How Much Can a Writer Earn for White Papers?
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What Makes Good Evidence for a White Paper

How to Create the Second-Draft of a White Paper

When all the reviews come in, the writer can see whether the white paper is a hit or miss and prepare for the second draft. This gives the writer another chance to make it good by incorporating comments from reviewers. This step requires a little patience and tact from the writer, who must recognize that reviewers aren’t professional writers or editors; reviewers are business people doing an editorial task.

The bulk of this step is up to the writer. After getting all the reviews, the writer may end up with one Word file or one online Google Doc, showing everyone’s comments at once. More likely, the writer gets multiple copies of the same Word file with changes tracked or comments inserted into each one.

The writer and the client share the responsibility for keeping all comments organized and making wise decisions on whether to incorporate or overrule each one. The illustrator may get some comments on the graphics as well; in this case, the illustrator may need to confer with the client to see how much rework of the graphics the budget can handle.

Step Who What
8.1 Writer Queries client and reviewers on unclear comments (if any)
8.2 Writer Refines text to incorporate comments
8.3 Illustrator Refines graphics to incorporate comments
8.4 Illustrator Sends second-draft graphics to writer and client
8.5 Writer Inserts second-draft graphics into second-draft white paper
8.6 Writer Sends second-draft white paper to client

What the writer does for the second draft of a white paper

The writer refines the first draft of the white paper to incorporate the reviewers’ comments. If any comments are unclear or contradictory, the writer may need to go back to the client or a certain reviewer for clarification.

After the illustrator finishes the next round of graphics, the writer generally inserts those graphics into the file to create a second-draft document to send to the client. Including the graphics may make the second draft easier for reviewers to visualize as the finished white paper.

If any change breaks the house style or the designated style guide for the white paper, the writer should probably reject it. If any change makes the text more clear, more precise, or more persuasive, he should probably accept it — and look for other instances in the rest of the white paper where the same comment applies.

If you (the writer) have many files with many comments on every page to deal with, consider printing out every file for reference. For a six- to eight-page white paper, that won’t use a shameful amount of paper. Then arrange every printout in a separate pile on your desk and work through all the comments by looking at each page in every copy in turn.

Try using a system of highlighters to mark each comment in each printout, such as green for “done,” orange for “rejected,” and yellow for “query for clarification.”

What the illustrator does for the second draft of a white paper

The illustrator refines the first-draft graphics to incorporate the reviewers’ comments. If any comments are unclear or contradictory, the illustrator may need to go back to the client or a certain reviewer for clarification. After the illustrator finishes the next round of graphics, he sends them to the writer to insert into the second-draft document to send to the client.

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