Writing A Profile Essay: Structure, Tips, And Best Practices

What is a Profile Essay?

First of all, let’s start from a profile essay definition. A profile essay is an academic paper taking into consideration a particular individual, place or event. It is called “profile” as the author intends to create a profile of the selected object providing information on what/who it is and why it is important. How long should a profile essay be and what structure it should have depends on how the author embraces the topic and what key points he aims to reflect. There is no strict requirements about that contrary to what we have in case of argumentative or narrative essay types but still there are some peculiarities that should be definitely taken into account and that’s what we are going to review here.


Profile Essay Outline

Writing a profile essay outline differs depending on what the essay covers. To give you a general idea we suggest you the outline sample of a profile essay on a person. It implies to have:

1). Introduction

  • Hook;
  • Thesis Statement;
  • Supporting statements and sentences.

2). Background

  • First supporting idea;
  • Second supporting idea;
  • Whatever next supporting idea

3). Achievements and influence

  • First supporting idea;
  • Second supporting idea;
  • Another supporting idea;

4). Conclusion

  • Concluding summary;
  • Final point of view. 



As any other paper, profile essay structure starts with hook and introduction paragraph. Introduction is the part where your primary goal is to grab the attention of readers. If you fail in doing this from the first couple of sentences, you risk to distract readers from reading the whole essay no matter how genius it is. Remember to start your essay from a catchy phrase, sentence or citation. This is what is called “hook”. Another goal of the profile essay introductory section is to provide the background information. This means to tell about whom or what you are going to write in your paper. Put yourself on the place of readers. Even if you know the subject, person or the place you are about to describe perfectly, this doesn’t mean everyone is aware of it too. This way you need to establish an independant and clear vision of how to start your profile essay and how to provide the background info in a clear, structured and digestible manner.


How to write a thesis statement for a profile essay

Before we start discussing how to write a thesis statement for a profile essay let us clarify what it is. According to the definition this is a statement consisting of 2-3 sentences and aims to express the topic of the essay as well as to deliver your position on it. The best way to declare a thesis statement is to ask the question to the topic and give a brief answer. The question and the answer should clearly reflect the topic of the essay and its aim. When writing thesis statement try keeping up with the following:

  • Understanding the topic and the goal of the essay;
  • Be specific;
  • Keep the statement position;
  • Persuade flexibility.

Understanding the topic and being specific when writing a thesis statement is essential. These two points a tightly combined. The better you understand the topic, the better you’ll be able to formulate your thesis statement, so be sure to complete a decent research on the topic before starting to put your thoughts on virtual paper. Another significant thing is to keep the position. This might be pretty common thing to remind but don’t forget that thesis statement always come at the end of the introductory paragraph. Placing it in the the very beginning or on some other place is a failing decision.


How to Make a Brilliant Conclusion

Profile essay is kind of “dry” kind of academic papers even though it implies to be full of details and precise information. Here you act like a journalist, not concentrating much on your own opinion significantly, instead trying to provide full and objective information about the subject. The best place in a profile essay to apply your personal thoughts and conduct an appropriate analysis is conclusion. This way we have outlined some tips to help you defining key points of the concluding part and help you dealing with them. So here they are:

  • Spread on why is the person, place or event you are profiling are important to be discussed.  If you write about someone or something, you should clearly understand what value does the information bring to readers, what experience they can borrow or how can they use it. No matter of how famous or unknown the subject you discuss is, it should bring value and this value should be outlined.
  • Add emotions. Again, a profile essay is a bit dry writing, but conclusion is the right place to add a bit of emotions and personal attitude.
  • Summarize essentials. Your paper may be of different length, the number of points you’ve spread on may be also different and some of the key points may not attract the attention of readers. You can not be sure. To ensure all keypoints are delivered to readers, make sure to outline them again and summarize in a short but proper manner.

Follow the listed tips to succeed in creating an effective concluding part.  Successful conclusion never fails to catch attention and remains in memory of readers as well as ensures an excellent grade.


Profile essay interview questions

Profile essay on a person is the most popular type of profile essay. Its best practices imply interview, so we decided to list the most popular questions to help you out with planning an interview for your essay.

1). What was your role model in your early years?

2). What is your greatest achievement?

3). What is the meaning of life for most people?

4). What was your happiest day in life?

5). What qualities in people do you like and which ones do you condemn?

6). If you were a film director what kind of film would you create?

7). How do you think, people tend to be more cruel or sensitive?

8). What would you like to change in yourself?

9). Do you plan to write a book and what would you like to tell in it?

10). Do you consider your work to be unique?

11). Do you like your job and plan making it your lifelong activity?

12). What would you advise someone who is about to start making a career similar to yours?

13). What was your most painful lessons in life and career path? How have you perceived that experience?

14).  What were you missed opportunities, do you regret them?

15).  Which historical personality do you respect the most and why?

16). What used to bring happy moments in your past and that you would like to repeat?

17). Would you like to change the country or city you live in?

18). What events have influenced you the most?

19). Would you like to live in different epoch and why?

20). What are your relationships with parents and who of them played/plays more crucial role in your life?

Of course this is not all the list of questions, only sky is the limit, but we list the most interesting of them to give you an idea. You can modify them, add new ones or even create your own ones to adjust your perfect interview questions list. Don’t aim using standard lists of questions, always apply creativity as each personality requires unique approach.


Tips to Make Your Essay Brilliant

Here are few significant tips that we suggest you to follow while writing your profile paper.

Learn from the best practices: The best thing you can do before starting doing anything about your essay is to read other profile essays and embrace their experience.

Try picking something achievable: if you are relatively free in choosing a topic, try choosing something achievable: profiling an individual you know personally, a place you can visit easily or event you participated in and know well. Writing about well known objects is good but there is no wonder in reflecting subjects everyone know about. There are many less known sophisticated individuals and places that deserve social recognition, why not to focus on them?

Prepare a decent interview: make your profile essay brilliant with the interview. It is the right type of essay to use your journalist skills. In fact, you can make interview not only for the profile essay on a person, but profiling an event or a place. You can enrich your paper interviewing event participants or someone having attitude to the place you are writing about.



What is the purpose of profile essay?

Profile essay is aimed at creating a profile on a person, event or a place. This type of essay centers an object it describes and reviews it from different points with some analytical approach.

What is a profile essay on a place?

Profile essay on a place implies creating a profile paper on a place.

What is a community profile essay?

This is a profile essay describing communities.







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