Conduct Field Research

This is Part 1 of 3 assignments.

You will conduct research by asking the same set of questions to ten interviewees. You may administer the interviews face-to-face, by phone, social media, internet survey or email. You should use several modalities to familiarize yourself with conducting research, but your questions MUST remain the same.

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Research the correlation between higher education and career success. Conduct research to support your thesis that degrees are important or not important to finding career success. You will find that many people with or without degrees are equally successful, but a degree is critical in some careers — lawyer, doctor, educator.



Interview a diversity of subjects. Interview a variety of ages, genders, occupations, degrees, time in the workforce. Write down (or have your subjects write down) answers to the same five questions that will help you gather usable information for a report. If you want to interview only those in one industry, like nursing, do that. Just make sure that your interviewees represent a diverse group within one industry.


When selecting five questions to ask all of your interviewees, make sure your questions will give you usable information that will support your thesis. For example, If your thesis is about college degrees, one of your questions should be “what college degrees have you earned,” instead of “do you have a degree,” which is a yes or no answer.



Take notes or record your interviews. Make sure that your subjects are aware of your research methods. You may find that people are less comfortable when they understand why you are recording their words. Excellent documentation will give your sources for your citations. You’ll want to note when and who you interviewed and their full name. It’s okay to use just first names or initials if your subject matter is sensitive in nature.




Anecdotal Evidence:

Listen to stories. People like to talk about themselves and, when being interviewed, most stray off topic. Allow this to happen sometimes, because the stories they tell can be used as anecdotal evidence. People tell the best stories and pathos is a rhetorical device. You will find that anecdotes bring realism to your report and bulk up your word count.




Feel free to interview college and high school students who don’t yet have degrees, if it is relevant to your thesis.

Interview family members, friends, students and co-workers. They are comfortable talking to you and they want you to get an “A” on this assignment.

Draft your five questions before starting your research. You may opt to ask more than five questions, but not so many that you are overwhelmed with data.



Turn in your thesis and five questions for a review and grade. Do not turn in your raw data or documentation.

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