Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media


Position Paper Guidelines


Step One
With your partner select the question on which you would like to work. Go to the teacher and get her permission to do this question (so that you are not doing the same question as another group). Because there are some controversial issues, you may also want to check with your parents as to whether they feel the topic is appropriate for you.


Step Two
Make a decision on HOW you are going to get the information you need to make ARGUMENTS ON BOTH SIDES of the question. You need to find information that describes many aspects of the question.

If you need help in deciding how to gather this information, seek help from your teacher. Some suggested ways to gather information are:

  • Web

  • Books

  • Audio-visual material — for examples, films, videos, or tapes

  • Newsbank

  • Library

  • Online research on the Internet

  • Personal interviews

  • Calling organizations that are about your topic.

  • Personal observations

  • Surveying people

  • Going to chat rooms on the Internet.


Step Three
Identify and discuss the major arguments, both pro and con. Be certain to include facts to back up the arguments. Consider possible outcomes and effects that their will there will be on the general well-being and quality of life. If you need help in finding or organizing this information, be sure to see your teacher


Step Four
Now that you have the pros and cons of this question, it is time to form your own person opinion. Both you and your partner must have consensus on this. Be sure you back up your stand with your rationale — that is the thinking and reasoning behind your opinion.


Step Five
Determine how you are going to share the information you have discovered with the rest of the class. This means that you will need to make a presentation of some sort. The possibilities are limited only to your imagination. Some suggestions — but certainly not all possibilities include:

  • Use PowerPoint software

  • Use charts and graphs

  • Make a video

  • Do a play or a skit

  • Make up songs or draw cartoons

  • Do a game show

  • Make statistical graphs and charts

Check with your teacher to help you make the decision as to how you are going to do your presentation.


Step Six
Along with your presentation, you need to make a short report of what you have found.

You need to include sections on

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • Your position and Why

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