I've heard the term "white paper" used in many situations. I've been asked before to write white papers on different subjects, though I've never successfully completed one. I've read many different white papers on differing subjects. It seems to me a white paper is really nothing more than a free form document written about a subject with the sole purpose of attempting to convince others of your way of view. Is this an accurate assessment?
To that end, I have several questions directly concerning white papers:
- What elements should go into a white paper?
- Is there any specific format, or is it mainly free form as I suggested?
- Is there a customary length to a white paper (i.e.: what is considered too short/long)?
Note: I've read Outlining for white papers, but it doesn't answer my questions.