1.3.4 Stage 2: Find a way in
Bearing in mind your analysis of the overt purpose of the piece of writing, whether it is explicitly social science or art, politics, entertainment etc., try to establish its basic point, its most obvious message. What is the title or headline; is it clear and ‘factual’, does it refer to some previous debate or require some sort of previous knowledge? Are there sub-headings and can you get an idea of how the ‘story’ goes from them? Skim read the introduction and the conclusion. Can you get an idea of the main ‘story’ from these? Now skim read the rest of the piece, looking again for the basic argument rather than any details. Don't go on to the next stage until you can write a sentence or two about ‘the big picture’. With interview material we need a way of locating the interviewee, for example in their social context.