One of the best ways to grow as a writer is to examine the work of other writers. Who are they writing for? What choices are they making to reach that audience? Exploring these questions in your reading will make you more aware of the choices you can make. In this assignment, you will learn more about the profile genre by 1) reading an article about writing profiles, 2) reading two sample profiles, 3) responding to these readings.
Step 1: Read Erin Graces article Stories Play an Important Role in Our Lives. Grace is a veteran profile writer for the Omaha World-Herald, and in this article, her final for the newspaper, she discusses the important role of storytelling in our lives. Although Grace does not use the word “profile” in her article, the stories she is discussing are, in fact, profiles by another name. Grace’s stories use observation and interview to reveal important members of the Omaha community, and they attempt to go beyond surface-level impressions to reveal insights about the subjects.
Step 2: Read Leo Adam Bigas article No More Empty Pots and watch Nebraska Educational Televisions short documentary The Paper Artist.
Step 3: After completing steps 1 and 2, please answer the following questions:
Writers of profiles attempt to form a dominant impression of their subject. You might think of the dominant impression as the primary idea the writer is expressing about their subject. It is what keeps a profile from being a loose collection of details and instead impresses upon readers a focused and cohesive picture. In a complete sentence, identify Biga’s dominant impression of his subject and its role in its community. Then support your claim by showing at least three passages or details that best convey this impression.
Erin Grace writes that stories serve at least five purposes: “to inform, entertain, challenge, change — most of all . . . to connect.” Using the sample profiles, identify compelling examples of each of these purposes. In other words, identify a particular passage where one of the profiles informs readers effectively. Clearly cite the passage and explain why you think it is effective in achieving this purpose. Do the same for the other four purposes.
Successful profiles use observation and interview. “The Paper Artist,” is a film constructed out of images and interviews. Although Biga’s profile is a written profile, he similarly uses observation and interview to achieve the goals of his profile. In a paragraph, identify a particular image Biga creates through observation and sensory detail. Explain the effect of this image and the role it plays in the profile. In a subsequent paragraph, identify a particular quotation Biga uses. Explain the effect of this quotation and the role it plays in the profile.
Submit your response to the Canvas Dropbox as one document and using an accepted document type (.doc, .docx, .pdf, or .rtf). Your assignment should be submitted in MLA or APA format, double spaced, with 12-point, Times New Roman font.