Boston University Communication Profile Worksheet Hi, this assignment is for my communication writing class. This assignment is to write a profile piece. I

Boston University Communication Profile Worksheet Hi, this assignment is for my communication writing class. This assignment is to write a profile piece. I will attach the profile piece instruction which posted by my teacher, my profile worksheet (which is kind of like an basic outline),and the interview with the person who im going to profile. (this interview is actually taken long time ago, so you can just use it like a background or something. so other question regarding this profile piece, you can check some info and make it up a bit.) Please read these three materials carefully. This assignment is really important to me. Please do you best. We can communicate at any time. Thank you so much. Profile Assignment
What is a profile?
A profile is a kind of feature article that explores a “big idea” by looking through the lens of
one person. We can learn about an entire group of people — a phenomenon, a trend, a
lifestyle — by looking at one person.
Your assignment is to write about a person and explore an idea the person embodies. This
requires you to write a “nut graf” or an interpretive thesis. This is covered in detail in your
textbook/ebook in the Profile chapter. Please read this chapter, as it is a good resource for
you.
I’m also asking you to incorporate at least three other sources to help explore your big idea.
These sources can be other people you interview, in addition to your main profile subject, or
they can be sources you find (and cite carefully). These sources can be articles, studies,
reviews, etc.
During our time of quarantine, we are going to amend the usual requirements, but we’re
going to maintain our usual learning outcomes for the assignment. You’ll see these in the
rubric below.
WRITE: A five- to six-page profile of a person you are able to interview. Include a nut graf
that explores a theory about your subject — in other words, that tells us what we will learn
by looking at your subject.
Here are some suggestions for your subjects:





A person you can interview via FaceTime, Skype, or another social media platform who is
interesting and perhaps represents a trend, phenomenon, lifestyle, life choice, or conflict.
A bit of a twist on the above — Profile one person who depicts a particular aspect of the
pandemic through which we are currently living. By looking at that one person, what do we
learn about this time of challenge?
So who are you going to profile? Think of people you know or people you have heard about
who have had interesting experiences, do interesting work (perhaps in a field you might
want to enter), have interesting hobbies or interests, or espouse interesting philosophies.
Some suggestions for finding your focus:
Is your subject in some way related to a news story or a current trend or idea?
Is your subject in some way unusual, odd, or offbeat?
Can you link your subject to a noteworthy achievement, an innovation, a contribution, or a
discovery?


