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Learner Goals:

  • Create a thesis from which will give direction to your paper
  • Create an outline for your paper composed of topic sentences
  • Learn how to prepare for and conduct an interview
  • Learn how to select the most useful material from your notes for making your point
  • Learn how to effectively organize researched material
  • Learn how to skillfully incorporate quotations, paraphrases, and summaries.


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Interview someone interesting. An expert in some field (sports, carpentry, business, history, art, a job you might like) or a person over 55 years old and ask them about lessons learned in life. But you got to have a theme. A hook. A direction.

You should have done that worksheet packets. Use the worksheet packets to help you complete this essay assignment. They should help you nail this piece.

Just a note. Make sure that the thesis has a specific focus. I don’t want a question-answer interview. It needs to be a story. Tell me a story about something. Oh, and use one of those Modes of Development you learned about: Examples, Classification & Division, Compare & Contrast.


  • Find an expert in a subject matter or field, a person over 55, a widow, or resident of a Nursing Home to interview
  • Alternately, you could interview someone who has experienced some important event or period in history, such as World War II, the Great Depression, or the Vietnam War, or someone who has undergone a particular experience, such as domestic abuse or a struggle with depression. In any case, in identifying someone to interview, you might consider a current or former teacher, an employer, a family member or friend, a fellow student, a neighbor, or even an expert whom you don’t know but who is willing to talk to you (perhaps someone in the field you are studying).
  • Avoid writing many yes or no questions.
  • Remember the reporter’s questions: Who? What? Why? When?Where? How?
  • Write questions that elicit stories, descriptions, images, explanations, examples.
  • Ask your own sincere questions–a great variety of them. What do you really want to understand about the topic?