Writing Exercise: Interview Summary/Synthesis

technical writing


Writing Exercise: Interview Summary/Synthesis

For this assignment, you will submit only the FINAL copy as there is no DRAFT option. This assignment is

designed to help inform a topic that interests you, and the information you gather here will be used in

your Proposal Letter assignment.

For this assignment, you should be interviewing a person who has expertise about a topic

you are interested in. Please note that you should be conducting the actual interview; you

should not be summarizing an interview conducted by someone else.

Part #1: Choose a Research Topic and an Interviewee

You do not need to submit this portion in writing, but you do need to accomplish this in

preparation for your research assignment.

In preparation for your research proposal letter in the next topic, you will need to choose a

topic for your proposal. This research proposal letter will be directed to an audience who can

create change (Congressperson, business administrator, or other similar audience.) In the

proposal, you need to suggest a change or a solution to a current problem. Examples of

strong proposal topics would be things like funding ideas for an animal shelter, starting a

recycling program in a community, suggesting a better plan for public transport, or another

idea that interests you. You will be proposing solutions for these issues. Choose a topic that

you are passionate about and for which you will be able to develop at least one solution.

While this information should be enough for you to choose a topic, please consult the

assignment sheet within Topic 7 if you have more questions about this assignment.

Once you choose a topic, it’s time to choose a credible expert to interview on that subject. In

other words, you should avoid choosing an interviewee who is a close friend or family

member unless that person truly is an expert in the field. This credible expert should have

10+ years of experience in his or her discipline. Choose an interviewee who not only could

offer some specific details about the problem but one who may also be able to offer

suggestions of a plausible solution. Use the information contained in the lesson presentation

to secure and conduct a successful interview.

Part #2: Summarize and Synthesize Your Interview

When you summarize and synthesize, you take the smaller pieces (the sections of the

interview) and develop them into one cohesive piece. Doing this exercise will help you

prepare for the research proposal letter, where you will need to incorporate at least a few

ideas from the interview.

To successfully summarize and synthesize, you might find it helpful to follow this sequence

for your essay:

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