profile assignment

Jacobs WRIT 1301 – Profile Assignment – Spring 2016 1 The Profile Assignment In the sequence of assignments you will complete this semester, each builds on the one before. Your Ethnography will build on the Profile. Your Proposal will focus on an issue that emerges from either your Ethnography or your Profile or both. To get started, first identify a subculture you want to study, and then focus on a profile subject within that subculture. The person you choose to profile should be directly related to the subculture you will choose for your ethnography. Invention At the beginning of Week 4 we will brainstorm a list of subcultures in the local area as a class: skateboarders, football fans, knitters, skiers, backcountry campers, and so on. Each student then needs to choose a subculture in which he/she is interested in but knows very little. In your journal, write about: • What you already know, believe, and suspect about this subculture: its values, its commonly held beliefs, its valued traditions, and its ways of speaking and behaving. • What you’d like to know more about. • Whom you might interview who would offer insight into the subculture. Consider Ballenger’s lobster fisherman and his wife, as discussed in Chapter 4. You are looking for someone who will put a face on the larger group. • Brainstorm questions you might ask to learn more about the person and the subculture. Chapter Four of your book will be an excellent resource for you throughout this assignment. The activities that come before the sketch give you time to develop ideas before you begin composing your draft, and that means you are more likely to find an intriguing and promising subject than if you begin without first taking the time to create a sketch and explore an idea. These early fastwriting prompts also serve as an anti-procrastination device, undermining many students’ natural tendency to write a draft the night before the essay is due. Read and complete the exercises on pp. 129-32 so that you can write and reflect, compose and then pause to freewrite again, dive into the details, and then step back to analyze. Use this assignment as an opportunity to practice and observe writing as inquiry. ADDITIONAL WRITING ACTIVITIES 1. Brainstorm a list of the people you know very well—people you consider very close to you. Then, make a list of people you’ve always wanted to get to know. As you review each list, circle the names of people you’d like to spend time getting to know better. 2. List the qualities you admire in people—the qualities you’d like to have. Then list all the people in your life who seem to have those qualities. Which one might you interview for this assignment? 3. Consider the field you are interested in pursuing and list the places you might go and people you might interview in order to learn more about what it means to work in that field. Consider “Learning about Work from Joe Cool” as an example of what you’ll be pursuing. Use the profile as a way to understand the job or field from an individual’s point of view, rather than simply from a textbook or company brochure’s point of view. Jacobs WRIT 1301 – Profile Assignment – Spring 2016 2 Research Before you begin, you should do some preliminary research to make sure the group you have chosen will be easy to observe later this semester and that you can identify a single person who will make for a good profile subject. Inquiry questions: • Does this one person’s story tell us anything about the perspectives of others who belong to a group and about people in general? • What does this person’s story say about social situations, trends, or problems? Use this information to further develop possible interview questions. Highlight the most important questions to ask. Once again, The Curious Writer has wonderful tips on everything from making the appointment to taking good interview notes. See pp. 133-140. We will also work on writing interview question in class during Week 4. Interview your selected person, following the suggestions in Chapter 4. You will not have time to waste here. Please select your person very quickly and schedule your interview to take place on or before Feb. 15th so you will be ready to draft your essay with the whole class on Tuesday, Feb. 16. In addition, you may need to conduct additional research to round out your profile and possibly interview your subject again. Consider this when scheduling the initial interview and ask your subject if it is alright to call on them again or send follow-up questions via email. Be sure you are clear with due dates for your project. Your subject’s willingness/ability to cooperate within the designated timeframe might be a determining factor in his/her eligibility. Have a backup plan at the ready! Drafting Compose a profile based on the guidelines and writing activities in Chapter 4. Write a profile of someone who strikes you as interesting. Consider four possible “frames” for your inquiry into this person: group, ideas about, event, or quality (see CW pp. 132–133). Your essay should do all of the following (see also pp. 113–114 for typical features of the profile essay): • Use one of the four frames to focus your profile. • Be organized around a theme. What one main thing are you trying to say about or through your profile subject? • Include several revealing anecdotes about your profile subject. • Include a physical description of the person you’re writing about. • Incorporate the voice of your subject through interesting and telling quotes. Consult Chapter Four regularly throughout your writing process. In the drafting phase, note especially pp. 140-5. Alternate Medium Ideas • Add Images to your profile essay by taking photographs of your subject or incorporate relevant images that your subject provides. Alternatively, consider a photographic essay of your subject. This might be a collage of photographs of the person, organized around some theme. Jacobs WRIT 1301 – Profile Assignment – Spring 2016 3 • Create an audio profile. Digitally record your interviews with your profile subject using your laptop microphone—or an external mic—and audio software (see “Inquiring into the Details: Using Audacity to Record and Edit Audio,” on pages 143–144). Choose the best material from the interviews and write narration around it, creating two tracks (or three if you add music). • Audio archives abound online that provide great material for profiles of people who were involved in historical events like World War II and 9/11. For example, the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project (http://www.loc.gov/vets/) is a remarkable archive of voices, video, photographs, and documents of veterans who served in America’s major conflicts, from World War