Dominant impression of your interviewee
topic : Dominant impression of your interviewee|
The essay you’ll write is a profile, which means its goal is to capture a dominant impression of your interviewee. A “dominant impression” means that a reader would likely be able to state a few words to describe your interviewee’s character and personality—those traits would be clear thanks to the quotes you include, or the details you use to describe the interviewee. The quotes help the interviewee’s “voice” and personality come through. In a way, the “dominant impression” in a profile is a bit like a thesis: it’s just not stated directly in the essay.
The final draft should be 1,250 words (double-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman).
The piece of writing will feature about 50% quoted material. Writing good, focused interview questions, and obtaining specific details related to the stories you are capturing from your interviewee will be key to accomplishing this.
The piece should have a title (not “Profile”) that would spark reader’s interest.
The piece should have a Work Cited page with an entry identifying the source (in this case, it’s simply the interview; we’ll learn how to create an entry for this in class).
| Additional Tips
Getting started quickly will help us get through this one, since you’ll have to plan the interview and later transcribe the parts you plan to incorporate in the essay. Don’t overthink and be practical. Pick someone you have access too. Consider your safety, too, with regard to your and your interviewee’s vaccination status (so if you need to be masked and practice social distancing, do so).
Record your interview. Not video—just audio. You need verbatim quotes for this essay; it’s too hard to write them down while someone is talking. A recording allows you to transcribe the best material into your essay.
Understand that this piece should be formatted like the examples from class. In other words, you shouldn’t submit an interview transcript that is a “Q & A.” A profile is an ESSAY, ultimately, that you write. That said, it’s not a mere narrative of how you conducted an interview.
When you start writing this one, it will be easier to “remove” yourself, even if (especially if!) you are writing about a significant other, parent, or sibling. To remove your presence, approach the project as if you are a journalist. In the essay, therefore, don’t mention your relationship to the interviewee. That’s because this piece is 100% about THEM, not you and how much you love/admire/respect them. Keep yourself out as much as you can, and you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble later on when you revise! You’ll also learn more; the piece is more about listening to others’ experiences—to THEIR experiences, not in relation to you. “It’s not about you” is the mantra here.
My students usually get a lot of enjoyment out of this piece, because a well-conducted interview is fun. Follow the Modules and do the work, just like before. Plan your time as best you can, and don’t only do work when we have deadlines. Get the interview done as soon as you can, once you understand what a profile looks like and how to write decent questions.
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