Easy steps for writing a good position paper

9 Jul

Before you get to writing a position paper, it is good to understand vividly how to define a position paper.  Many individuals confuse a position paper for being just a report like any other whereas it is clear that a position paper entails the writer lying on one side of the issue under discussion.
Position essays make a claim about something and then prove it through arguments and evidence.

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.

How to write a position paper:

After getting the meaning of a position paper, we can now proceed on how to go about in writing a position paper.

Decide on a topic. The best topic will be one you have a strong interest in or opinion about.Find some articles to read about your topic. It is best to read different positions. Try to get a feel for the various views on the topic.

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.

List the advantages and disadvantages for both sides of the argument- when you list the advantages and disadvantages of two different sides of the argument you will be able to pick the best position that you can confidently argue.

Gather your sources. You can use articles you read in preparing your thesis, but you may want to get more evidence to support your view. Make sure you also have information about opposing views.

Search a few reputable sites, like education (.edu) sites and government (.gov) sites, to find professional studies and statistics.

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.

To make your paper outstand you should:

Make it as simple as possible- in a presentation of your claims you should ensure that you are direct to the point and avoid unclear explanations because it makes your work tiresome to read. Be clear by using simple, understandable language, avoid too much use of vocabulary in your work.
Write your paper, including adding your author tags, evidence and citations in MLA style.
By incorporating evidence from other sources, you strengthen your argument. There are three ways to incorporate sources in your essay: quotation, paraphrase and summary. However, you should be careful to use quotation sparingly and to be sure to cite all your sources using the MLA or APA format.

In order to formulate an effective argument for position essays, you need to find common ground with your audience. Most arguments are more effective if they seek to persuade an audience which is undecided or not strongly in favor of your position.

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.

Position paper writing format

The thesis

The first thing that you should major on in your paper is the thesis. The thesis statement is the one that will dictate the direction of your paper. In the thesis statement bring the issue at hand in the limelight and let the reader know your direction on the argument.


Describe the problem and make it vivid for the reader. Your introduction should:
Make the reader interested in this issue.
Convince the reader that this is an important issue.
Explain your point of view.

Claim Sentence: Generally, the introduction will end with your claim or thesis (sometimes this will be the opening sentence, or you may put a question which is not fully answered until the conclusion).

The body

In the body, you should be able to give both sides of the argument but center more points on the position that you are interested in as a writer. You can give a few points concerning the counter argument then finish up with ample points and support for your desired position in the argument.
In designing of the body, you should start your paragraphs with good topic sentences – the topic sentence is a small sentence that introduces an idea to be discussed in that paragraph.

The rebuttal is a discussion of other positions on this issue and explaining why your position is better. Again, you may use sources to support your position and you may also use qualifiers (sometimes, if, most of the time) to narrow your claim and encourage the audience to agree with you.
The conclusion

In conclusion, you are supposed to summarize all your points and give your view on the argument. At the start of the conclusion, restate your thesis just to remind the reader of what your intentions were in the paper then support your thesis with a summary of the points in the body paragraphs.

Make a final appeal to the reader and tell them what you want them to think or do.
Depending on your topic, you may want to make an appeal to logic, emotion or authority.
If you haven’t done so in the body, you can sometimes use a countering of other positions in the conclusion. Explain why your position is better.
If you started with a question, you may save your final claim thesis for the end.