How to Write a Winning Position Paper - Best Delegate Model United Nations (2023)

Edited by Anish Vedantham, October 2022

Most Model UN conferences require delegates to submit a position paper, an essay covering a country’s perspective on the assigned topics of a conference. Crafting a thorough position paper not only allows you to gain a better understanding of your country and the intricacies of its foreign policy but also to position you to earn awards, be it a best position paper recognition or by supplementing your knowledge to become best delegate. This video showcases the five things you should know about your country when writing a position paper:

How to Write a Winning Position Paper - Best Delegate Model United Nations (1)

An effective position paper can be broken into five simple parts:

(Video) MUN Position Paper Writing

1. Heading

The heading is hardly the most important part of a position paper, but it provides the Chair with a snapshot of what your paper will be about. Form should follow function, but it’s much easier for a Chair who’s been reading twenty position papers to judge a book by its cover. By making sure that your heading is clear and organized – and by making sure that you have a header –you’ll help the dais process your paper better and win some brownie points.

While each conference mandates what should be in the heading differently, the general rule is to include your country name, committee, topic, and delegate name. For example, if you were representing South Korea in a DISEC committee on the topic of nuclear disarmament, your heading might look something like this.

Flags and seals are also acceptable, although they should be used sparingly and should be relatively small and not detract from the professionalism of the paper. Furthermore, when dealing with fonts, sticking to a clean, easy to read font like Times New Roman or Arial at a decent size (11 or 12 points) with 1.5 length spacing is the best and easiest for your chairs and for you to find information quickly.

In all, your format is the first impression that you’ll make on the Chair, so it’s best to stand out by not standing out and ensure that your paper looks as normal as possible.

How to Write a Winning Position Paper - Best Delegate Model United Nations (2)

2. Introduction and Topic Background

Like all papers, your position paper needs a good introduction. Chairs will be reading many position papers, so starting off with a good hook will entice them to read further without skimming. Of course, starting off with a quote, a question an “interesting” fact are all very cliché, so the best way to hook your reader is by going into the topic background.

(Video) Making Your Position Paper | MUN Academy | Eps 10

While it may be tempting to rattle off everything you know about the topic: what’s happening, the history of the topic, the technical jargon used while discussing it, the related issues and more, it’s important to remember that Chairs value quality over quantity. To write a good topic background section, you’ll want to provide a little bit of information about the topic and then proceed to analyze it. To do this, you can employ a couple of strategies.

One potential strategy is determining where the issue will go from here by looking at trends and analyzing obstacles to resolving it. This can help show the chair that you are synthesizing with the material and are prepared to handle the topic in committee, where you’re focusing on the present rather than the past. Another way to show that you’ve understood the topic is by breaking the issue down into sub issues. While some background guides may provide sub issues, looking further into the issues and noting the major roadblocks to resolving the issue will show your chair that you’ve understood the issue well.

In a similar vein, make sure to read the background guide well. If your committee is on peacekeeping, you want to ensure that you’ve researched peacekeeping and not peacebuilding.

3. Past Actions by the UN

The past UN actions section of your position paper can either be a great way to stand out and score points with your committee or be relegated to obscurity. Many people tend to list resolutions or treaties that have been undertaken by the United Nations. The delegate may then proceed to explain the resolutions and treaties in depth; however, this only scratches the surface of past UN action.

Your goal in this section is twofold: to look at past solutions –both action plans implemented by the UN and other international organizations and resolutions proposed by the General Assembly and Security Council and analyze those actions and where they went wrong.

By examining specific actions, and looking at their successes and failures, you show the chair that you are engaging with different ideas, and this can help you brainstorm specific actions that you can take. Additionally, by looking at resolutions proposed (whether they passed or failed) you can look at what is currently in effect and what went wrong, and what could have been in effect, who opposed it, and what reasons they had to opposing it. By analyzing the actions, your Chair will have something more interesting to read than a list and explanation of the same treaties and will allow you to brainstorm viable solutions easier.

(Video) Writing the Best Position Paper in an MUN

4. Country Policy

It’s easy to assume country policy by looking at geographic region and your country’s allies or to write off policy altogether since you can’t find anything. But, claiming to be a neutral nation when you have some stake in the matter will case you to lose standing with the dais but also reduce your own enjoyment in the conference.

When researching country policy, you should be looking both at international action (resolutions voted for/against, programs supported/been involved with) and domestic action (legislation and policies within the country). You should also look at trends to see what your country favors/doesn’t favor broadly and understand the general goals of your country – whether those be sovereignty, human rights, or a focus on Islamist principles.

Country policy is the section that truly makes your position paper unique from others, and by taking a clear stance and by understanding your policy in depth, you’re able to form opinions and judgments from the perspective of your country on a whole host of issues whether you researched them in their entirety or not.

