Chapter 8: Profile

The goal of the profile assignment is to paint a picture of who an athlete is, what sets her apart, and why we should be paying attention to her now. It's important to understand that a profile is not just a biography or summary of the athlete's accomplishments. Instead, you should be trying to capture what inspires them, how they see their biggest triumphs, what their goals are , and stories about how they've gotten where they wanted to go. It's up to you to find those stories and what makes them inspiring.

Note that you’re going to have to think about your profile subject a couple of weeks before we start discussing in class. This is to give you time to get in touch with that person and start thinking about potential storylines before we launch into class sessions on the topic.

Profile classes and assignments
10
Class
Chapter
Content
Date
1
Class 20
Profiles
Profiles and sourcing
3/23/2021
2
Homework
Profiles
Lecture 1 Homework 1 (below)
3/24/2021
3
Homework
Profiles
Let your instructor know which profile subject you’re going with
3/26/2021
4
Homework
Profiles
Readings 1, Lecture 1
4/11/2021
5
Class 25
Profiles
What makes profiles compelling
4/13/2021
6
Homework
Profiles
Outline + transcript for profile (see below)
4/14/2021
7
Class 26
Profiles
Writing: ledes and nut grafs
4/15/2021
8
Homework
Profiles
Rough draft due
4/18/2021
9
Class 27
Profiles
Writing lab
4/20/2021
10
Field assignment
Profiles
Final draft due
4/26/2021
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Homework 1

Come up with a list of three people in sports (at any level) you are interested in profiling. You should consider the following points:
Who is the person, and what makes his or her story both
interesting
and
important
?
How will you get access to this person?
Who are four other people you can contact to get their perspective on this story?
What are the biggest challenges you will have in reporting this story?
Please put together a paragraph covering these points for each of your profile candidates (i.e. three grafs, one per candidate) and DM them to your section instructor by March 24.

Readings 1

Please read the following:
Gisondi, Chapter 5 (Beyond Games: Developing and Writing Feature Stories)

Lecture 1

Guidelines for outline+transcript and rough draft

Whatever you may have been taught in high school/earlier classes, we’re looking for a bit more in your raw materials to help you craft (and hopefully publish) an excellent story.

Outline+transcript

This should include a transcript of at least two interviews and an outline that includes the following:
Lede (or at least an idea for a lede)
Nut graf (fully written out) that explains why the profile subject is worth writing about and what makes her story timely
Subject’s backstory
Summary of challenge or moment that was significant
How subject got through challenge/moment
What she learned from experience
Next goal/challenge/opportunity

Rough draft

All of the above written out in complete sentences, with key quotes

Both of these should be shared in Google and Slack DM with your instructor.

Field assignment details:

Length
: 600 words, including headline and byline
Lede
: Try to tell a story about that athlete from the details you got from your interview.
Nut graf
: just below the lede, introduce us to the athlete, explain how they qualified for this race, and provide a hook: an idea of why they're interesting/unique/inspiring.
Main body
: tell the story with a specific emphasis on that hook.
NOTE: Tell the story chronologically as much as possible. Weave in perspective from your second interview.
End
: Finish the story with a sense of what their goals and their ambitions for the future. Ideally, end with a quote about what they'll consider success.


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