Sometimes, the conference will give you an unfilled Position Paper template, with the logo and blank headings for you to fill in. Other times, the conference will send you a Model UN Position Paper sample. Other conferences will send you specific, or loose, Position Paper instructions about how they want the paper formatted.
Each Position Paper should be measured by its content and its ability to inform and influence the respective Chairs and delegate. However, the Position Paper will not reach that point if it is not accepted. It is a pity when your work is not be read or forwarded on because you got the font wrong, exceeded the margins or sent the paper in late. For this reason, whether strict or lax, read and follow the Model UN Position Paper formatting instructions so the hard work you put into the document will achieve its strategic objective.
Examples of Position Paper Instructions
Position Paper Instructions Example #1:
Write the Position Paper for ExampleMUN 2026 using the standards below:
- Length must not exceed two pages.
- Margins must be 2.54 cm or 1 inch for the entire paper.
Fontmust be Times New Roman, size 12.
- Justify the paragraphs. The left and right margins must both have straight edges.
name / institutioncommittee name must be clearly labeled on the top of the 1st page.
- Agenda topics must be clearly labeled as the title.
- National symbols, such as flags, logos, etc. are deemed inappropriate for ExampleMUN Position Papers.
- Send your document in PDF format.
Position Paper Instructions Example #2:
We ask delegates of ExampleMUN to each
A Position Paper the length of one side of A4 should be sufficient to state your position.
Example of Formatted Position Paper
Angola feels that in this day and age, hunger should be a thing of the past. However, in 2018, over 795 million people do not have enough food to lead a healthy, active life. This does not include the half of the world’s population, more than 3 billion people, who live on less than $2.50 a day. For better or worse, the road to more accessible and cheaper food is strongly related to water supply. Some countries have an abundance of water, such
How to Win a Best Position Paper Award
The difference between a good and a great Position Paper
Good Chairs will give credit to delegates who properly predict the room and are able to guide their policies from the Position Paper to the final resolution. This is because it means that the delegates accurately predicted which direction the discussion would go in, or better
This does not mean that the best delegate must have an excellent Position Paper, or perfectly stick to it. Aside from the ‘Best Position Paper’ award, the actions that take place in the committee are almost completely what Chairs will consider for awards. However, it is not uncommon that a Position Paper is used as a tiebreaker between two extremely close delegates.
In all these cases, you need to have an opinion. To win the ‘Best Position Paper’ award, your Position Paper needs to be full of new solutions, it must follow proper format and it has to be concise and ‘
Top Position Paper Strategies
The R and S strategy
For the entire Position Paper, keep the R and S strategy in mind. This is the RESEARCH and SOLUTION strategy. Try to ensure that every sentence is either research-based or solution-based. This helps cut down on unnecessary sentences.
Facts and Name Dropping
Nothing shows research like using numbers, names and dates. This is especially impressive when it’s information that was not in the study guide. Paragraph 1 and Paragraph 2 should be full of these. Remember that it is not enough to simply throw facts onto the page, they need to be connected to the point you are trying to make. Good use of facts, with numbers and names properly capitalized, makes an impressive first impression. Effective use in the paper can be the difference between runner-up and the Best Position Paper award.
New Solutions and Interpretations
- The Chair of your committee will be reading so many Position Papers about the same exact topic that they will be bored to death of seeing the same solutions over and over again. To stand out, come up with a viable, new strategy that other countries may not have thought of. We say viablebecause it cannot be so outlandish as to be impossible, but it should be something that makes the Chair stop and focus on your paper.
- You can get a little off-the-wall with solutions, as long as they have a basis in reality.
- Alexander Hamilton employed a similar strategy during the Constitutional Convention in the US. When debating an overhaul of the US government, there were two main plans (the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan). The New Jersey plan was closer to what was already in place, while the Virginia Plan was a change almost too much for people to handle (though most knew this was the only way to save the nation). In order to discredit the New Jersey Plan, Hamilton boldly proposed a plan so radical, that the Virginia Plan became moderate in comparison.
