Position Paper


The purpose of a position paper is to generate support on an issue. It describes a position on an issue and the rationale for that position. The position paper is based on facts that provide a solid foundation for your argument.

Teacher Note: If you need additional assistance in using the Position Paper activity in your classroom, consult this guide from Bowie State University’s Thurgood Marshall Library.

Directions: The classic position paper contains three main elements:

  1. An Introduction, which identifies the issue that will be discussed and states the author’s position on that issue.
  2. The Body of the paper, which contains the central argument and can be further broken up into three unique sections:
    • Background information
    • Evidence supporting the author’s position
    • A discussion of both sides of the issue, which addresses and   refutes arguments that contradict the author’s position
  3. A Conclusion, restating the key points and, where applicable, suggesting resolutions to the issue.