Ms. Gokturk

Journalism

The Profile Piece

 

YOUR TASK: Write a 1000 word profile piece about your classmate for the publication of your choice*.

 

YOUR MISSION: Over the course of at least THREE interviews, identify and explore an interesting dominant impression of your partner.

As you conduct your interviews, you will note that items may surface that may be more interesting than where you initially thought you were heading. This is a good thing: go with it! In this case, your focus will shift. Let the questions evolve to pursue interesting points and note them by simply jotting down some general ideas. Also try to write down any interesting quotes verbatim to be used as quotes later.

The ultimate goal of your interview is to unearth the essence and points of interest of your subject, a human being in your class. You are not trying to include every item about the person.

 

Pre-Interview

  • Describe your subjectís physical description, body language, behavior.
  • In your notes, describe your first impression. What is your assessment of the person? What do you think makes them tick?
  • Also write what already know about this person (hobbies, activities, family, neighborhood, memories, etc.)

 

1st INTERVIEW

  • Donít take a whole lot of notes. Chat informally, looking for topics of interest. FIND THE GLUE. Start with obvious and try to get to know what makes this person special and interesting. Ask him/her how others perceive him/her and if this is accurate, etc.
  • Get your subjectís phone number and/or email Facebook him/her and/or IM, etc.

 

Before 2nd Interview, prepare 20 questions, interesting questions to elaborate on glue and/or to find unlikely topics.

INTERVIEW 2 Have prepared at least 20 questions prior to help you focus.

  • Use your questions to focus your interview, but donít be afraid to veer off track,
  • Also, keeping the glue in mind, be sure to ask to subject to talk about their past in relation to the topic you have chosen to write about. Focus on the past of this topic. Build up to today.

 

Before 3rd Interview, review your notes and add questions with which to follow up.

INTERVIEW 3

  • The purpose of this interview is to fill in the blanks and to focus on the details of the personís experience in the topic area. Now you are looking for more direct quotes, contact info; ask your subject to reconstruct the detailsÖ
  • Consider how the future plays into the subjectís glue.

 

INTERVIEW 4 The Others

  • Find at least 2-3 sources who can comment on this person and the topic. Create a short questionnaire of 3-5 questions that will elicit interesting direct quotes. Aim to have at least ONE be an AUTHORITY on your person. The others should know the subject well in relation to the glue.

 

*Please bring a magazine of your choice to serve as a model for writing and layout.