How to Write a Position Paper

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The following material explains how to produce a position paper. A template is provided that outlines the major parts of a good position paper. Immediately following the template are examples for identifying the sources used in performing research using APA style citing and referencing. A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper. It is very important to ensure that you are addressing all sides of the issue and presenting it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand. Your job is to take one side of the argument and persuade your audience that you have well-founded knowledge of the topic being presented. It is important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims, as well as to address the counterclaims to show that you are well informed about both sides. Issue Criteria

To take a side on a subject, you should first establish the arguability of a topic that interests you. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you will be able to present a strong argument: •  Is it a real issue, with genuine controversy and uncertainty? •  Can you distinctly identify two positions?

•  Are you personally interested in advocating one of these positions? •  Is the issue narrow enough to be manageable?
Analyzing an Issue and Developing an Argument
Once your topic is selected, you should do some research on the subject matter. While you may already have an opinion on your topic and an idea about which side of the argument you want to take, you need to ensure that your position is well supported. Listing out the pro and con sides of the topic will help you examine your ability to support your counterclaims, along with a list of supporting evidence for...
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