Position Paper

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Position Paper Guidelines


What a position paper is and what should be its structure:


A position paper is a document that discusses a specific issue from an empirical point of view. In other words, it must be fact-based! It states the issue in question, provides the necessary theoretical/conceptual reasons why the issue is important (i.e., why should other scientists who will read it care about it), presents a review of relevant empirical findings (i.e., facts) on the issue from articles that you have read for the paper, and ends with a discussion of what the data show, what questions remain to be answered and, finally, your opinion about the best way to answer those questions (you might propose new experiments, new theoretical approaches, or some combination of the two).


What a position paper is not:


A position paper is not an essay that you might write for your 20th century novel class or your “Dreams” class where you simply express your “feelings” about a particular writer’s style of expression or your personal interpretation of your or someone else’s dreams.


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