White Paper? Insight Paper? Which Do You Need Most?

White papers and insight papers establish your company and you as a subject matter expert.

A white paper usually summarizes current industry ideas or solutions with a view to clearing up misinformation and improving a reader’s understanding. An insight paper, on the other hand, offers a unique perspective on an industry problem, presenting alternatives to current industry thinking. The two types of papers have a few elements in common.

  • The white paper or insight paper should deliver what it promises. The introduction should always be written last and the conclusion should always summarize the content–all ideas in the introduction and conclusion should be covered in the body of the paper.
  • The big insights should be easy to find, preferably in subheadings or bullet points. Your readers won’t go hunting for the main points in your white paper or insight paper. .
  • The connection to the reader should be clear (“you”) and positive. Most companies know if they have a problem; they are looking for solutions.
  • Examples should be real world and based on actual experience. Interviews are a great way to establish real world expertise.
  • Links to other research and background data are excellent–but the links should actually work. Make sure readers can access the papers or articles you cite and be careful about linking to so many outside sites that readers lose the thread of your own argument.
  • The paper should end with a call-to-action. The call could consist of a summary of the services the company offers or a form for requesting more data or a give-away in exchange for contact information.

As a professional writer and editor, I have decades of experience researching and writing white papers and insight papers for a broad range of industries. Let me know how I can help you can establish yourself or your company as a subject matter expert.