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9th Grade Physics Position Paper: Position Paper - Energy 2014

Position Paper -- Energy 2015

Your topic (write exactly): ____________________________________________________________

 

General Information: You are required to individually write a position paper on your topic. This will be due on ________  at the beginning of class. It needs to be type written (Times New Roman, size 12 font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, about 5 pages). It needs to be printed, with pages stapled, by the start of class.

 

What is a position paper? A ‘Position Paper’ quite literally communicates your personal position on your particular topic. It should briefly summarize the topic, and state your claim on the topic. Arguments and evidence are presented to support your view on your topic.

 

Here are some hints on how to write a position paper and what it should include.

  • Start with Getting to Know the Topic: There is no substitute for understanding the big ideas and the nuances of your topic. You can not make a strong argument without really understanding the topic.

  • Keep it simple: To communicate strongly and effectively, avoid flowery wording and stick to uncomplicated language and sentence structure. Often times it is more difficult to challenge a simple statement, than to disagree with a statement that has lots of parts.

  • Get organized: Give each separate idea or proposal its own paragraph. Make sure each paragraph starts with a topic sentence (otherwise known as a claim or your point).

  • Cite your sources: Attach a works cited page, created in NoodleBib- papers without a works cited page will be returned and will be considered late, and will be marked down at least one grade level.  Include all the sources you consulted. Use in-text citations (a.k.a. parenthetical citations) to show where you found your facts and statistics. Remember, you must cite all information that is not "common knowledge" or you may be accused of plagiarism.  If you have any questions about bibliographic form, ask Ms. Bogas in the library.  

  • Read and reread: Leave time to edit your position paper. Ask yourself if the organization of the paper makes sense and double-check your spelling and grammar.

 

Analyzing an Issue and Developing an Argument

You should research your topic and related subject matter. While you may already have an opinion on your topic and an idea about which side of the argument you want to take, you need to ensure that your position is well supported. Listing out the pro and con sides of the topic will help you examine your ability to support your counterclaims, along with a list of supporting evidence for both sides. Supporting evidence includes the following:

  • Factual Knowledge - Information that is verifiable and agreed upon by almost everyone. "Common Knowledge" therefore does not need an in-text citation.

  • Statistical Inferences - Interpretation and examples of an accumulation of facts. (needs an in-text citation).

  • Informed Opinion - Opinion developed through research and/or expertise of the claim (needs an in-text citation).

  • Personal Testimony - Personal experience related by a knowledgeable party (needs an in-text citation).

  • Once you have made your pro and con lists, compare the information side by side.

 

All of your research sources should meet Bentley's ROAD standards of evaluation. If you are not sure if they do, consult your librarian, Ms. Bogas.  Remember there are pre-approved, great sources for this project available through the library website's research page.  Especially good databases are Gale and CQ Researcher.

 

Organization


 

Your introduction should lead up to a thesis that organizes the rest of your paper. Three reasons to lead with the thesis:

  • The audience knows where you stand.

  • The thesis is located in the two strongest places, beginning and end of your paper.

  • It prepares the reader for the rest of the paper by setting the tone and giving structure.

  • Remember, your thesis should have three levels:  You should make an observation (state your topic as specifically as possible), make an interpretation (state what you think should be done about your topic), and the end with significance (state why it is important that we take the steps you consider important; what’s at stake here?  why should we care?).

 

Your body paragraphs should be organized around your claim (your point) with supporting evidence and analysis of how that evidence proves your claims.  In English, you have used PCEAT paragraphs. They can work here, too.

 

Below is a generic sample outline for a position paper (use it like a checklist):


 

I. Introduction

A. Introduce the topic, while capturing the audience’s interest. Use a "hook".   

B. Provide background information on the topic

C. Assert the thesis (your view of the issue) with three levels: observation, interpretation and significance.

II. Your Argument

A. Assert point #1 of your claims

1. Give your opinion  (Point/Claim)

2. Provide support (Context / Evidence)

3. Analyze your evidence to show how it proves your claim (Analysis)

4. Transition to your next paragraph and/or tie back to your overarching significance in your thesis. (Tie Back / Transition)

 

B. Assert point #2 of your claims

1. Give your opinion  (Point / Claim)

2. Provide support (Context / Evidence)

3. Analyze your evidence to show how it proves your claim (Analysis)

4. Transition to your next paragraph and/or tie back to your overarching significance in your thesis. (Tie Back / Transition)

C. Assert point #3 of your claims

1. Give your opinion  (Point / Claim)

2. Provide support (Context / Evidence)

3. Analyze your evidence to show how it proves your claim (Analysis)

4. Transition to your next paragraph and/or tie back to your overarching significance in your thesis. (Tie Back / Transition)

III. Counter Argument

A. Summarize the most common counterclaims

B. Provide supporting information for counterclaims

C. Refute the counterclaims

D. Give evidence for your argument that refutes their claims

 

IV. Conclusion

A. Restate your argument

B. Provide a plan of action

 

V. Works Cited

A. A final page that includes all of your sources

B. In text citations for all appropriate information that is not common knowledge