A white paper is an authoritative, informative guide or report that aims to identify a problem, propose a solution, or assist in decision making. In short, the purpose of a white paper is to inform and persuade. The intended audience of a white paper could be the general public or possibly an organization or groups of organizations looking to address needs or find solutions to problems. The authorâ€s main goal again is to be persuasive and to ensure she addresses the needs of her audience.
The content of a white paper should include the following basic elements. Start with a compelling introduction where you present the problem and summarize your solution succinctly in a paragraph or two. Next, present the problem or describe the opportunity in more detail and support your description with solid, factual evidence. Then, describe a baseline solution to the problem. Lastly, present your solution as the best possible solution. Complete your white paper with a conclusion that restates the problem and presents your approach to understanding or solving the issue.
When it comes to formatting a white paper, there is no right or wrong way nor is there any single method or approach. You may want to create an outline before you begin writing to assist in the clear flow of content for your white paper. A white paper may or may not feature a title page and abstract. You also may wish to include images, charts, graphs, and other figures to back up your claims and capture your audienceâ€s attention. Remember, the overall goal is to be persuasive, informative, and call your audience to action.
Purdue Online Writing Lab â€“ White Paper: Purpose and Audience
Imagine that you have been asked by a large company, with more than 500 employees in various levels of the company, to prepare a white paper on motivation techniques. Specifically, they have always relied on incentives and bonuses to motivate their employees and they are interested in exploring alternatives.
Support your whitepaper with at least five research articles published in peer-reviewed journals in the past 7 years.
Length: 5-7 pages
Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic.
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