Position Paper Guidelines
The process of writing a position paper can be helpful for delegates to guide their research and clarify the ideas that they may have in a succinct manner. At BMUN, we encourage our chairs to take on a mentor role in guiding delegates in their preparation for the conference in addition to chairing on the day of. This is why we have integrated position papers into our process. All position papers will not only be assessed as part of a delegate’s performance, they will also be returned in the week prior to the conference with feedback to allow delegates to fine-tune their research.
Position Paper Rubric
While feedback itself is central to giving the delegates constructive criticism, we also have general rubric guidelines to better articulate what makes a good position paper. Below we have included a description of how each section of the position paper will be assessed, on a 5-point grading scale.
Past and Current International Action (15%)
5 - Both historical background and current situation are present and well integrated. Discussion of topics extend beyond the material provided in the committee synopses and demonstrates superior understanding of the topic at hand. The key actions identified anticipate the diplomatic implications of these actions as well as reflect the nature and background of the issue.
4 - Both historical background and current situation are present. Discussion of topic extends no further than the material provided in the committee synopses but demonstrates a solid understanding of topic at hand. The key issues identified reflect the nature and background of the topic.
3 - Only one component is present, either past or current international action is missing. Discussion of the topic demonstrates a limited understanding of the topic at hand. The key issues identified are relevant to the topic or the importance of these issues is supported by the delegate’s description of the topic, implicitly or otherwise.
2 - Only one component is present, either past or current international action is missing. Discussion of topic demonstrates a limited understanding of the topic at hand or the topic description contains factual errors. The key issues identified are relevant to the topic but the importance of these issues is not supported by the delegate’s description of the topic, implicitly or otherwise.
1 - No discussion of historical background or current situation. Discussion of topics and issues are not directly relevant to the topic.
Country's Position on the Topic (25%)
5 - Examines the country's multilateral position and provides analysis on the country's relationship to the committee. Multiple (more than one) research sources are cited from varying types of media and all sources are interpreted to form a cohesive delegation policy.
4 - Multiple (more than one) research sources are cited and interpreted to form a cohesive delegation policy.
3 - Limited research source citations. Not all research citations are interpreted
2 - Describes briefly the country's official stance on the topic. No research sources cited or research sources are irrelevant to the topic. No analysis or interpretation of research sources cited.
1 - An overview of the topic is provided with no explicit delegation policy established.
Proposed Solution (30%)
5 - Provides a multi-dimensional proposal that addresses and describes key issues of the topic. The solution considers both 'feasible' and popular solutions as well as solutions unique to their country's stance and position. Considers arguments in favour, counter arguments, and defending arguments to the provided solutions. Research sources are cited in support of the solutions, and proposals reflect not only the current situation on the ground but also considerations for past concerns and future possibilities. Solutions are feasible within the jurisdiction of the committee.
4 - The proposed solution addresses the key issues of the topic. Gives arguments in favor and in defense of the solution. Realistic counterarguments are anticipated. The proposal also effectively addresses the key issues identified in the topic description. The proposal accurately reflects delegation policy.
3 - A detailed proposal with limited arguments in favor and in defense. The proposal addresses the topic in general but fails to address key issues.
2 - A weak proposal is described without any supporting arguments. The proposed solution does not address the topic at hand or addresses an irrelevant issue. The proposed solution is not consistent with delegation policy
1 - Describes solutions to the problem with limited consideration as to how they would be implemented
Response to Questions to Consider (20%)
5 - Offers a thoughtful consideration of the question beyond mere positives and negatives to the issue, such as but not limited to: an examination of underlying tensions that informs the questions, historical trends and happenings that might have informed the current state of affairs, case studies or examples that either prove or run counter to the point. Outlines implications of the questions upon country's stance, solutions, and the behaviour of the committee at large. Multiple sources are cited in research to provide a cohesive, informed response to the questions.
4 - Considers both the positive and negative aspects of the question and ties it back to the key issues of the topic. Outlines implications of the questions upon country's stance, solutions, and the behaviour of the committee at large. Multiple sources are cited in research to provide a cohesive, informed response to the questions.
3 - Answers the question relates it to their delegation's stance and/or some of their earlier positional considerations. Some research and analysis is provided to differentiate the answer from other sections of the position paper.
2 - Limited answer to a question with only a surface level response. No research or analysis has been provided to support the delegate's perspective.
1 - Fails to answer the questions to consider - merely provides some repetition or paraphrasing of information that was presented earlier in the position paper.
Overall Quality (10%)
5 - Well structured and nuanced, paper was a delight to read. Sophisticated and mature analysis, reads like a real research paper. Properly cited and professionally done.
4 - Literary tools may be employed to enhance the argument of the paper. Clear and easy to follow without being too simplistic.
3 - Good, simple and clean paper. Not overly mature but no overt mistakes that take away from the content of the paper. Functional vocabulary and grammar.
2 - Long and windy, awkwardly structured and explained. Some obvious grammatical mistakes.
1 - Poor grammar and vocabulary, some semblance of plagiarism or lifting directly from sources, not a cohesive piece to read.