The Descriptive Profile
Assignment: Write a 2-4 page essay in which you profile someone you know.
Choose a person to describe. The subject must be someone you know, such as a friend, a relative, a teacher, a mentor, etc. This is because this essay does not use documentation; you are only writing from first-hand knowledge. (If you were writing a profile of Mariah Carey, for example, you would need to provide documentation for any biographical information you mention because you do not know Mariah Carey personally. Therefore, no celebrities are allowed as subjects.)
Remember that your essay will need a point: Why are you describing this person? What is your thesis? Name your specific subject in the thesis statement.
You may write in first person. Do not write in 2nd person. Essays that use second person will be docked one letter grade.
In addition to using sensory details, use at least one example of each of the 4 types of figurative language discussed in class: simile, metaphor, personification, and allusion. Both the rough draft and final draft must be typed and in MLA format.
This is not a biography of your subject. Instead, you will use narrative to create a dominant impression. In other words, tell a story or a series of short incidents that capture who the person is. Do not start with John was born in, and the goal is not to write the subjects life story. Instead, tell a story about your subject or a few short episodes in their life, using narrative.
The most difficult part of this assignment is often choosing the right subject. This can be a person you know well, a person you love, or a person you despise. It can be someone you remember fondly from childhood, someone who made you afraid, someone you had a crush on, or someone who hurt you. It can be your son, your mother, your best friend, your roommate, your next-door neighbor, an interesting person you met recently, or anyone else you can think of.
Here are just a few examples of successful subjects students have chosen in the past:
a member of a local band
a best friend with a quirky personality
a coach with a tough persona
a friend who works with the homeless
a boyfriend who was a high school football star
When choosing a subject, ask yourself how you will make this person interesting to an audience. Begin by brainstorming specific details and stories about this person; this will help you craft a dominant impression.
Step 1: Choose a subject and brainstorm
Step 2: Complete a sketch outline: introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion
Step 3: Write your thesis statement
Step 4: Flesh out the outline with specific details
Step 5: Write the essay
Step 6: Revise and edit (at least twice)