Interview Essay Writing
Everyone has a story of their own to tell. But not everyone gets an opportunity to tell that story to another person.
The interview essay, which may be given in several courses – from English to Journalism to Political Science – is one where the student asks a subject, a person, a series of several questions, an interview. They get to hear another person’s story. A person’s response to these questions ultimately brings forth information that the interviewer, the student-writer, has recorded and/or written down to then incorporate into their interview essay.
Like all other academic essays, the interview essay will include a thesis, which is the premise to be maintained throughout the essay. In this case, the thesis of the interview essay illustrates the point, the purpose, of telling the person’s story in the first place – Was there a time when they showed immense bravery and defeated the odds? Did they fight in a war and become a hero? Were they a prodigious actor? These are just a few examples.
When they discover what their essay is about, the student-writer should have a general Thesis Statement, which should first be declared in the introduction paragraph. The supporting points will be illustrated in the subsequent paragraphs, each one mentioning or alluding to the original Thesis Statement.
If you are looking for interview essay examples, here is one to read:
Steps to Writing an Interview Essay
1) Choose an Interview Subject
The person being interviewed will have at least one interesting story. If the student-writer, the one doing the interview, is not already aware of that person’s interesting story (like a war story, for example), they should be doing all they can to find it. So, as the interviewer, their main objective is to get information out of people, even personal information. Before they interview a person, the student-writer should contact that person and explain to them the purpose of the interview and what to expect, explaining more about the assignment, etc. Before going forward, the interviewer must also have the permission of the person they want to interview.
It generally benefits the student-writer if they are already aware of their subject’s specific story or anecdote; in the end, the essay will be easier to write if they have an idea of what it is about before they even conduct the interview. This is the case with any writing.
2) Prepare Questions for the Interview
Depending on their subject and their subject’s story, the student-writer should ask several questions to get them talking. They should inquire about – a person’s name, age, where they’re from, what they do for a living; why they do the job that they do? If they went to college or served in the military (and for how long).
Beyond these, there is no standard set of questions to ask. Most of the questions should arise from the interviewer’s own curiosity about a person and their experience. They should ask questions regarding the subject’s emotional take on things – in order to obtain good, passionate and insightful quotes to defend the Thesis.
3) Conduct the Interview
After establishing a relaxed, professional rapport with their interview subject, the student-writer will then proceed with their questions. Of course, the subject’s responses to these questions may ignite other curiosities, so more questions will naturally arise in conversation – which is exactly what the interview should be: a conversation. The point is to get them to talk about what they find interesting, what they want to talk about and what they truly want to say and share. People want to be heard, and when they are, they want to talk at length.
4) Make an Outline From Interview Notes, Write a First Draft
Once the interview is done, the student-writer will have ample information to write their interview essay. With this information, they should create an outline that shows each paragraph of the essay, as well as what information will comprise each. Using the outline as a map for their interview essay, the student-writer is to produce five or more paragraphs on their subject, following each point in their outline to produce an essay with key transitions and insight – all, in turn, defending the original Thesis Statement.
5) Edit, Proofread, Make Corrections, and Submit for Evaluation
In this stage of the essay-writing process, once the student-writer should reread it for errors – punctuation mistakes, spelling errors, lack of flow, logic, etc., they are to make these corrections in their essay before rereading it once again. Finally, once they feel the essay appropriately profiles their subject, they should submit the interview essay to their professor for a grade evaluation.
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