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Model United Nations Position Paper Outline

How to Outline a Model UN Position Paper

The first step in writing all of your papers should be to create an outline. Outlining your paper will allow you to organize your thoughts in a dynamic order, rather than relying on the natural flow of writing. Luckily, outlining a position paper is easy! Follow the simple steps described below to outline your next position paper.

Remember, the objective of your position paper is to address three key topics: the topic history, your state’s experience with the topic, and your state’s proposed solution set. Stay focused!

Sample Position Paper Outline

1.) First Paragraph: Basic overview of the committee and topic. Make sure to end your first paragraph with your thesis statement.

Thesis Statement: The one or two sentences that summarize the argument of your paper. The thesis statement should state your position clearly and explicitly, summarizing why your solutions are the best.

2.) Second Paragraph: History of the issue at hand. Address the historical context of your issue area and why it is important the international community addresses the topic.

3.) Third Paragraph: Evaluation of why past actions have succeeded or failed and it what capacity. The focus should be on analysis, not summarization.

4.) Fourth Paragraph: Explain your state’s desired outcome and how you will achieve it. Make sure to explain what your resolution will cover and tactics you will use to achieve them. Your solution set should shine here!

5.) Fifth Paragraph: Restate why the topic is important to your country and the international community and how your solution set will attempt to solve the issue.

You may have noticed the above outline only has five paragraphs. Congratulations for reading! This can be interpreted literally or used as a general outline. If your topic is complex, for example the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, you may need to devote more space to the history of the topic.

Please still remember your position paper should be concise! Keep your paper under 2 pages, around 500-600 words, and the end product often times will be better than a 10 page treatise. Your chair thanks you in advance.

Common Outline Mistakes

1.) Including the full, biblical history of your topic
Concise. Concise. Concise. Only include the relevant history and analyze why that history is important

2.) Not addressing past action taken
A common criticism of Model UN is that all of the solutions have been developed. Don’t add to this misinformed critique! Research what the international community has proposed in the past and build on its successes or correct its failures.

3.) Not outlining!
What’s wrong with you? Outline your paper! It only takes 30 minutes, at most, and will organize your paper into a coherent argument.

Action Item

Take the above outline and apply it to the position paper your are writing. Under each paragraph, include specific points that are described above.

Continue to Lesson 3: How to Research for a Model UN Position Paper