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Let’s Get Personal: Writing a Profile Essay

A profile is a great type of essay to write for many reasons. Profiles focus on a particular person, place, or event, and use vivid description techniques to engage the audience. Furthermore, the subject matter usually holds personal importance to the author, so it differs from a descriptive paper in that the personal meaning is discussed and illustrated.

The Mechanics of the Essay

Mechanically, there are a few basic things to remember when writing a profile. For the introduction, you could begin with an anecdote or give background information, which will help the author give context and meaning to the paper. Following this, the writer can introduce the subject.

The body paragraphs of the profile will contain three to five key characteristics of the subject matter. Each characteristic should examine the most important qualities of the topic. There should not be vague or general statements within this paper. Each characteristic is intentional and has great detail and description involved.

The conclusion should summarize the paper and needs to have the specific characteristics restated. There should not be any new information presented in the conclusion, only things that were specifically discussed within the paper.

Practical Steps to Planning the Paper

The best place to start with this type of essay is to pick the specific person, place, or event that you will be focusing on for the paper. Following this, pick three to five important characteristics and include details. Then, go back and expand on each characteristic in order to explain the importance of each. From here, you can write, revise, and edit. Most importantly, remember to not get stressed out and just take the writing process one step at a time.

Profile Example

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“Yay, they’re here!” shouted the refugee kids in Salt, Spain. Kids of all ages gathered around as my mission’s team pulled out soccer balls, jump ropes, glitter tattoos, and other fun activities. I paused and took a second to soak in the moment. Kids from all backgrounds with different stories were happily playing on the concrete of the plaza, delighted by the games we brought. Serving in Salt and Girona, Spain, was one of the most profound trips I have gone on, and I am grateful for what I experienced: the diversity, culture, and opportunity to spread the Gospel.

The people who live in Spain come from diverse backgrounds and cultures, yet it is a place where anyone can fit in. The people are kind, friendly, and willing to help the tourists, and want them to experience their culture. I was very nervous about going to another country, especially because it was my first time out of America, but I found everyone whom I encountered personable and eager to help me figure out directions and how to pay with Euros. Furthermore, many Spaniards are eager to interact with tourists. It was such a blessing to share Bible stories in Spanish and Catalan, the official languages of Girona, Spain. Many of the Muslims and other refugees took children’s Bibles with them and brought them back to their houses.

In addition, I loved the pace of life in Spain. Every shop closes for lunch each day for an hour, and dinner is an experience in and of itself. Dinner typically begins around eight or nine and lasts until eleven or midnight. Dinnertime is one aspect of how they value family and community while eating, and it was something I came to treasure while I was visiting. Everyone reminisces about his/her day, laughs, and enjoys the community of others. I find that this is something we lack in America where everything in this country is about having fast and convenient meals, which can sometimes take away from the aspect of intentional community.

Spain is an awesome mission field because the faith is dying out there. Beautiful cathedrals are not much more than museums nowadays, and only two percent of Spaniards are Christians. It was very humbling and impactful to serve alongside the missionary family and their partners. We heard from one of the missionary kids that she was the only Christian in her entire school. She described how difficult and lonely her journey has been growing up in Spain. Yet, she was thankful for the opportunity the Lord gave her to share her faith with so many around her.

Spain will always hold a special place in my heart. From the people, the lifestyle, and the opportunity to share the hope and love of Christ, it is a neat place. I hope that I will be able to return there one day in order to serve the people of Spain more and continue the ministry that we started.

Written by Amanda

For more information on how to write a profile essay, check out our Profile Essay handout and the Quick Reference Flyer page of our website!

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