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Tips on Writing and Conducting Interviews

Something about writing effectively and conducting an interview.

This is from a local BBS.  I am in no way claiming ownership to this document.  If you have objections about the copyright of this document, please direct it to thanks!


I. Think first, then write.
II. Get to the point
III. Use familiar words
IV. Omit verbal deadwood
V. Keep your sentences short
VI. Shorten your paragraph
VII. Use specific, concrete language
VIII. Prefer the simple to the complex
IX. Be positive
X. Use the active voice
XI. Write as you talk
XII. Use adjectives sparingly
XIII. Revise and sharpen
XIV. Write to express, not to impress
XV. Odds and ends


I. Be inquisitive. Inquire, ask questions, don't be contented with what you hear or what is given to you.

II. Be constant in your purpose.

III. Be fair and balanced. As an upstart, there will be temptations for you to see only one side of the coin because of some considerations. Don't allow yourself to be used. So, always be objective and balanced in your writing.

IV. Be genuinely interested in people. Love people. If you don't, then be a mechanic or a florist.

V. Seek the truth. Be an honest chronicler of times. Don't use blinders and don't allow your biases affect your writing. When in doubt, be on the side of the underprivileged.

VI. Be resourceful. Take the initiative.

VII. Have guts. Don't be afraid to stand up for your principles. Fight if you must protect your right to express yourself.

VIII. Master your grammar.

IX. Read. There is no subsitute for reading. And don't sya that you don't have time. The greatest dividing line between failure and success can be expressed in just five words: "I did not have time." There will always be time for everything, including reading.


Interview--the art of gaining trust, then gaining information.

Two types:

1. formal interview--conducted after prior appointment.
2. informal interview--a chance interview, spontanous shooting of questions


1. Always be prepared. Be ready with good questions.
2. Ask the most important questions first.
3. Wait for the interviewee, don't let him wait for you. Be prompt.
4. Don't argue with your source.
5. Keep your personal bias to yourself.
6. Always remember that you are a journalist. If the news source is a friend, it is all right to be casual, but draw the line between friendship and professionalism.
7. Know how to use your facial expression properly.
8. Be polite.
9. Know when to introduce yourself.
10. Be sure that you record the interview.

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