Financial aid for international students
(The university’s director of student financial aid)
Iranian/U.S. criminal justice (A professor of criminology systems)
Puerto Rican independence (A newspaper journalist in Puerto Rico (by phone))
Day care in United States/China (Director of a local day-care center)
Preparing for the Interview
If you interview a friend, you can make informal arrangements for the interview. But if you are interviewing, for example, a university official, prepare for the interview by:
• Asking for their participation.
• Making sure they have time to talk to you. This may mean contacting people ahead of time and making appointments for times when they will be free to talk to you for a few minutes. This is particularly important if you intend to interview someone when they are at work (for example, professors or administrators).
• Explaining what you are doing and why you are doing it.
• Being sure to be prepared yourself. Have your questions ready and take notes or use a tape recorder to collect your information.
Writing the Report
After the interview:
• Write notes for yourself on everything you remember about the place where the interview took place, any body language your expert used, and your own impressions of the interview.
• Review your notes or listen to your tape recording several times, making notes on important comments your expert makes.
• Decide what the Main Idea is that you want your report to get across to your audience.
• Select the information you find most interesting or useful for your purposes. You do not need to report everything the expert said because the idea is not to present a portrait of the expert but to report on information about your topic.
• Also select details about the setting and the expert’s body language that you think will make your interview report most lively.
Write your draft using all of your notes. Be sure to include information on the expert, such as why this person could be considered an authority on your topic. If you use the exact words that your expert used, be sure to put quotation marks around those words.
Adapted from Leki, I. (1998). Academic writing: Exploring processes and strategies, Second edition. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
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