Do an interview, communications homework help

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  • How to write interview
  • Decide which is the best medium to conduct the interview — in person, email, Skype, FaceTime, phone, etc.
  • Double- and triple-check place, date & time.
  • Preparation is key. If you’re interviewing an author, be familiar with her work. Don’t waste time asking questions to which you already know the answers (unless your interviewee is hostile or dishonest & you want to verify accuracy).
  • Decide what atmosphere you want to create for the interview and then dress & act accordingly. Do you want to be friendly? Helpful? Authoritative? Aggressive? Remember, YOU are in charge. This is YOUR interview. Manage it effectively to get what you’re looking for but always take advantage of unexpected pathways you might discover.
  • Always take written notes even when you’re taping the interview. Never rely only on a recording, but consider recording if it’s an interview that may be of historical interest or if’s with an uncooperative subject about a contentious subject. Always tell the interviewee that you’re recording — decide if it’s more helpful to place the recording device in a prominent position or keep it more subtle.
  • Make sure you & your interviewee have each other’s contact information for follow-ups.

About quotes & attributions:

  • Use direct quotes sparingly & only to highlight the speaker’s phrasing or exact words. Paraphrase everything else.
  • Direct quotes must be the exact same words the speaker said. Don’t change anything.
  • Direct quotes get their own paragraphs with attribution after. (“The sky is blue,” John Smith said.)
  • To engage readers & establish authenticity, use a direct quote by the third or fourth paragraph of your story.
  • Use only the word “said” for attributions. Occasionally “added.”
  • Indirect quotes & paraphrases also need attribution.
  • Background material & information available to everyone (hours of operation, requirements for driver license, etc.) don’t need attribution.

The requirement of this assignment:

Your assignment is in four sections. Combine all four into one document to submit. I’m trusting you to do these sections in the order listed before — it will help you navigate the interview process.

  1. Make a list of 10 potential questions. Five questions should be open-ended and five closed-ended (answered with a “yes, “no,” etc.).
  2. Conduct the interview and take notes. Allow the flow of conversation to help you decide which, if any, of your questions you want to ask. You don’t have to use any of them.
  3. Write your story, following AP style. Include headline, byline & end mark. The lead should be an actual news story lead instead of the introduction to a biography — NOT “Mary Brown was born in Florence and attends the University of North Alabama” but “Mary Brown, who has a perfect grade-point average as a business major at the University of North Alabama, is the first person in her family to attend college.” Find something special about your subject. Length is however long you need to tell the story.
  4. Review your advance questions, your notes, the actual interview & the finished story. Describe how your initial goals for the story changed during the process. How did the story differ from what you envisioned as you were coming up with your questions? What have you learned from this experience?

So, to recap, submit your 10 questions, your notes, your finished story & your answers to question No, 4 in one document & submit it in this Turnitin box, either as a copy & paste or a file upload.

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