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
Profiles and sourcing
Lecture 1 Homework 1 (below)
Let your instructor know which profile subject you’re going with
Readings 1, Lecture 1
What makes profiles compelling
Outline + transcript for profile (see below)
Writing: ledes and nut grafs
Rough draft due
Final draft due
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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
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.
Please read the following:
Gisondi, Chapter 5 (Beyond Games: Developing and Writing Feature Stories)
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.
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
Summary of challenge or moment that was significant
How subject got through challenge/moment
What she learned from experience
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:
: 600 words, including headline and byline
: Try to tell a story about that athlete from the details you got from your interview.
: 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.
: 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.
: 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.