Writing Exercise: Interview Summary/Synthesis


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:

Provide Background Information:

In your introductory paragraph, introduce your audience to your interviewee. What is his/her

name? What is his/her experience? If relevant, where is the interviewee employed?

Summarize the Interview:

While you want to avoid the all-too-predictable question and answer format, you should

provide information about what you learned from the interview. Take a look at your original

questions, group them into categories, and use those categories to build your body

paragraph(s). Also, you may note the interviewee’s reactions in your summary as well. Was

the interviewee nervous about answering a question? Did he/she seem knowledgeable in the

subject matter? Make this summary work for you by including whatever details and

responses you feel are important and will help you when you write the research proposal.

Synthesize the Interview:

In the conclusion, synthesize the interview. To synthesize just means you should consider all of

the information you gathered from this interview and draw conclusions. What did you learn from

the interview? How did the interviewee and/or the interview help you gain a deeper

understanding of your topic? Other findings?

No source citations are required for this assignment, but please review the rubric to get a

better idea of you you’ll be assessed.

The guidelines for this assignment are as follows:

Length: This assignment should be a minimum of 350 words.

Header: Include a header in the upper left-hand corner of your writing assignment with the

following information:

ï‚· Your first and last name

ï‚· Course Title (Composition II)

ï‚· Assignment name (Interview Summary)

ï‚· Current Date


ï‚· MLA-style source documentation and Works Cited1

ï‚· Your last name and page number in the upper-right corner of each page

ï‚· Double-spacing throughout

ï‚· Standard font (TimesNewRoman, Calibri)

ï‚· Title, centered after heading

1 This resource may be helpful as you are making MLA formatting decisions:


 1” margins on all sides

ï‚· Save the file using one of the following extensions: .docx, .doc, .rtf, or .txt

Underline your thesis statement in the introductory paragraph.

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