Great! You’ve now outlined your position paper (or should have!) and it’s time to start researching. With so many available resources, it is important to map out a strategy to effectively and efficiently research for your position paper. Because of the complexity of so many Model UN topics, you could spend years digging through material. Therefore, we’ve developed the following steps to help you narrow your focus to write a position paper.
Step One: Identify What to ResearchLook back at that outline you developed in the previous step. That’s what you need to research! Spend time learning about the history of your issue area, your state’s relationship to the issue, and most importantly possible solutions. You should spend the majority of your time (that’s more than 50% for those of you at home), researching solutions. Remember, that’s what your resolution should focus on.
Step Two: Know Where to ResearchThere’s nothing wrong with starting your research on Wikipedia! Some might consider this blasphemous, but it is truly a great starting point– notice the emphasis on starting point. From there, you can gain an understanding of what you need to dig into deeper. There are so many great resources out there and rather than list them (which would be impossible), here is a list of the typeof research you should be looking for:
- News Articles– focus on recent news but don’t avoid exposes and features written within the past 10 years. Great sources for international news include the BBC, Al-Jazeera, the Financial Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times;
- Editorials and Opinion Pieces– many of the same news sources publish opinion content (it’s very important to know the difference!). Look for editorials and submissions from respected sources, such as economists, political figures, and political activists for their insights;
- Working Papers– states, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), inter-governmental organizations (IGOs), and other agencies will often times publish working papers on a given topic. Run an online search for “[topic] working papers” and see if you can find current working papers;
- UN Documents– makes sure to research passed UN resolutions from the General Assembly and Security Council on your topic.