Interview Essay

WRITING EXERCISE: INTERVIEW SUMMARY/SYNTHESIS

This assignment is designed to help inform a topic that interests you, and the information you gather here will be used in your Proposal Letter assignment.


For this assignment, you should be interviewing a person who has expertise about a topic you are interested in. Please note that you should be conducting an actual interview; you should not be summarizing an interview conducted by someone else.

Part #1: Choose a Research Topic and an Interviewee

You do not need to submit this portion in writing, but you do need to accomplish this in preparation for your research assignment.

In preparation for your research proposal letter in the next topic, you will need to choose a topic for your proposal. This research proposal letter will be directed to an audience who can create change (Congressperson, business administrator, or other similar audience). In the proposal, you need to suggest a change or a solution to a current problem. Examples of strong proposal topics would be things like funding ideas for an animal shelter, starting a recycling program in a community, suggesting a better plan for public transport, or another idea that interests you. You will be proposing solutions for these issues. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and for which you will be able to develop at least one solution. While this information should be enough for you to choose a topic, please consult the assignment sheet within Topic 7 if you have more questions about this assignment.

Once you choose a topic, it’s time to choose a credible expert to interview on that subject. In other words, you should avoid choosing an interviewee who is a close friend or family member unless that person truly is an expert in the field. This credible expert should have 10+ years of experience in his or her discipline. Choose an interviewee who not only could offer some specific details about the problem but one who may also be able to offer suggestions of a plausible solution. Use the information contained in the lesson presentation to secure and conduct a successful interview.

Part #2: Summarize and Synthesize Your Interview

When you summarize and synthesize, you take the smaller pieces (the sections of the interview) and develop them into one cohesive piece. Doing this exercise will help you prepare for the research proposal letter, where you will need to incorporate at least a few ideas from the interview.

To successfully summarize and synthesize, you might find it helpful to follow this sequence for your essay:

1) Provide Background Information:
In your introductory paragraph, introduce your audience to your interviewee. What is his/her name? What is his/her experience? if relevant, where is the interviewee employed?

2) Summarize the Interview:
While you want to avoid the all-too-predictable question and answer format, you should provide information about what you learned from the interview. Take a look at your original questions, group them into categories, and use those categories to build your body paragraph(s). Also, you may note the interviewee’s reactions in your summary as well. Was the interviewee nervous about answering a question? Did he/she seem knowledgeable in the subject matter? Make this summary work for you by including whatever details and responses you feel are important and will help you when you write the research proposal.

3) Synthesize the Interview:
In the conclusion, synthesize the interview. To synthesize just means that you should consider all of the information you gathered from this interview and draw conclusions. What did you learn from the interview? How did the interviewee and/or the interview help you gain a deeper understanding of your topic? Other findings?

No source citations are required for this assignment, but please review the rubric to get a better idea of how you will be assessed.


The guidelines for this assignment are as follows:
Length: This assignment should be a minimum of 350 words.
Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the following information:
  • Your first and last name
  • Course Title (Composition II)
  • Assignment name (Interview Summary)
  • Current Date

Format:

  • MLA-style source documentation and Works Cited1
  • Your last name and page number in the upper-right corner of each page
  • Double-spacing throughout
  • Standard font (Times New Roman, Calibri)
  • Title, centered after heading
  • 1″ margins on all sides
  • Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt
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