Starting a Positionality Statement: What Are the Steps?

To embark on the journey of writing a positionality statement, a comprehensive understanding of its significance is essential. A Positionality Statement signifies a document delineating an individual’s social, cultural, political, and personal locations. It presents a clear understanding of a researcher’s background, indicating their biases, assumptions, and values.

Understanding your Positionality

The first step is a thorough understanding of your background and how it influences your research. Consider your race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, social class, and any other factors that might impact your study. Reflect on your experiences and perceptions, understanding how your personal and cultural background may influence your research questions and methods.

Consider your professional background and educational experiences – these too may shape your research. Identify the biases and assumptions that may affect your perspective on your research topic. Recognizing your biases helps you to address them in your research and ensures that the research is conducted in an ethical and transparent manner.

writing notes

Preparing to write your Positionality Statement

Your positionality statement should

  • Provide a brief introduction about yourself and your background.
  • Describe your research interests and goals, being specific about the research questions you are seeking to answer and the methodologies you plan to use.
  • Acknowledge any biases and assumptions that you may have in your research.
  • Explain how your positionality influences your research, including how your background, values, experiences, and biases shape your research.

Writing with Integrity

When compiling your positionality statement, remember that honesty and transparency are key. Being clear and truthful about all the aforementioned factors helps your audience understand your perspective and how it influences your research. Make sure to use clear and concise language and avoid jargon and complex terms as much as possible.

writing in the morning

Engaging with Respectful Research

Understanding positionality also allows recognizing intersections with the identity of your research participants. The research is conducted in a respectful and ethical manner when the positionality of the participants is considered. Reflect on the potential ethical issues that may arise from your research like confidentiality and informed consent.


Positionality statements are crucial tools for conscientious research. They facilitate the acknowledgment of biases, assumptions, and personal experience, staking out the researcher’s unique perspective. The transparency and integrity they impart to the research process foster a bond of trust with readers and research participants. These reflective documents represent a keystone of ethical, balanced research capable of enriching the broader academic community. Thus, it’s a worthy endeavor for every researcher to master writing a positionality statement.

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