You can include a case study in a white paper.
But you can’t include a white paper in a case study.
Remember the key differences between these formats:
- A case study tells the story of one happy customer
- A white paper describes a better way to solve an industry-wide problem
A case study usually runs 1,000 to 1,500 words, while a white paper runs three or four times that long.
So you can see the scope and coverage of each document is quite different.
How to use a case study in a white paper
The story of a happy customer can be an effective proof point in a white paper.
Here’s how to do that:
1. Boil down a case study to about 50 words for just the key results.
2. Tuck one or more of these mini-case studies into a white paper.
You may want to set these apart as sidebars.
< Here’s an example. See how this sums up the whole story in a few numbers?
To find out more about this technique, see my article “How to use a case study inside a white paper.”
Why you can’t use a white paper in a case study
For one thing, you can’t sum up a whole white paper in 50 words.
In so few words, you can barely even say what it covers. You can’t begin to build an argument.
And no one reading a 1- or 2-page case study wants to be referred to another 6- or 8-page document. That just doesn’t fit the flow of a story.
So in other words, you can use a story inside an essay.
But you can’t use an essay inside a story. Get it?
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