How to Write a Profile Essay

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how to write a profile essay

To learn how to write a profile essay, you must first master where to begin. Given that this is a profile essay, it will be much simpler for students who have previously read autobiographical articles or descriptions of landscapes. Getting someone to agree to describe something in words is simple, but getting them to put their thoughts down on paper is far more challenging because the article needs to be appropriately framed.

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Profile essays are a common form of assessment for students’ writing abilities. Accordingly, you should know how to write a profile essay’s body paragraphs, write a profile essay’s conclusion, and create a profile essay’s outline. Follow the steps outlined in this article for assistance.

Definition of a Profile Essay

A profile essay is a descriptive literature that describes in details a setting, an occasion, or a person. That means, the essay should always be well-written, thorough, and contain accurate information about a particular subject. The essay should seek to provide readers with a vivid image that helps them comprehend the topic in detail.

A personal interview written by the interviewee illustrates a profile essay. Primary journalism students often write a profile essay for a term paper, coursework, or assignment. The focus on storytelling in a profile essay is one of its distinguishing features. A profile essay uses narrative strategies to captivate readers and tell a fascinating story rather than delivering a dull recitation of facts.

Writing a profile essay might be difficult, but it can also be rewarding. It demands a sharp eye for detail, the capacity to ask the correct questions, and the ability to make a subject come to life on paper. A student can produce an intense and captivating profile essay that gives readers a greater insight into the issue by fully immersing themselves in the world of the subject and expressing their distinct perspectives. For example, when writing a profile essay about a city, pay attention to the name, location, awards, international rankings, and other noteworthy characteristics.

The Purpose of Profile Essays

Writing a profile essay is a distinct writing with a particular function in journalism and storytelling almost like an information report. The main goal of a profile essay is to give the audience an in-depth understanding of the subject being profiled. It should therefore, capture the core of the subject and present it to the audience in an engaging way. Profile essays help readers relate to the subject on a personal level. They achieve this by diving deeply into the lives, experiences, and personalities of specific people or the nuances of an event or location.

Informing and educating readers is a further crucial goal of profile essays. These essays offer insightful information and broaden readers’ perspectives by casting light on lesser-known facets of a person’s life or exposing the hidden forces at play during a particular event. Additionally, writing profile essays is a way of displaying your excellent writing skills.

The purpose of profile essays in college is to evaluate your organizational, presentation, and research abilities. One of the trickiest essay formats is this one. It will be ideal if you have advice and writing talents to create a superb profile essay. Even with the countless samples of profile essays and essays on people, you can still be trying to figure out how to write profile essays.

Profile essays about high-profile individuals like Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, or George W. Bush are examples of these essays. Even when you write an essay about yourself, the same rules must apply. Before starting your essay, ensure you have sufficient information about the subject.

Structure of a Good Profile Essay

To successfully capture the essence of your subject and deliver it compellingly and cohesively, the structure of a good profile essay is essential. A well-structured profile essay keeps readers interested and helps them learn more about the subject you are writing about. Here is the outline of how to write a profile essay:

  • An Introduction paragraph

Your essay’s beginning serves as a teaser for the content presented in the body. Your introduction sentences will become the first sentences of your body paragraphs. The sentences should provide relevant information and paint a vivid picture of the interviewed individual. Thus, the first paragraph needs to make a bold claim that piques the reader’s curiosity. In this way, the points you make in the opening will serve as the essay’s body. Sticking to the sequence in which the introduction presents the most crucial information would be best.

The initial section must successfully satisfy the readers’ desire to learn something unexpected about the interviewee. A smart strategy is to begin your essay with a quote, fact, or surprise knowledge about the person or subject. You should make a bold claim at the end of the introductory paragraph. It should convey the interview’s key message so the reader understands what to expect and why they should keep reading.

