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Position Paper Writing: Say What You Think

To a large extent, writing a position paper can be like developing a persuasive argument. In your position paper, you will also need to take a firm position and provide evidence to persuade your readers. However, position papers are often written in response to books, movies, decisions, or events.

At the same time, a position paper is different from many other essays in a sense that it incorporates both objective evidence and subjective/reflective responses into a cohesive piece of writing. When writing a position paper, you will need to use reliable evidence to support your judgments. You will have to articulate a clear and unambiguous position and justify your points. Your personal essay will have to be well structured and academically sound. Imagine that your professor reads a dozen of personal papers every day. Yours must stand out!

Writing a Position Paper

One of the first things to remember is that you must choose an appropriate topic for your position paper. Choose a topic you like or know quite well. You must be ready to defend your position, and you cannot do it for a topic you are not familiar with. Of course, it may happen that your teacher will provide the topic. In any case, this topic must be narrow and specific enough to help you generate a convincing argument. When you select the topic, you will gather evidence to support pro and con positions. You must know what arguments your opponents use. You must have enough evidence to refute or at least weaken their positions.

You can start writing your position paper after you gather enough quality evidence. When you have sufficient information, you can develop an outline for your paper. Consider the key facts you will use to defend your position. Elaborate on them in the body of your work. Also, pay attention to what your opponents have to say. Do not ignore or misunderstand their arguments. Recognize and fight back. This is how you can win the audience.

Outline

Introduction

  • Provide some most important information about the subject
  • In the last sentence of the paragraph propose a thesis statement

Body

  • Use facts and credible evidence to justify your claims
  • Consider opposing viewpoints and refute them

Conclusion

  • Revisit the thesis statement
  • Wrap up the main argument