2 Describing a Fascinating Person . . . Personality ProfileDescribing a Fascinating Person . . .From Reading to Writing Good descriptive writing takes the reader inside the writer’s world. Chaucer’s remarkable character portraits in The Canterbury Tales, for example, transport the modern reader to the Middle Ages.
3 Describing a Fascinating Person . . . Personality ProfileDescribing a Fascinating Person . . .Through carefully chosen details, Chaucer creates living personalities on the page—fascinating as individuals and for their universal human qualities. The same techniques are also applied to writing a personality profile. A personality profile combines compelling information and vivid language to describe a person.
4 writer’s feelings towards subject MAIN IMPRESSION OF SUBJECT B a s i c s i n a B o xPersonality Profile at a GlanceRUBRICStandards for WritingA successful personality profile shouldwriter’s feelings towards subjectphysical descriptionanecdotesuse lively descriptions, details, anecdotes, and/or dialogue to create a vivid impressionput the person in a context that helps reveal the subject’s personalityconvey why the person is important to the writerpaint a word portrait that shows the person’s charactercreate a unified tone and impressioncapture the reader’s interest at the beginning and give a sense of completeness at the endMAIN IMPRESSION OF SUBJECTsettingotherdetailsdialogue
5 Writing a Personality Profile 1PrewritingHow to choose a person you want to write aboutMake a list of people you admire.Write a few words or phrases to describe each person you have listed.Consider writing about someone you know well.
6 Planning Your Personality Profile 1. Explore your attitude towards the subject. How do you feel about the person? Why is the person important to you? What details or incidents can you describe that show the importance of the subject to you?2. Picture your subject in a typical setting. Try visualizing your subject in his or her usual surroundings. What stands out about your subject?
7 Planning Your Personality Profile 3. Research or interview to gather information. You can research a historical or famous figure using library resources or the Internet. For a profile of a lesser-known person, interviewing is the best method of getting information. Interviewing the subject and other people who know the subject well may give you information that is not available anywhere else.
8 Planning Your Personality Profile 4. Set your goal for writing. What impression of the subject do you want to leave in the minds of your readers? Analyze your subject to find an angle—a dominant impression or theme that captures the essence of the person. Then look for special details that help a reader picture the person.
9 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingMake visible what, without you, might never have been seen.Robert Bresson
10 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingStart drafting by simply getting your ideas down on paper. Keep your overall goal in mind as you try to get into the flow of your writing. Set down everything you want to say. Later you can cut what you don’t need and add what you forgot.
11 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingOrganizing Your DraftOnce you’ve gotten it all down, look for a way to organize what you want to say. As you rework your draft you are beginning your revision process. Here are some ways a personality profile might be organized.
12 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingIn Chronological Order. Narrate incidents in the time sequence in which they occurred. You might even focus on a day in your subject’s life.By Category. Analyze different aspects of your subject’s personality—such as characteristics, actions, and traits—one at a time.
13 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingBy Setting. Show your subject in various settings or situations.In Order of Importance. Begin the essay with the most important incident or detail.
14 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingBeginnings and EndingsBegin with something that will capture the reader’s interest—a remarkable detail about the person or setting, some dialogue, or a good anecdote. You might end with a memorable detail or your personal reflections on the subject. Your ending should give a sense of completeness.
15 Writing a Personality Profile 2DraftingElaborating on IdeasWork to create a profile of your subject as a whole person, not just a one-dimensional figure. Lace your descriptions with details, specific scenes, and quotations or dialogue that indicate how the person you portray interacts with others. It should also be clear from your writing what things are important to the person you are profiling.
16 Writing a Personality Profile Revising3TARGET SKILLADDING DETAILSIn descriptive writing, concrete details and examples help the reader envision the scene. They show the subject’s personality traits in action rather than just naming them. Remember, however, to add details selectively so that they build a coherent impression.
17 Writing a Personality Profile Editing and Proofreading4TARGET SKILLCOMMA SPLICESWith elaboration, you often have to link together several strings of ideas into more complex phrases and sentences. Commas, used carefully, add clarity to sentences and enable the reader to grasp how parts relate.
18 Writing a Personality Profile Editing and Proofreading4TARGET SKILLCOMMA SPLICESUsed incorrectly commas can be distracting or confusing. One common error is the comma splice (or comma fault), in which the writer separates two sentences with a comma instead of the proper end mark.