White Paper Assignment
A white paper is a position paper, in which the author(s) take a position on a controversial issue, present the relevant factors contributing to that issue in an objective manner, and call for an action or a solution to that issue. The white paper can take a variety of forms, ranging from a report to a grant proposal to concept papers and proposals, and so forth. In all cases, white papers are research-driven, rely on analysis of the research presented to make an argument and call for a given action, and have a well-conceived structure that makes the issue at hand, the relevant factors/research/case studies, and the call to action/position easily accessible to the reader.
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For your white paper, you will pick a controversy that matters to you relating to business, business ethics, or community impact (in other words, you have a wide range of material from which to choose). You will need a clearly focused topic. You will research the topic, drawing from scholarly papers, case studies, web sites, government sources, documentaries, newspapers, etc. You will need at least ten sources for this paper, at least five of which should be scholarly. The paper will be ten pages long, plus a 500-word abstract. You should include a works cited page, and sources should be footnoted in the text.
The structure and layout of the paper is open, and can include graphics, charts, and photographs. You should have well delineated sub-sections for the issue, the factors, and the research (see A Call for Local Food Systems for an example).
We will workshop proposals for this paper in class (see tentative schedule). For your proposal, you should have a clear description of your topic in a way everybody else can understand, an identification of controversy and initial relevant issues (you will find more in the research process), and an idea of what kind of position you might take (which could change over the course of research).
Deadlines for the proposal, rough draft, and final draft are all in the tentative schedule.