5. Proposed Solutions.

Solutions are by far the most crucial step in your position paper and should be the qualitatively densest part. Using the sub issues you addressed in the topic background section, the history of what has and hasn’t worked in the past UN action section, and your general philosophy and specific domestic actions from your country policy, you can begin to build an arsenal of solutions that will withstand scrutiny.

To frame this, start by thinking of any programs that need to be removed or discontinued, as the UN is always looking to save resources. Then, shift your focus to amending current programs, such as changing the scope of a peacekeeping mission, or changing the roles of an existing organization. Finally, drop the bombshell and talk about any proposed new solutions that you might have –especially those that have worked in your country before –and explain how they will work.

(Video) How to Write the Best Position Paper Ever!

Finishing off your solutions paragraph, you should recap in brief the solutions that you’ve proposed and again highlight why they will work to resolve the issue.

A Couple Notes

  • Remember: Quality over Quantity. Chairs are reading many position papers so an absurdly long one will make them tune out and lose focus. Be as concise as possible.
  • Avoid technical jargon. While a little bit of jargon will make you seem professional and using one or two Latin terms never hurt anyone; aim for comprehension.
  • Remember to cite your sources using either in text citations or footnotes.
  • Reframe writing a position paper as a step in the research process rather than a chore.

About Crisis

A crisis position paper is in some ways, remarkably different than a GA one. Many of the sections do not apply at all and others are difficult to replicate. It’s helpful to structure your crisis position papers as a letter –using personal pronouns –covering the background of the issue using the tips mentioned above, talking about your personal philosophy (political, economic, social, religious, etc.), and then addressing specific solutions you have with evidence that they will work. Crisis position papers are considerably easier and shorter than GA ones, so feel free to experiment and have fun. Especially with historical crises, take some dramatic liberties and use more poetic language to draw your reader in. Above all, remember that seeing as you’ll be thrown challenge after challenge, so a personal philosophy is much more applicable than a specific set of solutions.

Position papers, despite their bad name, are an extremely useful tool for your Chairs and for you, so make the most out of them.

Tackle your writing in these five sections to create a position paper that packs a punch!

How to Write a Winning Position Paper - Best Delegate Model United Nations (3)


How do you win the best delegate in Model UN? ›

One of our most popular articles on Best Delegate is “The 5 Skills Every Delegate Should Learn.” Those skills are: Research, Speak, Caucus, Write, and Debate. These are fundamental skills that every delegate should learn, particularly new delegates.

What makes a good position paper Mun? ›

Your position paper should include a brief introduction followed by a comprehensive breakdown of your country's position on the topics that are being discussed by the committee. A good position paper will not only provide facts but also make proposals for resolutions.

How do you win a Model UN award? ›

How to win Best Delegate
  1. Maintain good working relationships with others. After all, Model UN is about diplomacy. ...
  2. Craft effective compromises. ...
  3. Know your topic inside and out. ...
  4. Hone your communication abilities.
Feb 12, 2017

What makes a good UN delegate? ›

General research on the assigned topic. A delegate should be well-versed on the topic they will be debating. General research on the background and culture of the country they have been assigned. Research on the policies of "their" country on the topics they will be debating.

Does Model UN look good for college? ›

Taking part in one can become a major asset for high school students as they look to apply to some of the most competitive and prestigious colleges and universities in the world. In fact, top schools such as Harvard and Yale are known to give additional consideration to students who have taken part in Model UN.

How do you introduce yourself in Model UN? ›

Before the first session of the conference, walk in a little early and introduce yourself. You don't have to get into a deep philosophical debate; just offer a couple of words about you, your country, and your school. And speak with confidence. “Hi, I'm Aryestis and I'm representing Greece.

What are the 3 important to be written in the introduction of a position paper? ›

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.

What are the 3 parts of a position paper? ›

The Structure of a Position paper
  • Introduction and thesis.
  • Strong arguments and evidence in support of thesis.
  • Opposing and qualifying ideas.
  • A compelling conclusion.

How long should a model UN position paper be? ›

For National Model United Nations (NMUN), delegates are asked to submit a position paper on the topics that are outlined in their Committee Background Guide. Although position papers are short – only two pages – they are a critical part of preparing for a NMUN conference.

Does Model UN look good for grad school? ›

Model UN is a great way to show school spirit.

Graduate students are loyal to their college and to their graduate school and want to support their organizations and teams.

Is Model UN competitive? ›

Model UN can be an inherently a competitive activity for many. You have your classic power delegates who strive to control the committee. But then you only have a number of awards granted.

What is the most prestigious award you can win? ›

1. The Nobel Prize. This prestigious trophy is named for Alfred Nobel, who created dynamite.

What are the three roles of the delegate? ›

There are three elements of Delegation: Assignment of Responsibility, Grant of Authority, and Creation of Accountability.

