MUN delegates are encouraged to prepare position papers for their countries. The preparation of these papers will assist delegates in assembling their research in an organized manner. While it is not a requirement that every student write a position paper, a student must submit a position paper in order to be considered for a financial award or individual committee award. In addition, authors of the best papers will be awarded points toward overall awards. Funds permitting, the author of the top paper(s) will receive a monetary awards.
The deadline for papers to be part of the writing competition is posted here. Papers must be turned in as instructed by midnight on this date, no exceptions. Late submissions will not be read, so don't wait until the last minute to familiarize yourself with the process. We cannot accept papers that are faxed, mailed, or delivered in any way other than specified in the instructions emailed to you.
Students who miss the deadline may still submit papers for the purpose of meeting the requirement for individual awards. Papers disqualified from the writing competition for failure to confirm to technical requirements will also fulfill this requirement. Papers will be accepted until a few days prior to the conference start date.
After initial review and rating, the best 15 to 20 papers will be forwarded to the Final Reading Committee, organized under the auspices of the Naples Council on World Affairs (NCWA). The papers are forwarded without identification of the writers or schools and are not ranked in relation to each other. The Final Reading Committee members, a group of seven or eight individuals selected by the Position Paper Chairperson, are asked to read and rank all of the papers they have received. These readers are usually members of NCWA and have publishing, foreign service and academic backgrounds. Each member of the committee reads the papers and reports his/her scores and ranking of the papers (first to last) to the Position Paper Chairperson, who then compiles the results and forwards them to the MUN Chairpersons and Coordinator. At this time the authors and schools represented by the papers are identified by the conference coordinator and the awards are prepared.
The MUN program coordinator, who is a NCWA staff member, compiles a list of all students writing a position paper, since writing a position paper is a requirement for receiving a financial award. The points awarded to a position paper also count toward the calculation of these awards. (See the PURPOSE section above).
The MUN position paper combines the best features of "talking points" (brevity) and "essays" (explanatory advocacy) into one document that defines a country's national interest in a committee issue.
Writing an effective position paper teaches the student how to research, organize and present ideas in a persuasive manner and prepares him/her for informed, meaningful debate on the topic. These are invaluable skills to develop, no matter what path the student may take in life.
It should be noted that an outstanding position paper not only demonstrates basic knowledge of the issue but also demonstrates that an analysis/evaluation of the information has been made, requiring the writer to go beyond basic reporting on the topic. Papers without pertinent analysis/evaluation are little more than restatements of information and are frequently in less than concise form.
If external sources are used or quoted, you must follow standard rules of citation. All sources must be clearly and fully cited ON THE BACK of the paper. The paper must be the writer's own product.
OUTLINE AND MECHANICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A POSITION PAPER
The position paper should be clear, concise, accurate, well written and well reasoned. The following format should be used:
The first three lines of the paper are to identify the country, issue and committee. The first line, in bold print at the left margin, is to be Country, the second line in bold print is to be Issue, and the third line in bold print is to be Committee, as follows:
These three lines are followed by the first section of the paper, which will begin at the left margin, in bold capitals, as follows:
ISSUE AND POSITION: Succinctly state the issue and the position of the nation that the writer represents. This statement should be no more than a few sentences.
The next section will begin at the left margin, in bold capitals, as follows:
BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Discuss:
• What historically created the issue;
• Why the issue is important;
• What previous actions have been taken on the issue;
• What the weaknesses are in previous actions and/or opposing positions; and
• What problems continue to exist.
Paragraphs should appropriately identify separate topics and ideas.
The last section will begin at the left margin, in bold capitals, as follows:
PROPOSED ACTION ON THE ISSUE: Include:
• In what way the writer proposes to resolve the issue;
• How the proposal will be implemented; and
• Why it is in the best interest of the UN as a whole.
Writers need to keep in mind as they state their position that the reviewers of the papers (their audience) are educated individuals who, while they have an interest in the topics, do not necessarily possess expertise in all areas. Therefore, discussion of issues should be clear, concise and easily understood by readers in general.
B. MECHANICAL REQUIREMENTS
1. The position paper must be limited to ONE page, single spaced, and must cover ONE issue only. (Exception: source citations on the back)
2. Margins must be no smaller than ½” and no greater than 1".
3. Type size must be 12 point; type font must be Times New Roman or Arial.
4. The paper must be submitted in PDF format.
5. Writer may submit one paper only!
6. Do not include a cover page.
7. The name of the PDF file should be COMMITTEE – COUNTRY – STUDENT’S NAME (EX: Security Council – United Kingdom – Jane Doe). This is the only way we will have to identify the author of the paper, so it's very important!
8. Do not include any ornamentation of any kind, i.e., flags, colored headers, decorative borders, etc. There should be nothing to distinguish a paper; the focus is to be on the content of the paper.
9. ANY PAPER WHICH DOES NOT FOLLOW THE REQUIRED OUTLINE AND/OR DOES NOT MEET THE MECHANICAL REQUIREMENTS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY REMOVED FROM CONSIDERATION FOR POSITION PAPER AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS.
EVALUATION OF POSITION PAPERS
The following criteria will be used:
1. Clear, concise statement of the issue and the writer's position (1-10 points);
2. Effective discussion of background information (1-10 points);
3. Statement of writer's proposed action on the issue (1-10 points); and
4. Correct English usage (1-10 points).
Maximum point score is, therefore, 40 points.
(top 3 from 2021):
Noah Thorne - Ethiopia (Gulf Coast)
Corazon Holloway - Japan (Lely)
John Gracey - Germany (Bishop Verot)
(top 3 from 2018):
Alexa Lowman - Saudi Arabia (Cypress Lake High School)