  • The main body

A reader’s interest has been piqued. In this section, you will be expected to elaborate on everything you mentioned in the introduction. Focusing on exterior looks and inner character is essential when attempting to convey an impression. Take his vast eyes as an example; they are dreamy and sweet; his stern expression is an example of his severity; his kind smile is an example of his empathy; and so on.

 If you want to sound literate and well-versed in your subject matter, use paragraphs to highlight distinct points in your description. Do not simply enumerate the points without providing adequate context. Each section should follow the same format and style based on the interview questions’ responses. It is vital that the main body is engaging and flows well from the introduction. Keeping the reader interested and engaged throughout the text is challenging.

  • A closing paragraph

An interview essay should have a conclusion like any other kind of essay. In this section, you will summarize your points in the essay’s body. Generally, it should provide a comprehensive overview of your essay’s topic in a few sentences. Use a quote or concluding idea to summarize your essay’s main point.

Your essay’s conclusion ought to tie back to its thesis. Reiterating the profile essay’s stated purpose is a good idea, but indicating whether that goal was met is also essential. A conclusion is the last part of any essay. It restates the thesis and summarizes the crucial arguments and ideas. In a nutshell, the audience will know what was covered in the profile essay, what the essay was all about, why it was written, and what was accomplished in the end.

How to Write a Perfect Profile Essay

While creating an engaging and insightful portrayal of your subject in a profile essay can be difficult, it is feasible with the appropriate technique and attention to detail. Your ability to write a profile essay as a student will be tested at some point in school. Consequently, you need to know how to write the body paragraphs, and conclusion of a profile essay, and create an outline perfectly. Below is a guide on how to start a profile essay and curate a perfect one.

  • Learn from the best

Reading compelling profile essays is the first step in learning how to write one yourself. Grab a copy of a publication like The New Yorker or Esquire that regularly features such pieces and read a few. Try to overlook the fact that the essays you are reading will almost certainly be about famous people. Take note of how the subject of the essay is introduced early on; for example, in a ten-paragraph essay. By the time you get to the second paragraph, you will have a general sense of who the essay is talking about.

  • Select your subject carefully

A thorough evaluation is required to select an appropriate topic. How much leeway you have in making your selection depends on whether or not your professor provides suggested topics along with the assignment. An essay topic will come quickly if you are writing about a well-known figure, such as an actor, politician, or war hero, who made significant contributions to their industry. This is so because the interviewee will naturally intrigue readers and want to know more about them.

If you can decide on the topic, pick something, you are passionate about writing about. Please do not pick a celebrity or a famous person you cannot interview and get to know them well. Choose topics that interest you personally. As a result, you can complete your profile essay without burning yourself out and finding all the information you need.

  • Understand the style and tone.

Unlike the other essay varieties, a profile essay’s writing style is more open to variation despite its academic nature and professional tone. When carrying out an interview, remember to always write in the first person. This is because the reader will take it as the author’s tone when describing the subject.

Due to the topic of this work, the first person is preferred over the second person pronoun. However, using the first person too frequently will prevent it from losing its impact. More emphasis on the author rather than the subject will distract the reader. Keep an eye out for using the first person in the profile writings.

  • Look For Reliable Information

The use of false information may lead to a student’s credibility being destroyed. Thus, do some serious digging into the topic at hand before you sit down to write. Researching someone includes:

  • Reading everything, they have published.
  • Talking to individuals who know them well.
  • Looking into anything related to the topic.

Your ability to grasp your subject’s essence will increase as your knowledge grows.

  • Create a plan

Before writing a profile essay, planning should be the last thing to do. While you have the freedom to write whatever comes to mind, doing so will make it more challenging for your audience to comprehend the content and lessen the precision of your ideas. A well-organized message is more persuasive and well thought out than an unbroken monologue. Know the key elements to include even in other essays such as narrative report.

