Tips on Writing a Position Paper

The Position Paper has 3 parts: the Introduction, Body and Conclusion.

Sledge (2010) proposes this format:

The Introduction should:

• Capture the reader’s attention. This can be done by posing a question, stating a relevant quote, making a strong statement, or using a statistic.

• State your thesis (the topic and your opinion on it from your chosen perspective).

• Introduce the main points to be discussed.

The Body should:

• Provide clear reasons for your position.

• Elaborate using supporting details such as facts and personal experiences.

• Be organized in a logical order.

*This part of the position paper will require some research. You do not need to strictly follow the parenthetical reference style taught in H3. Instead, use footnotes in your word processor, and add the APA entry of your source at the bottom of your paper.

The Conclusion should

• Restate your thesis.

• Sum up the main points made in the body of your essay.

• End with a strong statement.

Remember, the way the Position Paper is written does not directly try to convince its audience to support an issue. Rather, it does so by the presentation of facts and ideas that support the stand chosen by the writer.

This means that it utilizes phrases such as “We support this stand because…”, rather than “You should support this stand because…”

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The United Fruit Company Groupwork

Form pairs inside the class.

Answer all questions on a Google Docs Presentation. Each question should merit one slide, answered in complete sentences. You do not need animation or transitions, but pictures would be appreciated (but not too many!).

Source all your answers by placing the website’s url inside a small text box at the bottom of each slide. Do this also with the pictures. Remember, you may not use Wikipedia as a main source, though you can use the links present there.


It is important to understand certain concepts before reading “The United Fruit Company.” This is because the poem’s setting is quite exotic, and certain concepts might escape you upon initial reading.

  1. Who is Pablo Neruda?
  2. What is a banana republic?
  3. Who are Trujillo, Tachos, Carias, Martinez and Ubico?
  4. What is liberation theology?


  1. Which of the 8 elements of poetry are present in the poem? Give examples of each (use 1 slide per element).
  2. Who is the speaker of the poem?
  3. What is the message of the poem?

Making Connections

  1. What connections can you make between this poem and the history of the Philippines?
  2. Does the situation in the poem still exist in modern times?  Where?

Submit the Google Doc presentation by sharing the link with by the end of the period and prepare for a quiz next week.

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Making a Fist by Naomi Shihab Nye

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother. 
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.

Link to text, with audio file
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Process Analysis Essay Guidelines

Format: Font size 12 (Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri), 1″ margins, double-spaced (remember to uncheck the box under “format” that says “add an additional space between similar paragraphs”)


  • 4AC – email to Mr. Dy’s Xavier email by 3pm Saturday
  • 4G – email to Mr. Dy’s Xavier email by 3pm Sunday
  • Don’t forget to staple your pre-writing exercise to the final submission

Guidelines: Download the PPT file by clicking here

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Process Analysis Speech Sign-Ups

Click to go to the Google Doc to sign-up for your speech. Remember, the first day for your speech offers a +5 incentive.

The Process Analysis Speech is basically a live presentation of your Process Analysis Essay. Some things to remember:

  • You do not have to memorize or say your essay word for word. Feel free to ad-lib as long as it follows the essence of your essay
  • You are allowed to bring props for your presentation
  • If it is too difficult to bring certain props or to perform your task in front of class, you may opt to use a PowerPoint with pictures of yourself, demonstrating your skill or talent
  • Speeches must last a minimum of 2 minutes, to a maximum of 5 minutes
  • If you do not sign up, you will be randomly assigned to an open slot by Sunday afternoon, 3pm (Monday, 7pm for 4G students)
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Additional Resources: Process Analysis

Online “Samples”

YouTube Videos

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Guidelines for MC2

Short Story Review Guidelines

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