How to Write a Profile Essay
A profile essay is an essay form that describes a person, a place or anything that can be detailed. An essay on a person’s interview includes interviewing him or her on an event or a topic. It’s a descriptive writing focused on a subject and provides a detailed information on it.
This type of essays is generally written by the students of journalism as part of their assignment. They have to write an effective essay by researching a topic or event or interviewing a person. A comprehensive and balanced essay is a result of an in-depth research and knowledge of a subject acquired by the student.
What is the purpose of an essay?
The main purpose of a successful essay is to give your readers a complete description of a subject. It is described in a way that the readers find it interesting and feel engaged. The essay should be on a new and unique topic in order to attract the readers. You should also keep in mind the general knowledge of the readers to make your essay appealing. It should be able to add to the knowledge your readers already have.
Prepare for your essay
Any writing assignment will require you to prepare before you start writing. In order to write a successful essay on a person’s interview, you will need to know how to write it. From preparation to writing and finishing your essay, there is a step by step process. We will discuss the steps in detail in the following paragraphs.
Reading successful profile essays
The first thing to be done to learn about writing good essays is to read good examples. You can find a successful essay example of a person’s interview online. You can also read a magazine that regularly publishes them. Read as many as possible.
While you read other successful essays, observe how they are written, how they are structured, their subject lines, how the topic or the person is introduced and how the content is written in paragraphs. Also, note the words and styles applied depending on the subject. Note how the introduction is written on the topic or the person being interviewed.
As you read more of them, you will understand these small yet very important things. It will prepare you with the basic knowledge of writing your profile essay.
Selecting your subject
Your subject is an important part of the essay and can’t be taken lightly. The extent of freedom of selecting it will depend on whether you are free to choose one or the ideas are already suggested by the professor while giving you the assignment.
When you are writing an essay on an already famous person, i.e. a celebrity, a politician or a veteran who has considerably contributed to a field, writing a subject will be relatively easy. This is because it will raise an interest among the readers right away due to the curiosity about the person interviewed.
On the contrary, if the subject is something less popular or not known to too many people, writing a catchy subject line can be a challenge. Observing the wordings and styles as well as the length of subject lines when you read successful profile essays will help you a lot in making a good one for your essay.
If you are allowed to choose a topic yourself, you should choose something interesting that you can write about. Avoid choosing a person or a celebrity that you can’t meet and know personally. Read some sample subject lines of successful essays.
Understanding the style and tone of the writing
Despite its academic nature and professional voice, the writing style of an essay is more flexible compared to the other essay types. You should use the first person approach specifically when you are writing an interview of a person. This is because the reader would see it as a description of a subject by the writer and would expect the same tone in the writing style.
The use of the first person is more acceptable rather than the second person pronoun because of the nature of this type of essay. However, avoid too much use of the first person as it will lose its effectiveness. It will distract the reader due to too much focus on the writer rather than the subject. Observe how the profile essays are written using the first person voice.
Write your profile essay
A successful essay on a person should be able to attract the readers. The factors that make the essay effective are its impressive and engaging subject line and the initial lines. This is like a first impression which stays in the memory for a long time when you present yourself to a stranger.
The introduction part of the essay should be unique and attention grabber and should make readers eager to read further. Then the following paragraphs should fulfill the expectations created by the introduction paragraph.
Then comes the subject matter which should be clearly and effectively crafted. This and the other sentences can be consist of a quote or an anecdote. To make it more effective, you can use some surprising facts, humor or thought-provoking questions. This will raise the interest and curiosity in the reader’s mind.
Structure of the essay
As you have an idea from the previous paragraphs, a profile essay will have some basic sections like any other essay type. They are the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. However, you also have to be aware of what should be included in each of these sections and how.
Ideally, the introduction section should be of several lines and written in an interesting manner. Then comes the body section, in which you will be discussing the points you introduced in the introduction section. And finally, there will be a conclusion. This section will give your readers a summary of all the points discussed in the essay. You can observe the structure of the sample essays online.
We have discussed each of these sections in detail in the next paragraphs.
