper. Read the following instructions to choose the best position paper topic for your project:

Choose a Familiar Topic:

When you have a foundational understanding of a subject, writing and researching about it won’t be hearing about it won’t be challenging. You already know the hooks and knocks of the topic, making it easier to move forward with your following research. It will undoubtedly be an intelligent approach to your paper. You won’t be intimidated by research since you’ll know where to begin.

Research Topics You are Enthusiastic About and Write About:

This is more of a suggestion than a regulation. If you want your readers to enjoy your writing, you must enjoy it first. Thus, choosing a tedious topic will not only make you lose interest but also make your readers lose interest. It will be simpler for you to produce quality and informative content that your readers will appreciate if you are driven by your essay topic more.

Make Sure There is Enough Support for Your Thesis

Students frequently need help selecting a compelling topic resistant to future refutations. Therefore, consider your decision and consider the evidence you have at your disposal.

Select an Argument That Will Stir the Emotions of Your Audience

When we communicate our viewpoints with someone, we want them to understand the thoughts and feelings behind those words. It’s the same with writing as well. Your sole goal when writing your paper should be to interact with or engage your audience through your writing. Your writing will undoubtedly have some rational arguments; choosing a subject that lacks emotional resonance isn’t the wisest course of action.

Before moving forward with the writing part, you must ensure that your position essay topic matches the given checklists. Consider why this topic or issue still needs to be resolved. Do some research and determine what actions the authorities have taken to address those issues. Lastly, ask yourself what should be done by the authorities to resolve it. In any case, instead of putting too much time and effort into drafting your paper, you can also choose paper help services. After all, when your grades are at stake, you shouldn’t take any risks.

Top 100 Position Paper Topics

Based on the above suggestions and guidelines, we hope you will have selected your position argument topic by this time. For students who still need to identify their ideal topic, we’re still here for you. In general, position paper topics come in a broad spectrum of ranges, so to help you, our experts have enumerated those topics according to their branches. You can look through these lists and select the best that meets your needs.

Position Essay Topics for High School Students

Instead of jumping straight to the challenging topics, let’s start this journey with some easy position essay topics. You can either select one of these topics or look for some unexpected, unorthodox viewpoint regarding the topic, or you can jump straight to the other topics as well.

  • Virtual schooling or in-person education: which is better?
  • Learning more foreign languages
  • Sleep deprivation is the cause of the “Moody Teen” phenomenon, and starting school later can fix it.
  • Is a national high school test necessary?
  • The intelligent tutoring system: is it worth it?
  • School uniforms are associated with equality.
  • Unethical or ethical comedy
  • Vernacular pupils shouldn’t be forced to change codes during class since it is exhausting.
  • Artificial intelligence: a boon or curse?
  • Do GMOs harm human health?
  • Using several perspectives while understanding global history
  • Dangerous sports should be prohibited in schools.
  • Holistic techniques like yoga and meditation should be a part of PE curricula.
  • Schools should provide nutritional support to their students.
  • Barbie dolls should be banned: the commodification of women’s bodies
  • Your past does not define you.
  • Plastic surgery affects one’s body image and is not empowering.
  • Progressive tax or proportional tax: what is better?
  • The future of competitive cheerleading in the Olympics
  • The “eccentric genius” myth is inaccurate and encourages intelligent students to conceal their abilities.
  • The hidden harmful effects of consuming junk and processed food
  • Why do children idolize celebrities?

Position Paper Topics for College Students

The following topics suit college students preparing their positions or argumentative essays. You can use these topics as-is or frame them according to your requirements.

