Your last writing assignment will be a white paper.
In preparing for this assignment, you will want to review the Purdue OWL video, “White Papers: An Introduction to the Genre and Its Expectations.”
You may take any of the following approaches:
• a white paper to an internal audience
• a white paper to an external audience
• a company white paper to potential customers. This is an example of a white paper to an external audience, but it features different rhetorical considerations than the typical white paper written to an external audience does.
All three options are discussed in the video mentioned above.
Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:
Make sure that you follow these guideline:
• have a focused topic
• write to an identified audience o If your white paper is an advocacy white paper, it might have a very general audience. For example, a white paper arguing against the Common Core Standards in schools would be an advocacy white paper to a very general audience – parents, teachers, administrators, and others.
• integrate thorough research
• make sure that you do not tell the audience what action it should take. Rather, offer background information that the audience can use to make a decision. The Purdue OWL video mentions this principle.
Please include the following sections in your white paper:
• Executive Summary
• Previous Approaches
• New Findings
In the Executive Summary, summarize your research and your purpose. The executive summary should be a stand-alone document. It should be written in such a way that a busy executive could read the executive summary and know exactly what the paper is about without reading the rest of the paper.
In the Introduction, you lay the groundwork for your readers for the details that will be introduced in the white paper. If you need to define any terms, you will do so here. You might share an anedote or illustration to describe why this topic is important.
In the Previous Approaches section, you will describe the approaches or strategies that have been previously used or are currently used on the topic. For example, if your white paper is being written to a high school principal about why the school needs a learning management system (LMS), you might describe what system is now being used to post documents to students, to collect student work, etc.
In the New Findings section, you present perhaps the most important information in the paper. In this section, you will describe the findings of your research and related these findings to the purpose of your report. You will not only provide data and research, but you will also explain the data and research and why it is relevant to your report’s topic.
For example, if your white paper is being written to a high school principal about why the school needs a learning management system (LMS), you might review what studies on the use of an LMS in other high schools have shown. Perhaps the studies show that students are less likely to submit a paper late, that teachers are more prompt with the posting of grades, that parents are able to view their children’s progress more effectively, etc. Overall, you make the findings of your data clear so that your reader understands what findings are relevant.
In the Conclusion section, you review what your research shows in light of the previous approaches used. You will not tell the audience what steps to take next. However, you will summarize what your findings articulate.
In the References, you will list your sources that you cited in the paper. You will list them in APA format. Please note that the lectures on white papers that you have viewed and examples of white papers you may have read may not have used APA format. You will be using APA format in this assignment.
You are required to have at least five sources for your paper. In addition, at least one of them is to have been acquired through UMUC Library OneSearch.
The following websites and documents offer additional guidance in writing a white paper:
• Chapter 1, “A Primer on White Papers,” by Michael Stelzner
• “The Art of the White Paper,” by Manuel Gordon and Gordon Graham
• “Guidelines for Writing White Papers” from Wartham Associates
• “What is a White Paper?” by Mak Pandit
Length of your paper:
Your white paper should be 1400-2000 words in length. Again, you are required to use at least five sources, with at least one of them being acquired through UMUC Library OneSearch.
Your white paper should incorporate at least two graphics. The graphic can be a table or chart showing some research findings or an image that is relevant to the topic of the white paper.
To see examples of graphics used in white papers, see the Purdue OWL video, “White Papers: An Introduction to the Genre and Its Expectations,” at the 3:27 mark, at the 5:29 mark, at the 6:58 mark, at the 7:01 mark, at the 7:11 mark, at the 7:43 mark, at the 7:58 mark,
Your instructor will notify you of the due date. You will write a first draft, your instructor will comment on the first draft, and you will submit a second draft using the comments as your guide