The Structure Of A Profile Essay: 6 Simple Rules To Remember


A profile essay is not just an interview or a description. It is an opinion about a person, place or thing, where the writer explores any preconceived ideas that he or she held. Usually by the end of the essay, the writer has exposed the differences – by using interview, direct observation, or original research as evidence – between the actuality and his or her previously held notions.


As the writer you are expected in this form of writing to give vivid, sensory information on your subject. Your aim is to give the reader a rich experience. “A picture paints a thousand words”, so you are trying to write the picture.


How to write a profile essay


  1. Before you start your observation, research or interview make a note of what you already know about your subject. This will help you organize your questions for your interview or what to look out for in your observation and research. Once you have that information you can start to look for other sources. Dig deep before the interview or observation, you will often find a great deal of history that will make sure you ask better questions.

  2. If you adore or loath your subject you should put that aside, both of these types of emotion will cloud your objectivity and you will fail to show the differences between your original thoughts on the subject and what the reality is. Your job is to uncover facts.

  3. In addition to writing notes on the event or interview, take lots of sensory notes so you remember the rain or sun on your face, and how that made you feel about your task. Your job as the writer is to make the reader feel they were actually with you. Always ask a few questions of people attending the event or surround the person you are interviewing.

  4. Start your work with an anecdote to hook the reader in. In the first paragraph make sure you detail exactly who or what the person or event or thing you are profiling is and what makes them interesting.

  5. In your body paragraphs offer the details you have discovered and show them against your preconceived ideas. Include the additional details you found from other sources.

  6. For the conclusion, go over the highpoints of what you said and let the reader know what you have learned. Perhaps you could finish your paper with a personal quote from the person you interviewed.

Remember!

“   Every writer, no matter how good he is with his first attempt should proofread his paper.  ”

–  Donna Brians
 

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