  • The impact of demonetization on the Indian economy
  • Work from home: the route to satisfaction through balance
  • Taxation in the United States: What’s wrong with the tax system?
  • The dynamics of the gender pay gap: organizations bringing the gender pay gap to light
  • Should Shakespeare still be studied in college?
  • Is college tuition expensive in the USA?
  • Test scores are the only way to assess the abilities of students.
  • Life without faith is like life without meaning.
  • The past is only a life lesson, not a life sentence.
  • Women in STEM programs need more than a law.
  • The STEM gap: a gender gap to innovation

Position Paper Topics on Education

These are some engaging position paper ideas regarding education that you can consider for writing your paper:

  • The expectation and engagement of parents in the K–12 education of their kids and its outcomes
  • challenges facing teachers regarding funding cuts and growing classes
  • Sexism in schools: How the modern school dress code fosters sexism in our society
  • Homeschooling vs. traditional schooling: which one is better for the 21st century?
  • Does class size matter for the achievement of students?
  • Should schools start giving cash credits to students with high test scores?
  • The dimensions and paradigms of multicultural education
  • Employment opportunities during school: character building or the destruction of academic purpose?

Read Also – Advanced Law Research Paper Topics

Criminal Justice Topics for a Position Paper

These criminal justice topics for a position paper are some of the most controversial subjects that you can use to draft a persuasive and sturdy position paper:

  • Freedom of speech: the constitutional double standard
  • Increasing prison capacity can slow the rise in crime.
  • Holistic practices can be effective in altering the mindset of prisoners.
  • The Suppression of Abortion Protesters: The Law’s Double Standard
  • Juvenile incarceration and health: recent achievements from strengthening juvenile incarceration systems
  • Health-related issues in prisoner reentry
  • White-collar criminals should be prosecuted similarly to other criminals for nefarious activities.
  • Humane treatment of convicts in prisons is preferable to severe living conditions.
  • The death penalty or capital punishment ought to be eliminated.
  • Evidence from legal cases involving jail overcrowding regarding the impact of prison population size on crime rates
  • Media coverage can affect how criminal justice
  • relationship between socioeconomic status and crime
  • The outcome of criminal justice can be influenced by media publicity.
  • Should media outlets be permitted to report on court proceedings involving celebrities and other significant figures?
  • Illegal drug prohibition will help reduce dependency.
  • The misuse of the sexual violence law by women
  • Since substance abuse leads to significant problems, the court should apply more rigorous laws to resolve this issue.
  • Police personnel must be more stringent about their ethical codes.
  • Substance abuse leads to significant problems in several nations.

Ideas for Position Papers on Social Issues

Social issues, including climate change, overpopulation, migrant crises, poverty, civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, and beyond, are the topics people have already worked on. However, we certainly have a long way to go. Below is a list of social topics for position papers you may find helpful. If you need samples to understand the ideal position paper format, then simply visit our profile and order now in three simple steps.

  • How significant is equitable access to COVID vaccines?
  • Providing education and medical treatment to children escaping violence and war
  • Is it possible to reduce abortions without passing laws?
  • The management of nutrition in complex emergencies
  • Pro-life, pro-choice, and the possibilities of common values
  • How can pro-life and pro-choice organizations work together?
  • The nutritional and medical health needs of refugees
  • Wealth inequality and challenging times: an uncertain future for the United States
  • Emergency relief operations and refugee camps for refugees
  • Sustainable urban transport: opportunities for the future of public transport
  • Military spouse unemployment: addressing the undiscovered facts
  • The sustainable transportation analysis for smart cities: Why should we prioritize private vehicles?
  • Ethical dilemmas and methodology of accessing and reporting domestic abuse
  • Addressing human trafficking from a global perspective
  • impressions of male and female municipal council candidates that are gender biased
  • Addressing the role of social media as a communication platform
  • Is Barbie to blame for setting high beauty standards?
  • The absurdity of homeless youth in an advanced economy
  • Why should the law require health insurance to cover birth control?
  • Maintaining equilibrium between workplace optimization and innovation regions.

