Write Position Papers

Position papers are a very effective method for conveying the philosophy of an individual or group. Such papers give supporting evidence on an issue that clarifies your stand when communicating with people at all levels of government. Position papers require research because the statement of position must be supported by facts. Position papers are most effective when presented to legislators or other policymakers in a concise format, preferably two or three typed pages with a one-page summary.

Position papers define an organization’s stance on an issue, and give readers a summary perspective of the dimensions of an issue. Position papers provide legislators and policymakers, a clear statement of the desired action an organization wishes them to take (i.e., passage of legislation, contents/language of a bill that would make it acceptable to the organization).

When writing a position paper:

  1. Define the issue carefully.
  2. Define key terminology as it is being used in your paper - be specific, not vague or general.
  3. State your position clearly.
  4. Back up your position with facts, research, and expert opinions.
  5. Choose a group or individual to conduct the necessary research and prepare draft language.
  6. Ask for membership input after the first draft is written.
  7. Review the paper for problems such as unnecessary repetition, faulty logic, or poor organization.
  8. Proof the document carefully to avoid typos and ensure the paper is grammatically correct.

Remember, a well-written, concise paper is most effective!

The AAFCS Public Policy Committee (publicpolicy@aafcs.org) is available to review position papers and provide leads on supportive and/or conflicting efforts. This gives you the advantage of an expert eye before you present to Congress.