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White Paper FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

When I first started writing white papers 25 years ago, I looked all over for a FAQ. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to write one myself.   Over the years, I’ve kept adding to it, until today when it covers 36 questions. This is undoubtedly the most detailed, most thorough FAQ on white papers…

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White Paper World, September 28, 2022

White Paper World logo v3

A newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 9 • September 28, 2022 Quick tip: Push your listicles to the top Fresh content: 5 reasons why writers should learn about rhetoric What I’m reading: Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric September Book Giveaway: Name that device! Quick tip: Push your listicles…

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5 reasons why writers should explore rhetoric

rhetoric-5-reasons-to-explore

I never studied rhetoric at school. There were no doubt a few courses on rhetoric in my university syllabus. But I flipped right past them. At the time, I considered the topic old-fashioned, boring, and useless. Oh, the folly of youth! Today, I dearly wish I had taken those courses. I’ve come to see rhetoric…

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Quick Tip: Push your listicle to the top

push your listicle to the top

Quick tip: Push your listicles to the top AP Style and everyone else says to spell out numbers up to nine when you’re writing copy or content, right? But you really should break this rule when naming a numbered list (listicle). Here’s why. Consider two white papers, called: —Three Secrets of SEO You Must Understand…

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White paper writer tip #2: Build an argument

head of Aristotle on ancient Greek coin

Every white paper writer must learn how to build a coherent argument. Without one, your white papers won’t convince anyone of anything. But a white paper that presents a strong argument can be right on the money. It can generate great results for years running. The question is, what makes a good argument? And how do…

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Book review: Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric

For years, I never knew that the process of building an argument has a name. And that name is rhetoric. And that every white paper I wrote was an exercise in rhetoric. As I slowly got a clue, I revisited Aristotle‘s three elements of persuasion. I find it very powerful to know which element to use…

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White Paper World, September 14, 2022

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A regular newsletter for B2B writers and marketers keen to learn more about white papers Issue 8 • September 14, 2022 Fresh content: A tale of four white papers Quick Tip: Three keys to better writing Tools of the trade: One-stop word research Just for fun: My favorite joke Fresh content: A tale of four…

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Quick Tip: 3 keys to better writing

3 keys from a keyboard that makes for better writing

Are you struggling to achieve a crisp, business-like writing style? Here are three keys to better writing. They’re all right there on your keyboard, and using them is free. Delete key: Cut unnecessary words   And replace longer words with shorter words. Here’s one trick for doing that. Whenever you see similar terms joined with…

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A tale of four white papers [with SAMPLES]

four white paper covers

Out of all 300+ white papers I’ve worked on, a few stand out in my recollections. This is the story of four of those projects, and what we can learn from them. There’s nothing magical or heroic about these stories. What makes them memorable is that each project faced a different challenge: An impossible deadline…

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Quick Tip: Teach, don’t preach

priest giving sermon

  What’s the #1 problem with too many white papers? If you said “too much selling,” you’re right. There’s a time and place for a sales pitch. But a white paper is neither. I first heard this 20+ years ago when I interviewed executives from the two largest white paper syndication services at the time. “The…

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