This 600-word essay (TNR 12-point font, MLA format) will strengthen your writing skills and will enhance a sense of community between you and someone with whom you regularly come into contact. Choose someone to write about with whom you come into contact often (i.e. a friend or family member). Your goal is to write a profile of your subject. In that profile, you will show readers what is unique/special/meaningful about this person. You will also give a good sense of his or her personality/body language/attitude/etc.
Remember that this is a profile–not a biography. You cannot give this person’s life history. You can only focus in on a few–at least two but not more than three–key issues. When talking with your subject, your goal is to learn about things that are important to them. Examples of good things to focus on:
– Strongly held beliefs
– Personality traits
– Experiences (good or bad) that have shaped them (i.e. struggles they have overcome, successes they have enjoyed)
– People that have strongly influenced them
– Goals that they have
– Regrets they may have
– Special skills or abilities they may have
When you’re talking to your subject, please take good notes, and make sure you get interesting, accurate quotes. Later in the unit, I’ll allow you to return to your groups for additional quotes and details.
– Introduction (getting readers’ attention, generating interest in your topic, clear thesis) 15 pts.
– Organized, focused paragraphs that begin with smooth transitions
– Specific details about each focal point and about interviewee’s demeanor/body language. Include good sensory information. 30 pts.
– Direct Quotes (at least one good quote in each section, giving readers a sense of the interviewee’s voice and personality through his/her own words) 20 pts.
– Conclusion 5 pts.
– Collegiate Writing 15 pts.
GUIDELINES/TIPS FOR SUCCESS:
1. Pay close attention to all posted instructions, requirements, and deadlines. Almost everyone in the class is doing this, and your grades are showing it; keep up the good work. For the few who are still struggling a bit with meeting requirements and deadlines, this is one of your last chances to step up.
2. Don’t include a lot of random details about your subject that don’t develop the 2 or 3 issues that you’ll focus on. For example, someone’s favorite color doesn’t say anything significant about that person at all. Where the person is from may reveal something significant about him or her, if that’s going to be one of your main focal points. For example, someone who grew up in California and moved to Louisiana probably had to make some interesting adjustments, and that may make a good paragraph.
3. Don’t quote yourself. In other words, don’t include the questions you asked. Just tell me what you found out. This means don’t make this a pattern for any of your sentences: “When asked about…she replied…”
4. Avoid making the paper sound like you’re giving the eulogy at this person’s funeral.
5. Avoid stringing a lot of adjectives together because that makes a sentence meaningless, and your reader is going to check out on you after the second adjective. For example: “He is the smartest, kindest, most hard-working, most generous person ever.” Just don’t do that.
6. Follow the instruction to focus on two or three issues regarding this person. Read and follow all the other instructions and guidelines. Email me with any questions. Remember to follow the guidelines regarding courtesy and efficiency when emailing.
Choose the person you’re going to write about and begin talking to him or her. In your initial conversation with your subject, determine which 2 or 3 issues you’ll focus on in your essay.
ASSIGNMENT DUE WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18 AT 11:55 am: Submit a well-developed draft of your essay. I will offer feedback and suggestions, and I’ll return these to you by Monday evening, November 23.
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