Position Paper Topics in Psychology

Psychology is another essential subject that encompasses several fascinating, popular, controversial, and critical issues that need serious discussion in research and argument papers. Here is a list of some intriguing  position paper topics in psychology  that you can use for investigation in your psychology major:

  • Technical developments in the psychology field
  • The vicious cycle of comfort eating, stress, and weight stigma
  • Why are organizations investing in corporate wellbeing programs in their workplace?
  • The horrendous effects of chronic sleep deprivation on youth
  • The impact of poor mental health on relationships
  • The LGBTQ community and suicide: a deadly combination
  • The psychological impact of opiate misuse: how to avoid being dependent on prescription medicines
  • Personality and psychology: a fatal combination
  • Counseling should be provided in all schools.
  • A person’s sexual orientation results from trauma or a terrible upbringing.
  • The psychology of xenophobic attitudes
  • How are the nations dealing with the psychological complications of the COVID-19 outbreak?
  • Food addiction is correlated with irrational beliefs through character-driven anxiety and emotional eating.
  • Controlling severe stress and managing emotional recovery from natural disasters
  • Mental health is the cause of substance abuse.
  • The harmful mental health effects of limiting access to safe abortion
  • Subtle discrimination and its consequences for stigmatized populations’ mental health and wellbeing
  • Making significant changes in your routine can significantly impact your mental health.
  • Food addiction: a valid cause for concern?
  • Psychological intervention: the current state and prominent issues

The Final Words

After reading this entire piece, you may come up with your ideas for position papers. In such cases, sitting with a notebook and pen is always a better option. You can immediately jot down any ideas that come to mind in your notebook. This way, you will remember any upcoming idea or topic. Writing a position paper requires the writer to be assertive and confident in their claims.

A position paper, also known as an argument paper, presents an arguable opinion or a fact, depending on the case. That’s why students get tormented right in the beginning and pay someone to write paper , which is wholly justified. When your grades are at stake, it’s always better to consult an expert for further editing services . Seeking experts’ help is nothing to be ashamed of, especially when other academic responsibilities overburden you.

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Position paper topics

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A position paper is a brief essay summarizing the main problem and its solutions. With good position paper topics, you need to convince people of a particular issue. And how good you are at persuading your readers mostly depends on the idea that you want to convey. The audience should feel that your opinion is important. This will enable you to gain trust.  Luckily, you’ve got to the right place. In this blog post you will find myriads of topic ideas for your position paper. Besides, we will share some valuable tips on how to pick the best idea. Let’s get down to the business.

How to Come Up With a Topic for a Position Paper

To understand how to pick a position paper topic, you should choose the field you are interested in. Study some information about it. Informational and scholar papers, guides and other materials will help with this task. By referencing them, you can pick ideas that you can easily develop in the text. Consider over the following steps:

  • Brainstorm some broad ideas.
  • Do preliminary research.
  • Narrow down the scope of your theme.
  • Study similar papers by other authors.
  • Make sure that your article is useful for society.

Provide solid arguments that will make your reader think that research you’ve conducted is right.

Position Paper Topic Ideas

To make the process easier for you, we have compiled a list of position paper topics . Choose the one that you like and get ready to write your essay. For your convenience, our list is divided into categories by disciplines.  Whether you are studying Psychology, Sociology, or Science, you will surely find an exciting idea. To choose a topic, look through this list of fields suggested below.

Good Position Paper Topics

A good topic for a position paper may express the main claims of the society. You can choose from fields that will surely touch the readers’ hearts. Check out these amazing ideas on social issues that are of great interest to most modern people.

  • Digital world influence on youth development.
  • Social discrimination.
  • Business and movie industry.
  • Alternative to imprisonment.
  • Educational innovations.
  • Loneliness and social isolation.
  • Social crisis caused by COVID-19.
  • Domestic violence and its effects on child development.
  • Should abortion be restricted?
  • Human cloning legalization.

A good topic will help to reveal your potential and involve readers in solving global issues.  Spotted a good position paper topic idea but have no time for writing? Hire a paper writer having vast experience in academic writing and get professional assistance.

