Robert’s Rules and Resolutions
A resolution is a main motion that needs to be expressed formally in writing, to attach a special level of importance. Because of the form — beginning with the word Resolved and following with either a statement of opinion or a statement authorizing or directing some action — such a motion is called a resolution.
Here’s an example of a common resolution: “Resolved, That it is the sense of this assembly that the organization commend our city council for repairing our streets without raising our taxes.”
You make this kind of motion by saying, “I move the adoption of the following resolution,” and then you read the resolution.
Of course, your group can consider the same opinion if you make a motion stating, “I move we commend the city council. . . .” But casting the motion in the form of a resolution affords the group a way of adding emphasis to the expression.
Another point about resolutions is that, because they’re formal, you get to add a preamble, if you want. A preamble is parliamentary lingo for all those Whereas paragraphs that precede the Resolved clauses. Using a preamble gives you a chance to list the reasons for the resolution and keeps you from having to use all your debate time justifying your motion.
What’s the difference between a main motion and a resolution? After all, if they do the same thing, how do you know when to make your motion in the form of a resolution? You use a resolution when you want to make it like a law.
The difference has a lot to do with how you want the record to look when all is said and done. Regardless of the differences, a resolution is still a main motion. It’s just a matter of form.