1) What is a position paper?
A position paper is used to generate support for an issue. A position on a topic and the rationale for that position is explained. Though the position is an opinion, research and evidence are gathered to provide facts to support the position. While the point is to validate the position, it is important to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the position, and explain ways in which the position could be strengthened.
2) What is a research paper?
A research paper begins with an idea where the validity is not known and will be determined by the research. A hypothesis is formed, which is then researched. The research is analyzed and explained, which then either confirms or fails to confirm the hypothesis, which then results in the creation of the thesis for the paper.
3) How are they similar?
Both papers begin with the author having an idea to utilize for the paper, and both types of papers require synthesis of research which is then presented to the reader.
4) How do they differ?
With the position paper there is no exploration to discover the conclusion - the conclusion is decided from the beginning. In a research paper the writer makes a supposition as to what the conclusion will be, but the conclusion is not decided until all the research has been analyzed and presented. The research for a position paper is restricted to that research which supports the original position. For a research paper it is the responsibility of the author to research and present all sides of an issue, then use that research to come to a well defended conclusion even if the conclusion is disparate from the original expectation.
5) What is an assertion/thesis statement?
A thesis statement is a brief sentence or two that establishes what the rest of the paper will be about. It should present what the author intends to prove based on the conclusions gathered from the research, and a strong thesis is an argument that could reasonably be disputed.
6) Give an example of a valid assertion. (You can use the topic you plan on writing about, or make one up.)
Software design projects will experience greater success and better meet client expectations if the software design methodology utilized by the project incorporates incremental and iterative steps.