Exploratory project #3: interview and field observation report


Now that you have narrowed your topic and begun some focused research, you are ready to enter the field. For this assignment, schedule an interview with someone who is knowledgeable on your topic (or has personal experience with it), design questions, and carry out a one-on-one interview. In addition, conduct a field observation at the interview site or another location* relevant to your topic. Your writing task will be to synthesize the the interview, field observation, and academic sources into a meaningful discussion of your topic. This is an opportunity for you to find answers to the questions you can’t find in your library research.

*Since many students are not able to move around safely in their communities due to Covid-19, an online observation is an acceptable substitute for the field-site observation. Here are some best practicesPreview the document for observing online spaces and communities.


As you write this interview and field observation report, imagine you’re writing an article for WRIT Large: A Journal of Undergraduate Writing and Research (Links to an external site.). The goal of this project is to engage and inform educated DU readers about your topic through your interview, field, observation, and secondary research.

Key features:

  1. Well-researched, thoughtful questions
  2. Analysis and discussion of the interview
  3. Clear sense of the topic and what was learned from the expert
  4. An observation that adds to the discussion
  5. Evidence cited from three or more scholarly sources to support the discussion


  • Get a sense of the pressing issues as they relate to your topic
  • Make knowledge by conducting your own research

Select skills:

  • Ability to design conscientious and interesting questions
  • Ability to link observational research with interview findings
  • Ability to triangulate data—combining scholarly research, interview findings, and observational research.


  • 4–5 pages, typed and double-spaced
  • Submit interview transcript and field notes with your finished project; projects missing any items will incur a penalty.
  • Post final draft to the Canvas Assignments folder by end of day on Sunday of Week 6
  • NOTE: If you interview subject requests anonymity, please have them fill out this form for protection under IRB: IRB Consent.docPreview the document

Student samples: 

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