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White paper

Your White Paper will be a formal report on a subject you pursued in your initial research and wrote your proposal about. Your paper should be double spaced, not counting the bibliography page.  All papers must be in MLA or APA format.  You should have at least four sources for your essay, with citations from these sources.  (For exact format information, know what bibliographic style your discipline uses and consult the OWL Perdue website).  Your paper must have a cover page and should include a link to your proposal as well.  I strongly suggest that you use headings to break your paper into sections to make it easier for your audience to understand and navigate through it.  Most importantly, as noted earlier, your paper MUST have a specific focus and specific audience.  General reports to general audiences are NOT acceptable! The paper MUST be AT 10 pages (2750 words) long, not counting bibliography, proposal, or cover page and contain a minimum of four sources and four in-text citations.  What is a White Paper? We’ll be looking at information from the Purdue Owl, but the simplest way to think of a White Paper is as an informational or marketing tools that corporations or businesses use to persuade potential customers about a solution that would benefit the customer and/or in some way serve the customers’ needs. It helps if you think of this report in practical terms. The best topics will be about a company or product, and how it can benefit a specific audience. It will probably be best if you write about an organization that you are familiar with through work or study. What does this organization do? Who is it reaching out to? For one specific audience, what benefits does the company as a whole—or one product or service the company offers—potentially create for the audience? As you can see, it’s critical that have you have a specific company (and, possibly a specific product or service from a company) and that you aim your paper at a specific audience.  General reports to general audiences are NOT acceptable! Consider breaking your paper up into sections and using headings.  These sections and headings help readers navigate your document and understand your organizational structure.  Also—breaking your paper into sections helps you visualize the different parts of the issues you are addressing in your report and help you see how they can be connected. You should also think about using graphics to explain or emphasize areas of your report that would benefit from the use of visuals. Along the same lines, consider how you can use some of the visual elements and guidelines covered in previous assignments to make your document more appealing and effective. White Paper: Organization and Other Tips A white paper typically starts with a big picture and leads readers to the proposed solution. Make the headings clear and specific so that busy readers can scan the white paper effectively. The following are general guidelines on organizing a white paper. INTRODUCTION / SUMMARY It is a good idea to provide a summary at the beginning of the paper in order to have busy readers quickly grasp the main point. BACKGROUND / PROBLEMS A white paper needs to provide readers with general background information of a particular issue in order to help them make their decision based on the understanding of facts. Show them enough evidence that you are an expert on the subject. Point out problems from your readers’ perspective. Make sure that you do not digress from the main subject; do not pose problems for which you cannot provide solutions. SOLUTION After explaining the background and problems, propose your solution. ADVERTISEMENT If you write a white paper for a commercial purpose, mention your products/services last to ensure that your readers read the whole paper. If you advertise before convincing your readers of the truths of your argument, they are more likely to be turned off. CONCLUSION Write a conclusion in order to wrap up the white paper and enhance your readers’ understanding. WORKS CITED Put the works cited at the end of your white paper. Do not forget to put the information of hyperlinked sources for the reader who prints out your white paper. Other Tips: Visuals and Examples Visuals and examples deepen the reader’s understanding and make the white paper more appealing and persuasive. Because many white papers are published online and thus read on screen, it is important that the visuals are appealing to the reader who browses the Internet. Graphics (charts, graphs, diagrams, and tables) increase readability, if used properly. Also consider using case studies and examples in addition to theoretical concepts and models. Learn More from Reading Other White Papers White papers abound online. Because the white paper is a genre, you can find examples and look for commonalities in them in order to understand the genre conventions more fully. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of those white papers to help improve your ow