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Part 2: Inquiry ProjectsChapter FourWriting a ProfilePowerPoint by Michelle Payne, PhDBoise State UniversityCopyright © 20...
Chapter FourWriting a ProfileIn this chapter, you will learn how toGoal 1• Use a profile of a person as a way to focus on ...
“There may be no better way of dramatizing theimpact of a problem, the importance of a question,or the significance of an ...
MOTIVES FOR WRITING A PROFILE“The most important motive behind composing a profile—whether it’s aconventional written essa...
Use a profile of a person as a way to focuson an idea, a personality trait,or a situation.Goal 1Ideal if– Want to preserve...
Common Pitfalls of Early Profile DraftsFocus too much onthe relationshipbetween thewriter and theinterview subjectFocus mo...
THE PROFILE ANDACADEMIC WRITING“The profile is closely related to the case study, a common academicform, especially in the...
Identify some of the academicapplications of profiles.Case Studies• Social Sciences• A close look at the life of aperson w...
DISCUSSING THE READINGS:EXAMPLES OF THE FORM“The profile can, like good fiction, provide insight into the complexities oft...
“Museum Missionary”Bruce Ballenger1) Explore:– Writing about people you have know whom you can’tforget2) Explain:– How doe...
“Passengers”Ian Frazier1) Explore:– Write a one-sentence description of three people youknow; discuss what makes an effect...
“Learning About Work from Joe Cool”Gib Aikin1) Explore:– What does knowing Joe Cool through this profile tell meabout the ...
“Number 6 Orchard”Micaela Fisher1) In your own words, what do you understand“Number 6 Orchard” to be saying in the lastpar...
THE WRITING PROCESS“One of the great profile writers, John McPhee, wrote recently that promisingsubjects for profiles ‘are...
Inquiry Project: Writing a ProfileUse one ofthe fourframes tofocus yourprofile:GroupIdeas aboutEventQualityFocusBeorganize...
Identify the characteristics of profilesin different forms.Inquiry QuestionsDoes this one person’s story tellus anything a...
Features of the Form• Interview• Observation• Research•Language: sensorydetails; exact, precise•Narrative structure•Use of...
Type Questions GenreQuestion of Fact orDefinitionWhat is it? What is knownabout it?Beginning of inquiryQuestion of Value W...
Critically Reading Profiles:Visual AnthropologyPage 127National Archives ARC Identifier 518917Copyright © 2014 by Pearson ...
WHO ARE YOU GOING TOWRITE ABOUT?“What have you wondered about for a while, and is there a person whomight teach you more a...
Use invention strategies, includinginterviews, to discover and develop aprofile of someone.Opening up (generating):• What ...
Opening Up: Generating Ideas• Journal prompts– Listing– Fastwriting– Visual prompts– Research promptsWhat do I want toknow...
Narrowing Down: JudgingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
What’s Promising Material and What Isn’t?• Assignment. Which subjects best fit therequirements of the assignment?• Accessi...
What’s Promising Material and What Isn’t?• Extremity. Someone who represents the extrememay be promising.• Spontaneity. Le...
Questions About Purposeand Audience• Key question:– Why would someone beinterested in your subject?• Connecting purpose an...
ProfileSubject1.Group2.Event3. IdeasAbout4.QualityUnderstand agroup of peopleby examiningone personIndividual mightexempli...
Example:InterviewingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?Other questions:• In all your experience with ________, whathas m...
Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?• Can you remember a significant moment inyour work on ________? ...
Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?• What are significant trends in ________?• Who or what has most ...
Knowing When It’s a Good InterviewStoriesInterestinganecdotes fromsubjectNarrativebackbone ofprofileMemorablequotationsDis...
What should a profile essay do?So why this person?RichdetailsDialoguefrominterviewAnecdotesCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Edu...
Sketch: What Is It?• A way to try out your angle on the profile.• A brief treatment of a promising subject,written with re...
Sketch: What Elements ShouldYou Include?• At least two potentially revealing anecdotesabout your profile subject• At least...
The ProcessSo Far…Narrowing Trying Out“Frames”PatternsInterviewsBrain-stormingClusteringPromptsSketchGenerating• What patt...
DRAFTING“Why this person? Of the many things one might say aboutsomeone, what is the one thing you want to say about yours...
From Sketch to DraftFrame• What exactly am Itrying to show—ormight I show in thenext draft—about mysubject’s connectionto ...
Apply revision strategies that are effectivefor shaping profiles.Goal 5Group workshop on drafts:PurposeWhat seems to be th...
Shaping: Information and OrganizationGroup yourinformationinto categoriesConsider how Ballenger organized “Museum Missiona...