I through the recent conflicts in the Middle East. Things to Consider Think carefully about choosing a close friend or family member. While familiarity and accessibility may make this option appealing to you, it will likely be difficult for you to maintain the objective distance necessary to do some critical thinking about this person/subculture. Further, a major disadvantage of choosing friends and family are that you will already know enough about the person that there aren’t many genuine questions to motivate the profile. That would make for boring writing indeed. Note: One possible exception to this might be if you choose to write a historical family profile. Your project then would draw on as many sources of information as possible—from interviews to genealogical research to primary documents like letters, artifacts, photographs, oral histories, etc. If you think a close friend or family member really is the best choice for you, please discuss this with me before you begin so that we can brainstorm ways to make your project fit the criteria of the assignment. Time and availability of your subject should also be a major consideration. Brainstorm several possible interview subjects and then choose the one who can be most available for the initial interview and follow-up questions. Flexib
ility will be key. Choose a person/subculture that genuinely interests you. In order for this topic to remain intriguing for the remainder of the semester and, thus, inspire you to generate three separate pieces of writing, it should be a topic that truly interests you. For this assignment, don’t simply pick the “easiest one.” If you become bored six weeks in, your “easy” topic will suddenly become very, very difficult for you to work with. Due Dates • Your draft is due Thursday, February 18th for peer review. • You must attend class on Thursday, Feb. 18 and submit written feedback to earn full credit for peer review. All written feedback must be provided to the author by the end of the day Tuesday, Feb. 23 via the peer review discussion board on Blackboard. • There will be a revision workshop in class on Tuesday, Feb. 23. • The final draft is due on Tuesday, March 1 by 11:30 am. You will receive feedback on your draft from your instructor and have the option to revise your profile again in satisfaction of the requirements for the Portfolio assignment. Jacobs WRIT 1301 – Profile Assignment – Spring 2016 4 Questions for Peer Reviewers 1. Purpose What seems to be the “frame” for this profile: quality, event, idea, or group? Why does the writer seem to think this person is interesting? When in the draft do you know that? Is it early enough? 2. Meaning What’s the S.O.F.T.? • If the profile is focused on a quality of its subject, what is it? • If the profile is seeing through a subject to say something about an idea, what’s the idea? • If it’s focused on how the subject represents a larger group, what is it saying about that group? • If the profile is using its subject to illuminate a public event, what is it saying about that event? Grading Criteria Notice that the grading criteria for this assignment follow the Features of the Form very closely. In addition to the criteria listed here, consult pp. 113-4 in your textbook to verify your essay is a good example of an academic profile. A successful profile will: Include a snappy title that catches the reader’s attention and indicates the topic and argument Answer one of two central inquiry questions – • Does this one person’s story tell us anything about the perspective of others who belong to a group and about people in general? • What does this person’s story say about social situations, trends, or problems? Satisfy an academic motive that is specific, purposeful, and significant – • The essay is more than an objective picture of someone. • The writer uses the portrait to say something. • The essay functions in the service of ideas. Focus on detailed and relevant subject matter and will feature a – • Detailed look at one person. • Person who is both unique AND typical. • Person is accessible, willing, and interesting to talk to. Follow a logical academic structure so that the essay – • Begins by answering, “Why this person?” • Uses effective anecdotes that show rather than tell. • Uses narrative as a method of development. • Includes sufficient background information to provide context for the profile. • Uses point of view effectively, selecting one of two options: o First person, where the writer’s thoughts are integral to the profile; or o Third person, where the writer’s thoughts and reactions are withheld • Uses showing and telling to reveal the subject, perhaps including dialogue and scenes. • Includes a strong beginning, which is crucial for unknown subjects of a profile. • Effectively utilizes scene and setting, which can reveal additional things about the subject and are thus important to crafting a profile. Jacobs WRIT 1301 – Profile Assignment – Spring 2016 5 • Recognizes the limitations on how much the writer/reader can generalize from one example. Rely on evidence to support claims. All evidence should be introduced in text and properly cited using a consistent method of documentation where necessary (MLA, APA). Sources of information may include: • Interview(s) • Observation(s) • Outside research • Personal experience Make good use of language and style – • Includes sensory details and vivid word choice in order to show rather than tell. • Uses exact and specific details. • Author comes across as a credible writer and appeals to the values and emotions of the audience. • Sentences are lively, engaging, and relatively error free. • Essay is 3-4 pages in MLA or APA style, double-spaced, in 12pt. Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins, page numbers in the header, plus a title, and a heading on the first page only including name, date, and version of assignment. See CW pp. 428-37 for an example of an essay in MLA format. Find example pages from an APA essay in the Pocket Style Manual, pp. 199-204. In addition, grading in the portfolio will rely on evidence of your Writing Process Make sure your essay evolves from reflection, feedback, and recursive practice and that you: • Submit complete drafts on time. • Demonstrate revision of content and style. • Provide adequate help to peers during peer review. • Collect evidence of your writing process in its various phases, including prewriting activities, drafts, peer and instructor feedback, process reflections, changes made during revision, and the final product.
Name:                                                       Draft submitted on time: YES   NO
Participated in Peer Review: YES   NO    Final submitted on time: YES   NO
Temporary Grade:     /100,