Easy Topics to Write a Position Paper on

You shouldn’t start your position essay with complex ideas if it’s the first time you deal with this kind of writing. Choose easy position paper topics, then proceed to more complex debates. The list of some basic ideas is as follows:

  • Youth against bad habits.
  • Support on computer technology issues.
  • Restrictions on social networks for children.
  • Female clothing and fashion trends.
  • Transition to distance education.
  • Social adaptation for children.
  • Ban of animal testing.
  • Abolishment of death penalty.
  • Should adolescents be treated as adults?
  • Development of school voucher programs in the US.

Many people are concerned about these issues. So a detailed description of these problems may cause a storm of emotions and supporting comments.

Position Paper Topics for High School

High school position paper topics will become important not only for adults, but for children as well.

  • A need for exams after every grade.
  • Whether the Internet is useful for education.
  • Climate change : risks and preventive measures.
  • Violence in modern cartoons.
  • Need for a gap year after high school.
  • Bottled water: threat to environment.
  • Going green: Need for sustainable living.
  • Waste sorting – inconvenience or necessity?
  • Evolutionary theory debate.
  • Benefits of sports in student days.

By starting debates at high school, you could influence the perception of your classmates.

Position Paper Topics for College Students

Position paper topics for college will help understand social issues better. Consider the following topics.

  • Can renewable energy sources replace fossil fuels?
  • Same sex marriage.
  • Globalization as an origin of inequality.
  • Urbanization – are inclusive cities key to sustainability?
  • Artificial intelligence: benefit or threat?
  • Genetic engineering: possible risks.
  • Should online pharmacies be allowed?
  • Whether tutors are necessary.
  • Choosing a profession after graduation.
  • Humanities or technical education.

You can provide society with detailed information that will affect the further development of these hot issues. There are blogs with topics for explanatory essay  and persuasive writing topics on our platform. Read these ideas, they may help.

Position Paper Topics on Economics

Many people avoid topics for an economic position paper. This means that people haven’t found the most interesting issue to develop. Here are some good ideas for you.

  • World poverty impact on the economy.
  • Why are banks useful?
  • Impact of the 2008 crisis on the modern economic market.
  • Pay for university education – should education be free?
  • Suppression of small business by the state.
  • What innovations will save your country’s economy.
  • Can society prevent a new crisis?
  • Where are Asian Asian economies headed?
  • International monetary system: Economic trigger or source of instability?
  • Is there any future for bitcoin?

Choose a title from these suggested economics papers topics  to impress your instructor with trendy ideas.

Position Paper Healthcare Topics

Health is the most important topic to debate on. By choosing position paper topics on health, you can help everyone change their perception of modern medicine. You shouldn’t go into details about some benefits of medicines. Study some social and psychological factors that affect the health condition. A position paper topic will help you understand better what a person’s emotional condition depends on and how to improve society's attitude.

Position Paper Topics on Health

Developing position paper health topics is highly controversial. Choose the most relevant topics and expand them in your paper:

  • Healthcare needs and resource allocation.
  • Withholding information from patients as an ethical dilemma.
  • Insufficient places in hospitals.
  • Healthy lifestyle – a myth or reality.
  • Health deterioration over time.
  • Benefits of free medicine.
  • Increasing a gene pool.
  • Vaccination as a method of battling pandemic.
  • Self treatment: risks of treating oneself without professional supervision.
  • Help retired people maintain their health.

Still not sure? Look through opinion essay topics  for some kind of inspiration. Express healthcare-related claims – society will support your bold ideas.

Position Paper Topics for Psychology

Good topics for psychology position paper will help overcome barriers related to contacting a professional for solving these problems.

  • Free support for psychological help.
  • Domestic violence: preventive measures.
  • Influence of the emotional state on performance.
  • Choosing psychology as a profession.
  • When one needs to consult a psychotherapist.
  • Psychological tests before hiring.
  • Aggression in children.
  • Anxiety disorder as a response to social stress.
  • Mind vs Body debate.
  • Is a psychologist useful at school?

Think about important issues everyone is concerned about and encourage the readers to discuss them.

