Position Paper: Detailed Outline For Students
May 20, 2021
A position paper is written with the objective of convincing the readers about your point of view. It is easy to get confused between a position paper and an opinion paper. While the latter simply states your opinion, the former requires you to take a stance and prove it with research and data.
To help you understand how to write a position paper outline, here is a detailed guide that covers all the important sections of a position paper and the right structure for one.
The Main Components of a Position Paper Outline
The main structure of a position paper outline is quite similar to any essay. It starts with a strong introduction, a well-researched body and a conclusion that is compelling. In the following sections, you will get an example of position paper introduction, the body and the conclusion to understand the structure better.
The first step to writing a position paper outline is finding a topic that you can write about. There are different types of topics that you can choose from:
- Definition and fact claim: These topics are ideal for any descriptive essay.
- Policy claims: When you have to write a position paper about finding a solution to a problem or a ‘how to’ essay, these are the best topics for you.
- Value claims: This type of position paper outline compares the value of two contrasting subjects. You have to take one side and present your views.
- Cause claims: These topics specifically look at the causes for any existing problem. Again, you can present your ideas on why you think one causal factor needs more attention.
For your reference, we will choose the topic, ‘Why Tablets Should Replace Traditional Text Books”. This is a type of value claim which compares traditional textbooks with new age resources for the classroom.
Introduction of a Position Paper
Before we dive into a position paper introduction example, let us understand what is the objective of a good intro. Here are two primary things that you should aim to establish with your introduction:
- The issue that you are addressing
- The position that you are taking in the essay
A good introduction always starts with a compelling hook that makes your stance on the subject very clear. Always remember that your position is researched based. So, when you are figuring out how to write a good position paper introduction, you need to remember that it must always be in third person. If you write in first person, it becomes an opinion essay. You must always write a position paper introduction with the objective of getting the interest of the reader instantly towards your stance on the subject.
Here is a position paper introduction example with respect to the topic that we have chosen in the previous section:
“A recent experiment showed that students in California’s Riverside Unified School District who used the digital version of an algebra textbook on their tablet managed to score 20 percent higher on all standardized tests in comparison to students who used print versions of the same book. As the popularity of standardized testing increases and students are compelled to stay ahead in the global economy, they need all the edge possible. Replacing traditional textbooks with tablets can give them the advantage that they need. The small jump in test scores is not the only advantage of tablets. They are also lighter and less expensive than regular textbooks.”
As you can see, the paper opens with a hook in the form of statistics and also states multiple reasons that establish the position of the writer.
The Body of the Position Paper
What’s a position paper body? This is the most important part of your paper where you make all the compelling arguments to prove your stance. You need to divide the body of your position paper into three paragraphs at the very least. Every paragraph will present an argument that will make your stance stronger. You must include quotes, interviews, statistics and other evidence that can support your arguments.
It is in the body of the paper where you will also examine opposite viewpoints. This will help you provide counter arguments and even refute any opposing claims until you can prove that your point of view is valid.
Continuing with the topic selected in the first section, here is an illustration of how to write a position paper outline with the body of the essay:
Argument 1/ Paragraph 1:
“Research conducted on kindergarten students in Auburn, Maine shows that those who used iPads scored higher on literacy tests in comparison to those who did not. The primary findings of this research included the fact that the knowledge of fractions increased by at least 15%. Additionally, the participants became more interested in fractions after playing related games on their tablets.”
Argument 2/ Paragraph 2:
“Discovery’s techbooks that can be used on iPads, desktops, laptops and other devices cost between $38- $55 for every student. On the other hand, regular textbooks cost up to $70 per student. As per the FCC, in the US alone, an average of $7 billion is spent each year on textbooks. More importantly, these textbooks are usually outdated. Tablets not only improve learning, but also help you save money.”
Similarly, you can present facts to support your stance in the following paragraphs depending upon the word count for your essay, as recommended by your university.
Here is an example of a counterargument that you can add in your position paper structure to strengthen your viewpoint.
“Research has consistently shown that tablets can also distract students as they contain several apps and features that are directed towards entertainment and not education. They also provide access to the internet where there are countless temptations for children. It can also be argued that academic performance can be hindered by multitasking on the tablet. However, it is important to notice why students are distracted by these devices. There is only one reason that stands out. These devices are interesting. So, using these features as a means to educate children and teach them subject concepts is an interesting approach. Making teaching more engaging also means that students will perform better at school.”
Think of the conclusion to the paper as a summary of all the points that you have presented in the position paper sample outline. This is where you reiterate your stance by making quick references to the points that you have covered through the essay. Lastly, you can also provide a solution or an idea that can solve the problem under discussion.
