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Unit Two: Due: March 26, 5 p.m.

White Paper
This unit requires you to engage with a situation where institutional communication has failed in a very
public way, allowing you to hone your research and report writing skills, as well as practice with
document design.

Scenario:
You and your partner are working for a Purdues Veterans Success Centeran organization that seeks to address the
needs of student veterans on Purdues campus. Your task is to do an in-depth examination of one aspect of the Center, or
of the services that are being provided by the Center, and either 1) identify how the Center could provide better service
and/or expand the existing service, or 2) identify unmet needs of student veterans and explore options to better address the
unmet needs. Finally, you will address how the service is currently advertised and consider how information about
Purdues Veteran Support Services are currently advertised (both internally to Purdue student and externally as part of
student recruitment). The idea for the white paper is that you will complete background research on student veterans,
support services, and identify an appropriate project for project 3.

Task:
To produce a white paper (aka backgrounder) about one of the services or functions of the Veterans Success
Center at Purdue, and begin setting a problem that your team will solve in unit 3. Each group will explore a different
aspect of the Center and its services, and our collected white papers will create a valuable resource for understanding the
state of veteran support on Purdues campus. You will need to do extensive research on both Purdues programs, national,
and international veterans supports services, veterans needs, etc. You are required to engage with scholarly, peer-
reviewed sources, credible research, and primary research.

Unlike an argumentative paper, the goal of a white paper is not to compel action or present a conclusion; instead, it is
meant to provide contextual information necessary for an unfamiliar audience to understand the topic or issue at hand so
that they might later make an informed decision. Even though the purpose is to inform, a white paper is still highly
rhetorical. Because the information presented has been chosen specifically for the intended audience it cannot be
considered neutral even though it should not explicitly make an argument. Typically, a white paper is immediately
followed by a recommendation report orfor our purposes, in Unit 3a strategic plan, which assumes the reader is
already familiar with the information in the backgrounder. The white paper establishes the groundwork and puts the
audience in the right frame of mind to then be presented with a more argumentative report.

Due to the public and ethical nature of these programs, the hardest part of writing this assignment will be to incorporate
research without overtly persuasive languageno glam, no glitter, no embellishments. The overall purpose of this
assignment is to create a researched and informative paper in the style of a formal business report. Additionally, the work
for this project will benefit your preparation and group formation for the final collaborative project in this course.

Because this is a group project, you and your partner will be expected to write together to create a cohesive, unified white
paper that is consistent in writing style and design.
Deliverables:

Due Feb. 21 by start of class


Research Plan Proposal Memo (1 page, single-spaced; 10 points)
o Identifies the service you plan to focus on and any information you already know about the
program/service, explains why you have made this choice, and lays out a specific and detailed research
plan to find more information. Remember, this is addressed to me, your instructor; please follow memo
guidelines discussed in Unit 1.
Due March. 2 by start of class
Annotated Bibliography (length varies, single-spaced; 20 points)
o Gives 3-4 sentence (200 word) summaries/critiques for each of at least five sources you plan to use for
your white paper, along with correct citation (MLA or APA, or other based on context)
o In other words, you need to briefly tell me the main point of the source, what it adds to your research, and
any major strengths/weaknesses of the source/author that might impact your ethos
Final Portfolio containing the following deliverables due Sunday, March 26 by 5 p.m.
White Paper (8-10 pages, single-spaced; 100 points)
o Draft due Tuesday, March. 7 in class (20 points)
o Second Draft & Peer Review Due Tuesday March 21 in class (20 points)
o Reverse Outline of white paper draft (10 points)
o Explains, in detail, the service, its history, its intended purpose, how many people if impacts, how it is
advertised, and either how the service can/should be productively expanded, or an unmet service/need that
should be met in the future. Contains all pertinent information and anticipates questions and concerns
from the audience addressed. Includes a cover page and works cited page.
Executive Summary (1 page, single-spaced; 50 points)
o Succinctly identifies the important aspects of your white paper for administrators and students.
Presentation Handout (1 page; 50 points)
o Presentations during Week 9, March
o Presents the information given in your white paper in an effective and visually pleasing manner,
accompanied by a 2-3 minute pitch (drawing from our elevator pitch skills from unit 1) to be given in
class, meant to persuade your colleagues to pursue your project for Unit 3.
Final Reflective Memo (individually, 1 page, single-spaced; 15 points)
o Details your research and design choices related to this document, and discusses how you might use any
of the skills focused on in this unit for the next unit, or other contexts. You can also use this as an
opportunity to discuss how your team worked together throughout the unit. Remember, this is addressed
to me, your instructor; please follow Memo guidelines discussed in Unit 1. Must be at least 1 full page.
Note: Final portfolio (including final draft of white paper, executive summary) must be submitted as 1 PDF
document, and requires the use of InDesign. Word documents not accepted. Final Reflective memos to be
submitted separately and individually as a PDF document with complementary design to other documents.

