White Papers For Dummies
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Few people will read a text-only white paper. You can provide visual relief by using at least one of these text enhancements on every page:

  • Bullets: Use a small amount of text after each bullet; avoid lists of 20 or more bullets or several paragraphs of text after each bullet.

  • Headings: Use two sets of headings, big and bold; write active headings to help people skim, scan, and skip.

  • Pull quotes: Extract up to 20 words that give the key point from a page; format these quotes larger at the side; check magazines to see how it’s done.

  • Sidebars: Pull out nonessential side issues or lists and put them in a tinted box to keep readers focused on the main thread.

  • Tables: Present numbers, options, or lists in a table to save words and make information easier to digest.

  • White space: Leave breathing room at the top, bottom, and sides of each page; run text no more than 60 characters wide to make reading easier.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Gordon Graham — also known as That White Paper Guy — is an award-winning writer who has created more than 200 B2B white papers for clients from New York to Australia. Gordon has written white papers on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, and for everyone from tiny start-ups to Google.

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