Unit 2: White Paper Rubric
For this unit project, youll compose a white paper that proposes a solution to a problem. Your objective is to address a relevant audience and educate, inform, and convince them that this solution is appropriate and reasonable. Youll develop your own audience profile for this project and choose your own topic and focus for the paper. You should choose something youre already familiar with so that you dont need to do substantial research before you begin drafting.
This project asks you to draw on the rhetorical concepts and strategies youve read about and practiced during this unit, namely: crafting an audience profile, articulating connections between purpose, audience, and content, technical description, and implementing the key language strategy for this unit, the known-new contract. It will be helpful to review the readings, Practice Assignments, and additional resources for this unit as you work to implement these strategies effectively.
Youll be assessed according to the project checklist (see below), which takes into consideration your product (the audience profile and the finished white paper) and your process (the rationale and self-evaluation).
Task 1: Audience Profile
In 300-500 words, describe your target audience for this white paper: Who are they? Why do they need this information? How does this white paper allow them to make a decision and be better informed? You are welcome to fictionalize your audience (create an imaginary company), but you can also draw on your own experience and utilize a familiar audience (for example, a company you worked for last summer during an internship). Your audience must be specific enough that they have needs and priorities that will shape your decision-making as you decide on the content, organization, level of specificity, and persuasive strategies for your white paper.
Task 2: White Paper
Your white paper, first and foremost, educates, informs, and convinces your audience that a particular product, strategy, or approach will be an effective solution to an existing problem. You should imagine your audience (as outlined in the audience profile) reading this white paper before making a final decision in moving forward. As secondary audience members (I, along
with class members that read your draft during peer review) will be looking to see the connection between the audience profile and the white paper content, as well as the effectiveness of the information hierarchy, technical description, and visuals present within the document. Your white paper should follow the organization of our class template (see Canvas) and should be no longer than 2-3 pages, single-spaced.
Task 3: Rationale
In 500 words or more, describe and provide justification for the choices you made throughout drafting and revising your white paper. You can utilize the questions below as theyre useful to you:
1. Why did you decide on this audience and this particular problem? How did you identify the solution you advocate for in the white paper?
2. How did you decide what information to include in the white paper? How did you organize that information?
3. What makes your white paper persuasive to your audience?
4. How did you implement the known-new contract effectively in your white paper?
5. Reference previous drafts of your white paper. What did you change and why?
Task 4: Self-Evaluation
For your self-evaluation, respond to the following questions in 300-500 words:
1. What did you do well during this project? What were your greatest successes?
2. Where did you struggle most in this project?
3. If given more time, what would you have changed or further developed?
4. Are there things youre still unsure of or confused about in this project?
1. Does your white paper effectively educate, inform, and persuade your target audience?
2. Is there a clear connection between your target audience and the content of your white paper?
3. Do you effectively engage the known-new contract in your white paper?
4. Do you follow the class template for formatting and structuring your white
5. Do you include all required tasks in your final Canvas submission?
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