How to format a white paper

how to format a white paper

To ensure that the reader understands the situation, it must be described and given in context.


This part gives the audience the background knowledge they need to understand the problem and, eventually, the solution. The information might be either technical and detailed or wide and high-level. The reader and the challenge determine the content.

If the white paper requires original research, the methodologies should be disclosed.


The answer is now offered based on the previous information. It is prepared and fought for based on the evidence acquired and the author’s and their company’s experience.


The primary conclusions of the white paper are summarized in this section.

How to format a white paper

That should be your motivation as you write your whitepaper.

Organize interviews with niche experts and industry veterans or read their material for thoughtful quotes or perspectives you can embed in your whitepaper.

  • Read Other Material on the Same Thesis

Your best research sources will lie in other whitepapers, interviews, and articles people in your industry have written about your thesis or arguments.

  • Fact Check…then Fact Check Again.

People will say and write just about anything to sell their product or idea on the internet. For this reason, don’t take anyone on the internet at their word.

Always ensure to use reliable sources.

How to write a white paper

This cool essay guide from “Mrs. Long” goes further, offering three different ways to compare and contrast:

  • Block, where you first describe everything about one item, and then everything about another item
  • Similarities-to-differences, where you first describe all the similarities between the two items, and then all the differences
  • Point-by-point, where you describe one point of comparison between the items, and then the next down the list

That gives you some nice options for using this structure. Thank you, Mrs. Long.


How to write a white paper in one day

Here, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are the pain points of my target audience?
  • What angle are my competitors writing about or ignoring entirely?
  • What topic generates the most FAQs or questions from my target audience?
  • Why not go ahead and get it from the horse’s mouth (ask your target audience)?

c. Your Whitepaper is Only As Good as its Research

Your next step is doing thorough and effective research about the thesis or argument you’ve come up with.

These are a few tips that will go a long way as you research your whitepaper:

  • Set Up Interviews With Experts in Your Field

In one of Dale Carnegie’s books, he argued that we could learn something new from everyone we meet.

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Make your coverage eye-catching. If you can’t do that, meet your audience halfway and at least make it breathtaking. It should be perfect.

Consider using relevant images and color palettes to support your message. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of design tools, white paper examples, and templates for inspiration.

Create a Sensational Table Of Contents

Your table of contents is an essential part of your whitepaper design. It’s often the second page your audiences meet right after the cover page and title.

This leaves you with no option outside of making it exceptional, and one of the ways of doing this is using imagery.

An excellent way to do this is to place an image behind your content list or beside it.


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It is a paper that combines professional knowledge and research to advocate for a certain solution or proposal.

The reader can use the white paper to comprehend a topic better, solve a problem, or make a decision.

White papers are text-heavy, data-driven corporate documents. White papers are long readings with a formal tone since they include a lot of data and research.

Utilization and worth

White papers are written by businesses to document their competence as well as to advertise themselves.

Typically, white papers are prepared for an audience outside of the business. As a result, they serve as a tool for attracting readers to the organization by providing high-quality industry information.

On the other hand, a white document is not a sales pitch.

How to write a white paper technical

Speak about the customer’s pain points, support your argument with statistics, then provide your product as a solution at the end.

  • Thought Leadership

The heavy research and statistics make whitepapers a candidate for thought leadership pieces.

To write a thought leadership article, ensure that you’re well versed in your industry. From there, choose your thesis, and write a compelling argument supporting it with quality statistics and data.

  • Educational Content

Last but not least, you can write whitepapers to educate your audience or raise awareness about an issue.

Writing educational content requires you have extensive experience and industry expertise.

How to write a white paper in one day pdf

For a lead generation paper, it’s essential to note that your introduction may be the only part your audience read.

For that reason, it’s essential to provide value (or at least hint at it) in your abstract. Some of the rules you can apply in your whitepaper include:

  • Make it concise and effective
  • Provide a brief background of your thesis/argument and what makes it important
  • Make your abstract no more than a paragraph
  • Use statistics to arouse the curiosity of your reader
  • Avoid undefined and immeasurable terms such as “dramatic” in your abstract

Step 6: Fill in Your Outline

Remember the content outline you created back in step 3?

Well, now is the time to fill it in.

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Form/Function: Organize the material around a single business concept, method, or technology with multiple applications or functions emanating from that central core.

Another way to think of this is as a hub with spokes.

I’ve organized entire sets of white papers this way: placing one visionary white paper at the hub with multiple offshoots to describe different products or functions.

Every spoke explicitly references the central vision.

That’s a natural way to group all the coverage of issues like ease-of-use or security, and still link them back to the company’s grand vision.

9. Features/Benefits: Organize the paper around a series of features and the concrete benefits each feature provides.

How to write a white paper document

That’s not all. An outline also helps you counter writer’s block, an issue popular with long-form content.

Step 7: Finalize Your Draft With Pertinent Research

Once you’re done writing, what’s left is finding the data and research to strengthen your arguments and perspective.

That said, you don’t have to source research after writing; it all depends on your preferences. Many whitepaper writers find isolating research and statistics as they write more convenient.

Some of the ways to complete your whitepaper with research include:

  • Hyperlinking to your authoritative sources
  • Providing citations
  • Listing your sources at the footnote or sources section

Step 8: Revise and Edit

You’re almost done.

How to write a white paper format

Regardless of the route, the paper must be simple to read and navigate, with helpful headers.

The primary findings are as follows:

An appropriate title

The importance of a solid title cannot be overstated. It should state clearly what the reader would gain from reading the white paper. It must also be appealing.


The abstract provides a quick summary of the white paper’s major themes.
It ensures that the reader has found a material that is appropriate to their needs. The reader should be able to understand the overall road map after reading it.

Problem statement

The problem statement identifies the problem that will be addressed in the white paper.

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