How to Write a Position Paper

A position paper is like a debate presenting one side of an argument related to an issue. The main idea of the position paper is to convey to the audience that your opinion is correct and defendable. The idea that you select must be meticulously analyzed while choosing a topic, then develop the argument and organize the paper.

A position paper is about taking a stand on an issue and making it justifiable with your argument, thus you have to ensure that you are addressing each and every side of the issue in a way that your audience is able to understand your point of view clearly. You have to take one side on an issue and convince your audience that you have a clear perception of the topic you are presenting to them. It is important to support your topic with evidence to ensure that it stands the validity of your claim. To show that you are well informed, you need to refute the counter claims.  You need to do a thorough research on your paper from all angles, so that you can cumulate every necessary evidence to support your argument to withstand the counter attack from the opposition. Organize and outline your viewpoint in such a way so that the position you present is unique though biased and establishes your credibility and passion on the issue. 

Here are a few steps that will guide you in writing a position paper:

To take a stand on an issue, you need to establish that it is arguable and of interest to you.  You need to see whether the topic is genuine; whether there can be two different opinions and whether you can manage it. Most importantly, you should be able to evaluate whether you can advocate one of its positions. 

Once you have narrowed down on the subject, start with the research work.  While you already have an opinion on the topic and have selected the side that you want to debate, make sure you provide a strong base to your arguments. List each and every side of the debate, which will help you examine your ability to support your counter claims with supporting evidence from each side. 

-It may include evidence that has been verified and authenticated by most.

- Overviews and information.

-Analyzing of books and government reports. 

-Scholarly articles like academic journals. 

-You should also try to incorporate personal experiences if any.

After you have completed your list, it’s important to compare pieces of information one by one keeping your audience in mind and the point you want to establish. To do this convincingly, you can frame a questionnaire for yourself on your viewpoint and ask the following questions: 

- Whom are you going to present? 

- What is their viewpoint on the issue? 

- What are probable evidences that can convince them? 

- Have you asserted something and provided a plan of action? 

- Have you provided enough material to support your claim?

Next, you need to outline your topic first by introducing it, providing a suitable background, and then presenting your views on the topic. The introduction should solve the dual purpose of introducing the topic as well as establish your approach to it. You can do this by providing a suitable backdrop. Then you need to establish an area in which your topic fits and slowly move on to the specific field of discussion. Keep in mind the counterclaims; they need to be supported with proper information; refute them adequately and provide evidences for your arguments. Anticipate the counter arguments and prepare your response to them thoroughly from all angles so that the reader or the audience understands that you have a more valid explanation than your opponent. Present the arguments fairly and objectively considering all sides of the issue but do not provide a superficial list of all counter arguments, and be consistent with your prior argument. That means you should not divert from the original argument. 

Afterwards, you need to frame a procedure to present your arguments by asserting each point one by one so that you keep the audience or the reader interested in your subject. By presenting your educated and informed opinion, provide evidence that fits your argument. There can be more than three or four arguments but not less.

Finally, you should conclude by restating your argument and provide a plan of action; simply highlighting an issue is not enough and you should have a proper remedy to it, otherwise, your arguments will remain incomplete. You should not introduce any new information in the argument in the conclusion. The best conclusion will restate the topic in various ways and then present its implication. 

The points discussed in this article will help you frame a better position paper. 

Categories: Writing Tips   Tags: how to write a position paper, writing a position paper