E-mail Interviews


Try to get a writing sample; ask for their help.

Make sure they know you will use pseudonyms and keep confidentiality.

Tell them you'd like to exchange 3-4 e-mails about their literacy.

Ask a few questions at a time. A list of ten questions will get very short answers.

Ask follow-up to original questions; then ask some new questions.

Reinforce extended answers. ("That's really interesting." "That's amazing that you do that.")


Design some questions around the writing sample:

Written for school or not? Where did you the idea? Were there choices about what to write and did it affect their motivation? Did they have a model for it? What did they struggle with? How do you feel about the results? How much do you revise? When do you revise? How important is revision? How do you prepare to write? Brainstorm? Talk? Freewriting?

Design some question around literacy habits and writing process:

How often do you write outside of school? What do you read outside of school? How often? What are you favorite readings? Has reading affected your writing? How do you feel about required reading? Keep a journal?A blog? Chatroom? How often do you share your writing?

Design some questions around school literacy practices:

How do you feel about required writing? How do you feel about peer response to your writing? Why are you taking creative writing?