- As soon as possible after the interview, go over your notes to see if they’re completely accurate. You probably left something important out. Write down reminders while your mind is fresh.
- Fill in the imagery at appropriate spots in your notes. Example: “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Smith said as he flicked his cigar ashes onto the ground.
- Write up your notes while the quotes and details are fresh in your mind, preferably on the day the interview took place. Accuracy, mood, ambiance and details diminish with delay. Your ability to recall details diminishes after 24 hours.
- When all research is complete, study your notes, perhaps underlining essential quotes.
- Put your notes aside, rely on memory for paraphrase or the short essential quote. By relying on memory instead of notes, you can sort out the most important parts.
- After writing a draft, go back and check the quotes for accuracy and double-check facts for accuracy, before turning in or posting your article for review.