Position paper

How to Write a Position Paper-Guide, Topics, and Examples


The following guide will help you write an influential position paper. A position paper is a well-thought-out and researched argument, which is usually supported by facts. It can be used to describe or recommend a course of action relating to a specific issue.

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What are Position Papers?

The position paper is a document which describes or recommends a country’s position on specific issues. It should be clear in its statement and well-organized to provide the arguments for the recommended action. Readers can use it as an information source as well as consider it as an argument that they can agree with.

How to Write an Effective Position Paper?

Before writing the document, it is important to carefully plan the structure of a proposed action and understand all its details.

1)Define your objective clearly

State your aim and position on the matter. As you do this, make sure you stay focused on it while you write the document. You should know precisely what kind of position paper you want to create in order to achieve the best results. This will help you convince your audience to come to your side.

2)Be calm and focused

When you are writing a position paper, try to be as relaxed and calm as possible. Avoid emotional words or phrases that may distract your readers from important information. This may lead them to not clearly getting some of your points when you submit a position paper.

3)Get supportive facts

Make sure that facts or examples support every point you make to convince your audience of the validity of your argument. This will help strengthen your case and lead them to believe in what you stand for.

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Basic Structure/Outline of a Position Paper

Below is an outline of how the paper should be written. Here we will look at what should be in the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.


The introduction of a position paper is one of the most important parts to help the reader understand what they are going to read. The introduction should be brief and capture the readers’ attention by summarizing why you are writing it. You can start by letting them know your aim, stating a problem or question that needs solving, and expressing your opinion on that matter.


1) Identify the problem or need to address:

The introduction is an opportunity to state the problem which your position paper will address. This should be established by taking a strong stance about why a change in the current circumstances is necessary and how it can affect everyone involved. Avoid being too general or opinionated here as you will lose clarity and impact of your argument later on. Be sure to back up your stance with factual data.

2) Analyze the problem:

In this section, you should analyze the problem and identify its causes. Predict ways that this can affect people’s lives, generate possible solutions, quantify the costs of implementing these solutions, list other relevant issues, etc. If there are already several proposed solutions to the problem, include their pros and cons in this section.

3) Recommend a solution:

Make sure that you provide your readers with a clear course of action that they can follow to address the problem or need you identified in step 1. Once again, be sure to back up your stance with factual data.


This short section summarizes your argument by emphasizing the significance of addressing the problem you described in steps 1-2.


There are many kinds of papers that require different types of references and bibliographies. In a position paper, it is not necessary to use formal sources or overly technical language. On the other hand, you should ensure that you are citing the appropriate sources for your arguments. For instance, if you write on social issues, it is important to understand the relevant economic data and statistics.

Frequent Topics for Position Papers

You can write your own position paper on a broad range of issues in order to impress your professor, present arguments, and prove that you are knowledgeable about the issue. Some of those topics include:

1) Help local homeless shelters by donating old clothes and other items-In some states. Donating goods to a shelter is an option for taxpayers who cannot pay their taxes in cash.

2) Is a minimum wage increase a good idea?- In 2015, the state of NY increased the minimum wages for fast food and other workers to $15 per hour. It was followed by several other states, especially for low-wage workers, which caused some controversy

3) Ban slaughterhouses- There has been a long debate on whether or not killing animals for human consumption is ethical. Some people believe that it’s better to use artificial meat and animal products, but others think the practice should be banned altogether.

4) The advantages of renewable energy sources-According to the world bank, fossil fuels account for more than 80% of primary energy consumption. This is problematic since they are the reason behind most global warming issues currently being discussed around the globe

5) Should marijuana be legalized? – It has been a topic of much controversy recently, and many states have already legalized or decriminalized this “drug” for medical purposes only. However, there are still some that question allowing it to be regulated at all

6) The dangers of texting while driving- According to statistics, more than 1.6 million car crashes every year are caused by texting and other phone use behind the wheel. That’s why laws regulating mobile devices usage are growing in popularity worldwide

7) Should parents monitor their children online? – Many parents worry about the safety of their children on social media. Some monitor them closely, while others create an open environment

8) Should people have to go through a background check to own a firearm? – In 2016, UK implemented new laws regulating gun ownership and use that caused outrage among some citizens

9) The issues with GMO foods- Many organizations worldwide have been opposing GMO foods for several years, claiming that they pose a huge threat to human health. The problem with GMOs is the fact that scientists manipulate their genes to make them either resistant to disease or pesticides

10) Should people be allowed to drive cars while talking on the phone? – It’s legal almost everywhere these days, and it has caused a lot of accidents already. However, some people believe that it’s their right to do so, and it shouldn’t be regulated

11) The benefits of organic food- Organic products are considered healthier than regular food since they are produced without pesticides.

