"Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information." -Paulo Friere

Monday, September 9, 2013

Interview Tips for Sophomores

10th Graders,

For your first major paper, you will be writing a Biographical Portrait of one of your grandparents.

Here is the Assignment Sheet, in case you lost your copy.

Your first step is to interview them. Here are some hints to make sure that it goes smoothly:

Top 10 Interview Tips

My favorite tips from Ms. Ming Liu:

"Use neutral language. If you use emotional words, you skew the interview. Even seasoned professionals make this mistake, especially when they’re rushing to nail a quote. Question: “Are you happy that you won the Nobel Peace Prize?” Guess what the answer will be: “Yes, I am HAPPY that blah blah.” Instead, frame the question without emotion: “How do you feel about winning the Nobel Peace Prize?” Better! But if you do your reporting and know something about the interview subject, you could frame an even more dynamic neutral-but-fact-filled question: “Your grandmother, who scrubbed floors to buy your first chemistry kit, died of cancer two weeks ago. What would you say to her right now?” Can you imagine how rich the answer to that question would be?"

"Ask follow up questions. Sometimes, you have to dig a little bit more. A couple of questions might be in order. Help your subject to complete the thought. They are in their own heads and usually don’t realize that information is missing."

Remember to write your interview questions in advance and record the interview to share with me!

Here are some sample interview questions that you can choose from as you prepare for your interview:

Biographical Interview Questions . You may also come up with your own questions.

Remember to ask your grandparent for a picture or object that was important to them, in order to share that in your Appendix.

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