Position Paper on the Topic of Protection of Human Rights

People must comply with the laws to avoid claims from the justice system. By writing an interesting position paper on human rights, you can make the laws easier to understand or help novice lawyers understand their activity field. Thanks to your essay, people won’t have to spend time reading complex legal literature.

Criminal Justice Position Paper Topics

If you’ve decided on position paper topics for criminal justice, study the most popular issues in this field.

  • Violating the law due to a poor psychological condition: must the sick be punished?
  • How does a criminal record affect employment?
  • Social status and crimes.
  • Whether death penalty should be abolished.
  • Juvenile crime.
  • Due process or crime control?
  • Adversarial or inquisitorial system?
  • Is private policing better than public policing?
  • Allowed punishment for murder.
  • Is it possible to reduce the sentence for a severe crime?

Who is responsible for committing atrocities and how to reduce crime in every city of your country – you can write about everything in your paper.

>> Read more: Criminal Justice Research Topics

Human Trafficking Position Paper Topics

By choosing human trafficking in the United States position paper topics as research, you will be able to convey the danger of this activity to most people.

  • State of mind of those who are engaged in human trafficking.
  • Victims’ histories.
  • Impact of human trafficking on the economy.
  • Human rights violations.
  • Kidnapping children and adolescents.
  • Countries where human trafficking is thriving.
  • Reasons for kidnapping for slavery.
  • Should human trafficking be reported anonymously?
  • How can human trafficking be prevented?
  • Poverty as cause of human trafficking.

Increase public interest in this topic to toughen control over illegal trafficking. This will help to strengthen measures against kidnapping and human trafficking.

Inequality of Gender Position Paper Topics

Inequality of gender position research paper topics are becoming increasingly popular. This topic is included in various fields, including business, psychology, sociology, and others. You can choose:

  • Are there any successful women in business ?
  • Patriarchy evolution in the world.
  • Men’s fear of feminists.
  • Conflict women’s and men’s worldview.
  • Equality in everyday matters.
  • Unequal remuneration for sexes.
  • Sexism in Hollywood movies.

People will most likely reconsider their views on the allowed social conventions and interaction with other sex in different areas of life.

Position Paper Topics: Education

Many people are concerned about issues of educating children in a school. Choose position paper topics on education from the list below and increase the society’s involvement in these topical issues. You will help many people to reconsider their opinion on education. Parents will be able to help children decide on a future profession and understand whether there is a need for additional education.

  • Benefits of online education.
  • Use of technological advancements in teaching students.
  • Are single-sex groups more effective than mixed ones?
  • Tests: Most effective technique to measure academic success?
  • Should dual-language school programs be promoted?
  • Lectures or practical classes – which is better.
  • Whether printed materials are necessary.
  • Compliance of a family status with academic performance.
  • A look at educational reforms.
  • Optimal workload for students.

Have research questions on education ? We have got you covered. Read one more of our blogs.

Position Paper Topics in Special Education

Special education position paper topics help to study the best choice of an activity field for your child.

  • Choosing a profession.
  • Tutors or self-education.
  • Benefits of additional classes.
  • Support in choosing a university.
  • Impact of additional education on a child’s success in society.
  • Attitude to different activity fields.

Get across your ideas correctly and allow readers to completely immerse in your topic to be able to upgrade the modern education.

Best Topic for Position Paper on Media

If you decide on a position paper on media, you will have to study a lot of information. The media data changes every minute. The paper must contain only relevant information that can be useful for each reader. You will be free to describe any field of activity and increase the readers’ interest in relevant problems.

Best Topic for Position Paper: Social Media

When choosing a position paper on social media for your dissertation, you can consider one of the following issues:

  • Social networks for business development.
  • Problem of dependence on phones and social networks.
  • Parental control: benefit or harm to children.
  • Reliable protection of personal data in social networks.
  • Spam danger.
  • Education in social networks.
  • Deteriorating offline communication in society due to social networks.

A good study of information will help to assess the quality and impact of social networks on society. In case you need research topics for social media , read one more blog.

