Moed borden lesson_2_profile_online_v1
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Moed borden lesson_2_profile_online_v1



Introducing the Features of the Profile Essay for Freshman Academic Writing classes

Introducing the Features of the Profile Essay for Freshman Academic Writing classes



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  • A double murder in a quiet Massachusetts town. A wealthy businessman and his wife are brutally axed to death. Lizzie Borden, the daughter of the 2 murder victims, is accused of the crime. You’re the writer assigned to investigate the case and write an essay profiling Lizzie. When you are ready to begin your investigation, advance to the next slide.
  • Profile essays are popular types of writing. They often appear in newspapers and magazines. You’ll also see profiles on TV news shows like “60 Minutes” and radio shows like “This American Life” on National Public Radio. To find out more about the profile essay, click on the magnifying glass to reveal 3 features of profile essays.
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Moed borden lesson_2_profile_online_v1 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Investigating the Profile Essay and the Lizzie Borden Murders
  • 2. What Is A Profile Essay?Click Anywhere on the Screen to Find Out.
    It reveals the writer’s perspective about a person, place, or activity.
    It is a popular type of writing because it introduces the reader to unusual places or events or interesting people.
    It often makes a connection with a social, political, or moral idea.
  • 3. There Are 3 Kinds of Profile Essays:
    • Profiles of Interesting People--with a unique talent, experience, or perspective.
  • Profiles of Places– That Are Unusual or Interesting
  • 4. Profiles of An Unique or Uncommon Activity
  • 5. A Profile Featuring Andrew Borden, one of the murder victims
    Andrew Borden had, as the old Scottish saying goes, short arms and long long pockets. He was cheap, not because he had to be frugal but because he hated to spend money. He had dedicated his entire life to making and saving money, and tales of his unethical and parsimonious business behavior were legendary in his hometown of Fall River, Massachusetts. Local gossips maintained that as an undertaker he cut off the feet of corpses so that he could fit them into undersized coffins he had purchased at a very good price.
    From “Lizzie Borden” by James Kirby Martin et al. America and Its People, 2nd Edition.
  • 6. A Profile ofFall River, MassachusettsWhere the Bordens Lived
    One hundred years ago, the city of Fall River, Massachusetts was a prosperous mill town, home to over 100 cotton mills. In fact, it was the leading cotton textile center in the United States in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The town was divided by economics and geography, with the wealthy families living in the elite section known as The Hill. The poorer people who worked in the mills lived in the less desirable section referred to as The Flats, which was near the business district.
  • 7. A Profile of An Unusual Activity:Wood Chopping As A Sport
    Hundreds of years ago, wood chopping was a necessity to provide fuel for the wood burning stove or fireplace, which heated the family home. Now, in many parts of the world, it has been reduced to a sport. In wood chopping competitions, skilled competitors race to cut through logs in record time. These competitions often take place at agricultural shows and state fairs.
  • 8. Profiles Also Use Vivid Language…
    “(The maid) Bridget
    still managed to
    prepare a large
    breakfast of
    johnnycakes, fresh-
    baked bread, ginger
    and oatmeal cookies
    and raisins, and some
    three-day-old mutton
    and hot mutton soup.”
    …To help the reader visualize the people, places or activities in the essay. Here, the author is describing the last breakfast at the Borden home before the murders.
    From James Kirby Martin. “Lizzie Borden.”
  • 9. Vivid Language Helps the Reader VisualizeTo Describe People and Places
    How could you describe the Borden House? Here’s an example from the James Kirby Martin essay.
    How could you describe Andrew Borden? Here’s how one writer did it.
    “Their house was a grim boxlike structure that lacked comfort and privacy.”
    “Tall and thin, he even had beady eyes and a bony face.”
    From James Kirby Martin et al. “Lizzie Borden.” America and Its People
  • 10. Profiles Often Use Quotations.
    Why? To convey information and help the reader visualize the people in the profile.
    “Come down quick; father’s dead; somebody came in and killed him.”
    Lizzie was quoted as saying that her stepmother was “a mean good –for-nothing thing.”
  • 11. ProfilesUsually Reveal the Writer’s Perspective
    Andrew Borden was cheap.
    Lizzie strongly disliked her stepmother.
  • 12. Test Your Understanding
    When you’re ready to test your knowledge of the profile essay, return to Lesson 2 and take the profile essay quiz.