Successful projects will accomplish the following:


Incorporate at least five secondary sources (should be a variety, i.e., all five should not be websites) with proper
attribution and citation. Especially strong white papers will utilize more than three sources and will attempt to
incorporate academic or business related articles.
Feature at least two images or figures (both white paper and presentation handout), which should be labeled with
captions and directly relate to the material in the document.
Contain a brief introduction, a longer conclusion, and a more extensive body section of the report that describes
the occurrences and results in detail and with supporting research.
Be composed with neutral and unbiased language that relates a realistic image of the services and needs discussed.
Display professional document design through the use of clean fonts, appropriate margins and formatting,
headings that emphasize and highlight vital information, single-spaced paragraphs, and other markers weve
discussed, without the use of templates.
Effectively communicate all pertinent information without making any value judgments.
Unit Two:
Unit
White 2 Presentation
Paper & Handout
Presentation & Handout
Guidelines

As we begin to wrap up unit two and head toward unit 3, you will be asked to give a presentation on your white
paper topic. In addition to the presentation, you will be required to produce a handout using your understanding
of visual rhetoric (CRAP & HATS) techniques. The original assignment sheet for this unit specified the
following requirements.

Presentation Handout (1 page; 50 points)


o Presentations during Week 9
o Presents the information given in your white paper in an effective and visually pleasing manner,
accompanied by a 2-3 minute pitch (drawing from our elevator pitch skills from unit 1) to be given in
class, meant to persuade your colleagues to pursue your project for Unit 3.

This sheet is designed to provide some additional guidance and helpful tips for a successful presentation.
Specifically, effective pitches will:

Be 120-180 seconds in length


o Approximately 90 seconds articulating the topic and how the author is setting the problem
o Approximately 90 seconds articulating why the topic would be a good choice for the unit 3
project, and why the class should want to work on this topic
Incorporate specific details to support claims
Be memorized
Have a memorable ending appropriate to the rhetorical situation (in other words, not ending in a
question, but a memorable statement or tagline suitable for presenting to a large audience)

In addition to your pitch, you will create an accompanying handout that will help readers retain and process key
points of your presentation, and why includes visual design techniques. Specifically, effective handouts will:
Have a title
Include the authors name
Have a pleasing color palette that effectively employs contrast and color theory
Have appropriate and consistent alignment
Include sufficient text to make points clear after the presentation, while balancing limited text, lists,
keywords, and subheadings, to ensure the document is skim-able and accessible, and avoids the TLDR
problem.
Rubric
Below Meets Exceeds
Criteria Expectations Expectations Expectations
Handout Contains all important and relevant information 5 7 10
& Pitch needed for a presentation on the white paper
(50 content.
Points) Presents information in an easy to read and
understand format through limited use of text and 5 7 10
reading cues like bullet points, etc.
Features visual elements such as pictures, graphs, 5 7 10
or logos.
Document appears professional and clean due to 5 7 10
appropriate use of CRAP and HATS design
principles.
Presented interesting, cohesive, and persuasive 1 10
pitch in class to peers in 2-3 minutes.