Strategies for RevisionAnalyzing theinformation• How might I groupthe informationinto categories ?“FrankensteinDraft”• Rev...
Revision: Typical Problems inProfile Drafts• The frame needs refining orclarifying.• There isn’t enough materialfor the fr...
Unclear Purpose•Not sure what the essayis about? Fails to answerthe So what question?Unclear thesis, theme ormain idea•Not...
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  1. 1. Part 2: Inquiry ProjectsChapter FourWriting a ProfilePowerPoint by Michelle Payne, PhDBoise State UniversityCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.The Curious WriterFourth Editionby Bruce Ballenger
  2. 2. Chapter FourWriting a ProfileIn this chapter, you will learn how toGoal 1• Use a profile of a person as a way to focus on anidea, a personality trait, or a situation.Goal 2• Identify some of the academic applications ofprofiles.Goal 3• Identify the characteristics of profiles in differentforms.Goal 4• Use invention strategies, including interviews, todiscover and develop a profile of someone.Goal 5• Apply revision strategies that are effective forshaping profiles.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  3. 3. “There may be no better way of dramatizing theimpact of a problem, the importance of a question,or the significance of an idea than showing how itpresents itself in the life of one person.”Page 159Dorthea Lange/ Library of Congress, Prints &Photographs Division, FSA/OWI CollectionCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  4. 4. MOTIVES FOR WRITING A PROFILE“The most important motive behind composing a profile—whether it’s aconventional written essay, a photo essay, an ‘infographic’ . . . or anyother mode—is that the subject is interesting.”Ice Climber, Image from Microsoft Clip ArtCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  5. 5. Use a profile of a person as a way to focuson an idea, a personality trait,or a situation.Goal 1Ideal if– Want to preserve family history– Want to dramatize the impact ofa problem, importance of aquestion, or the significance ofan idea– Find someone particularlyinterestingIf I look closelyat this oneperson, might Igain insightabout people,and particularlyabout peoplelike him or her?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  6. 6. Common Pitfalls of Early Profile DraftsFocus too much onthe relationshipbetween thewriter and theinterview subjectFocus mostly onthe writer’sfeelings andjudgments aboutthe person ratherthan on the personhim/herselfRely too much onthe interview anddon’t offer muchinterpretationCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  7. 7. THE PROFILE ANDACADEMIC WRITING“The profile is closely related to the case study, a common academicform, especially in the social sciences. The case study, like the profile,takes a close look at the life of a person who is interesting and in someway representative of a group, in order to arrive at a fuller picture ofthat group.”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  8. 8. Identify some of the academicapplications of profiles.Case Studies• Social Sciences• A close look at the life of aperson who is in some wayrepresentative of a group, inorder to arrive at a fullerpicture of that group.Example: “Learning About Work fromJoe Cool,” published in the Journal ofManagement Inquiry as part of a largerarticle that asked, “What is themeaning of work?”Ethnography• Anthropology, SocialSciences• Fieldwork, interviews• Document the customs,rituals, and behaviors ofcultural groups in thelocations where memberslive, work, or play.Goal 2Interviews are central to case studies, ethnographies,and other qualitative research methods.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  9. 9. DISCUSSING THE READINGS:EXAMPLES OF THE FORM“The profile can, like good fiction, provide insight into the complexities ofthe human mind and soul.”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  10. 10. “Museum Missionary”Bruce Ballenger1) Explore:– Writing about people you have know whom you can’tforget2) Explain:– How does “Museum Missionary” exemplify thefeatures of the profile essay?3) Evaluate:– Argument for your understanding of the meaning ofthe essay, using passages4) Reflect:– Presence of the writer in a profileCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  11. 11. “Passengers”Ian Frazier1) Explore:– Write a one-sentence description of three people youknow; discuss what makes an effective description.2) Explain:– How is Salvatore’s unique experience a better way ofunderstanding the 9/11 attack than explanations aboutits effect on people?3) Evaluate:– Compare and contrast the different choices the writersmake in this and the previous profile essay.4) Reflect:– What are the ethics of writing about someone?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  12. 12. “Learning About Work from Joe Cool”Gib Aikin1) Explore:– What does knowing Joe Cool through this profile tell meabout the nature of some workers and workplaces?2) Explain:– Choose a segment of the essay and explain its purpose inthe profile.3) Evaluate:– Evaluate the effectiveness of “Joe Cool” as research.4) Reflect:– Reflect on what you would do if you were Gib Akin, askedto write this story.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  13. 13. “Number 6 Orchard”Micaela Fisher1) In your own words, what do you understand“Number 6 Orchard” to be saying in the lastparagraph?2) Analyze how Micaela uses the categories ofinformation typical of a profile: anecdote, scene,description, background, and comment.3) What is the one thing that you might take awayfrom this reading and apply to your ownwriting?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  14. 