TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:re: What is a White Paper? From:"Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov> To:"'TECHWR-L'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM> Date:Thu, 13 Jul 2000 10:44:32 -0600
re: What are white papers? Just informational writing on a topic? What is
their purpose? Is there a format?
This is a good question. I'd be very interested in learning of a reference
where a formal definition is attempted.
Generally they are a summary of known information about a topic, perhaps the
results of a survey or study. It's likely the white paper is then a
proposal for action or at least a conclusion, with the background
information providing justification. The term itself, I think is designed
to make you think the report is something important, significant,
all-encompassing, and akin to gospel.