Here is an example of a conclusion to a position paper with respect to the topic under discussion:
“In conclusion, replacing textbooks with tablets is a great strategy for schools. Although tablets may be viewed as a source of distraction, they potentially increase the scores of standardized tests, save money and reduce the burden of heavy school bags for the students. When there are so many benefits, it only makes logical sense to use tablets in the place of traditional textbooks in a classroom.
150 Position Paper Topics to Write About
As you have seen in the position paper introduction example, the only way to grab your reader’s attention from the get go is to choose a topic that you feel strongly about. That is when you will be able to make an impactful introduction and present a good argument to convince the reader of your point of view.
Here are 150 topics that will help you make a good outline for a position paper:
Papers on Social Issues
If you are wondering about how to write a good position paper on social issues, here are some topics that will help you get ideas:
- There must be assured equal access for COVID vaccine distribution.
- Write a position paper outline on abortion and how it can be reduced without legislation.
- The racial background of policemen determines how they do their job.
- Should the racial structure of a police department be similar to the community that they work with?
- Ideas for pro-choice and pro-life groups to work to gather
- Barbie dolls must be banned.
- Reality shows must have stricter regulation
- Define True Beauty
- Video Gaming: Good or Bad?
- Do beauty contests have any positive impact on young girls?
- Should athletics also include participation trophies?
- Are sports parents who are overbearing harmful or helpful?
- Children should be pushed to pursue athletics: Agree or Disagree?
- Should children be given more time to play freely or should they indulge only in scheduled activity?
- The reason for increase in child obesity
- Ways to make children more active?
- Should drug testing be made compulsory for people on welfare?
- Why do celebrities often have serious life issues?
- Ways to regulate media coverage.
- Media coverage has a strong influence on elections.
- Define human trafficking and present your views on it.
- Effective ways to stop human trafficking.
- The difference between elected males and elected females.
- The importance of having equal representation of genders in political office.
- How does having equal representation for different races in the political office help?
- Ways to support election of more women into political offices
- Ideas to encourage minorities to become police officers
- How can the rights of writers and artists be protected on the internet?
- Should people pay for the music they listen to?
- Is religious persecution still existent?
- Should ‘designer babies’ be banned?
- How can unemployment among African American men be reduced?
- Should minimum wage be lowered or increased?
- The laws against racial profiling should be stricter
- Casteism is still a strong social evil.
Position Paper Topics About School
- In person classes or virtual schooling. Which one is better?
- Is a national high school exam necessary?
- Do statewide testing methods increase the knowledge of students?
- Should colleges stop relying on ACT and SAT scores while admitting students?
- Is there a need to reform the school system in your country?
- Is the educational system in Europe the best?
- Why do students graduate from high school without learning basic skills?
- How are students from America different from students in other countries?
- The role of technology in education.
- How important is liberal arts education?
- Students must be required to take up foreign language courses.
- Can learning improve by adding days to a regular school year?
- Teaching in public schools for students whose first language is not English.
- Should athletes in college be paid?
- Should more scholarships be offered to ensure inclusivity in schools?
- Having uniforms in schools is a good idea.
- Bullying has become more aggressive in the modern age. Why?
- Are there benefits of attending single-sex schools?
- Are teachers and educators responsible for lower grades?
- Are teachers and educators equipped to teach Gen Next?
- Is having a break during summer good for school students?
- Does homework help or cause harm?
- The government should implement more laws to make education accessible to more children.
Position Papers on Technology
- Our relationships are controlled by technology
- The way humans think is changing because of computers
- Young people are unable to concentrate well because of cell phones and texting.
- Cell phones and texting have made us more capable of multitasking
- Our interactions have changed in a positive way because of cell phones.
- Face to face talking cannot be replaced by cell phones, emails and texts.
- Online resources and i-pads should replace textbooks
- The way we live is being changed by online technologies.
- The definition of being human is being changed by technology
- Social media usage by teenagers must be reduced by parents.
- Usage of cell phones in the car should be governed by stricter laws.
- Social media companies need to upgrade their current privacy policies.
- What should college students post on Facebook and what they shouldn’t
- Is it ethical to allow scientists to experiment on human embryos?
- Nanotechnology can change the future of mankind
- Technology helps us get to the future faster
- Online meetings can never replace face to face meetings
- Ideation requires face to face meetings between team members
- E-learning is the future of education
- Children can learn from technology if it is used wisely
- Is technology making people lazier?
- Has technology made us dumber or smarter?
- There should be legal or public control in the development of technology
- Should the state invest more funds in the development of better war technology?
