50+ Sample Position Statements

What Is a Position Statement?

A position statement is a formal statement that explains one’s stand or stance on a particular issue or subject. The statement can also be part of a larger whole such as a formal position paper.  

According to an online article by Study.com, position statements and positioning statements are slightly different. In a business sense, a position statement has a more targeted use in a marketing strategy; whereas, a positioning statement is narrow and is typically used to establish the goals of a brand and/or marketing strategy.

Examples of Positions

Position papers require you to take a stand or pick a side. In general, you can either agree or disagree with a topic, or some topics may prove difficult to choose a side. Most controversial issues have a lot of gray areas; rarely are things simply black and white in reality. The following examples are the main positions an individual can take. 

Affirmative. Taking an affirmative stand is when you confirm or affirm any given statement. In other words, you agree with the topic or thesis statement. You affirm the belief and uphold that the statement is true, or at least you believe it to be true. When creating a position statement in an affirmative tone, you need to be confident in your stand and should be able to present supporting facts or ideas that prove and confirm the statement. Like a thesis statement or proposal, there must be credible evidence that supports your claims or statements. It is also similar to a debate where you have to be able to persuade your audience to your side. This is where research is vital. In order to strengthen your argument, you need to conduct adequate and substantial research. Negative. The opposite end of an affirmative position is a negative stance. Unlike the affirmative, a negative position disagrees with or challenges the statement. Many controversial and debated topics have polarizing views. Those that vehemently disagree with an issue can have strong opinions about it. But just like taking an affirmative stance, you also need to present a solid case for why you disagree with the topic. It essentially goes through the same process of researching and coming up with supporting ideas to back up your claims. Whether it is a heated social issue or a deeply personal belief, it is not enough to argue in an emotionally-driven tone but you need to substantiate your claims with objective and sound ideas. Joint Position. In some cases, an organization or company might come up with a joint position to either support or condemn an issue. Creating a joint statement is quite common, whether it is in the private or public sector. They say that there is strength in numbers; and if several groups come together and are united in their stance on a certain issue, then it can add more credibility and even authority. For example, when different universities come together in support of a particular law or to reject a certain national policy or incident, it is good optics to present a united front from similar institutions. A joint position statement is usually written and formal and it can either be traditionally printed or digitally shared on online platforms.

Sample Ideas for Position Statements

Position statements or position papers usually cover controversial topics and issues. They help reinforce an individual or organization’s stand on something. The following examples are just a few excellent ideas for a formal position paper.   

Human Rights. A good topic for a position statement or paper is human rights. In recent years, there have been numerous claims, news, and stories of human rights violations. From minor issues to national-scale problems, human rights is an issue that affects every person and society. One clear example is the ongoing refugee crisis and the problem of human trafficking. These issues have severely undermined basic human rights. If you feel strongly about these kinds of basic issues, you can write a position paper that expresses your commitment to human rights. And simply expound on why it is important to respect and fight for human rights, citing several laws, narratives, historical facts, and other supporting references. Gender Equality. Gender equality has been a favorite topic of debate for decades or even centuries. Whether you view it as a battle of the sexes or you believe in equality for all, the topic can make certain individuals and sectors riled up. Issues such as toxic masculinity and mysognism are enough to spark heated debates. And with recurring waves of feminism and LGBTQ movements throughout history, gender equality is a topic that cannnot be easily dismissed. If you are writing a position paper on gender equality, it requires a good amount of research and analysis. It is best to seek out credible primary sources such as first-hand interviews, surveys, statistics, or even focused group discussions. Climate Change. The effects of climate change have been felt around the world, but there are still some who are skeptical of the phenomenon. Climate change is characterized by extreme weather patterns and global warming. Many institutions, sectors, and even governments have come together in an effort to promote awareness about climate change and its devastating consequences. A climate change position paper should not only take a firm stand, but it should also outline the reasons why you have taken that stance. Make sure your arguments are backed up by sound science, hard facts, and evidence. Taking a strong stance against climate change is not enough, you have to be able to use reason and logic to argue effectively. Capital Punishment. The subject of the death penalty has divided many societies. Whether or not it is just to take a life to replace the loss of another has been a contentious question. In recent times, there are still governments and societies that impose capital punishment, reserved for their most grevious offenders. However, there are those who strongly oppose the death penalty and view it as inhumane and immoral. Instead of capital punishment for henous crimes, others are more convinced that life imprisonment is the appropriate punishment. For a position paper tackling capital punishment, it is crucial to do a careful background study of the issue and cite specific cases to illustrate your point.

How to Create a Position Statement

To create a position statement, you need to do prior research and study the material carefully in order to make a more informed and solid argument. And if you are looking for a guide to use as reference, there are available sample templates above which you can easily download. All you need to do is choose one that suits your needs and follow the basic steps below.   

Step 1: Introduction and Background

The first step is to prepare an introduction about the topic. It is important to give a background of the issue before diving into your position. Give an objective assessment of your chosen topic. You can provide historical instances or cite particular examples just to prepare the reader for the succeeding sections. Like any formal presentation or proposal, an introduction is a basic part or section. This section does not need to be long, a few paragraphs should be enough. What matters is that you lay the foundation of your position statement by introducing it in an objective and unbiased way.   

Step 2: Analysis 

After the introduction, the next step is to conduct a thorough analysis. This section is merely taking the introduction and background to the next level. A key component of any formal paper or proposal is the analysis. This is where sound reasoning and critical thinking come into play. This section is where you can unpack the various aspects of the issue for the purpose of understanding it fully or making sense of the issue as a whole. Note that the analysis and position (Step 3) can be interchangeable sections. In other words, you can assert your position or stand first then do an analysis of your argument.    

Step 3: Position

The next step is to declare and explain your position. A position statement or paper can be likened to an argumentative or persuasive essay. You essentially take a stand or pick a side and make a compelling case for it. And as discussed in the previous sections, you can either affirm or reject a certain issue. Most position statements and position papers tend to cover polarizing issues or contentious topics that are complex and multi-layered. Whether it is environmental issues, economic issues, or social problems, it is important to stand firm in your conviction when asserting your position statement.        

Step 4: References and Sources

The last step in creating a position statement is to properly cite your sources. You can have a wide variety of references and sources, depending on how you conduct your research and analysis. Both primary and secondary sources are excellent resources. Whether it is an interview transcript, survey form, or direct quotation from a book, these all need to be acknowledged in a formal position paper. The citation format would also largely depend on individual preferences and needs.    


How do you write a good position statement?

To write a good position statement, it needs to be well-researched, logical and persuasive.

What is a position statement essay?

A position statement essay is a formal essay that explains one’s stand or stance on a particular issue.

What is a position statement of an organization?

An organization position statement is a formal statement that reinforces the stand or position of an organization regarding a particular issue or incident.

A position statement is an effective way to assert your opinion and ideas in a professional and reasonable way. Creating an impactful position statement is easier when you have a template to follow. Browse the broad collection of free templates above, pick one that meets your needs, and craft your own position statement now!