Re: Writing a retrospective report

Subject: Re: Writing a retrospective report
From: "Suzanne Topping" <stopping -at- rochester -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "techwr" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 17:06:27 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Gil Yaker" <gyaker -at- mci -dot- net>
> But anyway, could anyone point me towards some basics on how to organize
> such a piece? Maybe pointers on how to conduct interviews, understand how
> structure a paper before I know how the content will turn out, etc...

I was tasked to write a "real" book once (non-fiction) on a specific topic,
and I'd done nothing like it previously either.

What -I- did was jumped right in to the research/data gathering stage, and
the structure ended up developing from what I uncovered. You might find that
once you start gathering info. and talking to people, a natural organization
will evolve.

But if you are uncomfortable with starting without some sort of structure in
mind, you could brainstorm some potential options. For example, you could
organize the information as a timeline from the beginning to the present
(perhaps with supposition about the future.) Or you could organize it around
specific people and the stories they tell. Sort of a collection of
perspectives. Or you could focus on the impact of innovation on the people
who worked there at the time that changes were made. I'm sure you can come
up with other potential structures.

If it were me, I'd begin collecting info though, and see what shakes out.
You might end up hearing the same message from a number of different places,
and decide to shape the piece around that pivotal idea.

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