How to Write an Interview Paper

How to Write an Interview Paper in 7 Steps

The following guide is a detailed answer to the question ‘How to write an interview paper?’ By following these easy steps, a student should be able to master the skill of writing an interview paper that is both informative and interesting to read.

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Step 1: Determine the purpose of the interview

Unless you have strict requirements to the content of the paper and know in advance whom you are going to interview, the understanding of the purpose is the first step to take because it allows you to decide on the qualities of an ideal interviewee. For example, if you are planning to write a cultural interview paper, you want to interview a person who can share valuable insight into particular culture. If the topic is scientific, the interlocutor must possess relevant expertise.
An opinion piece should be based on a conversation with a person who has a clear and strong opinion on the subject matter of your essay. In addition, it is better to choose someone who has experience in the area you are going to focus on.

Step 2: Select the scope of the paper

For a piece with a narrow perspective, it will be enough to interview one or two people. However, if you are planning to suggest a consensus, you should interview more people with different credentials and expertise. This step will help you establish credibility and avoid bias.

How to Write an Interview Essay Questions List

After you have determined the purpose and the scope of the interview, it is high time to learn how to write an interview essay questions list.

Step 3: Do some research

Obviously, meaningful questions are those that come from a person who understands the subject and if you want the essay to be powerful, you will have to study the background and the history of the topic. Think of them not merely as questions for an interview, but as of research paper interview questions.
As you look for the sources of relevant information, rely on books and articles that are written by the experts in the field and avoid publications of dubious value, like those published on blogs, Wikipedia, etc. Ideally, you should go to the local library or use scholarly databases. You need to pay attention to the quality of the sources because you want your questions to sound intelligent, and there is nothing intelligent in unreliable statistics and outdated research.
As you work on the list, remember to come up with various questions. For example, ‘yes/no’ questions are best for gathering or checking some important facts. Open-ended questions, on the other hand, will help you gather additional material to that you have found while doing research.
Remember to create more questions that you could potentially ask because you will definitely have to make some adjustments in the process of the interview, for example, some questions will turn out to be irrelevant or the interviewee will answer the questions faster than you anticipated. Next, rank the questions from the most important to the least important. Otherwise, you might allocate too much time to the questions that are not so meaningful while failing to ask the ones that were the most crucial. An effective way to do this is by color coding the questions that are top priority.
Here are some examples you can use in your paper:

  1. What is your personal contribution to recycling efforts?
  2. Define the term ‘beauty’
  3. What is the most meaningful information you have learned in college so far?
  4. What is the biggest passion in your life?
  5. What has been your recent volunteering project?
  6. Which events that occurred in your lifetime do you think will go down in history?
  7. How do you think your family has shaped your character?

APA Interview Paper Format

Although interview paper formats differ depending on the type of the interview, APA interview paper format can be used as the starting format for any interview, be it an interview reflection paper, opinion-based interview, or a narrative interview.

Step 4: Choose the format

Having met the people and recorded their answers, you can proceed to writing the interview. Sometimes teachers or supervisors only need the transcript of the interview. However, in most cases, you will have to format the paper according to the requirements. Check out an narrative interview essay example to see the approximate essay format. In APA formatted papers, you will start with a brief introduction followed by the description of the questions and summary of the answers. The next part will be the analysis of the questions and answers. Finally, you will have to add the conclusion. This would be appropriate, for example, for profile essay interview questions.
Sometimes students do not see the difference between an interview essay and a research paper. The former allows you to use people as the sources of information, while the latter relies purely on visual, audio, or audio-visual records.

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Step 5: Analyze the interview

Another skill you should master is how to summarize an interview and how to analyze it. Draw up a list of opinions presented within an interview and calculate the number of people supporting each opinion. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this opinion positive or negative?
  • Does it complement other opinions in any way?
  • What makes this opinion unique?
  • Is this reason valid?

Step 6: Learn to organize the interview notes

Organizing your notes logically is a useful skill because it helps you save a lot of time. Here is an easy way to organize the ideas:

  • From the most important to the least important
  • From negative to positive
  • The ideas you support
  • The ideas you disagree with
  • Unusual ideas
  • Clichéd ideas

Step 7: Essay outline

The final step is drawing an outline of the paper.
Start with an introduction and conclusion. These essay parts should be connected by a common idea. While the introduction should clarify the purpose of the essay, the conclusion has to say whether the purpose has been fulfilled. As you write an introduction, use some interesting sentence as an attention grabber.
The body of the paper should be based on the reasons you came up with in the Step 6. Provide the analysis of the reasons trying to explain how they are similar/different, interconnected, etc. Include in-text citations where necessary.