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Position Papers

About

Please refer to these guidelines  when writing your position papers. Small specialized committees may have slightly altered requirements for position papers. Any information about committee-specific changes can be found in your committee’s background guide.

Committee staff members will read all position papers that are submitted before the deadline, and feedback will be returned to delegates. Please feel free to reach out to your directors with any research or writing issues!

Position Paper Submissions

In an effort to streamline the process for both delegates and MUNUM staff, we will be accepting position paper submissions via Dropbox for MUNUM XXXI. Check back here on December 5 for access to the dropbox and instructions on how to submit your position papers.

Submissions open: Tuesday, December 5 at 5 p.m.

Submissions close : Wednesday, January 3 at 11:59 p.m.

Purpose

Position Papers are an important part of any Model UN conference for a few different reasons. First, they help delegates to effectively research and synthesize the views of their countries prior to the conference. They are also a way for delegates to let their chairs know that they are knowledgeable about the committee’s topics and invested in good discussion. Finally, position papers are an important tool to help delegates improve and strengthen their formal writing skills. 

Delegates who hope to earn an award at MUNUM XXXI must turn in position papers by the deadline. 

Content

A position paper usually consists of two main areas. First, it should discuss your country or character’s relation to the topic at hand. This portion should include this history of the topic within your country, any legislation enacted, and any previous actions taken in relation to the topic. The ultimate goal here should be to demonstrate how the topic has impacted the country. Don’t worry if it seems that a particular topic does not appear to have a direct correlation to your country! Try to look at the effect of similar issues and draw parallels between the two topics. The history section is important for developing understanding of the topic from the point of view of a specific nation.

In the second section, delegates should transition to discussion of potential solutions for the problem at hand. It is important to craft solutions that are detailed and include steps that a particular committee can realistically take. For example, it does not make much sense (and is also impossible) for UNICEF to deploy peacekeeper, so that would not be a particularly effective solution.  Delegates should make sure that their solutions are truly feasible, so it is useful to consider funding, existing NGOs or sub-committees, and other such realistic measures. Finally, when developing solutions delegates should ensure that they are broad enough to be utilized by multiple different countries with varying relation to the topic.

Sourcing

We certainly do not expect delegates to be experts in every topic and outside sources are a must. Position papers lacking a works cited section (in MLA format) will not be read by staff. Some ways to find good sources include:

  • Utilizing search engines designed for research like Google Scholar or Microsoft Academic Search
  • Avoiding publically-edited sites like Wikipedia. Instead consider Encyclopedia Britannica or CIA World Fact book for basic country information.
  • Picking credible news sources that have recent information (generally not blogs or wikis)
  • For more information on determining credible sources, check here.
Formatting

Please ensure that your position papers are formatted appropriately. Position papers should:

  • Be one page per topic (maximum)
  • Be single-spaced, 12-pt. Times New Roman
  • Include your full name, country or character, committee, and school
  • Include a works cited page in MLA format
Sample Position Paper

To download a sample position paper, click here. Please refer to this sample for formatting, length, and citations. 

Position Paper Name Formatting

To ensure that position papers are correctly processed, please submit in PDF, DOC, or DOCX format using the following file naming format: 

“Committee Name – Country Name – Last Name”

Papers not submitted in this manner are not eligible for awards.