Credible writing is easier to produce when it follows a plan. Both the writer and the reader benefit from the outline. The precise organization makes it simple to traverse the content, which makes taking in the data a pleasant experience. It is easier to accomplish anything when you know precisely what you are handling and how it fits into the big picture. The outline helps the writer in producing high-quality content, meaning the reader will quickly find the information they seek. The following steps will help you how to start a profile essay:

  • The introductory paragraph: This is where you introduce the topic, the essay’s purpose, and your thesis statement. The first sentence of the introduction should provide background information on the subject. Body paragraphs’ data can be summarized in the sentences that follow.
  • Core content: The meat of your essay will be the body paragraphs. There should be at least three paragraphs in the body of a brief profile essay. Provide instances in the body paragraphs. Be sure to include references for any outside material used. Only in this way can you ensure that your college or university essay is 100% original.
  • To summarize: This is the final paragraph: As the last section of your profile essay, the conclusion should repeat your argument, recap what was discussed in each body paragraph, and wrap things up.
  • Writing the essay

Here is where the meat of your job is. It would help if you kept in mind that your interpretation of the events would provide the lens through which the entire essay is written. It would be best to try to be objective but realize that you cannot take the reader back in time to experience what happened and are necessarily subjective in providing an abbreviated account of whatever occurred. Determining a “dominant impression” is important in profile essays. That can only be achieved by having a distinct perspective on the subject and the events that happened. You must make a claim, just like in an essay or a recommendation report, and give evidence to support that claim.

Avoid writing up a transcript of your interview and submitting it as an essay at all costs. Many students’ initial tendency is to recount the events as they happened. A good essay has a defined beginning, middle, and end, with the subject starting from one location and ending in another. If you are writing a profile essay for a magazine, follow the format of those articles and move from one topic to the next. Many people will employ a hybrid strategy.

In this essay, you are tasked with making the reader feel like they are actually present. Use many small details we would have noticed if we were there to accomplish this. You can tell a lot about a person by what they eat, drink, think, and say. In addition, that sums it up. If all else fails, remember that the reader’s viewpoint is crucial.

Take a break once you have finished writing and look at your work with new eyes. Do you have a firm grasp of the piece? If not, think about making changes.

Facts to be Remembered when Writing a Profile Essay

  • Always respect the subject – For instance; your professor may select the person you despise as the subject of a profile essay. However, it would help if you treated people with respect. This should come through in the language you use. Avoid letting your feelings control you but do your investigation and gather knowledge; do not focus on fake news.
  • Check edit and grammar errors – Besides being logically organized and engaging, a well-written essay will be free of typos and grammatical errors. Therefore, before handing in your piece to your instructor or sending it to publication, you should read it and make any necessary edits numerous times.
  • Use simple language – Using straightforward language has never been more effective than in academic essays. If you want to write a good essay, you need to avoid jargon at all costs.
  • Use appropriate terms – This relates to picking the correct words to describe things and the proper ways to connect ideas as you write your essay.
  • Use well-balanced paragraphs – Ensure each section in your profile essay does not exceed 150 words. In addition, the paragraphs should all be the same length.
  • Stick to the outline of your profile essay – Always ensure that you follow the structure of a profile essay. Anything that does not fit into the framework of a profile essay is pointless.

Sample Outline Template for a Profile Essay


  • Hook
  • Provide Background information
  • Include thesis statement


1st Body Paragraph

  • Write the main point of this paragraph
  • Support the point with evidence
  • Provide explanations that connect to the thesis statement
  • Concluding statement for this point

2nd Body Paragraph

  • Write the main point of this paragraph
  • Support the point with evidence
  • Provide explanations that connect to the thesis statement
  • Concluding statement for this point

3rd Body Paragraph

  • Write the main point of this paragraph
  • Support the point with evidence
  • Provide explanations that connect to the thesis statement
  • Concluding statement for this point


  • Re-state your thesis statement
  • Summarize all the points in the body paragraphs
  • Include a closing sentence or a hook

Examples of Profile Essays

Example 1: Profile Essay Example about Barack Obama with Outline


Thesis: President Obama is visionary, charismatic, and thoroughly organized.       


