Perfect White Paper – Step-by-Step Writing Guide
What Is the Definition of White Paper?
It is important to be aware of what does the notion of white paper mean before you begin to write it. A white paper is such a document which is utilized to give a solution to some problem. Official government documents have been the initial form of white papers. These documents are not few than one page long and not bigger than 5 pages in length, including free white papers.
The main target of such a paper is to persuade readers that a solution that has been given is the best one for a certain issue or that the audience is to follow a definite position. When white papers are utilized for commercial targets, they play a big role in making up the mind of both prospective and current buyers.
For instance, if such paper is utilized in corporate affairs, it can suggest utilizing a specific well for marketing purposes. If it is used in government affairs, it can provide the methods of solving several municipal issues.
How to Compose a White Paper and Succeed?
It is necessary to do a lot of planning before writing a white paper. If you make a plan of things you want to write, your white paper will be effective and purposeful. In order to write a good white paper, you will have to understand your customers, state the issue you want to solve clearly and produce proper arguments that will give engaging and convincing solutions. Let’s review the basic steps on how to write a solid white paper. Here are the things you will need to be done:
Understanding Your Audience
As it was mentioned above, the main aim of the white paper is to persuade the reader to choose a certain position and give a solution to some issues. In other words, the issue may be specific for a definite group. So first of all, you will have to define your target audience. Then you will need to be aware of their characteristics. It is crucial since their characteristics will be guiding you throughout the entire paper when composing arguments. So you would rather ensure whether you have a solution for each issue or the position you eager to convince your audience sounds familiar to them.
Also, you will need to define your audience’s expertise level. It is important to do it as long as it will lead you on the way how to organize the structure of your paper. It will help you to decide whether your white paper will be complex or simple.
For instance, if your audience consists of your colleagues, you may include some technical jargon to the paper. However, when it is a mix of people from various fields, it will be better to use a general language. Try to minimize the number of scientific words and make sure, if any, they are explained in detail.
Take into Consideration the Following Things:
- If your target audience consists of corporate people, you will better talk about cost-effectiveness and potential growth.
- Concentrate on policy implications, writing a white paper for an official government.
- Select the relevant technical details, depending on the area of expertise.
- Select a proper title.
The title should be catchy in order to draw the reader’s attention. It must inspire somebody to be reading your work. The ideal title must be related to the issue you are trying to tackle. Adding words such as “White Paper” is possible, but not obligatory. Customize your title for a general audience to get interested.
Hook the Audience or Reader
Tell exactly about the problems you wish to tackle in your document. Don’t include too much wording. Use a solid opening sentence to make the readers interested and engaged in further reading.
The introduction must be captivating. State the target of your paper and acknowledge the reader. Mention the problem and explain why you believe it is an issue. Give a short and concise discussion of your claims and state why you chose a certain position.
Provide a Solution Summary
Here you should introduce the readers the way will apply, making the analysis. Underline the possible solutions. Tell why haven’t you chosen them and do not believe they are the best. Explain why your position is the most suitable and why the reader/audience has to accept it. Clearly, state an issue as soon as you do it.
The guidelines for you to be followed:
It is obligatory to ground your issue on the requirements of the audience. Ensure you focus on the issues you have decided to give a solution for. Use a few words to state your issue.
- Bad performance at work.
- Issue analysis.
- The decreasing number of sales.
- Rising of the number of dropouts in high school.
As soon as you identify the issue, give the details to it. State the way you arrived at the issue. Support it by figures and facts. Make sure you use the terms which are precise and clear.
Do your best to limit the size of the analysis to 1 paragraph.
The main reason for such an analysis is to make the white paper data credible.
Provide a historical overview
The main target of historical overviews to make an explanation of the reason why the certain issue you try to give a solution is an issue indeed. In the vast majority of cases, the current issue may have been solved previously. Utilizing relevant information gives an explanation of how the issue modified from the moment it was analyzed for the first time till now.