Does Model UN look good on resume? ›

Excellent participation in a Model UN conference can be impressive when applying to internships, volunteer programs, graduate school or a job, particularly when they have a global, communications or political dimension to them.

Does Model UN look good on applications? ›

MUN accomplishments are also a great addition to any college application/academic resume, and if you're looking for ways to incorporate MUN, click here for an example resume!

Is Model United Nations worth it? ›

Attending Model United Nations is ideal for finding friends and building lasting bonds to cultivate for future use. During conferences hosted by them, you get to meet other delegates, senior delegates, organisers, judges and possible mentors.

Why do I want to be in Model UN? ›

Model UN helps students get into college.

Model UN provides students with the learning and leadership experiences that admissions officers look for. The depth of these experiences serves as possible material for personal essays and interviews. Model UN is also an extensive network of alumni at top colleges.

Why do you want to be a part of Model UN? ›

Solving real-world problems

Outside of the conference itself, Model UN can help tackle the fear of public speaking, improve analytical and problem-solving skills, develop a collaborative spirit, and give a taste of diplomacy to students.

What skills do you need for Model UN? ›

Model United Nations: 10 skills to put on your CV
  • Public speaking. The most obvious benefit of taking part in a MUN conference is to become more confident when speaking in public. ...
  • Diplomacy. ...
  • Critical thinking. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Empathy. ...
  • Compromise. ...
  • Research. ...
  • Teamwork.
Aug 27, 2020

What is one thing to avoid in writing a 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.

What is a good introduction for a position paper? ›

Introduction: Introduce the topic and your thesis or position for the paper. You might provide background information or explain why the topic is important.

What is the most important part of a position paper? ›

The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. It is very important to ensure that you are addressing key components of the issue and presenting it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand.

What are the four 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 should you avoid doing in the conclusion of your position paper? ›

Six Things to AVOID in Your Conclusion
  • 1: AVOID summarizing. ...
  • 2: AVOID repeating your thesis or intro material verbatim. ...
  • 3: AVOID bringing up minor points. ...
  • 4: AVOID introducing new information. ...
  • 5: AVOID selling yourself short. ...
  • 6: AVOID the phrases “in summary” and “in conclusion.”
Nov 17, 2015

How tall must you be to model? ›

Fashion models usually grace the covers of international fashion magazines like Elle, Glamour, and Vogue, and are employed by major fashion houses. The standard height requirement for a female fashion model is 5 feet and 9 inches to 6 feet. For men, the required height is 5 feet and 11 inches to 6 feet and 3 inches.

How many paragraphs would an ideal position paper have? ›

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.

Do position papers need citations? ›

You must include in-text citations in your position paper and prepare a Works Cited page. Both must be in proper MLA format.

What GPA do graduate programs look at? ›

Most top-ranked graduate programs typically prefer a GPA of 3.5 or better. Exceptions to this rule occur, of course, but many students give up their quest to attend graduate school due to a low (3.0 or less) GPA.

Is Model UN good for med school? ›

MEDICINE. A student looking to go into the medical field will also find connections to Model UN. In the medical field, it is essential to understand the proper ways to develop a plan quickly and command the attention of a room and convey your ideas. These important skills are also foundational in Model UN.

Which college has the best Model UN team? ›

  • American University. ...
  • University of Chicago. ...
  • Florida International University. ...
  • Georgetown University. ...
  • Claremont McKenna College. ...
  • Florida State University. ...
  • The George Washington University. ...
  • University of California, Berkeley.

Are there winners in Model UN? ›

The fundamental basis of the simulation is collaboration and cooperation among nations, which includes working together through multilateral diplomacy. There are no winners and certainly no losers in this process.

What majors is Model UN good for? ›

Potential college majors for delegates interested in translating their MUN experiences to future STEM careers include engineering, environmental science & policy, biochemical engineering, astrophysics, food science & agriculture, computer science, and coding amongst others.

What award is higher than gold? ›

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest award for military valor. It is generally presented by the president in the name of Congress.

What are the top 5 awards? ›

At the Academy Awards, the so-called "Big Five" awards are those for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay (either Best Original Screenplay or Best Adapted Screenplay).

Which prize is equivalent to Nobel Prize? ›

The Fields Medal is often referred to as the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize, but it is granted only every four years and is given, by tradition, to mathematicians under the age of 40, rather than to more senior scholars.

How many words should a Model UN position paper be? ›

Length per topic: Minimum 500 words and maximum 800, to facilitate reading or distribution. The Position Paper will be divided into 3 main parts: 1. Header: The heading of the document should include the name of the Delegates, the name of the country they represent and the topic they will present.

