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Purdue Owl: White Papers

Posted by Marcus Zillman

Purdue Owl: White Papers

According to the Purdue Owl, a “white paper” is “a certain type of report that is distinctive in terms of purpose, audience, and organization.” The term originates from early twentieth century Great Britain, where it was used to describe to an official government document designed to outline a particular viewpoint and provide supportive evidence and information. Today, the term is used more broadly in the business and nonprofit world to describe similar publications that are intended not for commercial use, but to advocate an official position or solution. Like all forms of writing, white papers come with their own established norms, and Purdue Owl offers this website that outlines these norms and expectations. In Organization and Other Tips, visitors will find a brief, one-page summary of the major components of white papers. This section also includes a detailed PowerPoint presentation that provides information about the purpose and mechanics of white papers in greater detail. This presentation, 25 slides in length, is free to download and might easily be incorporated into a meeting or professional development session. This will be added to Reference Resources Subject Tracer™. This will be added to Journalism Resources Subject Tracer™. Copyright © 2017 Internet Scout Research Group –

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