A question ‘Can you use interviews in a research paper?’ is quite a common one that is often heard from high school students and even sophomores. The concept of including a piece of conversation into an academic paper sounds rather odd since such works are normally based on credible data that is books, research papers, theses, and others. However, fear not, as interviews in research are a common practice, so the answer is “Yes, you can.”
Moreover, if you conduct an oral investigation on a topic and include it into your work, your teacher can start regarding you as a persistent and hard-working student, who do care about the overall well-being of a study field.
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The problem is how to arrange a piece of colloquial speech or undocumented material in research that aims for academic credibility. For this, we need to have an insight into a means of incorporating interviews in a research paper, which are, in fact, citation styles.
First, let’s define a citation style is. A citation style is a way of including directly or indirectly information from various sources (dissertations, theses, scientific articles, reports, etc.). It has various formats дand depends on the institution or organization a person studies or works at.
On the other hand, all citation styles have two main approaches to incorporating data into a paper. The first one is conducted by means of direct quotation, which is framed by brackets. The second one allows a writer to put a quote in simpler words and introduce it to a reader as their own opinion, while a source reference is a must anyway.
Interviews and a Research:
- Direct Quote
You can add information from a conversation or an interview by including the exact citation into a text. For this, give some information about the interviewee, the date of an interview, and relatable background information. For example, you can put it this way:
From a private interview conducted on the 3rd of November, 2017, a staff member stated, ‘I believe that the quality of the company’s products has decreased drastically since 2015.’ Also, it’s allowed to add the author’s personal opinion or explanation to a direct quote by putting it in brackets to separate the exact speech from additional information.
Moreover, it’s advised to mark parts of a speech that have been missed out due to their irrelevance by adding ellipsis signs where such speech should have been.
In case, if a citation is too expanded to be incorporated into a paragraph, you need to turn such a piece into a blockquote. This is applicable in cases when a quote is longer than four lines or has more than 40, or 100 words (depending on a style), and is not interrupted by the writer’s comments.
Such a style as APA has a specific recommendation for this case. It states that the left margin has to be exactly 1.5 in cases where it’s used. Modern Language Association recommends sliding the left margin 1 in a way, where a block quote is used. No matter what style you’re using for a research paper, you shouldn’t mark a quote in any way.
- Quotes included in a text
When you use a citation in a paragraph in combination with the rest of text then you need to mention what is the source of a quote. Personal communication is a phrase used and added to references in the American Psychological Association style when a conversation is face-to-face or by means of correspondence, etc. For instance,
(E. Smith, personal communication, October 26, 2018).
- Interviews as a Reference
When you include an interview in a research paper, you probably, don’t possess a hard copy of it so you cannot refer to it. Since every statement and quote has to be mentioned in the sources, you need to add a copy of your approximate interview to your appendix. Otherwise, it might be unaccepted by a teacher.
Moreover, if a conversation is documented and is a part of your work you can now paraphrase it and avoid using a direct citation. For example:
In accordance to a conversation held with MR. Y (App. 1), it’s believed that…
Based on an interview with Prof. S we have concluded that…
But remember, if a script of an interview is not added or is not allowed to be attached to a research paper as an appendix then you cannot paraphrase it, but you can only use direct quotes.
- Can I Use Names?
When referring to an interview and you have it as an appendix you most probably want to mention a person that you’ve had the conversation with. However, you need to make sure that this person has granted you with a right to say their name. If not, then your source is not eligible and can be easily discarded by your teachers.
Lastly, using an interview in a research paper is a great idea since it showcases your curious attitude toward a subject. If you pay attention to details and formats, you’ll receive the desired and good mark!