If your subject is not unique, how does he or she fit in? Does your subject represent what is
typical about a profession, interest, lifestyle, or conflict? Can your subject reveal something
found in others with the same profession, interest, lifestyle, or conflict?
Why would readers be interested in this person? What is the payoff for readers?
What is a “profile?”
Profiles are word portraits. You want to paint a picture with your words; produce an
emotionally involving piece. An effective profile comes from thorough research,
thoughtful interview questions, and the ability to absorb and organize large amounts of
information into a concise story.
How do you write the best profile?
1. Research your subject
Discover everything you can about him/her. Come prepared so as not to embarrass
yourself like I did … my first celebrity interview was with Joe Jackson. I was nervous
and asked him when his next album was coming out. He looked at me with disdain and
said “how the f*** should I know? I just released this one.” Yikes! Dumb question, but
you live and learn and I learned my lesson.
Make sure you know your subject’s point of view before the interview begins if you hope
to capture an individual’s journey.
Start by checking out his or her website/blog/social media postings … this will clue you
into what is important to your subject.
Explore past articles written about your subject in other publications. What is the
general angle of these articles? Note if there is repetitive information. This will help
differentiate your piece from previous material written about the same subject. It will
also endear you to your source. I remember interviewing Carly Simon and her
commenting on how “pleased” she was that I didn’t ask her about whom the song
“You’re so Vain” was written. She said it was the first interview ever where she wasn’t
asked that question.
2. Prepare open-ended questions … those that do not lend themselves to “yes” or “no”
answers. If your subject does answer with a yes or a no, or some other short response,
don’t be afraid to ask him or her to elaborate, explain, expound, etc. Probe for
anecdotes.
Try to focus your questions on material about which your subject is passionate. This is
when your subject will often go “off script” and add unique details, or offer information
not practiced with his or her publicist. A good example: I was interviewing Mark Ruffolo
for People Magazine at the Boston screening of “Spotlight.” For one of my questions, I
could have asked him if the movie was meaningful to him, to which he might have
answered “yes.” Instead I asked him why the movie was meaningful to him, and as he
answered, I kind of egged him on, asking him to elaborate and his face got really red
and he said – of the priests – “they were f***ing children!” Then apologized for saying it
– but it showed his passion – and made it into my story.
3. Allow your subject to do most of the talking
Be a good listener. It may be tempting to interrupt your subject with your own
commentary, maybe share a relatable anecdote, but resist this at all costs.
Interrupting cuts into your subject’s flow, which will result in glossing over important
information. Through digressions, subjects will often provide entertaining stories. These
stories can further illustrate your subject’s unique personality.
Do not be afraid of pauses. Often, this is when your subject is thinking about your
question. Allowing him or her time will elicit more detailed answers – and give you a
chance to observe. While he is thinking, does he tap his toe, hold his chin, close his
eyes … all good color for your profile piece.
4. Take the time to get to know your subject/watch your subject in action.
To really see what a person is like, you need to be with him long enough so that he lets
his guard down and reveals his true self.
Watch him in action, doing what he does. If you’re profiling a professor, watch him
teach. A singer? Watch (and listen) to him sing. People often reveal more about
themselves through their actions than their words, and watching your subject at work or
play will give you lots of action-oriented description that will breathe life into your story.
And remember to use physical description.
5. Remember to show, don’t tell.
It is tempting to describe a room as messy or a person as nice. But carefully observed
details and well-chosen verbs make a much strong impression that general adjectives.
6. Show the good, the bad, and the ugly.
A profile shouldn’t be a puff piece; it should be a window into who the person really is.
So if your subject is warm and approachable, fine, show that. But if he is cold and
distant, show that too. Profiles are most interesting when they reveal their subjects as
real people – warts and all.
7. Talk to people who know your subject.
Inexperienced writers/young reporters often think a profile is just about interviewing the
profilee. Wrong. People usually lack the ability to view themselves objectively, so be
sure to talk to people who know the person you’re profiling. Talk to the person’s friends
and supporters, as well as their detractors and critics. Remember: Your goal is to
produce a rounded, realistic portrait of your subject – not a press release.
8. Record your interviews
We tend to think we remember more than we actually do.
Handwritten notes are great, but having a recorder is great as a reference. Also, it gives
you an opportunity to focus more on what your source is saying rather than getting
every single word and preparing for the next question. After all, something your source
says might beg a question you were not planning to ask.
9. Develop your angle
Profiles need an angle, or a specific focus to sustain the reader’s attention.
A unique angle will set your profile apart from the other material written on the same
subject. Use an angle that is newsworthy or contains new information about your
subject. Profiles that are simply a list of things your subject has done, or is doing, are
rarely interesting.
When reviewing your interview and notes, find a theme that links together the material.
For example, if your subject talks about failures that led to his or her success, the theme
of persistence in the face of failure can serve as a good angle.
Profile worksheet DUE APRIL 21st
Profile worksheet – Due Tuesday, April 21, in class.
Homework: Once it is reviewed by peer editors, you will revise your worksheet and email it to me so it is
in my inbox (jpenning@bu.edu) no later than 9 a.m. Wednesday (April 22). NO EXCEPTIONS.

Whom are you profiling?
Shaun Sweeney,A staff from Orange County Social Service Agency Medical and food stamps
2. Why did you choose this person?
In times of Coronavirus, I have been especially interested in how a government staff member is
participating in this pandemic, and how he is handling it.

What is your “angle” or “hook”?
My angle is that during this pandemic, homeless people or people who are below the poverty line are the
most in need to get through this pandemic. Shaun is one of the staff from Orange County Social Service
Agency Medical and food stamps to help those in need. And how others view his job and what exactly he
does.

Who do you plan to interview/what other sources do you plan on using in addition to your
subject?
How people online discuss their (Orange County Social Service Agency Medical and
food stamps) job, or some regulations regarding this pandemic.

Please list at least five solid questions (beyond the basics like age, profession, family, where
from, where live now, etc.) you plan to ask your subject.
1. How
do you feel about working for the government?
2. How’s
your prestige regarding your job?
3. How are you adapting the changes under the pandemic?
4.What
do you desperately want to change with respect to your job?
5.What
are the drawbacks/ advantages of working for the government?
Any additional questions?
(Please also add here any questions recommended by your peer editors that you would like to include)

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