What does successful delegation look like? ›

Successful delegators know when to cheerlead, coach, step in, step back, adjust expectations, make themselves available, and celebrate successes. They tolerate risks and mistakes, and use them as learning opportunities, rather than as proof that they shouldn't have delegated in the first place.

How do you make a successful delegation? ›

10 tips to delegate work
  1. Identify work to delegate. Not everything can be delegated. ...
  2. Practice letting go. ...
  3. Clarify priorities. ...
  4. Understand each team member's strengths. ...
  5. Provide context and guidance. ...
  6. Invest in training. ...
  7. Prioritize communication and feedback. ...
  8. Focus on results.
Nov 16, 2022

What are the six steps for effective delegation? ›

Six steps to effective delegation
  1. Prepare in advance.
  2. Discuss the task to be delegated.
  3. Identify the deadline for completion.
  4. Outline the level of authority.
  5. Build in checkpoints or progress reports.
  6. Conduct a final debriefing.
  7. Delegating for results and personal growth.
Aug 2, 2016

What are the 4 types of delegation? ›

Types of Delegation of Authority
  • General or Specific Delegation. It is based on the job assigned.
  • Formal or Informal Delegation. It is based on the process of giving authority.
  • Top to bottom or bottom to top Delegation. It is based on the hierarchy.
  • Lateral Delegation. It requires a group or team to work in parallel.

What are the qualities of a delegate? ›

5 Skills Every Delegate Should Learn
  • Research. Good research is the foundation of your committee performance. ...
  • Public Speaking. Making great speeches helps you get noticed by other delegates and the chair. ...
  • Team Building. ...
  • Writing. ...
  • Debating.
Sep 14, 2010

What are the 4 components of delegation? ›

Elements of Delegation – Sizing up the Work, Assignment of Duties to Subordinates, Granting of Authority to Perform Duty and Creation of Obligation.

What makes a good argument in position paper? ›

You present a clear and strong statement usually at the start of your paper that asserts your position on the topic. (See the Writing Center's handout on thesis statements for more help with this stage!). You then provide strong, logical evidence that supports the validity of your argument throughout your paper.

What are good position papers? ›

Position Paper Topics About the Workplace
  • Submitting electronic or paper resumes. ...
  • Racial and gender discrimination in the workforce. ...
  • Sexual harassment. ...
  • Insurance and birth control. ...
  • Use of torture during war. ...
  • Government surveillance. ...
  • Border security. ...
  • Punishment for sex offenders.
May 8, 2017

How do you start a good position paper? ›

Create an Outline
  1. Introduce your topic with some basic background information. ...
  2. Introduce possible objections to your position. ...
  3. Support and acknowledge the opposing points. ...
  4. Explain that your position is still the best one, despite the strength of counter-arguments. ...
  5. Summarize your argument and restate your position.
Jul 19, 2019

What are the five basic parts of a position argument? ›

Information is used, but it is organized based on these major components of an argument: claim, reason, evidence, counter-claim, and rebuttal.

How do you end an argument with one word? ›

Say: “Ouch. That one hurt. I don't know if you were meaning to hurt me; I don't know if that's what you were going for; but that's what you did,” Runkel tells Business Insider Australia. That simple word will make your partner—and you—pause before doling out more mean words.

What are the 4 important elements of a good argument essay? ›

The main components of an argumentative paper are:
  • Claim: Claims assert your position on an issue. ...
  • Arguments: You also need to provide reasons to support your claim(s), and back up your reasons with evidence (note: your "evidence" is usually what you have found by doing your research!).
  • Counterarguments: ...
  • Rebuttals:
Oct 1, 2019

What are the 7 parts of a position paper? ›

Ample research and supporting evidence goes into a position paper to garner support around a specific topic.
Follow these seven steps to help write a position paper on any topic:
  • Choose a topic. ...
  • Conduct research. ...
  • Do a pre-writing exercise. ...
  • Draft a thesis. ...
  • Create an outline. ...
  • Write a draft of your paper.
May 3, 2021

How many paragraphs should a position paper be? ›

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 tense should a position paper be? ›

* Avoid use of “flowery” language. Try to state what you want to say as succinctly and clearly as possible. Diplomats can be round-about and vague, but position papers should not be. * Writing in the present tense is better than past perfect.


1. Model UN Strategy: How to Research Your Country Policy
(Model United Nations Institute By Best Delegate)
2. How to WIN BEST Delegate Part 1 | MUN Academy | Eps. 26
(International Global Network)
3. Model UN Strategy: How to Give the Perfect Opening Speech
(Model United Nations Institute By Best Delegate)
4. 4 Steps to Writing a Model UN Position Paper - Confidence Capital
(Confidence Capital)
5. Sample Lesson: How to Write a Model UN Resolution
(Model United Nations Institute By Best Delegate)
6. MUN Q&A | how to win Best Del + research + bias?


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