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Writing a Position Paper

 In everyday life, people continuously take sides and form opinions on anything that involves them. However,
defending your point by simply saying, “Because I think so” won’t help you make a case. It is therefore important that
you learn how to properly outline your thoughts and make valid arguments.

What is a Position Paper?

 A position paper presents the writer’s stand or viewpoint on a particular issue.

 Writing a position paper entails outlining arguments and proposing the course of action; by doing so, you are already
taking part in a larger debate.
 Aside from this, you also have the power to change the opinions and attitude of others when you write a position
paper. Because of this, a position paper can be an essential tool in bringing about societal change.
For example, if you do not agree with a certain issue or rule, you can write a position paper t reflect your point of

Parts of a Position Paper

1. Introduction
 Start with an introduction which presents the issue while grabbing the attention of readers.
 Define the issue and discuss its background.
 Provide a general statement of your position via your thesis statement
2. Body
 State your main arguments.
 Provide sufficient evidence for each arguments such as statistical data, interviews with experts, and
 Provide counterarguments against the possible weaknesses of you arguments.
3. Conclusion
 Restate your position and main arguments.
 Suggest a course of action.
 State what makes your position superior and more acceptable.
 End with a powerful closing statement such as a quotation, a challenge, or a question.

Guidelines in Writing a Position Paper

1. Choose an issue. When choosing one, keep the following guidelines in mind.
 The issue should be debatable- you won’t be able to take a stand if the topic is not debatable.
 The issue should be current and relevant.
 The issue should be written in a question form and answerable by yes or no.
 The issue should be narrow and manageable.
2. Begin writing process by conducting an in-depth research on the issue.
3. Make sure to define unfamiliar terms when you first mention them.
4. Be aware of the various positions about the issue and explain and analyze them objectively.
5. Reflect on your position and identify its weaknesses.
6. Cite valid and reliable sources to establish the credibility of your arguments.
7. View the issue in different perspective so you can present a unique approach.
8. Limit your position paper to two pages.
9. Analyze your target readers and align your arguments to their beliefs, needs, interests, and motivations.
10. Summarize the other side’s counterarguments and use various evidence and date to refute them.
11. Arrange your evidence logically using an inductive and deductive approach.
a. In inductive approach, you discuss specific information first, and then look for patterns to create a general
conclusion. In essence, an inductive approach entails a flow from specific to general ideas.
b. In deductive approach, you take something general and then branch out and thinks of specific things that could
apply to it. Basically, this is a type of reasoning where the flow of discussion starts with a general theory and
moves to a specific hypothesis.
12. Use ethical, logical, and emotional appeal. An ethical appeal relates to your credibility and competence as a writer; a
logical appeal refers to a rational approach in developing an argument; while emotional appeal uses arguments in a
way that evokes feelings.

Activity: Work with a partner. Come up with a writing situation for your position paper by filling out the items below. Once you
have selected an issue, decide who take the pro and con side. 200-300 words 1-2 pages only.
Issue: Example: Do Facebook has a positive influence on social relationships?
Purpose: To argue that social media has positive or negative influence on social relationships.
Audience: Social media folks

Sample: Student1: (Affirmative)

Facebook has a positive influence on social relationship because it allows people to connect through a more
accessible form of communication.
Social network like Facebook is beneficial to people’s social relationship, through the easy access messaging system
to the new video live cha. Facebook has become the most popular way for people to connect. With Facebook friends can now
become more included, by looking at the news feed helps you track with all your “friends” activities and mood at the moment.

Student 2: (Negative)
Facebook has a negative influence on social relationship because it hinders people’s natural connection with the
people around them.
Social network like Facebook influences people to lose emotional and real connection with their friends and loved ones,
through an easy access with messaging system, for example, two people living in the same house in different room may instead
chat each other through Facebook if they have some important things to remind each other because they are too lazy go with
each other’s room. In this manner, people tend to lose the real connection, which is the face to face interaction which is in fact
important form of socialization……………….