re: What is a White Paper?

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.

There is an example at http://www.sandia.gov/Surety/SurWP.htm You can find
more by searching for "white paper" at http://www.sandia.gov/search.html
Still more are at
http://www5.pc.ibm.com/us/me.nsf/Technical+Information%5cNetfinity

Regarding format, it's likely they should begin with an abstract or summary
'cause they're likely to be long.





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