For this project, you’ll interview one or two people who attended college at least 15 years ago about their memories, their college experiences, the impact or relevance of college to their life since
Project 2: Profile Essay
Description: For this project, you’ll interview one or two people who attended college at least 15 years
ago about their memories, their college experiences, the impact or relevance of college to their life since.
You’ll prepare thoughtful interview questions, take careful interview notes, and use those notes to
compose a profile essay, in which you’ll use your interviewee’s thoughts and words to characterize and
discuss what college was like for this person and how their college experiences shaped their life.
Additionally, you’ll reflect upon significant differences between college then and college now. Readers of
your essay will learn about your interviewee, about what college was like for this person, about the role
college played in his or her life, about how higher education has changed over time, and about why all
these things are important or relevant.
Choose an interview subject who is willing and able to talk to you in some detail about his or her
college experiences. And you’ll want to choose a person to whom you have ready access to such as
family members, friends of family, and neighbors. Your own particular college experiences are not the
primary subject of this essay. Instead, consider yourself a journalist or historian. Your essay will likely
involve several modes of writing, including narration, definition, description, analysis, interpretation, and
compare/contrast. The essay must not be a mere transcript of your interview(s).
Research: Sources for your essay must include at least one primary source (your interviewee).
Optionally, you might interview an additional person who can enrich your data about college a decade (or
more) ago. You may use secondary sources (published sources such as articles, websites, or books), but
none is required. All source information included in the essay (direct quotations, paraphrases, and
summaries) must be documented appropriately, using MLA guidelines, and a Works Cited page is
required. You may wish to audio-record your interviews, but it’s not required. You are required to use
proper informed consent procedures with your interviewee and to take detailed notes of the interview.
Interviews must be conducted live; email or print questionnaires are forbidden.
Form: Essay with a minimum of 1000 words (maximum of 1750 words), typed and double-spaced, with
1-inch margins and normal font. The Works Cited page is not included in the 1000-word minimum length
requirement. With the journalistic persona required of you for this project, you might plan your profile
essay as a magazine article directed toward readers of a particularly appropriate magazine of your choice.
Evaluation Criteria: Your essay will be evaluated according to the following criteria and questions.
Organization: How effectively have you composed (put together and connected) the information and
details from your interview? To what extent are the individual parts connected to the whole essay? Do not
narrate your interview; do not follow your interview’s convenient chronology.
Fullness and Power: To what extent is there depth and amount of detail, research, and thoughtful
processing of your information and topic? How vivid are your profile and its dominant impression? To
what extent does your writing help readers to think about the role of college in your interviewee’s life?
How effectively does your essay help readers think about college more generally?
Source Use: How well do you integrate and attribute your source material in your essay? To what extent
has your interviewee (and any other sources) specifically informed us about the college experience?
Presentation: To what degree are the essay’s textual features appropriate and/or correct? Such features
include craft, tone, layout, and adherence to conventions of grammar and usage.
|Academic Level||College (1-2 years: Freshmen, Sophomore)|
|Subject Area||English 101|
|Number of Pages||4 Page(s)/1100 words|