Position Papers


Position papers are an incredibly important part of any Model United Nations conference. This page is dedicated to making sure that both novice and experienced delegates alike know how to write an effective position paper. 

How to Write a Position Paper

There are three main parts of any position paper: it must outline what the problem is, explain how the problem arose, and finally offer one or more solutions. Most committees have set agendas with one or more topics; if there are multiple topics, the paper need not address every single one. Instead, choose the two or three topics that seem most relevant to the country or person that you are representing. 

Outlining what the problem is may be the most important part of any paper, as it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject at hand. This section must prove that you understand the topic(s) being discussed in your committee, and that you are prepared for the conference. It might be a good idea to place a few well-placed facts in this section, but remember that too many statistics can quickly turn any good paper into a bad one. 

Explaining how the problem arose is a key part to any position paper, as it shows that you understand the context of the topic at hand. Understanding how a problem or situation came to be is an essential step in being able to resolve it. Without knowledge of the history of a conflict, even the most adept delegates will have trouble outsmarting their enemies.This section should outline the historical context of the present situation. It may be a good idea here to include a couple examples of past attempts to solve this problem, if there have been any, and to explain why these attempts either failed or were insufficient. 

Solving the problem is truly your chance to show off. This section offers a solution or set of solutions that you believe will bring an expedient end to the conflict at hand or improve the present situation. This part is entirely up to you! What you believe to be the right course of action for your country or person comes from your research and understanding of the topics. This section allows you to demonstrate your problem-solving skill set, something that will be pushed to its limits as your committee plays out over the course of the conference. 

Here is a link to a sample position paper:  Sample Position Paper

Format and Deadline

These papers should demonstrate both an understanding of the topics in your committee as well as your position with regard to these topics.  Position papers should be anywhere from 1-2 pages, double-spaced in Times New Roman font size 12.  A header at the beginning of the paper should include the committee that the delegate is in, the position of the delegate, the delegate's name and the delegate's school.  The position paper should be submitted to the chairs emails listed in the committee background guide no later than the start of the conference.

Delegates will not be eligible for awards if they do not submit a position paper.