A Working Paper, Its Types, and Functions

A Working Paper, Its Types, and Functions

Academic and formal writing is used in many different types of papers. All of them have their own peculiarities and functions. However, there is one multifunctional type of papers – a working paper or a work paper.

Definition of a Working Paper

Working paper is an umbrella term used for the following types of documents:

  • Research or papers. Scientists usually release working papers to share their views concerning a particular issue and encourage discussion and suggestions for revision before publication. In this case, a working paper can be defined as a draft of an academic article, which then will be submitted to a scientific conference or publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
  • Grey literature. Usually, gray literature publications are used by different scientific, government, and economic centers. These publications are outside of traditional commercial or scientific publishing, that is why the requirements for their quality and systematicity may vary considerably. Grey literature usually includes theses, dissertations, specialized journals with limited edition published by groups of enthusiasts, etc.
  • Technical report. This term is also known as a scientific report and is used in academic writing to present the process, progress, and/or intermediate results of a particular research. This type of writing may also include some special recommendations or conclusions of the research. Such technical reports are written by many organizations, free to access, and available online at the official sites of these organizations.
  • A draft bill. A work paper as a type of document is also used in politics, for instance, by different legislative organizations like the United Nations Organization. In this case, a work paper is presented in the form of a draft: a draft bill, a draft of a resolution, etc. As a result, such a document can be used for further passage of the bill.
  • Official work permission for minors in particular states of the USA. Another definition of a work paper is an official permission confirming the agreement of parents/guardians, school, or a physician with the working conditions created for a minor by his/her employer.
  • Official audit documents. A term “work paper” might also mean a set of documents containing all audit evidence collected during the process of organization auditing.

As one can see, a working paper, in every sense of this term, is a document used to illustrate a current state of something. It can show either progress of scientific research concerning a particular issue or economic health of a certain organization. It can also be used to describe different stages of a draft bill’s reading. Therefore, it is not surprising that working papers circulate in great numbers in different organizations.

Who Publishes Working Papers?

Furthermore, it is useful to look at organizations that publish work papers. These include:

  1. Research institutes. Different higher education and research institutions often use work papers publications. An academic work paper serves as an activity report related to a particular survey. Therefore, it can be said that such documents help develop various branches of science.
  2. Legislative and international organizations. The working process of legislative and international organizations, e.g., the United Nations Organization is impossible without work papers. All of them are used for solving current problems, discussion, adoption of new bills, etc. Therefore, such documents can present a significant part of document circulation in all governmental and legislative departments.
  3. Auditing companies. Such companies also have a specific kind of work papers. International standard of auditing prescribes that proficient audit work paper, regardless of its type and the organization under auditing must include the following points:
  • Source. The name and the title of the author of this document to whom all further questions will be addressed. Usually, a set of audit documents related to a particular organization is created by an officer responsible for auditing process.
  • Scope. This section should describe the schedule, volume, and character of audit work. The purpose of it should also be included.
  • Reference. Similar to academic papers, auditing documents must also contain references to reliable standards of auditing for a particular type of companies.
  • Sign-off. All audit work papers should be signed by a responsible officer. The presence of signature proves the fact of auditing, the end of audit works, and their transparency, which is a significant part of any third-party audit.
  • Tick mark legend. It is a definition of all tick marks used during the auditing process in a particular company and presented in the actual documentation.
  • Exceptions. Each audit work also has some exceptions. Therefore, fields not included in a certain audit work should be enumerated in this work paper as well.

Audit work papers must also meet the requirements of special working papers guidelines, which are universal for all audit organizations. Such writing guidelines present strict requirements to the style, organization, and the content of all audit documents.

Thus, working papers are used by different types of organizations, and each of them has its own standards for the content of a particular paper, which should be observed by the authors.

Using Working Papers in Research and Academic Writing

What is the value of work papers in research and academic writing? The wide use of such documents in the academic writing sphere has several functions, which are as follows:

  • Serve as a pre-publication version. A work paper can be published in different specialized projects as a draft version of a future book, academic article, or review. However, writing of a work paper is simpler than writing for an academic journal, for example. Such work papers are not refereed, and they are published only by permission of the author. Certainly, the format is free, not standardized. If an academic article by the same author on the topic of a work paper was approved for release in a credible peer-review academic journal, all previous versions of this very article published in the Internet will be removed upon the request of the author.
  • Present intermediate results of a survey. Sometimes, it is necessary to publish results of a long-term survey. However, if a survey is not finished, work papers will improve this situation because they will be evaluated by scientific society only as preliminary results, which can change in the future.
  • Push the envelope. The main function of all academic works is to expand the horizons, and work paper is no exception. In fact, published work paper concerning a certain issue may become a source of inspiration for other researchers and the basis for investigation of other issues related to the subject.

How to Compose a Working Paper?

Talking about the process of creation a work paper for academic writing, one should mention that the content of such papers is strictly regulated. Consequently, a substantial working paper should include the following points obligatorily:

  • Use of formal language. Although a work paper is not considered the finished scientific article, it will be published in credible Internet sources and aimed for members of the academic community. Therefore, oversimplification is inappropriate.
  • The abstract. Similar to academic articles, a work paper needs an abstract. An abstract is a piece of text summarizing the article, which usually describes a theory, scope, and purpose of a certain work. The presence of an abstract is obligatory for all scientific articles, even if they have not been published in peer-reviewed journals yet.
  • The main body. The main paragraphs of such a document are similar to the main body of a thesis or a dissertation. In the same way, a work paper must include the introduction, several chapters with subsections, and the conclusion.
  • The list of references. To avoid plagiarism, working papers, similar to other pieces of academic writing, must contain citations of reliable sources accompanied by footnotes. Enumeration of cited works and their authors should be given at the end of a text according to a suitable format, for example, MLA or APA. Formatting style depends on the branch of science to which this paper is referred.
  • Appendices. It is possible to include some appendices if necessary, such as tables, diagrams, and similar illustration materials relevant to a particular subject.

However, it is important to note that a work paper should be revised and improved before submission to peer-reviewed scholarly journals because editors of such journals accept only the articles that were not published before. It means that a work paper format is suitable only to share results of an unfinished research. Time zips along, and modern science needs relevant data that can help solve some serious and vital problems.

Writing a working paper is a laborious task to do because it takes too much time even if the requirements for its format are optional and don’t follow any strict standard. However, to save time and strength for further achievements, it is possible to hire an online writer who can easily compose a work paper relying on your drafts, formatting requirements, and credible literature. Acting this way, you may be sure that this very working paper will be created in conformity with the highest standards of writing.