- Is space studies a good area for the state to invest in?
- Will the development of artificial intelligence harm or benefit people?
- Is cloning ethical?
- Is it a good idea to allow genetic engineering?
- Is there a possibility that technology and humans will merge into singularity?
- The repercussions of cyberbullying should be stricter.
Position Papers on Environment
- Prepare an outline for a position paper on how citizens can affect local environment
- Clean drinking water should be available for all.
- The increase in worldwide population is the primary cause of all the environmental issues damaging the planet.
- Poaching of endangered species should have stricter repercussions.
- Does hunting benefit the environment?
- Best ways to resolve the environment versus economy debate?
- What can we do about the raging issue of global warming?
- How can manufacturers play an important role in cleaning up the earth?
- What is the relationship between pollution and health?
- Compare current trends of species extinction with those of the past?
- People should be given incentives to encourage more recycling.
- How global warming increases the incidence of certain diseases.
- Harnessing natural energy is harmful or beneficial in the long run
- Use of energy efficient home appliances should be made mandatory.
- Segregating waste is an effective way of managing pollution and increasing recycling.
- Should biofuels be made compulsory in the racing industry?
Position Papers on Global Issues
- Establishing peace in our world is impossible.
- Is war and integral part of our society?
- What are the different ways in which leaders justify war? Do you agree?
- The USA has taken up the role of policing other countries. Your comments.
- Drone warfare: Ethical or Unethical?
- The importance of cyber warfare in the modern world.
- Is the United States responsible for certain cyber-attacks on other nations?
- The impact of the 9/11 attack on the image of America as a world power.
- Should countries increase or decrease their military spending?
- How important is race in determining the identity of a country?
- Has the Covid-19 Pandemic united or divided the world?
- Is adopting children from a different ethnic group a good idea for couples?
- Should beauty pageants be banned?
- Why is it important to know your cultural and racial heritage?
- Should schools make multiculturalism a mandatory subject?
- How can the church contribute to increasing awareness of multiculturalism?
- Parents are responsible for their children being appreciative of diverse cultures.
- Should countries help immigrants find a path to citizenship?
- Is it possible to resolve the immigration issue in the US with a border fence?
- People migrate illegally out of necessity. Do you agree or disagree?
- The best way to respond to the global issue of immigration
- Should countries allow a visitor work program to prevent illegal immigration?
- How has the history of the United States been affected by immigration?
- Should countries give policemen the right to ask people about their legal status?
- Ways to streamline illegal immigration.
- How do you decide who should be allowed to immigrate and who should not?
- Are the election processes used in your country fair?
- Should there be a global ban on the use of tobacco?
- Is making consumption of drugs illegal the right solution to the problem?
- Do law enforcement cameras invade privacy?
- Is ours a throwaway society?
- Should capital punishment be banned?
- Should governments have a say on the number of children a couple has?
- Do you think professional athletes and actors are paid too much?
- Does easier access to condoms curb the issue of teen pregnancy?
- Should companies market their products to children?
- Healthcare facilities provided by the government can be improved.
- Are admissions to educational institutions too competitive in the modern world?
- Is it ethical to legalize euthanasia?
- Is having stringent gun control laws a good idea?
- Should the drinking age for alcohol be increased?
- Is it ethical for the government to have a say in same sex marriages?
- The LGBT community is unfairly targeted. Your views
- Boredom is the cause for rampant mental health issues.
- The global pandemic is responsible for an increase in cases of depression and anxiety.
- Does religion lead to wars?
How to Research for Your Position Papers
Now that you have a detailed position paper outline sample, here are some additional tips on how to gather information for your paper. Today, there are countless resources besides the traditional ones like the library. If you are looking for data to add to your paper, the options that you have are as follows:
- Textbooks: The textbooks used in your classroom are a great starting point for your research. You can take ideas from any article that is suggested in your textbook to figure out your topic.
- YouTube: This is a great source to not only find topics but also check out talks and discourse about the subject that you have chosen.
- Newspapers and Magazines: Although you may have to search with a lot of attention with these resources, newspapers and magazines are the best options to get all the latest information about a subject that you wish to write about.
- Internet: Popular search engines are, of course, the best resource available to us today. However, it is a good idea to do some groundwork before you search on the internet as you get too much information that can often be confusing.
Lastly, when writing a position paper, you also need to focus on the style recommended by your college. For instance, you may need to learn how to write a position paper in APA format. If all this is too overwhelming for you, it is best that you hire research paper writing services.
Get in touch with us now for high quality writing help from experts that ensure that you turn in a great paper every time.
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