14. THE WRITING PROCESS“One of the great profile writers, John McPhee, wrote recently that promisingsubjects for profiles ‘are everywhere. They just go by in a ceaseless stream.’But McPhee also observed that the great majority of people he chose towrite about were those who knew something about a topic he had long beeninterested in. Begin there. What have you wondered about for a while, and isthere a person who might teach you more about it?”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  15. 15. Inquiry Project: Writing a ProfileUse one ofthe fourframes tofocus yourprofile:GroupIdeas aboutEventQualityFocusBeorganizedaround atheme.What onemain thingare youtrying tosay aboutor throughyour profilesubject?ThemeIncludeseveralrevealinganecdotesabout yourprofilesubject.AnecdoteInclude aphysicaldescriptionof thepersonyou’rewritingabout.DescriptionIncorporatethe voice ofyoursubjectthroughinterestingand tellingquotes.QuotesCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  16. 16. Identify the characteristics of profilesin different forms.Inquiry QuestionsDoes this one person’s story tellus anything about the perspectiveof others who belong to a groupand about people in general?What does this person’s story sayabout social situations, trends,or problems?MotivesMore than an objective pictureof someoneWriter uses the portrait tosay somethingProfile is in the service of ideasGoal 3Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  17. 17. Features of the Form• Interview• Observation• Research•Language: sensorydetails; exact, precise•Narrative structure•Use of anecdotes,dialogue, scenes, details• Detailed look atan individual• Person is bothunique and typical• In-depth study ofinteresting individual• Speaks to largerthemes• “Why this person?”Purpose SubjectSourcesFormCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Type Questions GenreQuestion of Fact orDefinitionWhat is it? What is knownabout it?Beginning of inquiryQuestion of Value Which is better/worse? Isit good/badReview, Argument,Research EssayHypothesis Question Might this be true? Research Essay, PersonalEssayPolicy Question What should be done? Argument, ProposalInterpretation Question What does it mean? Literary Essay, PersonalEssay, Ethnography, ProfileRelationship Question Does ___ cause ___? Is__similar or dissimilar to___?Research Essay, LiteraryEssay, EthnographyTypes of Questions Types of GenresCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  19. 19. Critically Reading Profiles:Visual AnthropologyPage 127National Archives ARC Identifier 518917Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  20. 20. WHO ARE YOU GOING TOWRITE ABOUT?“What have you wondered about for a while, and is there a person whomight teach you more about it?”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  21. 21. Use invention strategies, includinginterviews, to discover and develop aprofile of someone.Opening up (generating):• What have you wondered about for a while, andis there a person who might teach you about it?Narrowing down (judging):• Which of these raise the most interestingquestions to explore?Trying out (generating, then judging):• What patterns do you notice in your interviews?What “frame” might best suit the patterns?Goal 4Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  22. 22. Opening Up: Generating Ideas• Journal prompts– Listing– Fastwriting– Visual prompts– Research promptsWhat do I want toknow more about?Which snapshot seems mostcompelling to me?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  23. 23. Narrowing Down: JudgingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  24. 24. What’s Promising Material and What Isn’t?• Assignment. Which subjects best fit therequirements of the assignment?• Accessibility. Is he or she accessible?• Unfamiliarity. A stranger is often a better choicethan a family member or friend.• Background. Might you have access toinformation about the subject?• Typicality. Is the subject representative in someway of an aspect of a topic you’d like toinvestigate?Narrowing Down: JudgingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  25. 25. What’s Promising Material and What Isn’t?• Extremity. Someone who represents the extrememay be promising.• Spontaneity. Less experienced subjects can beappealing because they aren’t practiced at talkingabout themselves.• Quotability. If you know beforehand thatsomeone speaks in an interesting way, he/shemight be a great profile subject.• Willingness: Is the subject willing?Narrowing Down: JudgingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  26. 26. Questions About Purposeand Audience• Key question:– Why would someone beinterested in your subject?• Connecting purpose andaudience:– What “frames” might you use(see next slide)?– What key anecdotes illustrateyour point?“When youinterview, a keyquestion will beCan you tell methe story behindthat?”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  27. 27. ProfileSubject1.Group2.Event3. IdeasAbout4.QualityUnderstand agroup of peopleby examiningone personIndividual mightexemplifysomething aboutan issue, aproblem, a placeIndividual might havebeen part of an eventand indicatesomething about itTrying Out: Possible Frames for ProfileYourdominantimpressionof thesubjectCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  28. 28. Example:InterviewingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  29. 29. Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?Other questions:• In all your experience with ________, whathas most surprised you?• What has been the most difficult aspect ofyour work?• If you had the chance to change somethingabout how you approached_______, whatwould it be?