Similar to argument papers, a strong position paper supports one side of chosen issues, just like in any hot debate. Your basic goal is to give readers clear evidence to convince them that your positions or points are correct stances to take on a specific discussion.
How to write a position paper? Choose your point carefully, put your strong argument, include supported facts, and find important background information before drafting this paper. The committee policy and requirements may vary. Read this guide to save time and write a good position paper.
The main purpose of position essays
You need to explain why your opinion is defensible and carefully examine the ideas that you address while selecting a topic and taking other steps. Address all sides of your issue and support your stance. Take one side of a specific debate and persuade the audience that you know this subject and relevant questions well. Support every reason with strong evidence to guarantee the validity of your claims and refute possible counterclaims to show that you’re well informed about each side.
Basic issue criteria
How to take your side on a given subject? Establish if the subject that interests you is arguable and ensure that you offer a strong argument by asking these helpful questions:
- Is it a real issue with genuine uncertainty and controversy?
- Is its scope narrow enough to be manageable?
- Can you see a few distinctive positions?
Effective writing strategies
To learn how to write a position paper, create a brief outline, take some time, and focus on these basic stages:
- Choosing your stance;
- Building your argument;
- Drafting a position paper;
- Editing and revising it.
How to choose your position
Ensure that your subject is arguable. If you’re free to make this choice, ensure that your topic is controversial and has multiple sides to end up with a great position paper. You shouldn’t write it to argue that kids need proper care because no one will disagree with your chosen stance. What should you do next? Remember to do the following:
- Research your issue and its alternative sides;
- Make a list of both pros and cons of each position;
- Consider your views on this issue;
- Consider your readers’ opinions.
Researching your topic and its sides
You need this research to fully understand a specific issue, select and defend your position. How to do that? Consider recent developments, background data, and reasons behind every side, examine it carefully and look for a credible source of information. What is the best place to search for evidence?
- Access online databases, news sources, and reputable websites;
- Go to your local or college libraries to find relevant newspapers, journals, and books.
To determine whether your sources are credible, use peer-reviewed journals, check authors’ credentials, and find data in other good places. Avoid using any self-published sources.
Making a list of pros and cons for each position
Use your research to make a list of reasons both against and for every position that you’re taking. This simple technique can help you pick a position that will be easy to defend in a position paper by using your evidence. Look at each side to choose the best position. Consider possible counterarguments to address them effectively.
Considering your views on this issue
You may have strong views on a given issue and they will help you guide your choice. If you have a personal opinion, make a list of obvious reasons behind it to see whether they can help you build a strong argument in your position paper. It can be easy to argue your stance without strong opinions. You need to focus on evidence, not personal views.
Thinking about readers’ opinions
It’s not necessary to change your stance to fit the audience, but you may need to adjust your reasoning behind it or counterarguments. How readers will receive your position paper depends on their opinions.
How to build your argument
To earn good grades, you need to build a strong argument, and these easy steps will help you:
- Establish your claim;
- Identify supporting reasons;
- Compile your evidence;
- Identify counterarguments.
Establishing your claim
It’s your view on a specific topic that you will defend in your position paper, and you need to base it on what your evidence can prove.
Identifying supporting reasons
How to identify your supporting reasons? Most position essays provide a few supporting reasons for claims, but a longer one may require more reasons to be strong. They come from your evidence. You should choose only the statements that you can prove, but search for supporting reasons in different places to make your argument stronger.
Compiling your evidence
Identify the evidence that you will use to support your stance and mark them in any convenient way. You can write citations on cards or use other tools. Choose the best organizing method that works for you to compile your evidence and make it easier to write a position paper. Don’t forget to cite all sources:
- If you use direct quotes, put them in special quotation marks and identify authors;
- If you summarize or paraphrase something, give credit to authors.
Avoid going overboard when including evidence. Most of the ideas should be yours.
Determine the counterarguments that you can easily dismiss to strengthen your argument and show the audience that you consider other options. This simple technique helps you prove that your position is correct. Good counter arguments are easy to dismiss and let you refute them. You need to include the evidence that supports them, but ensure that it’s easy to dismiss to make your argument stronger.
How to draft your position paper
Everything starts with making your thesis. It controls the entire paper and you should write it first. When you draft a position paper, it’s possible to vary how you state your thesis because you use counterarguments and have different supporting points based on academic requirements. Including both your claim and counter arguments is a good option.
Write the introduction
Use this paragraph to provide readers with background data on your subject, including its history and recent developments. Include relevant information to narrow everything that you’ll tell the audience. Start an opening paragraph with the hook that introduces your issue and write a few sentences to give more details and narrow it down toward your viewpoint. End it with a thesis.
Include a few body paragraphs
The number of body paragraphs depends on the length of your position paper (one of them is for counterarguments, and other are for supporting facts). Use separate topic sentences to link back to a thesis. They are mini-theses that control each paragraph and tell readers what you will discuss in it (either supporting reasons or counterarguments).
Why use strong evidence?
You need to do that to support your stance and strengthen a major argument in your position essay. Use your research and focus on:
Give your commentaries to explain evidence. They need to tell the audience why evidence supports your chosen stance and clearly explain links between a thesis and supporting reasons. Without them, there’s no link between your opinion and evidence.
Conclude your essay
Reassert your stance to do that. A strong concluding paragraph should restate your stance and supporting reasons why it’s a correct view, summarize your argument, and dismiss counterarguments briefly. End your position paper with a call to action.
You need to cite each source that you use because this piece of writing always contains evidence that you take from other authors. Follow the necessary formatting style. If you fail to cite all sources, you’ll be guilty of plagiarism.
How to edit and revise your position paper
There are many effective techniques that can help you revise your final draft successfully. Use spell check tools because they offer an easy to avoid misspellings, and they are available on any word processors. You still need to proofread your essay. That’s because spell check tools may not catch all mistakes.
The importance of taking breaks
Take a short break from your position paper to eat, go for a walk, sleep, or enjoy your favorite hobbies. Your brain needs some rest before editing it. Step away from your assignment to get a better insight into possible gaps in your argument and decide whether all sentences make sense.
Reread your paper with fresh eyes, identify your claim, its supporting reasons, and counterarguments, and search for the areas that require additional evidence. Ask other people to suggest their adjustments. Mark every sentence that you need to streamline or give more clarity.
Making important revisions
Start revising your essay by making different additions, such as more evidence to support your stance or extra commentaries. Your argument should be clear and strong. Go back to your final draft to rewrite all awkward sentences, fix strange text fragments, break up long parts, and combine short phrases.
Proofread your position paper to make final edits. Check it for any misspellings, typos, remaining grammar issues, punctuation errors, and other mistakes that will compromise your future grades.
Use the right format
Prepare your bibliography, works cited page, or reference list because your position paper must include all the sources you use to write it. Follow the right style manual according to your instructors. Format your essay to fit all of their requirements. Look at your assignment prompts and instructions to get a better idea of how to format it correctly and earn better grades. Adjust font sizes, margins, and spacing to match these requirements.
If all of these tips aren’t enough for you to write a strong position paper, don’t hesitate to get our professional help online. Contact our team of experienced and qualified experts who will help you succeed.