Position Paper Topics About Music

Position paper topics about music streaming will be a great way to express yourself:

  • Influence of music on health.
  • The best musicians and composers.
  • Development of musical directions.
  • Music psychology in different genres.
  • Attitude to opera.
  • Music therapy.
  • Learning with calm songs.

A variety of creations by famous performers available online will become of excellent help in writing your essay.

Position Paper Topics for Movie Industry

Everyone is passionate about a certain movie genre, which can be used when choosing position paper topics for movies.

  • Influence of horrors on human psychology.
  • History of cinema development.
  • Better special effects in movies.
  • Influence of a soundtrack in different movie genres.
  • Development of silent movies.
  • Online movies against theatrical productions.
  • The best modern directors.

You can study new movies and cinema history for free to compile the best report.

Sport Position Paper Topics

Regular physical activity is of invaluable importance. To make sports more valuable for society, choose sports industry paper position topics.

  • History of professional athletes.
  • Worth achievements of world sports.
  • Development of sports disciplines.
  • Advantages of doping control.
  • Overwork and its harm to health.
  • The best modern coaches.
  • Principles of maintaining athletes’ sports mood.

A research paper will be an excellent incentive to increase interest in sports not only for you, but for other people as well.

Position Paper Topic Ideas Social Work

If you want to choose a topic for a position paper in sociology, read the suggested research directions.

  • Social services must work for society.
  • Are social workers beneficial for dealing with troubled adolescents?
  • Customer opportunities in self-service.
  • Impact of the awkward age on an adolescent’s psyche.
  • Responsible arguments for making decisions when old.
  • How to get rid of anxiety when pregnant.
  • How the media affects children’s perception of the world around.

You need to study the chosen subject thoroughly before you start writing your essay. Make time and look at our blog with ideas for descriptive essay . Get some inspiration with new ideas. 

Last Thoughts on Position Paper Topics

Choosing topics for a position paper will help with research work. You will study a lot of information and become a real expert in your field. Your thoughts on debate may revolutionize society – readers will be able to get new information and expand their horizons. Gradually, the attitude towards pressing problems will change as you  provide your personal opinion. Don’t forget about possible solutions to the issue, otherwise it won’t make sense to write an essay on such dilemmas.

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If you aren’t sure how to develop your essay, consider professional college paper help . Our academic experts have helped thousands of students to create outstanding essays for different disciplines. All our writers are well-versed in their specific field of study, so you are sure to enjoy the result!

FAQ About Position Paper Topics

1. what is a position paper topic.

Position paper topics give the reader an opportunity to get acquainted with controversial issues. Each of them will contain an argument for and against. You will need to decide on your personal opinion, providing as much useful information as possible. The readers will be able to support the arguments or suggest contra arguments to be discussed.

2. What should a position paper include?

To make it easier to write a position paper, you should adhere to a clear 5-paragraph essay structure. By dividing it into subtopics and using headings, you will be able to present information on the chosen topic better. Don’t forget about a concise introduction and summary, which will make the gist of your essay more comprehensible.

3. What are the characteristics of a good position paper?

Good position paper starts with a clearly posed question. It will be controversial and may cause certain emotions in readers. You will be able to gain your supporters’ trust and convince those who are of a different mind that your position is correct. For this reason, you should use an indisputable argument and civil tongue. An adequate and correct presentation of the basic information will make your research more valuable.

4. What is a position argument?

A position argument is an argument on controversial points that the author specifies when writing their paper. A solution to this issue will help people make the right decision after reading an article. To make sure that an audience supports your argument, suggest alternative options and disapprove them.

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AMUN

COVID Vaccination and Attendance Policy

Sample Position Papers

The position papers submitted here are formal, public statements of a delegation’s position on the topics under consideration in a particular committee. Position papers may serve as a starting point for negotiations and debate at the Conference. Well-crafted position papers can often take the place of formal opening speeches and allow Representatives to attend to the substantive work of their committees more quickly.

