A word to the wise: if you have no documentation of your interviews, it’s like they never happened – because you can’t cite them. Handwritten notes don’t count (you also don’t want to take handwritten notes anyway because they take you out of the conversation). Instead, do a combination of the following to record all interviews:
- Do a voice recording on your phone (do a sound check / recording check), or
- Do a video recording on your phone or on Zoom (do a sound check / recording check), or
- Conduct the interview via email so you have written answers.
An example: Let’s say that I’ve interviewed Dr. Kristin Laidre over email, and I’m including one of her answers in my paper. MLA style, that can look like this:
“I’m doing field work in Greenland on narwhals right now” (Laidre).
In my Works Cited at the end, it would look like this:
Laidre, Kristin. Personal Interview. 31 March 2012.
More information about citing interviews is on the Purdue OWL.
It’s my number 3 Senior Thesis time-saving suggestion: record your interviews. (Number 2 is documenting your original research, and Number 1 is using sticky notes or typing quotes with page numbers while you read!)
Do you have questions about identifying and reaching out to top-notch interview candidates? Email Ms. Farris anytime!