position paper 32

Position Paper

Assignment Introduction

A Position Paper is exactly what it sounds like. You take a side on an issue and then explain and defend that opinion, or position, using information from reliable sources and logical, rational reasoning. Your position must be supported with solid evidence, properly cited in APA format. Explore the pros and cons of your position. Evaluate possible solutions or applications of your topic where appropriate. Remember, a position paper is meant to convince the reader that your position is correct!

Assignment Directions

There is current debate in higher education about assessing students before they arrive on campus. As part of the recruitment and admission process, some campuses are asking, and some are requiring, their students to complete assessments. These assessments can fill several purposes, including:

  • Determining skill levels for placement, particularly in math or English courses.
  • Identifying areas where students need additional support, such as note-taking skills or time management.
  • Determining other services that the campus could offer to the student to ensure retention at the institution, such as counseling services or employment assistance.
  • Establishing student demographic characteristics to be able to provide targeted support based on those measures.
  • Giving the campus a baseline achievement level for the incoming class to determine where the group may need additional support.

These assessments are meant to help the institution better serve the student. There are objections, however — often from parents — about the collection and use of this information.

Since you have studied remedial education, Student Affairs assessment, campus safety, student mental health issues, and helicopter parents, take a stand on whether students should be assessed at the time of admission. Within your paper, discuss the following:

  • Consider the potential benefits to the institution and to the student and try to reconcile that with the privacy issues and the logistical issues that doing so would present.
  • Offer an appraisal of the objectives and merits of these kinds of assessments and then present your case for whether to implement such a scheme or not.
  • If you decide you are for assessment like this, describe what would you collect and what would you do with the information?
  • If you are against, explain why and how else you might collect the data you need to be able to serve your students.
  • Consider the long term implications for these kinds of programs. What do they mean for retention and graduation rates and why might that be important for the student and for the institution in the future?


Your paper should follow this outline:

  • Introduction: State your position, clearly, and grab the reader.
  • Body of the paper (several paragraphs, each of which clarifies a particular concept within your topic):
    • Background
    • Supporting evidence or information
    • Exploration of both pros and cons of issue
  • Conclusion (summarize and reinforce concepts) and suggestions, solutions, or extrapolations.

This paper should be 5-6 pages, not including your title page or references page.

Follow the most current APA style guidelines for formatting, citations, and references.


Use at least 3-4 journal articles as references.

Your Unit 6 Assignment is due at the end of this unit and is worth 165 points. Upload your completed Assignment to this unit’s Dropbox. Please refer to the Rubrics links under Course Resources for grading information.

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