White papers are an essential item for companies as it allows companies to gain leads and educate the public on their innovations, services, and products. White paper writing is thus a vital skill for students to master.
Unfortunately, a white paper ranks as the most daunting assignment for most students. Besides the technical nature of these assignments, white papers require extensive research to find reliable resources in support of your arguments.
If you want to know how to write an outstanding white paper, you’ve come to the right white paper writing guide. Here, we’ll highlight the tips for writing a white paper, helping you overcome the common stumbling blocks for students.
White paper vs research paper
A research paper is an investigative paper aimed at verifying and improving knowledge within a particular field. Conversely, white papers address various problems in a topic, in a bid to find optimal solutions.
Although both are informative, a white paper advocates for a certain product, influencing the decision of prospective customers.
How to write an academic white paper
- Proper topic selection
Although there is a cast range of white paper topics at your disposal, not every topic fits the bill for a quality paper. Much thought should therefore be invested in your topic selection to ensure the relevance of the topic to the assigned question.
Preferably, gauge the audience specified in the paper, the problem you intend to solve, and the possible approaches to solving your problem.
- Conduct extensive research
After selecting your topic, interact with a wide range of resources to broaden your understanding of the topic and also gauge the knowledge gaps you could tackle. If an idea has been tackled in multiple papers, we recommend that you rethink your topic to present fresh insight that is beneficial to your audience.
- Choose an accurate title
Since a white paper aims to educate your audience, it is essential to indicate the problem from the word go. Your chosen title should encapsulate the solution provided in your paper, making it easy for readers to gauge the relevance of your topic.
- Develop an outline
Among various tips on how to structure a white paper, the outline ranks the most effective. Like all lengthy academic tasks, you can easily lose track of your arguments, omitting crucial details within your paper.
The outline also allows you to connect ideas within your paper, ensuring a smooth transition within various arguments. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the structure of a white paper to easily sort out information within various chapters within your assignment.
Some of the key areas to tackle within your paper should be the title, an abstract, a problem statement, a background, solutions, a conclusion, and references.
- Write a captivating introduction
When you are writing a white paper, you must focus on an introduction that will grab the attention of your reader. Ideally, the introduction should capture your main points including the problems addressed within your paper and the gaps that require resolution.
- Use an appropriate tone and style
The tone of a white paper largely varies depending on the problem in discussion and your intended audience. Ideally, your paper should have a conversational tone and contain simple language depending on the reader’s expertise on a topic.
A good white paper should have short paragraphs and limited technical terminologies, allowing the reader to smoothly follow through with your arguments.
Also, keep your paper between five and fifteen pages to avoid shallow analysis and unnecessary information within your paper.
- Read vastly
The key to becoming a better writer is to become an even better reader. When you are learning how to write a white paper, read a ton of papers to familiarize yourself with the white paper structure, tone, and approach to expressing various solutions.
You should also consider searching for a white paper rubric to identify what’s expected of you in various white paper sections.
- Elaborate on a problem to show why it’s relevant to study
When stating the problem within your white paper, be descriptive to specify the extent of a given problem and solutions to the problem. Also, be keen to present unbiased information as your paper is meant to inform as opposed to persuade readers towards your standpoint.
- Tell a story
Although a white paper is technical, this does not imply that you write a boring assignment that drains a reader’s energy to follow through with your paper. we recommend that you sort your points into a narrative to improve the engagement with a reader, leading your reader through your argument to a preferred solution.
- Editing your paper
The white paper conclusion does not necessarily imply that the tedious task of writing your paper has come to an end. Upon the completion of your writing comes the task of editing your paper to ensure adherence to writing guidelines and completeness of your arguments.
After writing the conclusion, take time off to relax and embark on editing and proofreading with a fresh mind. Be keen to identify various grammatical, structural, and typographic errors, ensuring that your paper communicates your intended information.