A "discussion paper" is a quantitative depiction of a specified topic, including but not limited to, a summary of applicable objections and appropriate conclusions drawn from the project. The root cause of a discussion paper is to understand a given topic more fully for a committee or commission's review.
The underpinning of a discussion paper is to gain an appreciation of both sides of an argument after the pros and cons of a decision are considered. For example, a student might write a discussion paper denoting opportunities of information technology upgrades. An example of a pro would be the ease of use and more friendly user interface screens. A con might be the cost.