Warm-Up Activity 3.1: Preparing a White Paper


Week 3 – Assignment: Prepare a White Paper on Motivation Techniques

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Warm-Up Activity 3.1: Preparing a White Paper

A white paper is an authoritative, informative guide or report that aims to identify a problem, propose a solution, or assist in decision making. In short, the purpose of a white paper is to inform and persuade. The intended audience of a white paper could be the general public or possibly an organization or groups of organizations looking to address needs or find solutions to problems. The author’s main goal again is to be persuasive and to ensure she addresses the needs of her audience.

The content of a white paper should include the following basic elements. Start with a compelling introduction where you present the problem and summarize your solution succinctly in a paragraph or two. Next, present the problem or describe the opportunity in more detail and support your description with solid, factual evidence. Then, describe a baseline solution to the problem. Lastly, present your solution as the best possible solution. Complete your white paper with a conclusion that restates the problem and presents your approach to understanding or solving the issue.

When it comes to formatting a white paper, there is no right or wrong way nor is there any single method or approach. You may want to create an outline before you begin writing to assist in the clear flow of content for your white paper. A white paper may or may not feature a title page and abstract. You also may wish to include images, charts, graphs, and other figures to back up your claims and capture your audience’s attention. There is no set page limit for white papers either. It depends on how much space you need to convey your compelling message. Just keep your audience in mind when determining the length of your white paper. Remember, the overall goal is to be persuasive, informative, and call your audience to action.

Additional Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab – White Paper: Purpose and Audience

Assignment Instructions

Imagine that you have been asked by a large company, with more than 500 employees in various levels of the company, to prepare a white paper on motivation techniques. Specifically, they have always relied on incentives and bonuses to motivate their employees and they are interested in exploring alternatives.

  • Looking at recent research in the field, as well as the resources offered in this activity, describe various motivation interventions and take a position on the effectiveness of these motivation techniques.
  • Locate examples of organizations recently (within the past 5 years) in the news due to their efforts to motivate employees. Support your discussion of motivation techniques by including at least two examples of organizations that were able to successfully motivate their employees.

Support your whitepaper with at least five research articles published in peer-reviewed journals in the past 7 years.

Length: 5-7 pages

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts presented in the course by providing new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your response should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

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