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White Papers

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The Abstract Trap: Why Abstracts Are Bad for Persuasive White Papers

Abstracts, also known as executive summaries, are bad. As a matter of fact, they are really bad, and I stand nearly alone in my opinion. Abstracts are those summaries that typically stand in front of the core content of a white paper. They tend to include the key points about the white paper.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers


Dead Tree or Detailed Treatise: What is a White Paper?

So what exactly is a white paper? This is one of those questions many people have been wrestling with for some time. If you look up the term in a dictionary, you'll find an outdated response describing a government report.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Business Communication>White Papers


Eleven Tips on Terrific Titles

Honestly, which white paper would YOU sooner read: 'Implications of Business Intelligence Methodologies on Operational Efficiencies: A Retrospective Study' or 'Six Things You Must Know about Data Warehousing'? This article offers eleven tips on putting together compelling titles for white papers.

Graham, Gordon. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers


Extracting Pearls from Other People's Brains: The Art of Interviewing

Perhaps one of the bigger challenges faced by white paper writers is coming up with good content. The default course of action is to do a Google search. While this approach can yield valuable information, the best pearls reside inside someone else's head.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Interviewing>Research>White Papers


Five Reasons Freelancers Make More Money Writing White Papers

Are you looking to drum up some new business? Want to get more dollars from existing clients? Are you a starving writer? White paper expert Michael A. Stelzner provides the following reasons white papers could dramatically increase your writing revenue:

Stelzner, Michael A. Content Wrangler, The (2008). Articles>Freelance>Writing>White Papers


Freelancing From Home: Don't Interview Folks in Your Pajamas

Have you ever considered breaking out of your nine to five and 5-by-5-foot cubicle to become a full-time freelance writer?

Hartsock, Nettie. WhitePaperSource (2006). Careers>Freelance>Business Communication>White Papers


Getting Off the Starting Block: Practical Tips to Starting a White Paper

Why are white papers so hard to write? Simply put, they require effort. Effort makes us sweat. Just the thought of working hard causes some people's blood to percolate.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers


Google Insights: A Social Barometer for the Digital Age

Grant Whiteside looks at Google Insights for Search tool and how it can give you a pictorial breakdown of the social barometer.

Whiteside, Grant. Scribd (2009). Articles>Internet>Assessment>White Papers


How to Find Clients Who Need White Papers

Freelancers often wonder where to find clients. What kind of companies need white papers written for them, anyway? Here's three simple questions that will tell you the answer.

Graham, Gordon. WhitePaperSource (2006). Careers>Freelance>Writing>White Papers


How To Write a White Paper to Attract Clients

Do you have a new idea, business model, product or service? Do you want to get noticed by using a marketing method that might only cost you time? Try writing a white paper to attract people to your door.

Markenson, Ari J. Dumb Little Man (2009). Articles>Business Communication>White Papers>Marketing


Members' Tips for Writing a Compelling White Paper   (members only)

It takes time and a strong focus to create a solid white paper, according to TechRepublic members who shared tips and insight about white paper creation. Find out what should be your first step and your last for a successful effort.

Mottl, Judith N. TechRepublic (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Writing>White Papers


Michael Stelzner's Writing White Papers Blog   (peer-reviewed)

Michael Stelzner's Writing White Papers Blog is offers comprehensive look at all white paper related topics, from writing to marketing.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>White Papers>Blogging


Ready, Aim, Write: The Value of Identifying Your Target Reader

One of the most important first steps when preparing to write a white paper is to determine who will be reading the document. This article will help you perform this critical step in the needs assessment process.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Audience Analysis>White Papers


REST: Representational State Transfer   (members only)

Until now the focus has been XML-RPC and SOAP-based web services. However, recent developments in this field show that these methods don't cover all available web services. One alternative is Representational State Transfer, or REST. Despite the long history (in Internet time) and large number of applications that run the Internet, this approach for developing distributed applications wasn't popular until recently. The main questions that motivated the development of the REST architectural style were: how to introduce a new set of functionality to an architecture that is already widely deployed and how to ensure that its introduction doesn't adversely impact, or even destroy, the architectural properties that have enabled the Web to succeed.

