PROFILES AND HUMAN INTEREST FEATURES
Because people are inherently interested in the lives of those around them, one of the most popular features is the PROFILE. A profile typically focuses on someone who has made a notable impact on the lives of others, someone from the community who has became unusually prominent, or simply someone with a unique hobby or talent.
Profiles and human-interest stories are popular among newspaper readers because of their focus on individuals. By recounting stories about people, feature writers can uplift, inspire, and motivate readers.
Profiles are fun to read –a good profile can organize a great deal of information in a lively, interesting package. Again, research must be scrupulously ACCURATE.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT: Find a partner. You will write a feature story PROFILE based on an interview you will conduct of your partner. Each of you will interview the other and write a story about each other.
Your feature story is an essay and needs an interesting introduction, supporting details in the body, and a conclusion that ties up loose ends. Because this is an essay, you need a thesis, or main idea about your subject. What is it you are trying to tell us about your source?
This is a minimum of five paragraphs/1000 words and each BODY paragraph should use quotes from your interview. You should start brainstorming a focal point of your article using the questions below as a starting point.
TIPS: Here are some questions to ask yourself when interviewing your subject and when writing your profile:
§ Have the basic biographical information and spelling been verified?
§ What is it that makes the source particularly interesting?
§ Use the interview tips link/handout.
§ If interviewing a source on location, what is the atmosphere like?
§ What do those closest to the source have tot say?
§ Where has this person (the source) lived, worked, or spent time?
§ Has the person been profiled in other publications, and if so, did any interesting facts emerge?
§ What does the person plan to do in the future?
§ Has the person ever had to overcome any sort of adversity in life (injuries, handicaps, adversity)? If so, what?
§ Has the person achieved success (triumphs and rewards)? If so, what?
§ Does the person have any unusual hobbies or talents? If so, what?
TIPS ON ORGANIZING:
§ Define a subject. Focus on a topic. For instance: US Army, Firefighter, Baseball, Football, Hollywood, Government, NCTE Award. Once you have a focal point, the rest will fall into place!
§ Identify the Message: What message are you trying to convey? What EMOTION do you want your readers to feel?
§ Present Your Message: Organize your material into the most logical way. It could be chronological, or start with the present and go backwards, start with the future, etc. What makes sense for your message?
§ Use strong quotes that back your points.
§ Follow proper grammar, use of transitions, vivid language, watch for spelling and punctuation, etc.