5. Hot Topics
Position Paper 100 Points/20% of Grade
A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. It is important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims as well as address any counterclaims. This position paper will explore a current nursing ?Hot Topic
? dealing with a nursing issue and its impact on or importance to professional nursing practice. You will present your ?hot topic
? as a debate. Each student will write an individual paper then debate groups will be formed to present opposing sides of the topic
. *See scoring rubric.
? Enhance and practice computer and information literacy
? Provide an opportunity to investigate current national health care issues
? Critique the impact of these issues on nursing and other stakeholders providing input to find solutions satisfactory to all.
? Provide continued opportunity to hone APA writing skills.
? The audience for this paper is other health care professionals, administrators, and
? Prepare a position paper (10 pages (+/- 10%) excluding title page, abstract, and reference pages) that argues in support or rejection of an assigned/selected nursing ?Hot Topic
? and contributes to a group debate process.
Guidelines for Writing a Position Paper
1. Determine the Issue Criteria
a. What is the controversy and uncertainty in this issue?
b. There are at least two distinct positions. What are they?
2. Analyze the Issue and Develop an Argument (Focus on three main points to develop. Each topic
is developed with a general statement of the position.)
a. Research the topic
to ensure that your position is well supported.
b. List the pro and con sides of the topic
c. Supporting evidence should include the following:
i. Factual knowledge?information that is verifiable and agreed upon by almost everyone.
ii. Statistical Inferences?Interpretation and examples of an accumulation of facts.
iii. Current policy and/or law?local health care organizations, state and/or federal levels.
iv. Informed Opinion?Opinion developed through research and/or expertise of the claim. (Remember you are a health care professional and may have experience and expertise!)
v. Personal Testimony?Personal experience related by a knowledgeable party. (Patients who have had experience or nurses or health care professionals with personal experience on this topic
vi. Resources/references must include a minimum of four current (2008 or later) evidence-based professional journal articles.)
d. Once you have made your pro/con lists, compare the information side by side. Determine your stand on the issue then begin to defend your stand.
e. Address the counterargument (acknowledge what your opponents believe and their evidence). Provide a refuting argument of the counterargument.
f. Provide your three strongest points of argument to support your stand (your three talking points). Include supporting evidence for your talking points.
g. Consider your audience and stakeholders, as well as your own viewpoint, to choose how you will present your position:
i. Who is your audience?
ii. What do they believe?
iii. Where do they stand on the issue?
iv. How are their interests involved?
v. What evidence is likely to be effective with this audience?
3. Proposing a Plan/Need?Your plan must include the following categories:
a. An overview of your plan so that it is clear to the reader and relates to the issue and your position
b. Relationship of the plan to Healthy People 2020 goals and professional nursing practice
c. Cost effective use of scarce resources?including financial, medical, technological, and human resources ? discuss how these resources will be used in the plan. (consider both implementation and evaluation phases)
d. Local, state, and/or federal policy, legal and/or political implications
a. Summarize, then conclude your argument
b. Refer to the first paragraph/opening statements as well as the main points presented in the paper. Does the conclusion:
i. Restate the main ideas?
ii. Reflect the succession and importance of the arguments
iii. Logically conclude the arguments and main ideas.
a. Professional, lay, organizational, legal, political and Internet
b. Current (2008 and later). You may use ?older? references to support historical data but limit older references.
c. Use the references from your annotated bibliography and additional references from internet, government, community, healthcare organizations, and news sources to support your position and plan.
Suggested Organization and Sample Outline for Position Paper
A. Introduce the topic
and scope/purpose of your paper
B. Provide background on the topic
and include what is currently happening locally, state and nationally
C. Succinctly assert the thesis?your position on the issue
II. Counter Argument
A. Summarize the counterclaims
B. Provide supporting information for counterclaims
C. Refute the counterclaims
D. Give evidence for the refuting argument
III. Your Argument
A. Assert ?Talking Points? #1, #2, and #3
a. Give your opinion
b. Provide supporting evidence
A. Provide an overview of your plan so that the audience understands what you want plan to do and why
B. Relationship to Healthy People 2020 and professional nursing practice
C. Discuss cost and effective use of scarce resources including human resources.
D. Political, policy and/or legal implications?local, state and Federal levels
E. Describe anticipated impact on audience and stakeholders
A. Restate your argument that was presented in the introduction
B. The audience should know where you stand
C. The thesis (your position) is clear and located in the two strongest places, first and last paragraphs.
A. Minimum of four current (2008 or later) professional journal references
B. Governmental, health care organizations, political, policy, community, and legal resources. May use internet resources.
C. May use a limited number of older references for historical context
VII. Format of Paper
A. Use APA professional style of writing (2009, Sixth Edition, 2nd printing, or later) ? include an abstract.
B. Remember APA style is more than reference citations and reference list. It is the entire professional appearance, organization, style and mechanics of the paper.
C. Maximum length: 10 pages (+/- 10%) excluding title and reference pages and abstract.
NURS 365 Rubric for ?Hot Topic
? Position Paper
Levels of Performance (LOP):
4 =Excellent: very competent and effective; highly professional performance & quality; well organized and good understanding and application of criteria is very evident
3 = Good: satisfactory standard of competence evident; mostly professional performance & quality; good organization; understanding and application of criteria is evident
2 = Fair: somewhat competent; professionalism and quality need attention; requires more organization; understanding and application of criteria is only somewhat evident
?1 = Needs work: minimal to no degree of competence; professionalism and quality lacking in many areas; requires much more organization; understanding and application of criteria is scarcely evident.
Criteria Weight LOP Score
1. Introduction of the issue is complete with brief background information, and the controversy is clear with two distinct positions identified. Introduction indicates purpose/scope of paper. Connection between hot topic
issue and professional nursing is provided. Your position is clear. Include current policy and law, local, state and federal. 3
2. The counter argument. Counter claims are presented and supporting information for these claims is provided and discussed. Counterclaims are refuted with evidence for argument. 4
3. The argument. Three talking points are presented and supported with evidence, your expert professional opinion, and personal experiences. Argument is persuasive and reflects critical thinking. Thinking is logical and sound. 4
4. Plan is clearly explained; cost implications and effective use of scarce resources, (human, financial & environmental). Local, state and federal policy and political and legal implications are identified. Relationship to Healthy People 2020 and nursing is clear. Anticipated impact on stakeholders is discussed. 4
5. Conclusion of argument is clear and identifies/highlights the main points of the argument. Overview/summation of both positions discussed in paper is provided. Conclusion is logical. Conclusion clearly and effectively communicates your position. 3
6. Quality of the references and resources are effective in supporting and analyzing position. A variety of references and resources are used including professional, organizations, government, lay literature, news paper, Internet, policy, legal. 3
7. Mechanics & APA style: Appropriate use of APA elements throughout ( i.e. abstract, title page accurate, headings and subheadings in the paper lead the reader, page #s, in text citations). Reference page with accurate reference format. Professional language, accurate spelling, sentence structure and grammar, logical flow and organization.
Includes Rubric with submission. 4
Rubric Points /100
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