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White Paper World 1: February 2022

  • Fresh content: White papers and… renovating a bathroom?!
  • Quick tip: Move up your executive summary
  • Tools of the trade: White Paper Mastery 2022—limited-time enrollment
  • The White Paper Review: New show launched on YouTube
  • Just for fun: What writer-sign are you?

Bathroom renovation mess

Fresh content: White papers and… renovating a bathroom?!

Have you ever renovated a bathroom?

I’m not talking about a new shower curtain… I’m talking about a total rip-and-replace.

I’m in the middle of a reno like that. And I’m starting to see how renovating a bathroom is a lot like doing a white paper.

Here are 8 similarities, plus related tips on how to make your next white paper sparkle.


quick tip: move up your executive summary

Quick Tip: Move up your Executive Summary

We all know the proper page order for a white paper, right?

  1. The cover that attracts attention with a graphic and catchy title
  2. The Contents that show at a glance what’s inside
  3. The all-important Executive Summary that sums up the main ideas

I believe the Executive Summary is the most important page of any white paper. That single page saves your busy prospects a ton of time. How?

  • Gives them all the key ideas in the paper
  • Helps them decide whether to read on, forward the paper to someone else, or move on to something else

But wait a minute? If the Executive Summary is soooo important, why stick it on page 3? Why not promote it to page 2?

Whenever I move it up, I feel that flow suits any busy reader:

  1. The cover > catches their eye
  2. The Executive Summary > gives the main ideas in brief
  3. Table of Contents > shows the outline to explore further

I haven’t seen any data on this, but it feels right to me.

Why not “move it up” on your next white paper and see how it feels? And if you can gather some data, please share it with the rest of us.


slide from AWAI White Paper Mastery program 2022

Tools of the trade: White Paper Mastery 2022—limited-time enrolment

Want to know more about white papers than 98% of the writers out there?

Here’s your chance to be mentored by me, That White Paper Guy.

The White Paper Mastery & Certification program from AWAI gives you:

  • 12 hours of live sessions with me
  • A real-world white paper to work on
  • Personal feedback on your efforts
  • A swipe file of 15 white papers I wrote
  • Checklists and worksheets I use with my own clients
  • My best tips and advice on how to find clients

I haven’t taught this program for two years, and I’m not sure when I’ll do it again. So please don’t miss your chance to learn directly from me.

Registration ends Friday, February 25 at midnight Eastern… don’t miss the enrollment window.

Find out how you can learn all my secrets in just 6 weeks!


screenshot of That White Paper Review on YouTube

The White Paper Review: New show launched on YouTube

I’ve teamed up with my good buddy Brian Boys to start a YouTube series where we analyze white papers good and bad.

It’s all in good fun, to share a few things we’ve learned about these challenging projects.

The first episode just dropped, check it out here:

If you like the show, remember to subscribe. Then we can tell you when the next episode’s up.


circle of zodiac signs around a pen

Just for fun: What writer-sign are you

Here’s a fun article from Grammarly where you look up your Zodiac sign to see what kind of writer that makes you.

And you know, it totally works for me!

Listen to this: As a Gemini, my natural curiosity and analytical skills make me “an ace at writing research reports.”


And what is a white paper, if not a research report?

Check it out, does it work for you?


That’s all for this time

If you liked this e-newsletter, please forward it to a colleague who’s interested in white papers.

To see every future issue, subscribe here.

And you can send any questions you have about white papers to Gordon AT… I’ll do my best to answer, maybe in my next article!

Have a great month,

Gordon Graham
That White Paper Guy


About Gordon Graham

Worked on 320+ 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 60+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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