Research Paper vs. White Paper – What’s the Difference?

With a research paper, the writer begins the project not knowing what the outcome or results will be. Thus, the results come from the research. The conclusion is a result of the findings.

However, with a white paper, a clear understanding of the objectives and intended results are understood from the beginning. The core messages are NOT derived from a study of a topic, rather they are clearly outlined before a writer ever starts the project.

The use of white papers is also different from research papers.

White papers are usually used to help generate business or close a sale.

Research papers are typically used to open up ideas for future exploration and might find their way into journals.


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