The introduction part is like a preview of your essay that gives your readers an idea of what is there in the subsequent paragraphs. The sentences you write in the introduction will act as the starting points of the paragraphs in the body.
The sentences should be informative and descriptive about the person interviewed. This means the introduction paragraph is a leading statement that should create an interest in the reader’s mind. Therefore, the essay body should be represented by the points you include in the introduction. You should also follow the order in which the main points are included in the introduction.
The readers are interested in knowing something surprising about the person interviewed, so the starting part needs to be effectively fulfilling this requirement. There are several ways to start an essay like starting with a quote or a fact or a surprising information about the person or the subject.
Lastly, there should be a strong statement at the end of the introduction paragraph. It should be representing the main purpose of the interview so that the reader knows what is inside and why should they read further.
The body of the essay
This is the actual part of your profile essay that will provide your readers with the information they will be expecting based on the introduction. Like any other writing work, the body of your essay should flow smoothly without being difficult or boring. The readers should stay interested until the end and the purpose of the essay should be conveyed effectively.
Write the main points followed by a detailed explanation
You should describe the details and example along with the answers the person has provided. But they should be presented with the main point that you will describe next. This structure is expected to be followed in the subsequent body parts.
Thus the questions or the main points will have their own paragraphs as part of the body. So the readers would be able to link the information with each main point or question. Apart from this, each paragraph should have a summary sentence. Though this is not strictly required, it will help your reader finish the reading of each paragraph with a comprehensive understanding of the point discussed.
Write in a focused and enjoyable manner
Avoid making it too short in explanation. For example, the stadium was filled with a huge crowd. Make it enjoyable by providing a creative narration that your reader can imagine while reading the paragraph. Avoid listing just the points with no proper description. All the paragraphs should be written with a consistent style and fashion and should be based on the answers provided to the questions during the interview.
Be consistent and connect the paragraphs with the statement you have included in the introduction part. They should be linked with each other using the transitions. This is generally done by providing the clue of what is coming in the next paragraph. It will keep the readers on track and each paragraph linked with the previous one.
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Maintain the balance
Your profile essay should be a comprehensive picture of the person interviewed or the place or an event. It should be creatively presenting the information on the subject and at the same time should be maintaining the balance between the imaginary and the reality.
Apart from this, you also have to make sure that the readers find it understandable. So you should avoid any confusing information or unclear point. There should be enough explanation for each point or question in the body part of the essay. So that by the time reader finish reading it, they have a complete understanding of the subject of the essay.
The conclusion of your essay
Like other essay types, an essay based on a person’s interview will have a conclusion. This part is a reflection of what is discussed in the body part of the essay. Generally, it should give a thorough idea of what your essay is about in a few sentences. And at the end, it should make the readers feel like they have read something meaningful. You can use a thought or a quote to effectively convey a final message of the essay.
The conclusion should be in line with the statement of your essay. While it will let your readers the purpose of the profile essay again, it should also state if the objective of the same is achieved. In short, the conclusion contains the final words along with a quick rewrite of the main points and idea of the entire essay. The readers will have a quick recap of the discussion, the overall idea of the topic, the purpose of the essay and the result achieved.
Editing and finalizing the essay
A successful essay should not only be well structured and interesting but should be written in a grammatically correct manner without any spelling mistake. A poorly written essay will lose its effectiveness. So you should re-read and edit your essay several times before you present it to your professor or the publisher.
You can also get it proofread by your friend, classmate or one of a family member. Ask their feedback for both the writing style and the text quality. Their feedback will help you improve and polish your essay. Take their feedback constructively and improve your essay. Add, remove and update the sentences where needed.
In addition to this, you also have to keep in mind that the reader will only read it if it will be easy to understand. So the sentences should not be too long and yet should be long enough that they convey the meaning correctly. The sentence structure should be easy so that any user can understand what you are trying to say.
You also have to choose the words and phrases wisely. This is because the purpose and message can only be conveyed with proper words. They will make your essay easy to read and understand and will keep readers interested. Too much long and less used words may make it difficult for the user to get the meaning.
You can write a successful profile essay by following the guidelines given in this article.