The interview synopsis will be the first thing a researcher sees when browsing the oral histories. Therefore, the synopsis needs to be well-written, and it must provide the essential details for the researcher to determine if the interview will be useful. The synopsis should be concise (approximately 150-200 words) and should follow a template. Follow this template:

  1. The 1st sentence should include the name of your interviewee and basic information such as age, hometown, ways they identify, and the community partner they are affiliated with.
  2. In the next 2-3 sentences, elaborate on the details the interviewee shared in their oral history.
  3. Add 1 sentence with the keywords to clue the researcher to the value of this interview for research purposes, e.g. “This interview covers topics such as …”.
  4. In 1-2 sentences explain how you met your interviewee, and how the interview was conducted, e.g. “The interview was conducted via Zoom in order to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  5. In the final sentence, say who you are. “The interview was conducted by ____, a third year Ethnic Studies major at UCSD who is interested in …”.  

Look at other oral history posts on this site as examples.

TIP: Use a KWL chart to take notes. (Know, Want to Know, Learned), which will be useful when writing the interview synopsis.