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National History Project
NHD DATABASE INFO
STUDENT NHD MEMO
NHD POSITION PAPERS
Position Paper Format
Student Compar. Essay
Great Man Continuum
Civil Society Defined
1920’s Project Assignment
1980s's Project Assignment
1980's Topics 7th
1980's Topics 8th
Position Paper Format
A QUALITY POSITION PAPER will be organized and contain the following elements.
I. THE PROBLEM:
A. Open with an engaging hook.
B. Identify and describe the nature and scope of a contemporary social conflict or controversy. (MEMO 2)
C. Establish the extent and significance of the problem by explaining how it was addressed in the past, why past solutions failed and why the problem persists today. (MEMO 3)
D. Close with a sentence that connects the problem to the guiding question: How do revolutions change society?
II. POSITION AND BENEFITS (MEMO 4)
A. Explain your position, how it is implemented and how it will be used to solve the problem.
B. Clearly state why your plan will achieve more successful outcomes than those attempted in the past.
C. Succinctly state your recommendation for addressing the problem.
Develop arguments from three perspectives that object to your position. (MEMOs 5, 6, 7) The opponents’ objections are the core of each argument. Select the three strongest criticisms saving the toughest for last.
Construct each argument as follows.
OBJECTION to your POSITION: Each paragraph begins with a clear explanation of the opponent’s objection to your position. Specify who the opponents are and provide evidence to clarify their concerns. Remember, your argument is a rebuttal to the opponent’s objections, so this part cannot be vague or ambiguous.
REBUTTAL: Prove that your opponent’s fears are unfounded or shortsighted or a necessary evil by carefully refuting each concern with reason and evidence. This is the most important part of the paper. Be sure you respond completely to the opponent’s objections. Make admissions where you have to but show how your opponents’ criticisms are not as far-reaching as they assume.
REAFFIRM your POSITION: Explain how your position will rectify the situation and provide lasting benefits. Reason and evidence must be used to explain why your position is desirable.
IV. CALL TO ACTION (MEMO 8)
A. Remind your reader that you defended your position effectively against three popular challenges.
B. Recall the urgency of the issue and the benefits of your position.
C. Call the reader to action--urge the reader to support your position. An emotional anecdote or quote is nice closing.
A. 12 point font, double spaced,spell-checked, grammar-checked (Word--Tool Bar)
B. Separate each of the 5 sections with headings, e.g. "The Problem" (memos 2,3), "Innovation and Benefits" (memo 4), "Arguments" (memos 5,6,7), "Call to Action" (memo 8)
C. Annotated Bibliography
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