Writing a Position Paper: Articulate Your Viewpoint

In many respects, position papers are very similar to persuasive essays. The fact is that both types of academic writing intend to convince the audience and change its opinions. Quite often, a position paper is presented as a response to some movie or life event.

However, unlike many other essays, position papers represent a unique combination of personal response and well-structured research. As you are working on your position paper, you will have to build a strong argument and use reliable evidence to prove your point. More importantly, you will have to write your paper in ways that show how your position and argument is stronger than that of your rivals. You can successfully accomplish this mission only if you conduct thorough research and leave subjectivity behind.

Position Essay Writing

The first thing you must do when working on your position paper is selecting a topic and defining your position on it. In most cases, you will have to write on a topic that was previously selected by the teacher. If you are free to choose a topic, make it specific. Avoid vagueness and ambiguity. Once you decide upon the topic, you will have to explore the pro and con positions. Anticipate the opposition and use evidence to refute the opposing claims.

When you finish research, you can develop an argumentative and very strong thesis. Then you will also need to develop a position essay outline. You will have to outline the principal arguments and support them with evidence. This is what position essay writing is all about.

Equally important is a comprehensive presentation of the opposing argument. You cannot simply ignore or omit it. If you want to defend your position, accept critique and recognize that other people may have a different opinion on your selected issue. Otherwise, you will never manage to build a credible argument.

Developing an Outline

Introduction

  • Include some background information on the topic
  • Develop a thesis in the last sentence of your introduction

Body

  • Provide evidence to support your position
  • Recognize and refute opposing viewpoints

Conclusion

  • Restate the thesis statement
  • Summarize the main points