Paragraph 1:  

Barack Obama has an extraordinary and unquenchable capacity for vision.

  • He is keenly aware of the best ways to carry out his mission.
  • He has the vision to rise from obscurity to prominence without acting selfishly.
  • He always has a very clear idea of how he wants to reach his objectives.

Paragraph 2:

Barack Obama is unquestionably charismatic.

  • His speeches move audiences.
  • He is intelligent, humorous, self-assured, articulate, and affable.
  • He professionally and familiarly puts across his experiences. 

Paragraph 3:

President Obama is a meticulously organized leader.

  • He understands the importance of efficient organization and planning.
  • He diligently plans his time, engagements, and schedules.
  • He positively influences those close to him.


  • President Obama is a perfect embodiment of vision, charisma, and self-organization.
  • The three personality traits have significantly contributed to his successes in life thus far.
  • He is indeed a positively contagious character.   

Profile Essay about Barack Obama

A mention of the name Barack Obama anywhere in the world evokes memories of an individual who defied all odds to rise to the helm of American leadership as the first Black person to achieve that fete. President Obama’s inspiring fairytale story is known all over and will continue to inspire generations to come. He must have been a “special” human being to first dream of and then proceed to achieve something that other people would only wish for. His presidency too left an indelible mark in the history of America, implying that he has unique personality qualities that propel him to success in all that he does. President Obama is visionary, charismatic, and thoroughly organized.        

Barack Obama, like an eagle, has an extraordinary and unquenchable capacity for vision. He is keenly aware of his feeling of duty to humanity and the best ways to carry out his mission. Evident from his years of community service in Chicago as an advocate for the community and his remarkable time as president, he has the vision to rise from obscurity to prominence without acting selfishly. He always has a very clear idea of how he wants to reach his particular objectives and how people around him will fit into his vision. If one wants to have an impact on the world like Obama, one must not only have a big vision but also the discipline to strategically carry that goal through.

Barack Obama is also unquestionably charismatic. It was immediately clear that he was starkly different from the other politicians when he began contesting the Democratic primary elections. Everybody sat on the edge of their chairs whenever he spoke. He was intelligent, humorous, self-assured, articulate, and affable. He related personal tales of his experiences in a way that was both familiar and professional. Even now, after serving his two-term presidency, everyone who is fortunate enough to hear him speak as the main speaker at an event feels pleased to do so. Unlike other stodgy politicians who seemed uninteresting and more like the same old presidents Americans were used to, he was a highly likable person and pleasant to listen to because of his personality and charisma.

President Obama is additionally a meticulously organized leader who pays attention to even the smallest details. He understood the importance of efficient organization and planning for the realization of a vision. He methodically organizes all of the aspects or appearances of diversions out of his life as he diligently plans his time, engagements, and schedules. He trimmed pointless alliances and kept at bay idle chatterers. He, however, encourages those who are fortunate enough to be close to him to be highly focused and pursue activities that will actually make a difference. People who look to be as fruitful and impactful as Obama should organize themselves better than they have ever done in the past.

Overall, President Obama is a perfect embodiment of vision, charisma, and self-organization. These three personality traits have significantly contributed to his successes in life thus far. He was able to remain visionary on his mission of becoming the first African-American U.S. President and he surely did. He was never distracted along the way. His charisma enabled him to present himself as a different contestant from the previous American Presidents. He articulately, intelligently, and humorously engaged his audiences, something that endeared him to the masses. Additionally, he was organized in all that he did during his campaigns as well as the presidency. He organized himself properly and ensured that he was only surrounded by people who could meaningfully help him in his journey. He is indeed a positively contagious character to come by.    

Example 2: Profile Essay Example about the Christmas Event with Outline


Thesis: Christmas Day is characterized by Santa Claus, Christmas presents, and the Christmas tree.


Paragraph 1:

Santa Claus is the main attraction at Christmas.

