An interview essay focuses on presenting the thoughts of an interviewee on a carefully picked group of topics. Writing the interviewee’s response also helps to form deep insights into the topic or field under discussion. Hence it has always proved to be a good exercise for students looking to pursue a career as a journalist.
Before we get to write an interview essay
To write an interview essay, you need to conduct the actual interview. You can also write an essay on the previously held interviews by collecting information from video or audio recordings, but the real-time works well. So, before you sit down to interview a person, keep a good note of these things:
1) Be sure of the purpose:
A clear objective impacts choosing the interviewee, how an interview will be conducted, and how you will write an essay afterward.
Hence, if you want to write a factual interview essay, you will look for a specialist in the subject matter under discussion. Likewise, if you have to write about science, find a scientist. On the other hand, an opinion interview essay will need a person with strong opinions and so on.
2) Put reasonable efforts into researching the subject:
Deep research on the interview topic will help you derive intelligent questions to ask the interviewee. As a result, you will collect good information to use in the essay later on.
Reading published work on the subject and going through their previous interviews are good ways to conduct your research. Make sure to include some open-minded questions in your list of questions, as they are greatly helpful in gathering additional information that you can’t find during the research.
Now you need to conduct an interview by contacting the interviewee and requesting his time for a discussion. At the end of this interview, you’ll have enough data to write an essay on.
Don’t worry if you are not sure about how to write an effective interview essay. Since this article is all about letting you know of some tips and tricks to do the same. So, make sure you read this till the end to make the most out of it.
Writing an interview essay
The first step of writing an interview essay is deciding which format will work the best for you. It is even better if you could consult your teacher at this stage to ascertain what he/she is expecting from you with the interview essay. Is it the long quotations, or simply jotting down the questions and answers will do?
Deciding the format of your essay:
Now when you are ready to write down an interview essay, you should know that there are different formats for writing the same. The four most commonly followed formats for an interview essay are:
– Narrative: If you are paraphrasing most of your interviewee’s answers and quoting him directly, you are following a narrative format. This one adds good analysis and context to your essay.
– Conversational: This is the format you most commonly read in magazines. Also acceptable for class assignments.
– Question/Answer: If your interview essay reads like presenting interviewee questions followed by his/her responses, you are using question and answer format. Most suited for essays that have a single interviewee.
– Informative: This format requires you to go hand in hand with the research you have performed on the subject.
Planning an outline:
The essay format you are following will significantly influence the outline. You can begin with a strong essay introduction that must identify the goal and focus of your essay. The best you can do is to review your interview notes and listen to the audio and video recordings. This will provide you with enough data to shape your outline.
Forming a thesis statement:
Keep the goal of your interview essay in mind when you are writing a thesis statement. If it is to present the interviewee to readers, your thesis statement will state his/her qualifications, background, and accomplishments. On the contrary, if your goal is to use your interviewee’s opinion to support a position, your thesis statement will incorporate the same.
Keep your thesis statement specific, precise, and arguable.
All in all, make sure that your thesis statement is clear and concise.
Working on body paragraphs:
It would be great if you looked for supporting your thesis statement in the body paragraphs by making the best use of information collected during the interview. Cut the clutter by removing unnecessary details along with repetitive answers by the interviewee if necessary.
The more specific you are with the body paragraphs of your essay, the better it will read.
Time to proofread your final draft:
A thorough proofreading is essential to ensure your interview essay has good clarity and maximum impact. It’s even better if you allow another person to go through your final draft to identify omissions, repetitions, and redundancy.
Revisit the interview notes, transcripts, and recordings to ensure that the final draft reflects the actual interview.
Now properly cite the information, and you are good to submit your assignment.
Writing a proper interview essay requires the best use of your research and analytical skills. Your objective here is to obtain the general impression of the interviewee on some selected topics. The interviewee you pick is most commonly an expert in the field, or he/she has strong opinions on the subject under discussion. All in all, this article provides good knowledge to help you out in crafting a good interview essay.