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Position Paper: Definition & Writing Tips

Writing an excellent position paper may be a tough job for many students. One has to conduct thorough research and support their point with facts. This article can undoubtedly assist you if you have difficulties with creating an excellent ‘point of view’ paper. Read on this guide and find out all details on the position essay structure, valuable writing tips, and much more.

What Is a Position Paper: Definition

Simply put, position paper is an evidence-based essay in which you convey your viewpoint on a certain subject. In this type of writing, you should work with a debatable topic. For this reason, ‘point of view’ essays are widespread in business and politics.

The main purpose of any position paper is to persuade your readers that your standpoint is sound. Mostly, it is all about presenting supporting evidence that backs up your argument. Keep in mind that unlike a persuasive essay, convincing your audience to accept your point isn’t your main task. Your writing piece should primarily focus on information that makes an argument strong. That’s why you should use evidence that supports your viewpoints. This may be some statistical data or dates and events.

Position Paper Structure

The structure of a position paper follows a 5-paragraph essay outline. It typically includes such elements:

  1. Introduction
    • Identification of problem
    • Position statement
  2. Main body
    • Your viewpoint
    • Supporting details
  3. Conclusion
    • Brief summary
    • Give some plan of action

Students pick any subject they like, analyze different opinions, and determine whether they agree with discovered ideas. The next step is to share ideas on whether or not you agree with other views. And lastly, you should explain why you think so.

How to Start a Position Paper

Position paper introduction must introduce the subject, pique readers' interest in it, and present thesis. But it’s not necessary to follow this order. Things are rather simple here. Starting with a few words about what you’re going to tell the audience is always a good idea. Most experts suggest writing an introduction after everything else is done.

The beginning should also be brief enough so it can lead readers to the next section. Here are several helpful tips students can use to describe points better:

  1. Start an essay with a hook.
  2. Be concise and stay on point.
  3. Briefly express your thoughts.

Keep in mind that you should address one specific topic to make your work focused.

Position Paper Thesis Statement

An introduction of your position paper won’t be complete without a thesis statement. You will need to assert your main argument about something you believe is true. So once you select some topic for your essay, you should specify the main focus of your writing. Think about what critical aspect you want to cover. Then, write one sentence stating your position towards any aspect of your topic.

Main Body of a Position Paper

The main body of a position paper may contain several paragraphs. Each one should provide your key arguments on the matter. Your body may start with one topic sentence that will smoothly flow into discussion of your arguments. Briefly state your opinion and offer some supporting information. Your evidence may also include statistical data, quotes from original sources, etc.

There are many ways to organize your ideas in the main body. You can choose three different claims and cover each of them in a separate section. Alternatively, you may group your arguments by categories and discuss these 2 groups in 2 paragraphs. Remember to leave some space for counterarguments.

Counterarguments: Position Essay

If you want your position to sound stronger, you should use counterarguments in your essay. Counterargument is an idea that is opposite to your main argument. At this point, you should make every possible effort to make readers accept your argument instead of the opposite one. Think whether the counterclaim is false and explain why. Be objective and fair when introducing your ideas. After all, you want to demonstrate that you have looked at the flip side of the coin, and considered every scenario.

Conclusion Paragraph for Position Paper

How to conclude a position paper? Many writers consider the ending the most difficult aspect of the writing. Concluding paragraph is what a reader takes away from whole text. This is why importance of thesis statement should be emphasized. Make sure a paper gives that sense of completion. The information should summarize the main issues and ideas. Professors will also appreciate suggested courses of action and possible solutions. Offer several ways how a given matter can be resolved.

How to Write a Position Paper

If you have no clue how to write position paper, the following tips might be helpful.

  • Use active voice.
  • Write in the third person.
  • Avoid cliches and fragment sentences.
  • Conduct preliminary research.
  • Gather enough data to work with and build paper upon it.
  • Stick to the plan and make text logical and structured.

Choosing side on specific topic is crucial. To defend your viewpoint or perspective, you must set out case and provide details. Facts, data, and proof are essential to persuade readers that your viewpoint is the finest among all.

How to Come Off With a Topic for a Position Paper

What should the position paper topic be like? The following advice will be useful. Choose a theme in which the view is clearly divided and argued using proven information and inductive reasoning. Pick only that topic you have previously expressed opinion on. Take a critical look at your viewpoint on this subject in writing.

Create Position Paper Outline

How to write a position paper outline? An outline is basically a very short version of story with just key scenes and essential moments like introduction, arguments, and conclusion. It's about creating skeleton of paper. Most of the outline won't exist in the final draft, but it offers some insight on the arrangement of ideas. To ensure that readers do not question what author writes, flow of ideas should be as persuasive as possible. Now that you know some basics, it’s time to use your outline and write your ‘point of view paper’.

Last Thoughts

Position paper provides opinion with research and reasons to support stance on topic. Like any debate, position essays offer one side of questionable viewpoint. And you should be ready to present decent arguments to win your reader’s heart. The writing purpose is to persuade that author’s views are genuine. Ideas you are contemplating should be carefully evaluated while selecting a subject, building arguments, and structuring your work.

If you are stuck in any stage of the writing process, don’t hesitate to use professional academic writing services. StudyCrumb is always here for you to solve any academic challenge you may have. Let us know your issue, and we will match you with the most fitting expert who can write an excellent position paper for you.
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FAQ About Writing a Position Paper

Where is the thesis statement located in a position paper?

A thesis statement typically stands at the end of introductory paragraph. Phrases that precede statement will introduce it, and the following phrases may possibly support and clarify it.

How long should a position paper be?

Position paper length depends on the number of arguments you present. It is usually one page long. It should begin with a short introduction, followed by a detailed discussion. A good position paper will not only offer information but will also provide important resolution suggestions.

How to cite a position paper?

Cite position paper using the following format (Author, Year: Page Number). Where an author is not available, one may use shortened phrase from the title. In the actual bibliography, the format is different. Generally, you will be required to include an author’s full name, work’s title, publication date and a page range if applicable. Keep in mind that citation format may vary depending on a specific referencing style that you choose.

How to think of a good title for a position paper?

Good position paper heading should express an author’s point bright and briefly. Keep title to 10 words or less. Don't use a vague title or be overly creative with your theme; instead, go straight to your point.

Rachel R. Hill is a real educational devotee. She prides in writing exceptional general guides while listening to every need of students.

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