  • According to Christians, he grants wishes.
  • He aids the dwarfs and rides reindeer.
  • He sings love and distributes gifts.

Paragraph 2:

The occasion of Christmas involves giving gifts.

  • Christmas gifts symbolize the homage paid to the infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men.
  • It enables Christians to practice the Christian value of caring for each other.
  • The practice positively impacts the less fortunate.

Paragraph 3:

Christians decorate the Christmas tree every Christmas event.

  • The tree is a symbol of eternal life.
  • The tree represents positivity.
  • The tree is a customary decoration.


  • Christmas is a highly regarded Christian event marked by Santa Claus, the giving of presents, and the decoration of the Christmas tree.
  • Santa Claus represents love, giving presents signifies care, and the Christmas tree symbolizes eternity.
  • A Christmas celebration lacking these three things is incomplete.

A Profile Essay about the Christmas Event

Christmas is among the holiday events that every Christian identifies with and cannot wait for every year. It is a time when Christian families come together to commemorate the birth of the Messiah. Christmas Day was first observed on December 25 every year in the fourth century. The Church worked to eradicate the last vestiges of paganism, although history has it that the Roman sun god’s birthday was observed around the same time. As a result, the church fathers agreed to replace the Roman celebration with a new, Christian one in honor of Jesus Christ’s birthday. It has its defining characteristics and activities that those who celebrate partake in. Specifically, Christmas Day is characterized by Santa Claus, Christmas presents, and the Christmas tree.

Santa Claus is the main attraction at Christmas. Simply put, it is impossible to miss him. Christmas is a magical time of the year. Children from all over the world are content to wait for Christmas and the New Year because they know that on certain occasions, a loving wizard will undoubtedly grant their wishes, even if adults do not believe in miracles. Santa Claus, a grandfatherly figure with a white beard and a friendly grin who wears a white-trimmed red suit, is seen as one such magician in many Catholic nations. The young ones are aware that he aids the dwarfs and rides reindeer. They also believe that he sings love as he travels from house to house distributing gifts to the needy.

The occasion of Christmas also involves giving gifts. Christmas gift-giving is a Christian custom that is observed widely all across the world. Christians view Christmas gifts as symbolic of the homage paid to the infant Jesus by the Three Wise Men following his birth according to the Nativity account. According to the New Testament of the Bible, Balthazar, Caspar, and Melchior, who were the Three Magi, traveled to where Jesus had been born by following a star. When they got there, they gave him presents of myrrh, frankincense, and gold. The tradition of gift-giving at Christmas also presents a glorious opportunity for Christians to practice the Christian value of caring for each other. Thus, it is a practice that goes beyond just celebrating Christmas as it also positively impacts the less fortunate.

Further, Christians decorate the Christmas tree every Christmas event. The tree is a symbol of eternal life, represents positivity, and is a customary decoration. According to a certain legend, certain trees shed their snow following the birth of Jesus during the winter and became green to commemorate the momentous occasion. The Christmas tree thus signifies immortality and permanence. Since ancient times, people have believed that the Christmas tree infuses the otherwise soulless, uninspiring, and depressing winter weather with happiness, positivity, and an optimistic mood. The positive energy that the tree offers is symbolized by the spirit of perseverance and remaining green in spite of adverse weather. Finally, the tree is a continuation of the customary practice whereby culinary items like apples and gingerbread were used to adorn the Christmas tree.

In sum, Christmas is a highly regarded Christian event marked by Santa Claus, the giving of presents, and the decoration of the Christmas tree. Each of these features has its significance in Christianity. Santa Claus represents love, giving presents signifies a caring attitude towards fellow humans, and the Christmas tree symbolizes eternity, positivity, and traditional Christian customs. Christians mark Christmas Day doing these and other Christian-like practices. Importantly, a Christmas celebration lacking these three things and/or practices would not meet the threshold of what Christians consider a proper Christmas occasion.

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