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How to Write an Interview Essay: Easy Tips
Learn these recommendations to get to know how to write an interview essay. The interview is the most common method of obtaining information; it is used by journalists in all countries of the world. Due to such qualities as the direct speech of the source, interactive mode of information transfer, ability to use the elements of drama, and ease of perception, the interview has long been included in the palette of journalistic genres. It is used by professionals as the most popular format of print media, radio and television.
An interview has its own specifics and is defined as the genre of journalism, the conversation of a journalist with one or several persons on any pressing issue. In its essence, any interview should represent a conversation between the subjects of communication, from which the following provisions should be clear: who is talking with whom, for what reason and for what purpose.
The journalistic interview is inherently a phenomenon of particular social significance. The interlocutors (the journalist, interviewer) and his or her partner (interviewee) participate in the information exchange for the informational saturation of the main communication participant – the audience.
How to Write an Interview Paper
How to write an interview paper? At the first stage, which precedes the conversation, a very important job of planning the interview is carried out, its goals are determined, information resources are studied, the first contact with the interlocutor is made, the time and place of the meeting are scheduled, possible risks, conversation strategies, and the main subject matter are thought out.
Define the purpose of the interview. The success of all subsequent steps depends on how clearly the objectives of the interview are defined. A clear statement of the aim of the interview reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding on the part of the interviewee and helps convince him or her of the need for a meeting.
The objectives of the interview are determined by many factors. They are the peculiarities of the interlocutor’s character, his or her role in a certain situation, the current social and political circumstances, the scale of the problems that are associated with the interviewee, and the social stereotypes that have arisen in this connection. However, it must be borne in mind that there are situations when the conversation reveals serious details that can change the original plans and adjust the goals of the interview. Depending on the set goals, the collection of working material about the persona or the situation in which he or she is involved can be carried out in full, or be limited to a brief search. Preparation or impromptu is the choice that the journalist must make before each meeting.
How to Write an Interview Paper in APA Format
You need to learn how to work with sources in order to know how to write an interview paper in APA format. Resources for preliminary research can be divided into two large groups: documentary and oral sources. The documentary, which represents different kinds of written sources, include:
- reference books (encyclopedias, dictionaries,);
- special sources (financial documentation, statistical reports, sociological surveys, etc.);
- scientific literature (monographs, dissertations, scientific articles, etc.);
- periodicals (newspapers and magazines);
- all sorts of databases;
- Internet resources.
Useful information about a person or a situation can be obtained by observing the object’s environment.
As a rule, the author should agree about the meeting with the interviewee on the phone, although in recent times, journalists are increasingly using e-mail. You can arrange an interview with the help of direct contact. However, interviews are most often negotiated by telephone. Such communication, due to distance and the lack of direct contact, has its advantages and disadvantages, which must be considered when making an appointment.
When negotiating a meeting, we must bear in mind that no one is obliged to give an interview. Even officials who are responsible for communicating with the press have the right to provide information in the written form and not to make direct contact. The intended interlocutor may give a variety of reasons for the refusal of the meeting. They are:
- distrust of the journalist It is more difficult for a newcomer to agree to an interview than to a journalist with a big experience;
- doubts about the reputation of the publication;
- distrust of a particular edition, if it is associated with bad interaction experience or a negative publication (criticism of this person, distortion of the meaning of statements, incorrect quoting, etc.);
- fatigue from journalists;
- fear of public speaking (especially often it occurs when people see a television camera or microphone);
- lack of interest in the subject of the conversation;
- lack of the intended interlocutor knowledge about the subject of the conversation;
- time constraints.
Functions of the Interview
Each of these arguments may be a reason for not interviewing. However, most often the reason for the refusal is not the name of the journalist, but the reputation of the publication on whose behalf he or she is speaking. When negotiating with the person about the meeting, depending on the goals, which you have set, and the situation, you need to convince him or her that the interview is an opportunity to:
- Get fame and recognition, tell about him/herself (people of mass culture).
- Affect people’s minds (politicians, priests).
- Enlighten the public, destroy prejudices (scholars, educators).
- Express own point of view, shed light on the problem (representatives of the opposing sides in any conflict).
- Help other people to avoid mistakes (victims of any shocks, representatives of risk groups).
- Appear on the screen to see friends and relatives (“ordinary” people).
In addition, during the negotiations on the meeting, it is necessary to take the permission from the interlocutor:
- to take pictures;
- on voice recording;
- to talk with family members.
The Time and Place of the Interview
When making an appointment, setting its time and place, it is necessary to take into account the wishes of the interlocutor. Therefore, most often the meeting is appointed on his or her territory (at home or workplace) and at a convenient time. If the interview has an event reason, then it is dictated by circumstances, and it can take place at the ramp of the plane, in a company car, on the sidelines of the congress, at the scene of the incident, etc.
When planning a meeting, a journalist must take into account the specifics of his or her interviewee working day. A journalist should not be late for a meeting in order not to gain a reputation of an inaccurate, unreliable, inconsiderate and forgetful person.
Preparation of a Questionnaire
Preparation of questions is carried out after the purpose of the interview has been determined, all possible supporting materials have been studied, and the time and place of the meeting have been appointed. The preliminary work with sources helps to determine the main theme of the questions and their sequence. Questions should be consistent with the purpose of the interview, which was communicated to the interlocutor. If you change the purpose of the interview, you must inform the partner. When developing an interview strategy, you should leave time for unplanned questions and answers, as well as prepare for the most unexpected situations.
The Course of the Interview
After the preparatory stage, which includes defining the goals of the interview, conducting a preliminary investigation, setting up a meeting and developing a strategy, you can proceed to the interview. In the most general sense, this is a conversation between two or more people in order to obtain new information. However, it is not an ordinary conversation that forms everyday interpersonal communications, but a talk that is built according to the rules of professional journalistic communication. The interview takes place in a question-answer form when a journalist asks and an interviewee answers. The success of the interview depends on how professionally the questions are asked and how fully they are answered.
However, the interview is not only about the ability to ask questions. It includes other equally important verbal components. The conversation begins with the pronunciation of etiquette phrases, opening the conversation, words of greeting, etc. Next, the interlocutors must establish mutual contact. The success of the interview depends on whether the journalist is able to find an approach to his or her interviewee, to make harmonious relations with him or her, aimed at sharing information.