Adopt visual aids use
It is necessary to do it since they help the reader understand the arguments properly. They might consist of charts, diagrams, and graphs. They not only stress the arguments but also grab the attention of your audience. Depending on your preference and aim of your document, you may either place such visual aids inside the paper or include them in the section called appendix.
Provide extra findings
Ensure you have properly overviewed the information and figures you have. Do it in order to make sure all the conclusions are explained properly, concerning the way they arrived at. Make sure you overview the references properly so that you can generate findings, creating no room for doubt.
When you provide findings and conclusions, think of somebody who works on the same information. Ask yourself whether they would get similar or the same answers.
Produce proper arguments that give engaging and convincing solutions:
Provide a solution
As soon as you state an issue and give a justification of it, give a proposed solution. Provide your reader with the steps of the implementation of your ideas. Divide the data into parts, making the reader easily understand and follow your ideas.
Provide your reader with enough pieces of evidence why your stand or solution is the most appropriate and people are to follow. You should ground your arguments on trade journals, research information and figures, government publications, and scholarly articles.
Provide your audience with other possible solutions. State, however, that they seem not to be the best ones to tackle a certain issue.
Give a summary
Give an overview of the issue you wish to tackle. Mention the solution of it briefly. State the results you are expecting to see.
Tips for Writing a Paper
In order to prepare an engaging and convincing white paper, use the following tips:
It might seem easy, but it is very complicated for some students to choose a topic. You should ideally find a topic that will inspire the audience to read it. Therefore, define your target audience. Figure out one common challenge or issue the audience face or think is interesting. This is a guide to find the best white paper topic.
Note that the main target of this document is to back up a definite position and give a certain solution. Make sure you apply all your professional skills to compose this paper, following the business style. Make your point clear, being descriptive.
A good introduction is the one that consists of a hook that will make the audience read further. Make sure it is captivating enough. The introduction should draw the reader’s attention, informing them about the things they will get to know throughout the paper. It means you should summarize your paper in a couple of words. Give the topic you are meant to cover.
Treat your paper not being an advertisement, but as a possibility to provide the reader with your expert point of view about a problem, which is interesting to your audience. Give readers data, telling why this white paper is valuable, providing well-researched data and tips.
It is a must for your white paper to be correctly organized. Compose an outline which is supporting your aims, before writing a white paper. The perfect paper should capture the reader’s attention to continue to read the text further. In the aftermath, there must be a call to action at the final of the white paper.
Stage of Proofreading and editing
When you finish writing your paper, it will be better to check it for mistakes. If a white paper is properly written, the reader will trust it more. Ensure there are no typographic, grammar, and spelling mistakes. Make sure the flow of the words is smooth and readable.
Apart from doing it yourself, you may ask your friend to proofread the text. It is needed to ensure the text reads properly and is clear. Besides, your friend may notice some errors which you missed to notice.
It will be beneficial for readers when your document is concerning stating a position about utilizing a certain service or product. Ensure you include this part at the final of your document. The body should not include any pieces of information about selling certain services or products. Composing a summary of your work, add it in an engaging manner so that it seems to be a natural part of the paper.
White Paper Writing Format
The proper white paper should consist of the following things:
- Headline/Title – This part is to describe the topic in an explicit way.
- Executive summary – It is a clear and concise description of the white paper contents and target of it.
- Introduction – This part should include the claims that are supposed to be elaborated in the main body of the white paper.
- Each section subheading – There have to be several sections of each white paper. Each section must have a subheading.
- Sidebars – Usually, sidebars contain additional data. If you want to apply it, you should add it.
- Conclusion – There must be a summary of each point and section. It also should contain a call to action.
All things considered, to write a good white paper you will have to do your best, applying all the professionalism you have. Note that before doing it, you would better prepare a solid outline with the most important points. Try to choose the topic which sounds, first of all, interesting for you. Only when you feel you have a solution to tackle the problem, you will be able to convince the reader to choose your position regarding some issue. Therefore, you should take your time to select the most appropriate topic. Besides, make sure the conclusion is also providing food for thought together with a call to action. I hope that this guide will help you to compose the best white paper ever.