How to Write a Position Paper

hey guys today I'm going to show you how

to write a position paper that is sure

to impress step by step so let's get

started your position paper will allow

you to explain and support your stance

on a debate topic and describe your own

solutions to a given issue it will be

four to six paragraphs total so that

includes one introductory in one

concluding paragraph as well as two to

three body paragraphs in between so

before you even start writing your

position paper you have to research

there are a couple of steps that you

need to take in order to thoroughly

research your topic and familiarize

yourself with it so first you'll read

the brief which is a really long

document that explains all the nuances

of your topic sometimes what I like to

do is write notes on my brief just so

that I really kind of get to know the

information well and also at the very

end of the brief there will be

discussion questions or prompt which is

the exact prompt you need to answer in

your position paper that's what your

thesis will be focused on so you need to

become an expert on your topic in order

to do that will I'll talk a little bit

more about where you can find more

information and how to research but

ultimately you need to find the stance

of your party or your constituents in

order to effectively come up with your

own solutions to the topic and at the

very end you'll outline your own

proposals here are a few places where

you can research so you can look up

credible websites especially those that

end with gov because you know that it's

coming directly from our government I

highly highly recommend that you

integrate court cases in your position

paper because that shows your expertise

on Supreme Court cases constitutional

law and existing laws and oIA's org is a

great resource that has summaries of

Supreme Court cases as well as the

decisions that come out of these cases

so you can also use scholarly articles

those are the kind of articles that come

from Google Scholar or academic

databases and you can include chunks

from those articles as quotes in your

paper news

articles are also a great resource just

make sure that they're coming from a

reputable newspaper such as the New York

Times or The Wall Street Journal and

legislation and policy is definitely

recommended to include in your paper

especially those listed under Congress

gov you can find the full text of bills

and laws that have been passed there and

also make sure to use think-tanks to

find statistics on your topic I'm going

to show you how I structured my

introductory paragraph for a position

paper I wrote freshman year so my prompt

was what measures should Congress take

to oversee the agricultural

biotechnology industry so that refers to

the industry which genetically modified

crops or seeds to bring out the most

beneficial traits in these organisms or

in these objects so for my thesis I

wrote the following by labeling all

genetically modified foods allowing

independent testing and facilitating

collaborative research between

biotechnology companies and the FDA the

federal government can regulate the

agricultural biotechnology industry so

the thesis should be the very last

sentence of your introductory paragraph

but notice how I structured it it's a

typical three point parallel structured

thesis so I've underlined you know each

point in this thesis so each point

corresponds to a specific body paragraph

so for example point one is what I will

be talking about in body paragraph one

point two is what I'll be focusing on in

body paragraph two and the same for

point three and at the very end of the

thesis I've stated my ultimate goal so

what exactly goes in your introduction

before your thesis

you'll be including background

information on your topic so something

that's really important is that you

should never repeat any information from

your brief in your introduction because

your reader already knows all of that

information it would just be redundant

to repeat the same facts so instead

you'll include information that

corresponds to each point made in your


so for example point one of my thesis

talks about labeling all genetically

modified foods in my background

information I might talk about how

corporations are currently not required

to label GMO products makes making

consumers unaware of the potential

effects and point to talks about

allowing independent testing so in my

background information I would elaborate

on that describing how currently

companies can reject independent

scientists who want to conduct

experiments on patented products leading

to biased unreliable research and the

same thing goes for point three your

body paragraphs should follow the same

structure you'll have a topic sentence

which describes the main goal of the

paragraph in total and you'll have your

first claim which explains what exactly

are you going to do in order to achieve

the goal stated in the topic sentence to

support that claim you'll have you'll

list out your evidence and then analyze

your evidence you'll repeat that for

however many claims you have in your

body paragraph it's kind of recommended

to have roughly three to five claims but

it's pretty flexible so any a little bit

more a little bit over would be fine as

well and at the very end you'll include

a transition into your next body

paragraph here is one of my body

paragraphs for this essay so you can see

that the topic sentence is the

Environmental Protection Agency's patent

laws must be reformed to permit

non-commercial testing in order to

obtain unbiased research and learn about

the biological and environmental effects

of GMOs so clearly I'm stating in my

topic sentence what my goal is my goal

is that the EPA's patent laws should be

reformed and I'm also specifically

highlighting two reasons why the EPA's

laws should be reformed so to obtain

unbiased research and learned about

learn about the effects of GMOs for my

evidence notice how I integrated a quote

into my sentence here I included a quote

from a specific resource and also

attributed it to an individual you don't

necessarily always have to do that but I


to do that in this case I said that this

quote comes from Elson J shields an

entomologist at Cornell University and I

also just notice how I also described

who this person is to prove that there

are credible resource also you can see

this little number at the very end of

the sentence and that is corresponding

to our footnote citation so if we scroll

down to the bottom here you can see the

full citation in full mla citation i

included of the source where i found

this quote so for any type of evidence

that you include in your paper whether

it's a statistic a quote any sort of

evidence you must always include a

footnote citation to show where exactly

that piece of information came from in

your conclusion you will restate your

thesis first then you will summarize

your main points really briefly it can

be one two three sentences and I always

like to end with a plan of action for

the future here are a couple of

questions you can answer in your

conclusion so how will you gain

bipartisan support how do you plan to

compromise with the other party the

other side in order to come up with a

comprehensive solution well you have to

modify existing laws or create new

organizations and most importantly how

will you measure the efficacy of your

proposals or the effectiveness of your

solutions you must always remember to

include a work cited page at the very

end of your position paper it looks

pretty different from the typical

double-spaced MLA style bibliography but

in this case we'll just have a single

spaced work cited include the citation

and alphab

all the citations in alphabetical order

and always remember to indent the second

line and what I like to do is just plug

in my sources into EasyBib com to figure

out what the correct citation is that's

the easiest way to do it in my opinion

and always remember to include the link

to the website at the end of the

citation I know that this work cited

page looks a little bit different

because MLA

rules have changed since this paper was

written but as long as you use EasyBib

you should be good that's it for this

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instructional writing tutorials and if

you have any questions about the

position paper or if you'd like me to

look over your thesis or any sort of

parts of the paper put it in the comment

section below I will see you next time