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Detailed Guidelines For Writing An Impressive Position Paper

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Writing An Impressive Position Paper
 krishna   Published On Jul 21, 2021 | Updated on Aug 8, 2022  Assignment  0

A position paper requires you to choose a side on a specific topic that can be at the time controversial. Once the topic is selected, you need to build up a case for your opinion. It is not easy to write a position paper. But, it can be if you understand what this paper exactly requires you to do and how you can use statistics, opinions, and facts to write an impressive position paper. So, let’s begin with the definition of a position paper first.

What Is A Position Paper?

A position paper is where you can present an arguable opinion about an issue. The purpose of this paper is to convince your target audience that your opinion is worth listening to and 100% valid. It is important that you address all aspects of the issue and support your opinion with relevant pieces of evidence, examples, facts, etc.

Three Main Elements In A Position Paper Format

No matter what your topic is, there are three main elements in a position paper format. The structure is quite similar to the one you may have to use in a critical essay. Unlike the latter, a position paper is about choosing a side and strengthening your arguments based on different pieces of evidence. The elements of a position paper are:

  • An introduction

 The opening paragraph identifies the main issue that you will talk about in the rest of the essay. And it also states your position on that issue.

  • The body

This is the ‘meat’ of your overall essay, where you need to highlight the central argument. However, it is better to break down the body of your position paper for better readability. It has three unique sections such as:

  • Background details
  • Relevant evidence to support your opinion
  • A thorough discussion of both sides of the issue

The discussion should address and refute the major arguments that tend to contradict your position. The body is also the longest part of the essay. You can add as many paragraphs as necessary to enhance the validity of your position paper.

  • A conclusion

This is the concluding paragraph where you need to provide closure to your readers. Restate the key points that you have already mentioned in the paper. Suggest resolutions wherever applicable to the issue.

How To Create The Position Paper Outline?

The outline serves as a mind map for the final draft of your essay. It helps you ensure that the structure of the essay is flexible and follows a simple flow till the end. In case you are wondering how to start a position paper, state the problem first and its relevance to your scientific community or society.

Position paper example of the introduction


  • Background information

The WHO has always encouraged the adoption of a tax on unhealthy foods to discourage the consumption of unhealthy foods.

  • Relevance

Sugar has reported negative impacts on health. It also plays a significant role in the rising cases of obesity in the USA.

  • Position

The US should adopt a considerable tax on sugar-infused drinks to reduce the consumption of the same, thereby promoting healthier eating habits. 

Position paper example of body paragraphs

Argument 1

The tax imposed on sugary drinks such as soda may not have an impact on other foods that are also unhealthy.

Argument 2

The tax on sugary drinks is regressive and often places an economic burden on financially backward consumers.

Counter-argument 1

 The taxes imposed on sugary drinks wouldn’t impact all sources of sugar in the American diet. But, it would still make a difference on one of the major sources of added sugar.

Counter-argument 2

All taxes imposed on consumption goods are regressive. The sugary drink tax would be effective if it is accompanied by healthy food subsidies.

Finally, summarise the significant points in the conclusion and provide closure to your readers. Back up all the arguments in the paper with valid data, evidence, and facts.

How to write a position paper?

The first step in writing a position paper is getting hold of relevant position paper topics. You should be interested in the topic, and enough research material should be available related to it. Once you have shortlisted some topics for the research paper, here are the steps to follow to write an impressive position paper.

1. Establish the plausibility of a topic

Ask yourself the following questions to check whether the topic will let you present a strong argument or not.

  • Is the issue narrow enough to manage within the specified word count?
  • Is it possible for you to directly identify two distinct positions?
  • Can you tell the issue is real? See if it has genuine controversies and uncertainties.
  • Are you interested in advocating one of the positions on the topic?

These questions will help you be confident with your topic. You can proceed with it if the answer is yes to most of the questions mentioned above.

2. Analyze the issue & develop an argument

You may already have an idea about which side of the argument you want to take. But, still, you must do some research to ensure that your position is well supported. Get hold of the following supporting evidence to enhance the validity of your position paper:

  • Factual knowledge- Verifiable information that is also agreed upon by everyone.
  • Informed opinion- An opinion developed by expertise of the claim or via thorough research.
  • Statistical inferences- Examples and interpretations of a collection of relevant facts.
  • Personal testimony- Your experience related to the issue.

You need these details to support your arguments or claims in the position paper. Analyze the target audience as well to ensure that you use the evidence that is likely to resonate with them.

  1. Organize the details as per the structure

Your introduction is supposed to lead to the thesis statement, which governs the rest of your paper. Here’s why you should focus on leading the essay with the thesis:

  • Your readers are aware of where you stand.
  • You mention the thesis twice: in the opening and concluding paragraphs.
  • A thesis statement is the most common type of academic argument used in different papers.

You can take a look at online position paper samples to understand the right way of writing the thesis statement. It shouldn’t be more than 2-3 sentences long.

Wrapping Up, 

A position paper is rendered successful only if it can convince your readers of your point of view. Your job is to choose a specific side of the argument that you believe in and present well-founded knowledge of the topic. You need thorough research and the steps discussed above to write an impressive and strong position paper. Good Luck.

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