Ideally, position papers lay out a country’s position on an issue before the United Nations, focusing on what a specific delegation would like to address or accomplish at the UN, rather than describing a specific country’s experience with a certain issue. Please see "Research and Preparation" in the AMUN handbook for more information on writing position papers.

The position papers linked below demonstrate both the format and content of well-crafted position papers for AMUN. They were taken from actual position papers from past AMUN conferences, though the delegation names have been removed. Your delegation’s name will be included on the papers you submit to the 2024 AMUN Conference.

Each delegation should submit one complete position paper that covers all of the committees and topics for their delegation. Generally, position papers are about 300 words (one half page, single-spaced) per topic. Thus, in GA and ECOSOC Committees, the position paper for both topics is about a single-spaced page of text. Some exceptions:

  • Delegations on ECOSOC should submit position papers for only the two primary topics (i.e., do not submit a position paper for topics that are essentially reviewing the work of a simulation that reports to ECOSOC.)
  • Topics in Security Council simulations are not pre-designated. Delegations on the Security Council or Historical Security Councils should select the two or three topics that are most important to their country and submit a position paper (again, about 300 words) for each of those topics.
  • Delegations choosing to take a seat on the World Health Assembly (WHA) should also submit a position paper for that committee’s two topics.

AMUN uses an online form for the submission of position papers. Papers are NOT submitted in hard copy. If the online form does not work, please contact the AMUN Executive Office ([email protected]) for instructions about submitting the delegation’s position paper via e-mail. If, on the day of the deadline, you have difficulty submitting a position paper, please e-mail your submission to [email protected].

Instructions for submission:

  • Each delegation should submit its position papers for ALL committees and topics at the same time. Delegations may save partial position papers in the system before submitting the final position paper.
  • Please do not include any header information (e.g. committee name, topic name, school name, or delegation name) at the top of the form. A header that includes all of this information will be automatically generated by the online system.
  • Copying and pasting position papers from a word-processing document is the easiest way to ensure correct submission. Use two hard returns to create a paragraph break in the position paper. Do not include any formatting in the position paper—any bold, italic, or underline text will be lost.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about position papers or their submission. Remember that position papers are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on 25 October 2024 in order to be eligible for a position paper award. No position papers will be accepted after 4:59 p.m. CST on 9 November.

  • Sample Position Paper #1
  • Sample Position Paper #2
  • Sample Position Paper #3

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 technology is reinventing education

Stanford Graduate School of Education Dean Dan Schwartz and other education scholars weigh in on what's next for some of the technology trends taking center stage in the classroom.

position paper example high school

Image credit: Claire Scully

New advances in technology are upending education, from the recent debut of new artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots like ChatGPT to the growing accessibility of virtual-reality tools that expand the boundaries of the classroom. For educators, at the heart of it all is the hope that every learner gets an equal chance to develop the skills they need to succeed. But that promise is not without its pitfalls.

“Technology is a game-changer for education – it offers the prospect of universal access to high-quality learning experiences, and it creates fundamentally new ways of teaching,” said Dan Schwartz, dean of Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE), who is also a professor of educational technology at the GSE and faculty director of the Stanford Accelerator for Learning . “But there are a lot of ways we teach that aren’t great, and a big fear with AI in particular is that we just get more efficient at teaching badly. This is a moment to pay attention, to do things differently.”

For K-12 schools, this year also marks the end of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding program, which has provided pandemic recovery funds that many districts used to invest in educational software and systems. With these funds running out in September 2024, schools are trying to determine their best use of technology as they face the prospect of diminishing resources.

Here, Schwartz and other Stanford education scholars weigh in on some of the technology trends taking center stage in the classroom this year.

AI in the classroom

In 2023, the big story in technology and education was generative AI, following the introduction of ChatGPT and other chatbots that produce text seemingly written by a human in response to a question or prompt. Educators immediately worried that students would use the chatbot to cheat by trying to pass its writing off as their own. As schools move to adopt policies around students’ use of the tool, many are also beginning to explore potential opportunities – for example, to generate reading assignments or coach students during the writing process.

