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How To Write a Position Paper in 7 Steps (With a Template)
In order to create a position paper, there are seven steps that need to be followed. These steps include using a template to assist in the writing process.
Individuals in different sectors, including healthcare, education, and government, often engage in efforts to convince others of their ideas, fresh undertakings, or convictions. A position paper serves as a useful tool in persuading individuals. It requires extensive research and substantial evidence to garner support on a specific subject matter. Developing the skills to write this type of essay and provide strong backing for one’s standpoint can aid professionals in expressing their expert opinions on diverse topics, thereby promoting their career growth.
In this article, we will discuss the definition and purpose of a position paper, along with practical tips on how professionals can effectively write and utilize them in their respective fields.
What is a position paper?
A position paper is a written composition in which the author presents their perspective on a specific subject and presents supporting evidence. While position papers are typically taught in high school and college, professionals in various industries also write them as part of their regular work. In an academic setting, students may write position papers in response to a teacher’s assignment, but in their professional careers, they may write position papers on topics relevant to their industry. Several industries commonly utilize position papers as a means of communication and advocacy.
- Health care
- Scientific research
- Public policy
How to write a position paper
To compose a position paper on any subject, one must include three essential components: an introductory section, a main body, and a concluding segment. Here are seven steps to assist in the process:
1. Choose a topic
In certain classes or professions, there may be an opportunity to select the subject for a position paper. When making this choice, it is advisable to opt for topics that are connected to your field of expertise or academic passions. The main goal of a position paper is to convince the reader, thus the ability to provide substantial evidence to support your claims holds more significance than the actual topic. In case a supervisor or manager assigns you a topic, carefully consider your argument and the perspective you endorse.
2. Conduct research
Position papers offer evidence to back up an author’s arguments and convince the audience to agree with their opinion. It is important to conduct thorough research to ensure there is sufficient data supporting the chosen topic. In case there is a lack of information to support the argument, it is advisable to either change the topic or consider a different viewpoint.
To perform research, utilize government and educational websites to access official data, as well as periodicals and news releases for the latest updates. Gather a diverse range of information formats, such as statistics, historical details, and expert quotes related to the subject matter.
3. Do a pre-writing exercise
Once you have completed your research and made detailed notes from your sources, utilize a visual aid such as a graphic organizer or any other suitable tool to organize the data you have gathered. This approach will assist you in clarifying your argument and guaranteeing the inclusion of the most significant supporting evidence.
To determine your stance on the subject, consider developing a compilation of evidence that supports your viewpoint as well as counterarguments. If visual learning appeals to you, try utilizing a word cloud or another visual tool to organize your arguments and group related evidence.
4. Draft a thesis
After making a decision on your stance, utilize your research notes to craft a thesis statement. This statement should consist of a sentence that presents your viewpoint and succinctly outlines the main evidence supporting it. To aid readers in anticipating the main elements of your argument, many writers prefer to place their thesis statement at the conclusion of the introductory paragraph. It is important to include details about the significant evidence areas within your thesis.
5. Create an outline
Using your thesis statement and notes, construct an outline that presents your argument. Some individuals choose to use sentence fragments in their outlines, while others prefer to create full sentence outlines that include topic statements, supporting evidence, and conclusions for each section of their research paper. The typical sections found in a position paper are as follows:
- Begin the paper by presenting the subject matter and stating your main argument or stance. It may be helpful to give some context or highlight the significance of the topic.
- The body of your paper includes your arguments or claims along with evidence to support them. A shorter position paper typically has three body paragraphs, while longer papers may consist of multiple sections, each containing several paragraphs.
- In conclusion, the last part of a position paper highlights your arguments and provides a concise overview of your paper. It is also appropriate to incorporate details regarding the ramifications of this matter on your specific field.
6. Write a draft of your paper
To write an effective position paper, begin by creating a rough version based on the provided outline and incorporating thorough research and relevant content. It is crucial to appeal to both the readers’ logical reasoning and emotions in order to effectively persuade them. Make sure to back up your position with substantial evidence and, if necessary, conduct additional research to enhance the paper. Additionally, consider including a section that addresses opposing arguments with supporting evidence. If your paper is for a college course, be sure to adhere to your instructor’s guidelines for citing external sources. For professionals writing papers for their work, it is recommended to follow industry standards for attribution.
7. Review and create the final draft
Go over your initial draft and correct any spelling and grammar errors to produce a final version of your position paper. It can be beneficial to have someone else review and provide suggestions for improvements. When selecting someone to read your draft, consider finding someone who has knowledge in the field or a high level of reading comprehension to offer valuable feedback on your persuasive techniques and writing style. For instance, if you are writing a paper for a research internship, consider asking a professor or senior student for their input. It may take multiple drafts before your position paper is ready to be submitted.
Position paper template
You can utilize this template to assist you in writing the outline and initial copy of your position paper.
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[The initial passage presents a contention substantiated by a minimum of two pieces of evidence.]
[The second paragraph contains an additional argument along with corroborating evidence.]
[In the third paragraph, an additional point is made along with evidence to support it.]
End with a recap of your points and a statement to highlight the stance of the essay.