Structuring a profile piece

Diving deeper into profile style, technique and writing

Concise and clear writing is critical while writing a profile assignment as the writer is talking about a person’s life, which must be portrayed accurately. Profiles can be sensitive and personal; therefore a writer must be very careful in the way in which they tell someone else’s story. 

Another perspective

The WSJ Formula breaks down a profile assignment to a simple outline that writers can follow to produce a concise and clear writing piece. Every step that Finn took to find more about his father was another development in his turning point. For more information on the WSJ formula, check out Charnay’s blog at

Sullivan and Richman

Sullivan gave great advice about the lead and kicker. As your initial writing may not be a great lead but a perfect kicker, that will lead you to generate a concise lead. Never throw away ideas. Richman offered a unique interview technique and life lesson. Learn from your mistakes and be careful of the wording, phrasing, and advice given.

Goals? What goals?

During the background planning portion and through out writing this piece, it was important to follow the GOAL method that was discussed in the Rich text. I used the GOAL method to outline my personal writing goals for the profile assignment.

  1. Goals
  2. Obstacles
  3. Achievements
  4. Logistics

The meeting

Meeting Finn in person was a better experience than the initial interview. He was very informative and was very open to sharing his experience. By his facial expressions and body language, I was able to grasp how he really felt about growing up without a father. Darlene Reijers, 20131110_interviewfear.jpgFinn’s mother, was able to give the emotional insight of a mother and was really helpful in bringing Finn’s story in a full circle. She was able to give the emotional insight of a mother and was really helpful in bringing Finn’s story in a full circle.

Searching and searching

While interviewing, two techniques stuck out to me. Keeping eye contact and verifying vital information were crucial for Finn’s profile. It was important to show emotion and keep the names straight during this specific profile as it was an emotional topic. For more information on writing about emotional topics, visit


About kaengert

Currently a student majoring in PR. Coffee addict, die hard Shonda Rhimes fan, and looking to purchase my next plane ticket.
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