O'Reilly and Associates (2005). Articles>Web Design>Information Design>White Papers


Reusability 2.0: The Key to Publishing Learning

What would you do if you had to develop and deliver personalized training to 900,000 employees, located in 34,000 different locations globally with a complex set of variables that changes training on a location-by-location basis? The key is reusability 2.0. While technology-delivered training has become mainstream in many organizations, most are still not fully leveraging the power of reusable learning content to meet their instructional needs.

Chapman, Bryan. Xyleme (2007). Articles>Content Management>Instructional Design>White Papers


Reusable Information Object Strategy: Definition, Creation Overview, and Guidelines   (PDF)

Cisco Systems recognizes a need to move from creating and delivering large inflexible training courses, to database driven objects that can be reused, searched, and modified independent of their delivery media. This effort is called the Reusable Information Object Strategy. This strategy defines the standards and process for designing and developing Reusable Information Objects (RIOs) at Cisco Systems.

Cisco Systems (1999). Books>Information Design>Content Management>White Papers


Seven Steps to Writing White Papers More Efficiently

Read about a seven-step process used when writing write white papers and other complex documents.

Gandia, Ed. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers


Six Ways to 'Sell the Boss' on Outsourcing White Papers

Calculate the time of the manager and your time to do edits. Determine the cost to the company based on average salaries. Chances are it's costing MORE than if it was outsourced.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Outsourcing>White Papers


The Technical Communicator's Transformation: Publishing On-Time and On-Quality   (peer-reviewed)

Results from Aberdeen’s study of over 360 technical publications department indicate that most organizations adopting topic-based authoring see benefits primarily in terms of project schedule improvements. However, a few see consistent improvements to authoring budgets, localization costs, and the quality of communications. Aberdeen’s research suggests that these differences largely result from how topic-based methodology is implemented and supported. Making the transition to a topic-based authoring requires a dramatic shift in the daily operations of a technical communications department. Meeting the challenges transitioning to a structured authoring approach can result in a wide range of performance benefits. Failing to adequately address these challenges can add an unprecedented layer of complexity that can significantly burden technical communications projects. However, findings ways to successfully evade these obstacles provides the opportunity to achieve greater value from the initiative. This report identifies the attributes most common to the Best-in-Class and provides a guide for organizations attempting to realize the potential of topic-based authoring.

Houlihan, David. Aberdeen Group (2008). Organizations>Technology>Technical Writing>White Papers


The Top Five Writing Mistakes in White Papers

A compelling topic and an attractive design will initially draw readers to a white paper. But those readers may lose interest if the paper contains any of five common writing mistakes.

King, Janice M. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers


Using Twitter For White Papers

Are you scratching your head trying to come up with current trends on a particular white paper topic? Why not tap into Twitter? By using applications that harness the power of this vast network, you can selectively search the Twittersphere for trends in your industry.

Parcher, Apryl. Writing White Papers (2009). Articles>Business Communication>White Papers>Social Networking


What Is a White Paper and How Is It Used?

White papers have grown from just another piece of collateral to a super-powered marketing tool. Everywhere you look in marketing, you will see something labeled a "white paper."

Stelzner, Michael A. Communication World Bulletin (2005). Articles>Business Communication>Writing>White Papers


White Paper Resources

This page includes external resources you may find valuable in your white paper projects.

WhitePaperSource. Resources>Writing>Business Communication>White Papers


White Paper Writing Guide   (PDF)

The words 'white paper' in the title of a document no longer indicate a detailed and authoritative report. Many white papers today are overly long product brochures weighed down by weak organization, confusing content, unsupported assertions, and poor document design. If you follow the instructions in this guide, you will write real white papers: authoritative business communications that achieve marketing goals by explaining technical ideas clearly with a compelling presentation of business value.

Kemp, Al. Impact Technical Publications (2005). Books>Writing>Business Communication>White Papers


White Paper Writing: Breaking the Monotony of Technical Writing  (link broken)   (members only)

Preparing to write your first White Paper? Promila provides you a 360-degree view of white paper writing and the subsequent information that will help you envisage the bigger picture.

Chitkara, Promila. International Journal for Technical Communication (2007). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing>White Papers



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