English 1010 Materials

Major Writing Three: Profile based on an Interview 

Purpose: Your purpose is to create a vivid profile of a person you admire. Find a real-life person in the Tech or wider community—such as (but not limited to) professor/teacher, administrator, coach, artist, musician, pastor, parent, grandparent, peer, leader, the person you want to be when you grow up etc. — and then describe that person and discuss the events and factors in their lives that have helped them arrive at their current career, hobbies, beliefs, and values. You may also choose to profile that person with the interesting vocation or passion, such as barista, tattoo artist, rock star, etc.

More specifically, direct quotes and concrete details will help you convey a dominant impression, making your topic “come alive.” Your readers should gain new information about the person, leaving the profile with information that enlarges their knowledge about something or someone they know only a little about, enabling them “to visualize” the person and the events and issues they describe. A professional and personal approach will bring immediacy and intimacy to your topic while maintaining an academic or journalistic tone.

Basic features of a successful profile:

  • Creates a dominant impression through the engaging details of description and quotation.
  • Begins with an interesting subject, an interesting angle, and any necessary background or context.
  • Uses direct quotes to help illuminate the subject
  • Provides helpful and useful information for the reader and demonstrates the significance of the person et.al., much like a human interest or feature story would in a popular newspaper or magazine.

Readings: NFG “Profiles” (219-270). Choose one of the sample profiles to write about for Blog 3: Hamblin 885-892; Baca 893-897; Brown 898-904; Schlossberg 905-910

Required Research: An interview with your profile subject. Your interview documentation will be complete with questions, a transcript (the actual Q & A), and “permission form” (provided).

Word length: 700-1200 words (3-5 pages)

TRAPS TO AVOID: You will want to avoid:

  1. Approaching the subject too broadly; 2. Failing to leave the reader with a dominant impression of the person, activity, or place; 3. Treating the subject too superficially (the essay reads like a brochure or advertisement); 4. Focusing too much on yourself the writer by “narrating the interview process”; 5. Making the paper more about the interview Q&A than the person being profiled; 6. Failing to have adequate author’s distance when profiling a person close to you.

Due Dates: 10/3––Blog 3—a reader response to the sample profile of your choice in the NFG.

                                             Interview takes place between 10/5 and 10/23.

Interview transcript, permission form, & notes due on 10/24

Workshop Draft on 10/26; Required revision workshop takes place between 10/26 and Teacher’s Draft due 11/9

Remember: Interview questions are not a “one size fits all” kind of thing. Make sure to customize your questions for your topic. Try to use open-ended questions that encourage your subject to talk. Feel free to ask follow-up questions, even allowing the interview process to steer the direction of your project. See question suggestions in FW


Some Sample Interview Questions to Get Started With

  1. Describe an event that influenced who you are today.
  2. Explain your greatest gifts that resulted from that experience.
  3. What qualities did you wish you had more of when this event occurred?
  4. Describe a person that inspired or influenced you to be who you are today.
  5. Discuss the daily activities do you practice to maintain and sustain your values and beliefs?
  6. Tell us a story about yourself that will make us laugh.
  7. How would your [spouse, best friend, mentor, colleague] describe you?
  8. Describe the kinds of things you did to become the person you are today.
  9. Share an example of a recent challenge and how you addressed or overcame it.
  10. What advice would you give to someone in college today?

Name:                                                                   English 1010 - Profile - Evaluation Sheet

Effort Points (12 possible)

__Has a completed coversheet including an appropriate audience & purpose statement (1)

__Paper is in a folder(1)

__Paper is turned in on time – November 9 at the beginning of class (1)

__Paper is 700-1000 words -- slightly longer is acceptable (1)

__Paper is in proper MLA format with works cited page for interview (1)

__Student included the interview transcript and permission form, due on October 24. (1)

__Student participated in the workshop draft class meeting on October 26 with completed draft. (3)

__ Student attended a required revision workshop (after Workshop Draft and before Teacher’s Draft, from 10-26 to 11-8) with Andrew Smith, Chelsea Mathes, Jesse Filoteo, or other TTU tutor/adviser mentor (3)  (if not one of first 3, Tutor/reader please provide cell # with initials)


                                                                                                                of mentor/date of Session.

____Total Effort Points

Quality Points (8 possible)

__Excellent (8)                                                             

Student accomplishes these qualities in a successful manner:

1.      Profile creates a dominant impression and angle, around which the essay is organized, with a clear hook/beginning, middle, and end. (Organization & Purpose) (3 points)

2.      Student includes at least three properly introduced and attributed quotes. (Development) (2 points)

3.      Student develops the character of the profile subject with description, details, anecdotes, and adequate discussion of the background of their story. (Development, Voice & Style) (1 point)

4.      Student creates adequate professional distance from the subject matter and strikes the proper journalistic/academic tone. (Voice & Style) (1 point)

5.      Student writes in a professional academic voice, uses correct grammar and punctuation, and respects the audience. (Grammar & Mechanics) (1 point)

__Very Good (6 or 7)

            Student accomplishes most of the above qualities.  (score qualities achieved)

__Satisfactory (4 or 5)

Student accomplishes some of the above qualities in a competent manner.  (score qualities achieved)

__Needs Work (1 to 3)

            Student fails to accomplish a majority of the above qualities or otherwise shows a 

            serious lack of personal investment in their essay or its presentation. 

            (score qualities achieved)


___Total Quality Points

____Grade out of 20


Writing Practice!


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