White papers are a hybrid.
They are not quite an article and not quite an academic paper. They have elements of both.
A white paper is 3 to 10 pages, 1,000 to 3,000 words. It covers a single topic. It has plenty of research to back up what is said in the white paper.
White papers are often presented at industry seminars.
It’s not aimed at a general audience like an article. A white paper has a specific audience in mind. The audience is looking for information and more authoritative information than a typical article provides. It is meant to introduce a subject and be a launch point for someone who wants a lot more information. The financial research firm Zacks.com produces some of the world’s best white papers on the companies it examines.
A white paper is not written for use in scholarly publication and it does not have to meet the rigid formatting standards of a scholastic paper. The grammar and syntax are more formal than in an article. Industry jargon that may not be familiar to an outsider is accepted.