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How to Write a Profile Essay: A Manual on Doing the Job Easily

How to Write a Profile Essay: A Manual on Doing the Job Easily

The variety of essays is such that a new assignment often gets one reaction: “What on Earth is this one?” There are reasons for such a reaction. We all are aware of many essay types – it is a scary number. There are essays on all subjects and topics. Besides, each specific essay is an exercise aimed to train a specific feature in independent studies.

Many students need help with essays. Here, we dedicate our article to the profile essay. We’ll tell you how to write a profile essay and what you should take into consideration. It lies between journalism and formal essay writing. Therefore, it is a creative challenge for everyone. 

In fact, this challenge can be intriguing and exciting. Of course, you need the knowledge of what to do. Thus, we aim to help you with it. You can simply follow a guideline to create a profile essay outline and then produce that paper according to it. Further, it can even become your favorite writing. Let’s start! 

What Is a Profile Essay: The Distinguishing Features and Approaches

This essay type is of some mixed nature. On the one hand, it is similar to journalistic tasks, and its goal is to deliver reliable information. On the other hand, it must include the writer’s personal perspective and be a catchy reading. Here, the first task is to clarify what is a profile essay at all. 

We refer to the standard definitions. A profile essay is a paper where you should describe someone (rarely an event) from your perspective. Such essays are difficult to perform due to this dual nature of a literary work combined with journalistic objectivity. Very often, a profile essay is an outcome of an interview. Instead of a direct interview transcript, the writer mixes the questions and answers with their personal perspective. 

This factor is significant in the choice of profile essay topics. As we mentioned, this essay mostly relates to people, and there is a temptation to dedicate it to some celebrities. Such pieces attract more interest by default. Still, when you consider different ideas, not the standard requirements to an appropriate essay topic: 

  • Does it appeal to you? It is true for even professional journalists – personal engagement is essential. It motivates and helps you find the right and original approach;
  • Will it be interesting to the public? You might choose a celebrity or any other person for your profile essay. But, you must present them all excitingly. Dedicating your work to a famous person can bring you an advantage. Choosing somebody whom you know can help you to reveal their personality and merits better. In any case, you must make the audience interested to know more about that person;
  • Can you get enough information about that person? If you want to write your profile essay about someone you know well, you may interview them. If you plan to use the information in public access, you should use many trustworthy sources. The paper is subjective, but you stick to reality and avoid insinuation. 

When you evaluate all these criteria, it will make the topic choice easier.  

How to Start a Profile Essay: Prepare for the Writing

Any proper essay is impossible without thorough preliminary work. For this paper, you have to collect the information about the person in focus, sure. Also, you need to get familiar with other essays of this type. Thus, how to start a profile essay gets the answer: first of all, read other profile essays. 

Fortunately, we won’t lack resources. A personal profile essay is a common journalistic work, and you’ll find plenty of examples in magazines like Esquire, etc. Such examples are excellent for clarifying the profile essay format. Pay attention to the structure and the author’s approaches. Notify how the interviewers introduce the people and what they focus on in the story. The main thing is to define how to combine personal views with objective information. 

That’s why having a strong essay outline is a must in your work. This profile type of essay requires the most precise and polished structure. Every detail must have its right place, and transitions must be flawless. 

How to Write a Profile Essay on Someone: Points to Consider

Like any other essay, this one must have a central thesis statement. You need to formulate it before you start outlining. The thesis statement can relate to the essential characteristic of the person from your point of view. Or, it might illustrate that person’s lifestyle, etc. 

Thinking about how to write a profile essay on someone starts from defining the structure. As mentioned, the “default” of this paper is an interview. No matter if you interviewed the person or used some ready samples, or even compiled an “imaginable” interview from the known data, you can’t just retell it. 

There are three standard formats for the profile essay: 

  • A narrative approach. You compose a story with the beginning, the middle part, and the final. This method is common if you choose to illustrate a person’s life, achievements, and beliefs;
  • A topical approach. It correlates with the “interview” structure most of all. You discuss some topic and then follow to the next one. Here, it is critical to focus on the direct logical order of such sections. Every discussion particle must lead to the next topic naturally;
  • A mixed approach. It is the most common method for combining narrative and topical approaches. Simply put, it can be an interview about the life of your subject. You are supposed to collect loads of information and then leave the most significant points to build an essay’s foundation.

When you define your approach, you can outline the profile essay and write it. 

How to Write a Personal Profile Essay: Pay Attention to the Structure and Style

  • In the Introduction part, you present the theme and explain your motivation to explore it. You might mention how that person impacted your life. At the end of the introductory part, you should present the thesis statement;
  • In the Body part, you tell that story about the person. Whether you illustrate the lifestyle or discuss some topics, dedicate one section to one meaningful point. Add the details that are necessary to explain the value of this or that event or feature. By all means, use the logical transitions between the elements for the story to run smoothly;
  • In the Conclusion part, summarize the information. Again, focus on your attitude – the essay must reflect your option about that person clearly. 

However, it is also crucial to learn how to write a personal profile essay when it refers to writing style. This piece is more freeform – you may allow more emotional vocabulary. A good practice is to appeal to the senses – describe the sounds, the smells, the visual images. Try to picture the person and the environment. You are inviting your audience to join you in this interview and see the subject through your eyes.

The language must be clear. Don’t use ambiguous terms or sophisticated terms. Avoid slang. If it is necessary to include such words to match your creative idea, make sure to explain these words’ meanings. 

As always, you can request professional help with this profile essay. The specialists from our team will gladly consult you on any such assignment. Just let us know!

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