|A Classic Quote
A client once asked us to write a white paper because a prospective customer had complained that the client's marketing materials made all sorts of unsubstantiated claims. The prospect's words were: "Don't assert. Explain!"
|Explaining concepts clearly is the most important part of any educational white paper. To persuade your audience through education, they must understand the subject matter.
To educate your audience about technical ideas, you must:
- Write to your audience's knowledge level
- Define each concept with one definition
- Describe each concept with the same terms
- Spell out all but the most common acronyms
- Explain ideas that your audience must understand
- Provide examples that reinforce explanations
- Show important processes
- Use analogies when appropriate
All these topics are covered at length in our free White Paper Writing Guide.
Don't make unsupported assertions.
Don't assert that a product is "best of breed." Explain how the product works and show how its capabilities solve customer problems.
Don't assert that a product has "the world's most advanced electro-catalytic feedback mechanism." Explain what an electro-catalytic feedback mechanism is and show how it helps customers increase profits or lower costs.
Go to the next tip: Show business value.