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What is a White Paper?

July 6, 2019


Are you a new firm in the federal marketplace? Every once in a while you'll come across something that needs clarification in this sector. Most of time you will see request for proposals or quotes and forms of solicitation for a requirement. In this forms of solicitation the customers are looking for a written response either as a proposal or a quote that includes a technical explanation and pricing as outline in the solicitation. Some of the federal agencies and customers, do business little it different. This particular entities are research-based and instead of proposal they sometimes ask for a “white paper.” You're saying to yourself, what is a white paper? In 2015, DoD’s Office of Naval research provided some guidance into this matter (ONR, 2015). A white paper or research paper addresses technical or process problem, but generally does not address matters like; “salaries, benefits, travel costs, equipment purchases or certifications on equal opportunity employment” (ONR, 2015). In 2017, ARL noted a basic format for a white paper that one can following; abstract, description, funding cost, plan, and customers (ARL, 2017). Finally, I would recommend you keep the white paper length between 2-5 pages. (ONR, 2015 & ARL, 2017). I hope this mini topic BLOG provides you a step forward in writing your first white paper. If you need additional assistance, please contact Smiles Discounts at or “Passing on a little knowledge each day provides us all a purpose,” Dr. Claude.


The Office of Navy Research ONR, 2015, Retrieved from on July 6, 2019.

Army’s Research Laboratory (ARL), 2017, Retrieved from on July 6, 2019.

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