In Content for Week 3, you can access a video from the Purdue OWL, “White Papers: An Introduction to the Genre and Its Expectations.” The video is 9:44 long.
After watching the video, please respond to the following two tasks.
1. Describe a possible white paper for an external audience. Keep in mind that, for a white paper to an external audience, you will not be writing to an audience for an organization of which you are a member. In other words, you would not write a white paper to your boss about the need to correct a problem in your company. That would be an internal white paper because you are a part of the company.
You would not write a white paper to the board of directors of your son’s soccer league about the need to address a problem in the soccer fields. That would be an internal white paper because you are a part of the soccer league.
However, you could write a white paper to other companies about a product or service that your company sells or offers.
Or you could write a white paper to soccer leagues around the country about problems in soccer fields.
For example, let us consider an example of a person named Susan. She works for a company that has developed a new method of training IT personnel. She could write a white paper for companies that have IT departments. The white paper might compare current methods of training IT personnel to the new method that her company has created.
This would be an example of an external audience, as Susan is not familiar with the individuals who will read her white paper, does not work for these companies, and is not involved in these companies.
Or we can consider an example of a person named Joseph. He works for a company that had a bad experience in moving its data to the cloud. He could write a white paper for companies that are considering moving their data to the cloud. The white paper would discuss current reasons companies are considering moving to the cloud in light of the pitfalls of moving to the cloud that Joe feels companies should be aware of.
This would be an example of an external audience, as Joseph is not familiar with the individuals who will read his white paper, does not work for the companies that might benefit from it, and is not involved in these companies in any way.
2. Describe what terms you might need to define or what concepts you might need to explain for a white paper of the type you mentioned in task #1 above. For example, a white paper that gives cautions about moving to the cloud will have to define certain cloud terminology for its audience. A white paper that describes a new method of training IT personnel will have to define certain terms used in IT now.