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White Paper

What is a 'White Paper'

❶White papers used to be aimed strictly at IT professionals. If your white paper contains any terms that you feel need to be defined, you can make a glossary in the same section.

7 Examples of Actual White Papers

How to write a white paper
So, What Are White Papers, Exactly?
When I first started writing white papers more than 20 years ago, I looked all over for a FAQ.

Abstract -- A one-paragraph description of what the paper is about. Do not state the conclusion here; simply tell the reader what the purpose of the paper is. Customers frequently read only the abstract and conclusion of white papers, so provide material that gives them a good reason to read the details.

The Problem -- Two-to-three paragraphs covering the problem and a little background. Be straightforward and succinct. Avoid obfuscatory language, or what one white paper author calls "hidden assumptions. This and the following section are the meat of the white paper. How the Product Solves the Problem -- How the application of the product solves the problem.

Provide evidence of how the product solves the problem, and why it is the best solution available. Conclusion -- A one-paragraph summary of why the product is the best solution to the problem. White Paper Source http: Michael Knowles creates technical materials that help companies market and support their products and services. He also writes nonfiction, and poetry, publishes the weekly WriteThinking newsletter, and is working on the third draft of his first novel.

He lives in North Carolina, with his wife, two sons, and six cats. The next challenge, then, is to decide which ones to write about, and from which angle. A simple brainstorming session can help with this. Before you get too far along, you might decide a different format would work better to reach your audience and achieve your goals.

Follow this graphic to help decide if writing a white paper is the best approach: White papers are usually fairly long. You might need to make it a bit longer or more detailed, though, to avoid getting lost in your thoughts partway through.

This is all about knowing what you want to say before you try to say it. Good white papers are fact-based and research-driven. Industry research reports can provide an excellent data-backed foundation for your content. Seek out research groups such as Forrester or professional organizations that produce original research. Then, cite relevant stats and findings where appropriate.

Depending on your industry, there are several government websites that might be helpful. This is the most difficult option, but it can provide the most valuable results. If you have access to publically-available information, so does your competition. Original research you produced yourself, however, is uniquely powerful. If you have the time and resources to do your own research study, Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios has a f antastic guide to get you started.

Some of it even involved a little bit of writing. Your headline is the first thing that will sell your white paper to your audience. You want to write something that conveys clear value up front and gets them to click.

However, you also want to avoid anything that could be perceived as click bait, or overly casual. Commit to quality or stay home. Your intro should quickly hook your audience while covering the main points the rest of your document will cover. So, make sure each section delivers on the promises you made in your introduction. With thorough research and a strong outline in hand, you can make the actual writing exponentially easier. Following this order will ensure your writing flows well from one point to the next in a logical order.

If your organization has another writer or editor on staff, then work together to polish your draft. Know who your editor will be ahead of time and develop a set process. This entails asking the following questions:. Next, follow the instructions included in the template to fill in each content section:. Now, you might want to adjust the appearance of your fonts and headers. This is easy to do with Microsoft Word. All you have to do is edit your styles.

Unless you happen to be a skilled designer, it will be best to have a designer create graphics for your white paper. Make notes in your doc that include the following information:. If your white paper is lengthy, you might want to consider a two-column layout.

If your designer is good, though, you can get even more creative. Now, how do you get people to actually read it? The answer is with a comprehensive promotion plan. Do you host it on your website? There are pros and cons to each. It might be possible to combine approaches, too. For example, you could create a landing page for your white paper, link to it in a blog post, and then include the actual document in your resource library. Since white papers are professional documents, think hard whether or not Facebook a network focused on family and friends is a good place to share it.

Create a campaign on your calendar and use Social Helpers to set up promotional graphics and post copy. Then, set it and forget it. If your email list is comprised primarily of professionals interested in the kind of research in your white paper, then send it to them. Keep these thoughts in mind:. Quality white papers take a lot of work to produce. So, make the most of it by repurposing its contents elsewhere. Here are a few ways to do this. You can likely write an entire blog post based on each section of your white paper.

This gives you the opportunity to drill deeper into each specific point. Plus, if you link back to your white paper in each post, you can direct more attention toward it. You probably dug up tons of interesting stats and pieces of information while doing your research.

What is a white paper

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As a white paper writer, I’m happy to say that white papers have grown up from the boring, highly technical documents they once were. At its core, the modern white paper clearly identifies a business problem and provides the reader with a succinct solution in an engaging easy to read format.

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Writing a white paper isn’t easy, but it can be an awesome way to stand out as an expert in your field. Although crafting a white paper is more of an art than a science, there are general guidelines you can follow to help you out along the way. Have a topic people will want to read.

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A white paper is a document which includes an outline of a problem that the project is looking to solve, the solution to that problem as well as a detailed description of their product, its. A white paper is an informative document that talks about the benefits of a technology or a product to the consumer. White paper writing intends to address all the issues faced by consumers in a specific arena.

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Now You're Ready to Format and Write This White Paper. We’ve done a lot of things so far. Some of it even involved a little bit of writing. Mostly, though, we’ve spent our time getting ready to write. Writing a white paper isn’t easy. You’re now staring down an intense and involved project. A white paper is a cross between a magazine article and a corporate brochure. Most clients want to read the educational magazine article part of the white paper to find out the solutions to their problems — but the persuasive brochure part of the white paper does its job too, and convinces the readers to buy the product or use the service.