purpose of a position paper

purpose of a position paper

The purpose of a position paper is to create support for your stance on a policy issue. The paper is something like the opening statement in a debate – it is where you lay out the facts that support your argument for or against a particular policy. The tone of the position paper should be straightforward, confident and assertive, but not overly emotional. Remember, this is a fact-filled paper.

Choose a policy problem from your healthcare interests to which you wish to devote significant study and analytic work during the course. Perhaps you might want to choose the issue you believe is most important, most difficult, and/or most vexing as you think about your future healthcare practice. Narrow it to one specific policy controversy that has pending legislation at the state or national level, preferably introduced in the current congress or state legislative session. Please, no organizational policies – we want to look at legislation. This is a process of distillation and requires understanding and moving from larger, general, to specific and doable. For instance, don’t select the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Act (ACA) of March 2010 or any entire sweeping pending legislation. If you want to use the ACA pick one section of it that pertains to your interest and has proposed revision legislation. For instance, there are provisions in the ACA for Title XIII (nursing education) funding and many practice issues around Advanced Practice Nurses’ roles that may have legislative revision being considered this semester.

Position papers can vary in length and depth. For this class, your paper should be no longer than 2 pages excluding references. Present your headings, page numbers, running head, citations and references using APA style (APA, 2020). For this activity do not include a title page or abstract. If appropriate to your topic, you may write in the first person.

Here are the paper’s headers and components:

Introduction: identify the issue clearly, name the legislation and its sponsors appropriately, and state your position in a forthright, clear way

Body: provide background information on the issue, use facts and vetted evidence liberally, present facts that both support and oppose the policy, regardless of your stated position (present both sides factually).

Conclusion: name courses of action that could be taken to support the policy, and possible additional policy solutions (don’t repeat what is in the body of the paper – this is a summary and forward-looking action plan)

As always, use proper spelling, grammar, sentence structure. I have provided some practical writing tips for you in the Resources section.

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