Guidelines to Follow When Writing a Profile Essay
There are many aspects that a profile essay can present. It usually focuses on a certain person, a thing or a specific place, yet the most common is the portrayal of a specific person, where the author of the essay has to provide relevant information on that person, such as who he or she is and what makes them important.
One of the things you need to know before you actually start writing a profile essay is that it’s not similar to any other types of essays
. It doesn’t follow the structure of an argumentative or narrative essay
for instance. Instead, its structure is less rigid and the author is allowed to take more various approaches. If you don’t know where to start from and how to end a profile essay, we suggest you read the rest of the article below, as you’ll find some very helpful guidelines.
The tone is highly important
One huge difference between a profile essay and other similar writing assignments is related to the tone. Profile essays do maintain a professional and sometimes academic tone, but the author can be more flexible about it compared to when writing argumentative essays
for instance. Even so, the second person “you” should still not be used within the essay, but there are some exceptions where the use of the first person “I” is actually allowed, such as when presenting an interview dialogue between the author (who is also the profiler) and the person that is being profiled. Keep in mind though, that you should not exaggerate with it, because using the first person excessively can actually distract the reader from the thing or the person that is being profiled. In such situations, the focus is more put on the author, and considering that the essay is not about YOU, using the first person too much is definitely to be avoided.
Consider how you organize the essay
There are various ways in which you can organize and structure a profile essay, but two of the most common approaches are the thematic format and the chronological format. Here’s what each of them implies:
The thematic format
Structuring the profile essay by theme is a common practice, especially if the person being profiled has a discussion on several different areas with the profiler. For instance, the interviewee might choose to discuss first about the period in their adolescence when they were part of a theatre troupe, then go on to talking about marriage and children, and then talk about the period when they rediscovered the theatre after many years of leaving it aside. In such situations, it is understandable and even advised you organize your essay by theme and comprise the two periods of the interviewee’s life related to the theatre in one paragraph only. Even though these were different periods of their life, they refer to the same thing, so it’s best to create one paragraph that discusses about this aspect.
The thematic format allows you to structure the essay by types of experiences your interviewees had. Thus, have one paragraph to discuss about their families, another one to discuss about theatre experiences, another one about memorable vacations and so on.