The chart below reflects instructor evaluation of your Profile assignment as “Excellent,” “Good,” “Acceptable,” or “Unsatisfactory” on each criterion. Posts that satisfy the criteria earn a C. To earn a B, the final essay must score overall an Acceptable-Plus—you must go beyond fulfilling the criteria. To earn an A, it must be rated Excellent in most of the criteria. Use this information to decide if you would like to revise this assignment for your portfolio, and if so, what areas to focus on.

Audience, Purpose, and Subject Excellent Acceptable + Acceptable Unsatisfactory
Essay has a snappy title that catches the reader’s attention and indicates the topic and argument.        
Essay satisfies an academic motive that is specific, purposeful, and significant by answering one of two central inquiry questions –
·   Does this one person’s story tell us anything about the perspective of others who belong to a group and about people in general?
·   What does this person’s story say about social situations, trends, or problems?
       
Essay focuses on detailed and relevant subject matter and features a detailed look at one person who is both unique AND typical.        
Structure & Development of Ideas
Essay includes a strong beginning that answers, “Why this person?” Includes sufficient background information to provide context for the profile.        
Essay uses effective anecdotes that show rather than tell and narrative as a method of development.        
Effectively utilizes dialogue, scene, and setting to craft a portrait of the subject for the reader.        
Essay uses point of view effectively: (a) First person, where the writer’s thoughts are integral to the profile; or (b) Third person, where the writer’s thoughts and reactions are withheld.        
Essay recognizes the limitations of how much the writer/reader can generalize from one example.        
Use of Evidence
Essay relies on evidence to support claims drawing from interview(s), observation(s), relevant outside research (cited properly), or personal experience.        
Evidence is cited properly in a consistent format as needed.        
Language and Style
Essay includes sensory details and vivid word choice in order to show rather than tell. Uses exact and specific details. Sentences are lively, engaging, and relatively error free.        
Author comes across as a credible writer and appeals to the values and emotions of the audience.        
Essay is 3-4 pages, double-spaced, in 12pt. Times New Roman font with 1-inch margins, page numbers in the header, plus a title, and a heading on the first page only including name, date, and version of assignment.        

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