11) Should people wear seat belts when driving? – In 2016, a study conducted in the Netherlands revealed that wearing a seat belt has saved thousands of lives over the years. Plus, it’s become mandatory to wear them while on the road.

12) Should vaccinations be mandatory? – Vaccinations help improve the nation’s overall health. This has been proven by multiple studies and statistics.

13) Is the death penalty ethical? – What if it was proved beyond doubt that someone had committed a brutal crime, which can never be punished with life in prison without parole? In this case, many countries around the world have no choice but to send that person to death

14) Should handguns be banned?- They are considered a severe threat not only to criminals but also to police officers and civilians. In fact, thousands of people die every year because of these weapons

15) The dangers of video games- Video games can reduce someone’s social skills, create aggressive behavior, and affect their health. For example, some games allow a player to shoot up a school or even an airport without any consequences. You can check more on the pros and cons here.

16) The advantages of veganism- Vegans claim that they feel healthier than people who consume animal products. Plus, it’s easier for the environment since less water is used in growing plants

18) The benefits of voting- Voting gives everyone a chance to make a difference and have their voices heard. However, some people cannot vote because of age, criminal history, or mental health. It’s important to know the laws in your country or state when it comes to voting

19) The dangers of nuclear energy- Nuclear power plants have been causing accidents more often than you might think. Even though they are regulated, human errors still happen, and someone is usually hurt in the process

20) Is divorce beneficial? – Divorce allows couples to move on with their lives. However, statistical data shows that divorces can be detrimental to the children of a couple

21) The benefits of donating blood- Donating blood is essential for the betterment of our society. It saves thousands of lives every year, and it only takes a few hours out of your schedule once a year

22) Should animals be used for experiments? – Some people believe that animal testing should be banned since it’s cruel to force a dog or a monkey to drink alcohol and then test their reactions. Still, others claim that this is the only way we can know how humans would react in these situations

23) The advantages of social media- social media brings people together and can be beneficial for businesses. However, it also comes with some downsides like cyberbullying, privacy concerns, or scams

24) The benefits of getting a college degree- There are several reasons why people decide to get a four-year education: job opportunities, the lack of employment in other countries, or simply because someone wants to dedicate their life to art

25) Should media be censored? – There are several cases of censorship in the news and social media. People often argue that banning something only makes us want it more. However, this is not true for everything since some things do affect our society negatively.

26) The advantages of being bilingual- learning a second language can help students in the future, enable them to travel abroad, and even promote peace between two nations

28) The dangers of smoking- Smoking is always harmful to one’s health. Plus, it causes a foul smell and can become expensive quite quickly

29) Is recreational drug use beneficial?- Many people believe that using drugs should be allowed since they are all “natural” substances found in the world around us. Still, some people cannot control their urges, and they become addicted to these drugs

30) The dangers of GMOs- Genetically modified organisms should be avoided by everyone since they can cause serious harm, especially when consumed for an extended period of time

31) The benefits of meditation- Meditation can be beneficial for everyone since it has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus, it helps increase your focus and concentration

32) The dangers of animal abuse- Animals are always the victims of abuse regardless if it’s done out of revenge or simply because someone wanted to hurt them. Thankfully, most cases of animal abuse are reported and prosecuted in a way that the abuser gets punished.

