Position Paper Information

Position Papers

NOTE: For Press-specific position paper guidelines, scroll to the bottom of the page

The Position Paper is one of the most crucial parts of preparing for HSMUN. It ensures that you are prepared for the conference and that you fully understand  your country’s position on the topics at hand.

Your position paper should include two things:

  1. An outline of the relevant background of the country with respect to the topic(s) at hand. This includes your country’s current policies, allies/enemies, relevant future policy goals, level of involvement and attitude about the UN, voting history, and more!
  2. That you intimately understand the goals and concerns of your given country.

Position papers are typically around two pages long, double-spaced. On top of this, we as that all delegates provide a ‘works cited’ page, with citations written in APA or MLA format (ask your teachers or email your committee if you need help with citations). That said, be concise!

A good position paper will include:

  • A brief introduction to your country’s history, or lack thereof, regarding the issue at hand
  • A summary of how the issue affects your country
  • Any relevant policies that your country may have, and their justification
  • Quotes from your country’s relevant politicians on the issue
  • Statistics and citations
  • Any relevant conventions and resolutions that your country has signed or ratified, or chosen not to sign or ratify, especially those within the UN system
  • Relevant UN actions that your country supported or opposed
  • What your country believes should be done to address the issue, and what your country hopes to accomplish
  • How the positions of other relevant countries affect your country’s position, including an analysis of potential allies and adversaries

General Writing Advice

  • Keep it simple. Avoid flowery wording and complicated language.
  • Give each separate idea or proposal its own paragraph. 
  • Cite your sources. Use footnotes, endnotes, or brackets to show where you found your facts and statistics. MLA style is the standard in political science, although any style will be accepted.
  • Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit. Edit your position paper. Then edit it again. No diplomat should ever make spelling or grammar mistakes.
  • Speech! Speech! A good position paper can provide the backbone for a strong introductory speech. During debate, a good position paper will also help you to stick to your country’s policies, and support your cause.
  • Keep it brief.

Press-specific Position Papers

As part of the new Press format, Press delegates are required to write a paper. Each student must submit a paper.

Students are expected to write a summary of the topics in their committee. They should present any information regarding their respective news outlet (either CNN or Russia Today)’s reporting on similar topics. This means covering any biases said outlet may have and how these might affect their coverage of news in their committee. By extension, this might affect how the Press covers certain country’s delegations. (On what countries might Russian media report critically? How about CNN?) Allies and enemies of the chosen press corporations should be covered accordingly in the paper. How different countries will be treated in articles should be discussed. Whether enemies are to be slandered, outright ignored, or covered normally all depends on the chosen press corporation’s stance and biases.

Press delegates are also welcome to prepare potential interview questions beforehand alongside their paper. These questions can be addressed to country delegates or to the committee as a whole.