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: White Papers? From:"Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 15 Dec 1995 16:41:10 -0800
At 9:26 AM 12/15/95, Dan Lupo wrote:
> I would like to know what YOU think a white paper is. Is it a proposal? A
> recommendation report? A position paper? These are terms I've gotten in
> response to my question.
> But rather than naming it, perhaps a more useful response would include
> - what you think its purpose is (persuasive, transactional, both),
> - who its intended audience(s) is(are), and
> - what segments belong in the document (exec summary, purpose statement,
> issues/criteria, cost, org impact, etc.).
> I have a hunch that there will be no *right* answer, so please feel
> preface your comments with "where I work [or "in my discipline"], a white
In the software industry -- particularly the part of the software
industry that provides software developement tools, white papers
are used as "expert advice". They augment the documentation.
Most of the White Papers I've worked on were written by programmers --
I only cleaned them up. The papers dealt with how to use the development
system to... (perform some really esoteric function, create applications
for a specific industry, etc.).
Admittedly, providing software to the software industry is a very small
piece of the pie. I'll be interested to see what others use White Papers
San Diego, CA
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com