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with AI do a numbered list

Quick Tip: With AI, write your white paper as a numbered list

ChatGPT struggles to write long-form content.

So don’t make it. Keep it short.

To write a white paper with AI, make a numbered list. 

A numbered list—also known as a strawberry white paper—presents a collage of related points.

You can arrange those points in some sort of sensible order.

But you don’t have to build a case that advances from A to B to C with a logical argument, as in a problem/solution or chocolate white paper.

That makes the strawberry flavor much easier for an AI to generate.

Here’s how to get ChatGPT to write a numbered list

  1. Prompt the AI with your target audience.
  2. Prompt the AI with your topic.
  3. Then ask for the 7 or 9 or 12 most important points, questions, or thoughts on that topic.
  4. Then ask it to write up each point in turn.

I’ve done this with ChatGPT and it instantly came up with 9 strong points on my suggested topic. I kept all 9 points because they were each good.

Then I asked it to write up each point in turn so it didn’t get overwhelmed.

You’ll likely have to do some initial research to start, some fact-checking on what ChatGPT writes, and some polishing to make its flat style sparkle.

But you’ll have your listicle white paper done in quick order.

Let’s talk about word count

ChatGPT can easily put out 200 or 300 words per prompt.

And it can do 400 or 500 words if you need them.

So here’s some quick math: 9 points X 350 words plus Introduction and Conclusions, and you’re close to 3,500 words.

That’s about the sweet spot for a numbered list.

So if you want to try doing a white paper with ChatGPT, don’t sweat it with a problem/solution format.

Instead, go for a light and lively strawberry flavor.


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About Gordon Graham

Worked on 300+ white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients from tiny startups to 3M, Google, and Verizon. Wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 50+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. And named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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