What is a White Paper: Common Definition
Before you start working, you need to understand what a white paper is. Basically, a white paper is a document that aims to suggest a solution to a specific problem. The very first use of a white paper was in the form of an official government document. Later, the white paper writing patterns were borrowed by the corporate setting to advertise various goods and services. As for the length of the white paper, it should be no shorter than one page and no longer than five pages.
The essential purpose of the white paper is to convince the audience that the solution provided in the paper is the most optimal for solving the specific problem. When it comes to the commercial area, white papers play a significant role in the decision-making process of potential consumers. For instance, a white paper may be written in order to explain what are the advantages of one specific product over the others. In a government setting, a while paper is written to provide a solid argumentation for the solution that aims to improve the situation in a specific field.
How to Write a Successful Document?
Writing a white paper requires much work on both the prewriting and writing stages. To create a great piece, the author should plan the paper thoroughly. If you create a good plan, the writing process will be smooth and effortless. To produce the amazing white paper, you need to understand your potential clients and their needs, as well as be able to state the problem clearly. Pay attention that your primary purpose is to provide your readers with engaging and convincing solutions that would help them make the right choice. Now, when you know what a white paper is, let us discuss the procedure of its writing.
So, the main thing that you should consider when writing your paper is your audience.
As it was already mentioned, the main goal of the white paper is to advocate the specific position or provide the most cost-effective solution. This means that the problem you discuss in your paper should bother a specific group of people. Therefore, considering your target audience, as well as its preferences, is a must if you want to achieve success with your paper. Knowing the needs of your audience will guide you when working on your arguments. Therefore, before you start working on your paper, you need to ensure your audience is familiar with the problem you discuss.
What is more, you should be fully aware of the level of expertise of your audience. If these people know almost nothing about the subject of your white paper, you need to provide them with solid background information. Also, it will define if your paper will be simple or complex. For instance, if you are writing your white paper for the people specializing in your subject, you may include the specific terms and concepts without their explanation. However, when you are writing your paper for the people, who are not well versed in your topic, you should explain all the points that may be not familiar to them.
Consider the following points:
- Choose the engaging title to attract your audience;
- If you are writing your white paper to the corporate audience, you may talk about cost-effectiveness and potential growth;
- If you are working on a government white paper, you need to be focused on policy implications.
To grab the attention of your audience, you need to create a catchy title. Make sure the title relates to the problem discussed in your paper.
Make Up a Good Hook
Begin your white paper by describing the problem you are going to discuss in your paper. You should avoid using unnecessary or irrelevant details that will overburden your paper. Remember that your opening sentences should engage your readers so that they want to familiarize themselves with the rest of your paper.
Create a Good Introduction
As well as in any other academic paper, an introduction is a part that should introduce your topic to the readers. To write a great introduction, you should understand how well do your readers know your topic. Actually, it will define not only your introduction but the other parts of your paper.
Provide the Brief Summary of Your Solution
At this point, you should clearly understand what problem you are addressing in your paper and what are the most effective ways of solving it. Next, you need to justify your solution explaining why it is the optimal one. By explaining to your reader what benefits does this solution provide for them, you will reach your goals easier.
Now, you need to state your problem firmly. When doing this, make sure to do the following:
Identify Your Problem
As it was already mentioned, before stating the problem, you need to make sure it is relevant to your audience. Only if your reader is interested in your solution, you will get the expected outcome. Usually, a problem is stated in only one clear sentence or even a few words. For example:
- Poor job performance;
- Sales decrease;
- Increased number of cybercrimes.
Next, you need to tell your reader how did you arrive at this problem. Use as many details as possible and try to be clear and precise. Your problem analysis should be limited to only one paragraph.
Provide a Historical Overview
A historical overview aims to prove that the issue you describe is a problem indeed. In most cases, the solutions to the problem were already developed. However, they turned out to be not very effective.
Use the Visual Aids
When it comes to white paper writing, it is vitally important to ensure your readers have enough information about the problem. To share your position, your reader should understand your arguments properly. We highly recommend you to use the diagrams, tables, charts, and other figures that will help you explain your arguments better. Depending on the purpose of your paper, you may add visual aids to the main body of your paper or to the appendix. Pay attention that whenever you use the ideas and thoughts of other scholars, you need to cite them carefully to avoid the accuse of plagiarism.
Finally, you need to come up with the arguments convincing the reader that the solution you provide is truly great.
Provide a Solution
As soon as the problem along with its justification is stated, you need to provide the sound solution for its solving. At this stage, you need to provide clear steps on how your ideas can be implemented. Remember that your arguments should be based on peer-reviewed scholarly articles, journals, and other publications.
Common Tips for Writing a White Paper
The following tips will help you create a winning white paper. Follow our suggestions and create a superb piece that will help you reach your goals.
- Write your paper on a relevant topic.
Remember that your topic is the face of your paper. Although it may seem pretty obvious, we assure you that many people tend to commit the same mistake by choosing the wrong topic. First and foremost, your topic should fit your research interests and be interesting to you. You will not be able to tell about the solution passionately if you are not interested in it.
- Treat this paper seriously.
Given the importance of a white paper, it should never be underestimated. Pay attention that your goal is to advocate a certain position and engage your audience. A white paper should not look like a blog article that aims to inform the readers about something or just entertain them. You need to do your best to make your point clear to your readers because their feedback defines if your work is successful or not.
- Demonstrate the value of your solution.
Despite the fact that very often, the white paper is an advertisement instrument, you should not treat it as an advertisement. It is rather an opportunity to tell your readers that you know how to solve their problems. Let your readers decide if they want to follow your suggestions or not.
- Do not forget about editing and proofreading.
Once your white paper is written, you need to ensure it is flawless. Yes, your paper is not evaluated for its mechanics but the obvious mistakes will show your carelessness and the reader does not forgive it. If you want to get the best outcome, you may involve other people in your work. As such, you may ask your friend to proofread your paper and provide their feedback. It will help you understand if you did your job right and if your paper is good enough to submit it. Pay attention that in order to bring you a good score, your paper should be absolutely original. Though it may be rather tempting to copy and paste the parts of the successful white papers available on the web, we assure you that this approach will bring you nothing but the failure.
When the paper is written, make sure to read it once again to make sure it fits your goals. If your goal was to suggest some service that would facilitate human life, make sure your paper is written in such a way to persuade your audience in the necessity of purchasing this service.