For Students – Profiles

In contrast with memoir, the profile shifts away from the self-as-subject, and, instead, focuses on the other-as-subject. Profiles convey a particular and dominant impression, an angle, of a specific human subject. As such, profiles verge much more closely to literary journalism than purely academic work. A profile requires keen writerly sensibilities: the ability to convey an angle, share a personality, and animate another human-being that they might be alive on the page.


  • How would you distinguish between a profile and a biography?
  • Other than this collection, where else have you previously encountered a profile?
  • What skills do you need to develop in order to write a strong profile?
  • What resources will help you?
  • How would you say the process of composing a profile differs from the process of composing a literacy narrative or memoir?
  • Why do profiles matter?

The graphics are outdated, but the emphasis on profile as a story that requires research and interviewing is just what students need to know. Additionally, watch Mike Dronkrers’ Ted Talk, “How to Interview ‘Almost’ Anyone.”