AI can also help automate tasks like grading and lesson planning, freeing teachers to do the human work that drew them into the profession in the first place, said Victor Lee, an associate professor at the GSE and faculty lead for the AI + Education initiative at the Stanford Accelerator for Learning. “I’m heartened to see some movement toward creating AI tools that make teachers’ lives better – not to replace them, but to give them the time to do the work that only teachers are able to do,” he said. “I hope to see more on that front.”

He also emphasized the need to teach students now to begin questioning and critiquing the development and use of AI. “AI is not going away,” said Lee, who is also director of CRAFT (Classroom-Ready Resources about AI for Teaching), which provides free resources to help teach AI literacy to high school students across subject areas. “We need to teach students how to understand and think critically about this technology.”

Immersive environments

The use of immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality is also expected to surge in the classroom, especially as new high-profile devices integrating these realities hit the marketplace in 2024.

The educational possibilities now go beyond putting on a headset and experiencing life in a distant location. With new technologies, students can create their own local interactive 360-degree scenarios, using just a cell phone or inexpensive camera and simple online tools.

“This is an area that’s really going to explode over the next couple of years,” said Kristen Pilner Blair, director of research for the Digital Learning initiative at the Stanford Accelerator for Learning, which runs a program exploring the use of virtual field trips to promote learning. “Students can learn about the effects of climate change, say, by virtually experiencing the impact on a particular environment. But they can also become creators, documenting and sharing immersive media that shows the effects where they live.”

Integrating AI into virtual simulations could also soon take the experience to another level, Schwartz said. “If your VR experience brings me to a redwood tree, you could have a window pop up that allows me to ask questions about the tree, and AI can deliver the answers.”

Gamification

Another trend expected to intensify this year is the gamification of learning activities, often featuring dynamic videos with interactive elements to engage and hold students’ attention.

“Gamification is a good motivator, because one key aspect is reward, which is very powerful,” said Schwartz. The downside? Rewards are specific to the activity at hand, which may not extend to learning more generally. “If I get rewarded for doing math in a space-age video game, it doesn’t mean I’m going to be motivated to do math anywhere else.”

Gamification sometimes tries to make “chocolate-covered broccoli,” Schwartz said, by adding art and rewards to make speeded response tasks involving single-answer, factual questions more fun. He hopes to see more creative play patterns that give students points for rethinking an approach or adapting their strategy, rather than only rewarding them for quickly producing a correct response.

Data-gathering and analysis

The growing use of technology in schools is producing massive amounts of data on students’ activities in the classroom and online. “We’re now able to capture moment-to-moment data, every keystroke a kid makes,” said Schwartz – data that can reveal areas of struggle and different learning opportunities, from solving a math problem to approaching a writing assignment.

But outside of research settings, he said, that type of granular data – now owned by tech companies – is more likely used to refine the design of the software than to provide teachers with actionable information.

The promise of personalized learning is being able to generate content aligned with students’ interests and skill levels, and making lessons more accessible for multilingual learners and students with disabilities. Realizing that promise requires that educators can make sense of the data that’s being collected, said Schwartz – and while advances in AI are making it easier to identify patterns and findings, the data also needs to be in a system and form educators can access and analyze for decision-making. Developing a usable infrastructure for that data, Schwartz said, is an important next step.

With the accumulation of student data comes privacy concerns: How is the data being collected? Are there regulations or guidelines around its use in decision-making? What steps are being taken to prevent unauthorized access? In 2023 K-12 schools experienced a rise in cyberattacks, underscoring the need to implement strong systems to safeguard student data.

Technology is “requiring people to check their assumptions about education,” said Schwartz, noting that AI in particular is very efficient at replicating biases and automating the way things have been done in the past, including poor models of instruction. “But it’s also opening up new possibilities for students producing material, and for being able to identify children who are not average so we can customize toward them. It’s an opportunity to think of entirely new ways of teaching – this is the path I hope to see.”

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