A white paper is a formal report that argues an organization’s official position on a topic of interest to an audience outside of that organization. White papers were originally used by government agencies to communicate official information and positions, but businesses have recently begun using them as business-to-business (B2B) marketing tools. The white paper genre gives content an authoritative and trustworthy tone that provides businesses a way to demonstrate how their own products and services can solve their customers’ problems. As such, white papers often present a common problem for their customers (usually business owners or administrators who have the time and desire to read longer reports about problems they are encountering), propose a logical and unbiased solution to that problem, and then argue how the sponsoring company provides the best version of that solution.
For this project, you will propose, write, and pitch a white paper about a business problem and solution, preferably within your own discipline. Your proposed “solution” should be a product or service (and company) that you develop to solve the business problem, and the solution must be reasonable, realistic, feasible, and attainable. The report must present a significant analysis of the problem and what the ideal solution would look like. Then, the report should demonstrate/ explain /argue that your faux company’s product/service is the best version of that solution. Therefore, you must present and interpret information from various credible sources in order to add credibility to the company and its products. Even though a white paper is a kind of B2B marketing material, its value lies in its rational, analytical, unbiased approach to solving the problem.
In other words, a white paper should not read like marketing copy in a brochure. A white paper should present a valuable, rational analysis of the problem and how your company’s product/service can solve that problem.
The white paper should be at least 2,000 words from Introduction to Conclusion (not counting front and end matter, cover pages or reference pages). It should contain the following:
Table of Contents
Report body, which totals at least 2000 words (Introduction to Conclusion) and is organized appropriately for your particular research question
At least two rhetorically useful graphs or graphics within the body text, one of which must be original (one that you create yourself)
Appropriately cited sources, including:
At least 10 secondary sources
Reputable, published sources that represent a balance of perspectives and documented facts (not merely opinions)
References (in-text citations and full References page using APA style)
Throughout the rest of the semester, you will produce several smaller assignments that work toward the final white paper.