Why use Interviews as A method of Data Collection in Research Writing

Research Writing

An interview is interpersonal communication where the interviewer (the researcher) seeks to get information from the respondent (the research subject) on a particular research question. Interviews are most appropriate in research writing for the following reasons:

  1. If the researchers want to understand attitudes and feelings that cannot be expressed through writing
  2. If the researcher desires to have an in-depth evaluation of the research topic
  3. If the research topic is sensitive, in that respondents may feel uncomfortable discussing the topic in a group setting
  4. If the researcher needs to give the respondent more information on  the significance of the research
  5. If the researcher needs to get important information on strategic planning and allocation of resources
  6. If the researcher needs to collect information from both literate and uneducated respondents, respondents need not have the ability to read and write.

Benefits of using interviews as a method of data collection

Through using interviews as a method of data collection in research writing, you will have the following

  1. Personal opinion is not influenced by others as would be the case in a group setting
  2. They give room for clarification in case of ambiguous answers
  3. The researcher records the respondents own words
  4. They allow the researcher to get opinions, perceptions, and feelings, especially in qualitative research writing.
  5. More often than not they have a high response rate
  6. The researcher has an opportunity to help the respondents have a uniform understanding of terms, difference in understanding can result in inaccuracies in research writing.
  7. Interviews encourage the writer to give more information


The following are some disadvantages associated with interviewing as a method of data collection in research assignments.

  1. They are expensive because of special tools required for recording and transcribing
  2. They are time-consuming
  3. They are prone to researcher bias