- Hamilton’s plan opened the discussion and changed the conversation. It caught the attention of everyone present and moved them towards a solution.
- You can do this with a position paper. Even if you do not ultimately get what you want, you have caught the Chair’s attention and have become a player in the game.
Follow proper format
While this seems self-explanatory, you would be surprised how many people disregard the format rules given by the conference. Do not ignore this. As Chairs are reading the papers, they will come to expect certain formatting and anything not following the rules will stand out, and not in a good way. Do not get on the Chair’s bad side before the conference even begins. You can be sure that they will take points off for improper formatting and keep your name written down for conference time.
Concise and fluff-free
Don’t waste a single sentence with fluff. Due to the short length, everything you write in a Position Paper should be concise and free of fluff. We know that as students, you have mastered the ability to fluff your way through a paper, but that won’t work here. Not if you want to win Best Position Paper.
When you think about how to start a Position Paper, don’t go for an intense sound-bite. Flare is not good without substance. Try to be as clear as you comfortably can and reach your important points as quickly as possible.
What Chairs Look For
Similarly to how Position Paper format instructions are given to delegates, Chairs are also given instructions by the Model UN Conference Secretariat on how to evaluate Position Papers. Chairing, from when you write the study guide until the closure of debate, is a sacred responsibility.
Sometimes, the instructions given by the secretariat on how to evaluate Position Papers are clear and uniform. However, often, a Chair needs to fill in some gaps between the secretariat’s instructions and doing the job in real-time. To better understand the considerations regarding Position Papers, read the following instructions, given by an Under-secretary General of Chairing to their staff.
As of this weekend, all the registered delegates should receive their study guides. While a few delegates will still be getting allocations over the next week, most of them will have received guidelines for how and when to send Position Papers. The delegates are required to send the Position Papers to the committee email from the 20th – 26th of February. Any Position Paper received by the 26th before midnight should receive feedback from one of the Chairs. You are not obligated to give feedback to papers received from the 27th onwards. Hopefully, you should get most or all of the papers before the deadline. Papers received after the 28th are not eligible for the best position paper award, as you may not have time to check them. Position Papers that are received after March 1st, or not at all, will make the delegate ineligible for an award.
In the Position Papers, we want to see that delegates show they understand (a) the topic (b) their countries positions and history and (c) the policies they propose to solve it / perpetuate it (if they are evil).
The Position Papers which arrive on time should get feedback. This does not need to be more than a few lines per topic. However, we do require you to tell the delegates if they did a good job or if they are lacking in one of the three sections mentioned above. You should also tell them what you want them to improve. In the feedback, where possible, please use examples from their text. To do this most effectively, divide the position papers amongst yourselves and return them when you can. You are not required to send feedback if the delegate sends you an improved position paper. Our main goal is for you to have prepared delegates in your committee, and a rewritten position paper generally indicates better preparation.
If anyone would like more information on how to give feedback, or have any other questions relating to Position Papers, please let me know in a reply to this email.
If your delegates write you asking how to write a policy paper, or any other questions, we expect you to be helpful, courteous and available.
Not every MUN conference secretariat will have this level of instruction for their Chairs. Some have more; a few give online workshops about Position Papers, while others give no instruction at all. However, in most cases, the final feedback is left to a Chair’s discretion.
If your secretariat left you alone, giving feedback on the basics according to the guidelines at the beginning of this article is a good start. You can also give topic-specific feedback, which uses examples of where more research or analyses can be used, based on what you wrote in your study guide.
11 Questions Chairs Ask When Reading Your Position Paper
Question Chairs Ask About A Quality Position Paper
- Did the delegate reframe the topic to make the problem-specific and relevant to them?
- Did they show their country’s relation to the topic?
- Did they offer policies that can gain a majority in the committee?
- Do these policies represent their countries stated interests?
- Did the delegate use examples?
- Do the examples go beyond the information in the study guide?
