Tips for writing a policy white paper


White Papers are research papers that focus on influencing decisions. When decision makers have to be updated or influenced to solve a certain issue, white papers advocate a certain solution as the best way to deal with the particular issue. In order to present your research and knowledge in an effective manner, you should be fully conversant with the topic and the impact of your research. Basically, a white paper is a well-researched, technically correct document that demonstrates your knowledge of the current issue.
Policy White Paper seeks to influence the creation of a policy. A policy is a set of principles that direct decisions and achieve results. Be it politics, law, health, business, or any other area, research can sway policy-makers by offering pertinent solutions. People and companies can increase the likelihood of implementing a policy through eloquent White Papers.

The format of a White Paper
The main quality of any research paper is its format and it is no different when it comes to writing a White Paper. Here is the right format of the White Paper:

Executive Summary
Briefly describe what the White Paper is about so that the readers can quickly understand the purpose of the paper. Write a concise summary hinting at the contents discussed in the main report.

Provide a general history of the current issue. This will help the readers to understand your research and knowledge on the subject, while still focusing on the main issue. State the issue clearly for the readers.

Recommendations or solution
After describing the issue, put forward your recommendations or solution. The quality and usefulness of your solution should satisfy the S.M.A.R.T criteria, that is, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound. In nutshell, your solution should be able to achieve desired results in a targeted and measurable manner within the specified time.

The conclusion is the result of logical arguments and details presented by you. Restate your main findings succinctly to show readers why your solution or recommendations are in their favor. Policy White Paper conclusion should push readers to act on your solution. It emphasizes the next step that the readers should take.

Include necessary appendices. Follow the same ethical considerations that you kept in mind conducting your research. If the white paper indicates the research you conducted, include your ethics approval in the appendix section.

Include cited works in the last part of the white paper.

White paper academic writing offers an opportunity to distinguish yourself as an expert in your field. Here are some general tips that will help you write an awesome paper:

  • Choose a topic that people will be interested to read: Although it seems obvious, finding a good topic can be a big challenge. You have to understand who your target audience is. Select a topic that is relevant to them, it can be a common problem that they are facing or a research on successful businesses in your industry.
  • Focus on the value you want to establish: Don’t use this paper to advertise your business, instead utilize it as an opportunity to establish your expertise and awareness that inspires your readers to become a potential buyer. This can be achieved only if you provide useful information through your paper.
  • Make a great introduction: You have to catch people’s attention right from the very beginning. Arouse their interest by informing them what they will gain by reading your paper. Write a crisp introduction summarizing the main topics of your paper in an organized way.
  • Be expressive and professional: White paper academic writing is different from blog writing. Here you need to adopt a business writing style and express everything in detail. Remember to present your point effectively, doesn’t matter how many pages you use. Use easy to understand language and avoid overuse of technical jargon. Industry language can be used only if your readers are familiar with the terminology. Different readers search for different viewpoints. A doctor might be interested in the medical aspect of your solution while a lawyer might be interested in finding whether your solution is legally valid or not.
  • Write your first draft: Formulate a clear outline for writing the paper and proceed according to it. Make sure that the course of your paper is aligned with your objectives. Catch their attention, offer value, and exhort your readers to take action. Graphics can be used in white papers as they help in displaying information in a more visibly attractive way. Avoid clip art images that may make your paper appear like a catalog. Instead, include informative pictures that take the readers through the relevant procedure. Pictograms can be included that use both words and images in a diagram or chart form to communicate your message in an effective way.
  • Edit and proofread the draft: After formulating the outline, put together and write down your thoughts. Once you have completed your initial draft, you can go back to the beginning and arrange everything in a logical manner. While editing, you will also be able to identify areas that need improvement. Check the flow of thoughts, grammar, punctuations, etc. You may ask other people to read the draft as they might be able to find errors that you overlooked. Finally, read it again to ensure you have omitted awkward phrases or grammatically wrong sentences.
  • Call to action: If you are targeting a service or a product to the readers, take care that you talk about it in the last part. The body of the paper shouldn’t be used to sell a product or service. However, you have to ensure that you catch the readers’ attention in a subtle way when you conclude the paper.

Policy White Paper serves as a great tool for establishing your credibility. Customers are more responsive to informative articles than to the plain ads. The plan is to organize your white paper in a well thought-out manner that creates a natural curiosity about your business.

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