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  30. 30. Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?• Can you remember a significant moment inyour work on ________? Is there anexperience with ________ that stands out inyour mind?• What do you think is the most commonmisconception about ________? Why?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  31. 31. Interviewing:What happened? . . . And then what happened?• What are significant trends in ________?• Who or what has most influenced you? Whoare your heroes?• If you had to summarize the most importantthing you’ve learned about________, whatwould you say? What is the most importantthing that people should know or understand?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  32. 32. Knowing When It’s a Good InterviewStoriesInterestinganecdotes fromsubjectNarrativebackbone ofprofileMemorablequotationsDistinctive quotesReveal somethingabout subject’scharacterBackgroundinformationAgePlace of birthHistory withrelevant issuesFeelingWhat reallymatters tosubject?Moments whensubject expressesdeep feelingsabout somethingCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  33. 33. What should a profile essay do?So why this person?RichdetailsDialoguefrominterviewAnecdotesCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  34. 34. Sketch: What Is It?• A way to try out your angle on the profile.• A brief treatment of a promising subject,written with readers in mind.• Will help you to test your profile idea to see ifit is worth developing into a draft.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  35. 35. Sketch: What Elements ShouldYou Include?• At least two potentially revealing anecdotesabout your profile subject• At least two strong quotations from your subject• A title• A paragraph of background information, includingyour informant’s age, a physical description, andperhaps relevant job or personal history• A strong lead (perhaps one of the anecdotes)Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  36. 36. The ProcessSo Far…Narrowing Trying Out“Frames”PatternsInterviewsBrain-stormingClusteringPromptsSketchGenerating• What patterns do you notice?• What is the “story” here?• Why would readers care about thisperson?Now what?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  37. 37. DRAFTING“Why this person? Of the many things one might say aboutsomeone, what is the one thing you want to say about yoursubject? Choose a lead that establishes the frame for your subject(quality, idea about, event, or group), and follow it and see whereit goes.”Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  38. 38. From Sketch to DraftFrame• What exactly am Itrying to show—ormight I show in thenext draft—about mysubject’s connectionto an idea, an event,or a group?• Or is the sketchfocusing on a qualityof my subject—apersonality trait orbelief?Theme• What would I say ifsomeone were to askthis question: “Whatdo you want readersof your profile tounderstand mostabout your subject?”Information• If I’ve tentativelydecided on the frameand theme for theprofile, whatquestions should I askin my next interviewto develop themfurther?Evaluate Your Sketch:Based on what I’ve learned so far about my profile subject, the main thing I seem tobe trying to show is____________________.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  39. 39. Apply revision strategies that are effectivefor shaping profiles.Goal 5Group workshop on drafts:PurposeWhat seems to be the frame for thisprofile?Why does the writer seem to think thisperson is interesting?When in the draft do you know that? Isit early enough?Meaning(What’s the S.O.F.T.?)If it is focused on a quality of its subject,what is it?If it is saying something about an idea,what is it?If it’s focused on how the subject represents alarger group, what is it saying about thatgroup?If it is using its subject to illuminate a publicevent, what is it saying about that event?Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  40. 40. Shaping: Information and OrganizationGroup yourinformationinto categoriesConsider how Ballenger organized “Museum Missionary” usingcategories of information.Copyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  41. 41. Strategies for RevisionAnalyzing theinformation• How might I groupthe informationinto categories ?“FrankensteinDraft”• Revision Strategy13.18• Cut up draft intocategories• Play with the orderResearch• Background• Facts• Other informationImage from Microsoft Clip ArtCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  42. 42. Revision: Typical Problems inProfile Drafts• The frame needs refining orclarifying.• There isn’t enough materialfor the frame to work.• The profile subject is obscured by thewriter’s intrusions into the text, or toomuch telling and not enough showing.Image from Microsoft Clip ArtCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
  43. 43. Unclear Purpose•Not sure what the essayis about? Fails to answerthe So what question?Unclear thesis, theme ormain idea•Not sure what you’retrying to say?Lack of information ordevelopment•Needs more details?More showing, lesstelling?Disorganized•Doesn’t move logicallyor smoothly fromparagraph to paragraph?Unclear or awkward atthe level of sentencesand paragraphs•Seems choppy or hard tofollow at the level ofsentences orparagraphs?Chapter 13:RevisionStrategies1 to 4Chapter 13:RevisionStrategies5 to 10Chapter 13:RevisionStrategies11 to 14Chapter 13:RevisionStrategies15 to 18Chapter 13:RevisionStrategies20 to 26Guide to Revision StrategiesCopyright © 2014 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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