- Did the writer bring something new, unique and interesting?
Questions You Hope Your Chair Never Asks
- Was this position paper copied and pasted from Wikipedia or some other online source?
- If I change the country name on this super vague paper will it be just as “valid”?
- How inebriated was the delegate when they wrote this?
- Has the writer even heard of Model UN?
Using these questions to measure the quality of your paper will let you review your work with a Chair’s eyes. If the answers to these questions aren’t good enough, then you now know what to work on. A few appropriate modifications can result in a complete makeover of a Position Paper, and possibly a much-improved delegate as well.
Closing thoughts on Position Papers
Position Papers are important. Knowing if the Position Paper will be read only by the Chair or by the delegates should be taken into account when choosing what to write and focus on. Position Paper format should also be taken into account, but not at the expense of quality.
A Position Paper should accomplish three goals:
1. Show a country’s position on the topic being discussed.
2. Show a country’s previous relationship to the topic (preferably with relevant examples).
3. Show policies and ideas that (1) represent the interests of your country and (2) you would ideally like to see in the resolution.
When you’re the Chair, give instructive feedback with specific examples. Your comments could be the difference between a lost delegate or an effective one, or between a good conference and a great one.
Lastly, don’t forget the PReP strategy:
In Policy (paragraph 3) you solve the issue in Position (paragraph 1) with the tools and relevance you set up in Relation (paragraph 2).
What is the inside of position paper? ›
Position papers are usually one page in length. It should include a brief introduction followed by a comprehensive breakdown of the country's position on the topic(s) that are being discussed by each of the committees. A good position paper will not only provide facts but also make proposals for resolutions.How do you start a position paper example? ›
Position paper template
[Start with an interesting sentence to draw the attention of readers. Then, introduce your topic and end with your thesis statement, which reveals your position and summarizes your reasons. [First paragraph includes an argument with at least two facts of evidence to support.]
- Introduction and thesis.
- Strong arguments and evidence in support of thesis.
- Opposing and qualifying ideas.
- A compelling conclusion.
Position Papers are normally 1-2 pages per topic, and should have 3-4 paragraphs. They should be written from the perspective of the government of your country, include a header, and answering the following questions. Your final Position Paper should look similar to the sample on the next page.What should be avoided in position paper? ›
Avoid flattery and in-crowd appeals to convince your reader (ex. Intelligent people like you know that abortion is wrong). Don't attempt to frighten readers into agreement by threatening them or making comparisons between two situations that are not related (ex.How do you outline a position paper? ›
- Introduce your topic with some basic background information. ...
- Introduce possible objections to your position. ...
- Support and acknowledge the opposing points. ...
- Explain that your position is still the best one, despite the strength of counter-arguments. ...
- Summarize your argument and restate your position.
The classic position paper contains three main elements: An Introduction, which identifies the issue that will be discussed and states the author's position on that issue. A Conclusion, restating the key points and, where applicable, suggesting resolutions to the issue.How can I begin my position statement? ›
It describes one side of an arguable viewpoint. To write a position statement, gather a list of reasons to support a particular viewpoint. Next, write a sentence or two that pulls all the information together and makes your stand clear to the audience.How many paragraphs is a position paper? ›
A typical position paper is 1-2 pages long and contains the following sections, which should each be 1-3 paragraphs long: Topic Background, Past International Action, Country Policy, and Possible Solutions.What are the main features of a position paper? ›
To achieve this end, position papers typically include the following features: a well-defined, controversial issue; a clear position on the issue; a convincing argument; and a reasonable tone.
What is a position paper sample? ›
The position papers submitted here are formal, public statements of a delegation's position on the topics under consideration in a particular committee. Position papers may serve as a starting point for negotiations and debate at the Conference.How many paragraphs are in a position paper? ›
A typical position paper is 1-2 pages long and contains the following sections, which should each be 1-3 paragraphs long: Topic Background, Past International Action, Country Policy, and Possible Solutions.