How to Write an Interview Essay: Ask, Organize, Analyze

Jul 09, 2018

We often see interviews in the morning newspapers or magazines. There is always at least two interview participants - a person who asks questions and the other one who is interviewed. The interview is done in order to find out a person's opinion about a particular issue, event, etc. It is also a good basis for one of the academic assignments - an interview paper. Before you become aware of how to write an interview essay and start preparing it, we suggest you recall (or find out) a more detailed definition of this writing.

What is an interview paper: Definition and Process

Interview essay aims to provide a specific view of an object, event or phenomenon, based on the answers of different people. Hence, if you want to get these answers, you need to conduct an interview. After analyzing the various answers you have received, you should organize and process them appropriately and think about including them in your work. What is an interview paper writing process?

  1. Determine the purpose of your writing. Choose a topic.
  2. Make a list of questions for interviewees.
  3. Choose the people you want to make the participants of your interview.
  4. Conduct an interview and record (or write down) attentively all the answers.
  5. Process the results you've got and implement them in the best way possible.
  6. Write an interview paper. Follow the essay structure and chosen format.

If you already aware of the peculiarities and necessary requirements of the interview paper are, you are ready to structure your future essay, and it means making up an outline!

How to conduct an interview

Interview essay outline: Mapping and Formatting

Besides the main parts of your essay, including the introduction, body, and conclusions, we recommend you start preparing your paper with an interview essay outline, which will show the logical structure of your work, and help you with maintaining the main idea throughout the whole paper. So, what is the basic outline for an interview essay?

  1. Introduction part: Get your audience acquainted with the main topic of the essay and draw their attention.
  2. Thesis statement: It is a sentence (or a few sentences) that gives some details about the interview participant (participants) and the central question or story.
  3. Body part (3 paragraphs): Each paragraph could describe different ideas raised by one person or various viewpoints concerning the same matter expressed by different people.
  4. Conclusion: Draw a coherent picture of a person you've interviewed, or write your own conclusion based on their answers.
Interview conducting tip 1

When you have decided on what you are going to write in each particular part of your paper, or even before that, there is one more important thing to consider - you are to choose your interview essay format. There are at least three main types: narrative, conversational and Q & A.

  • Narrative. You are free to use not only the person's direct speech but also retell their words via quotes and add your own thoughts. This type of essay gives you more freedom for analysis, and you can omit redundant or useless information.
  • Conversational. It has a less strict style of the essay than the others. Here you have several options of how to address the audience (first- or second-person narration).
  • Q & A. When writing an interview paper in Q & A format, you are to use only exact quotes without any changes. Most often such a format can be seen in magazines, and it is better to implement it if you have only one interviewee.

Choose a format that will make your essay perfect and exciting, and embark on writing an "A" grade interview paper.

How to start an interview essay: State your Question

The introduction of a good interview essay should tell what the primary question you want to answer is. State the main issue of your essay clearly, but try to make it interesting to the audience. Choose a topic, discussion of which will be exciting for your interviewee - this will provide enjoyable and unusual answers that will make your interview essay better. How to write an interview essay introduction appropriately? Don't forget to include your thesis statement!

The primary purpose of an interview essay could be just to present a particular person to your audience. In this case, your thesis statement will include some background facts about the interviewee. If you are to analyze ideas of different people to create a background for your own conclusion, you have to state your main question and prepare your reader to what your interviewee is going to tell them about. A refined thesis statement is always clear and understandable. You should make sure it's maintained appropriately throughout your essay. Since you know how to write a thesis statement for an interview essay and come up with a catchy introduction, it's time to move confidently to the body part of your writing.

Interview essay thesis statement

The body of interview paper: Your solid grounds

Your essay may look different depending on the chosen format. However, there are several general requirements you'd better follow. So, the body part should contain information obtained through interviews. It means that the questions that you are going to ask must be considered in advance, as it will provide you with a more effective interview and informative answers. If you are recording the interview, make sure you use all the answers as they are, without any changes. If you write in a Q & A format, check the punctuation carefully and follow the structure requirements. If you chose a narrative format, your task is to apply the skills of analytical and critical thinking correctly in order to successfully use the received answers for supporting your own ideas or to better reveal the personality of the participant (or participants) of your interview.

Interview conducting tip 2

To make the body part of your paper more exciting, analyze the interview thoughtfully. You can also use relevant statistical data to make your essay well-grounded. Moreover, if you have more than one participant, you can compare their answers to get viewpoints of both experts and everyman or to confirm or disprove your thesis statement. Sometimes, an essay that you are assigned to write could base on the results of an opinion poll, which you are to conduct. In this case, you should indicate the number and the age group of the participants. As you can see, many factors can affect the content and format of your essay body part. However, the main rule is to be attentive and try to think ahead - it is the right way to the final part of the interview paper - the conclusions.

How to end an interview essay perfectly

In fact, you have a lot of ways to finish your interview paper. A proper interview essay conclusion can highlight the following aspects:

  • your reaction to the interviewees' answers;
  • the influence of responses on your own thoughts;
  • the answer to your introductory question based on the interview results;
  • changes in general statistics influenced by the responses received;
  • the logical end of the narration (if you just told somebody's story).

Besides, a conclusion can prove or refute the idea you made at the beginning of your essay. The matter is it should be grounded and coherent. Don't neglect the rereading and proofreading of your interview essay to avoid some common or silly mistakes. We hope that our guidelines were informative, and we wish you luck in dealing with your interview essay!

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