How to write a profile essay
A profile essay is a writing assignment that allows you to do what journalists do: focus your writing on a single person, location, or object.
When you need to write one of these types of essays, it’s important to keep the essay’s main objective in mind. This objective is to be enlightening.
Step 1: Before writing
Pro tipLook for celebrity profiles in magazines such as The Washington Post, The New Yorker, or Esquire.
Step 2: Choose a topic and gather information
You first need to choose a topic for your profile essay. Then, you need to gather information about the topic.
Choosing the topic
For this how-to guide, we are going to be writing a profile essay on the former United States President Barack Obama.
First-hand information is often preferable because it contains data that can’t be accessed somewhere else. If you are interviewing someone for information:
Step 3: Write an introduction
An introduction should pique the reader’s interest. To pique their curiosity, you may ask thought-provoking questions or use unknown facts.
One of the most common characteristics of profile essays is their focus on presenting comprehensive details about the subject (Avoiding general descriptions). Therefore, in the introduction of a profile essay:
Add your thesis statement to the last sentence of your introduction to explain what topics the essay will explore.
ImportantIt makes no difference whether you like or hate the subject. Set aside the preconceived notions and feelings since they might be blocking valuable information.
Step 4: Write the body paragraphs
It’s time to compose the body paragraphs now that you’ve finished your introduction. It’s important to:
ReminderYour profile essay should include several body paragraphs in order to be as informative as possible.
Step 5: Write a conclusion
Step 6: Things to consider
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a profile essay?
A profile essay aims to provide a thorough description or analysis of a person, location, or event. The essay should include an in-depth examination of the subject's history, personality, and deeds. It should also give insight into the subject's relevance or influence.
Who should be the subject of the profile essay?
A person, location, or event might be the subject of a profile essay. An actual person, such as a prominent personality or a fictitious character, can be used. It can also refer to a location, such as a city or a monument, or an event, such as a concert or sporting event. The most critical factor is that the topic is intriguing and has a tale to tell.
How do I choose a specific topic or angle for the profile essay?
Consider the following factors when selecting a topic or viewpoint for a profile essay:
- What piques your interest in the subject?
- What distinguishing attributes or characteristics does the topic have?
- What is the subject's importance to a bigger audience?
- What story or message do you wish to communicate about the topic?