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How to Write a Position Paper

Position Papers are Essential to Successful Preparation

The position paper helps the delegates organize their ideas and share their country’s foreign policy with the rest of the committee.

Provide a concise review of your country’s foreign policy and needs on the topic
Identify key Conventions, Treaties, Resolutions and other measures relevant to the topic
Serve as a blueprint for your use in formulating and negotiating workable draft resolutions to resolve the problem
An excellent position paper must contain:
a clear statement of your country’s position on each topic and an indication of why your country takes this position in the context of what it has already done in relation to the topic
past U.N. actions regarding the topic
suggestions for a plan of action in addressing the issue.

How to Write a Position Paper (also known as expository or argumentative essays)


Position Paper Example

A position paper is a one page statement of a country’s policy on the topic under consideration by a committee and the rationale behind it. There are several reasons for position papers. Writing position papers serves to focus delegates’ thoughts on the topic areas. It also encourages all delegates to conduct research. At the conference, delegates should have copies of their own position papers in order to refer to them during debate. In addition, all of the delegates’ position papers are available at the conference so that other committee members can utilize them for reference. Having these papers available in committee assists delegates as they seek out nations with similar positions to theirs in order to form working blocs. The papers will also be of use when delegates attempt to write resolutions which deal with the points of major concern to the committee. Furthermore, access to the papers may allow them to clarify points made in delegates’ speeches.

A position must be written on each topic area in a committee. The content of the position paper should synthesize the information from the delegates’ own research with respect to the country’s position on the given issue. When writing their position papers, delegates should ask themselves two questions about the issues in the topic areas:

What are the major points of interest or concern in this area?
What are the possible solutions to the problems in this area?

Next, delegates should have specific answers to their country’s position:

What bloc, regional, or ethnic grouping is our country in?
What is our country’s policy on the topic? Why?
What issues in this area are particularly relevant to our country? How?

Aspects of a position paper:

you are expressing your informed opinion about your countries position
it is non-fiction
it is aimed at shaping the reader’s attitude (click on “Bases for Argument” for help)
it can be used to describe, narrate, inform and/or persuade
it requires that you take a position based on a series of arguments


Position papers have three sections: Introduction and Body (2 topic areas). Read on to find out what each section should include. A model of the format is available for visual learners by clicking “Samples” below.



  1. “hook line” (a catchy first line that grabs the reader) utilized diplomatic language
may be an anecdote, statistic, question, etc.
  1. explanation of issue
why is this important
  1. thesis
your answer to the topics or your position on the issues
this is the key to you whole paper, so make it good
  1. plan of development
a one sentence outline of your subtopics (pieces of evidence) that you will be using to support your position


Consider using the following to improve your introduction:

ask important questions that are related to your thesis
give a startling fact or example that is related to your thesis


The body consists of three topics. You should have at least two paragraphs for each topic.

  1. First & strongest argument/piece of evidence/subtopic
first sentence = topic sentence, where you state your argument
then specific details/evidence to support argument
  1. Second & second best argument
same pattern
  1. Third & weakest argument
same pattern

See also Position paper requirements and criteria

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