33) The advantages of living away from home- For most students, moving from their parent’s house to college means freedom. It gives them the ability to make their own decisions and determine what they want to do with their lives

34) The advantages of living with roommates- Living with other people is not for everyone. However, it can be beneficial for students who are still exploring their career paths and want to save money

35) The dangers of global warming- Global warming has affected Earth in many ways. It’s causing floods, creating hurricanes and tornados, and it’s also changing the weather patterns across the globe

You can also check research paper topics

Position Paper Examples

The topic you choose should be closely related to your experience or knowledge. You may choose the topic from different areas, but make sure it will interest readers and that you have enough information on it to write a paper of high quality.

In this paper, I will try to give a few reasons to consider giving up plastic bags. I feel that using plastic bags has become one of the biggest problems for our environment. After conducting market research, and talking to experts and people who are involved in this issue, I have decided to concentrate on three main issues:

1) Colorful plastic waste pollutes the ocean, making it less attractive for living beings.

2) Degrading plastic bags pollute the soil and groundwater, which is one of the leading causes of water pollution.

3) Plastic bags are harmful to aquatic life in any form they appear: as shopping bags or fishnets, etc.

Here example of the position paper:

Example 1

Position paper on giving up plastic bags

Plastic bags are dangerous for the environment because they do not decay fully.

As you can see, this material will never turn into soil, and it cannot be used as fertilizer for vegetation. This means that plastic bags are taking up space in the landfills where we bury our trash. It takes many years for this trash to decay completely.

Although some people think that plastic bags do not make a real impact on the environment, I think they should start paying attention to how this substance influences our planet in the long term. The truth is that it takes 500-1,000 years for these bags to fully degrade and turn into soil! The only way to recycle or reuse plastic bags is by incinerating them.

The second issue that concerns me is the effect plastic bags have on water ecosystems. The problem of pollution in our rivers and lakes has existed for a long time. It is caused mainly by chemical substances, mineral fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that farmers use to produce food (vegetables, fruits, and meat). The greatest danger is posed by pesticides that run into water sources. This is where plastic bags come into play since they have the ability to transport any chemicals contained in them away from the source that generates pollution.

Finally, I would like to discuss how plastic bags harm animals living in oceans or lakes (marine life). Plastic bags can be found anywhere, even in the deepest parts of oceans and lakes.

It is no wonder that marine life is suffering from plastic waste. The most dangerous form of water pollution is the mass production of fishnets made out of synthetic materials.

This type of fishing gear causes major problems to wildlife since animals may get entangled in it or mistake it for food.

A whale was found dead in the Gulf of Mexico with 86 pounds (39 kg) of plastic bags and fishing nets inside its stomach! The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that this whale mistook these materials for krill, a popular food source among marine animals.

I believe that this example shows how dangerous plastic bags are for aquatic life. In my opinion, it is necessary to find a way to completely ban the production of plastic bags and fishing nets made out of synthetic materials.

Considering all these facts, I have concluded that using plastic products should be banned by law in every country. These products threaten our planet, and we must stop their production as soon as possible.

Thank you for your time!

You may also check SAT essay examples

Example 2

In this paper, I will try to give a few reasons for the dangers of nuclear energy. I feel that nuclear energy has become one of the biggest problems for our environment and for us.

The first argument is that nuclear energy is dangerous because of its waste and how it must be managed and stored in secret places worldwide. The problem with nuclear power plants is that when they have used up all their useful fuel, they still have to dispose of radioactive waste, which includes spent fuel rods, low- and intermediate-level waste, and high-level waste.

The second issue is the danger of radiation coming from nuclear plants because they are built close to highly populated areas. People who live near these plants or factories that make atomic weapons can get seriously ill with radiation poisoning or even die as a result of living so close to this type of power.

It is also known that in 1986, Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station exploded and caused a lot of radioactive dust to fly around the world. This caused many people living in different countries to get cancer and become severely ill. The area where this explosion took place is now contaminated by radiation and will never be safe. All animals there have died or left the area; there is nothing left.

All of these three reasons are good examples of why nuclear power should not be used and how it can literally ruin the world we live in by killing our planet and contaminating everything everywhere with its dangerous waste.

From the above information, I doubt anyone still wants this nuclear energy to still exist. This is a threat to human and animal life. This is why I think we should do away with them immediately.

The following is an example of a position paper that is slightly different from the previous examples.

Lastly, in case you need help with your position paper, click the green button below and follow the simple steps!

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