Share the perspectives on happiness of two people who you found especially revealing in the “Pursuing Happiness” video over the last three weeks. What detail/s in particular, did you connect with in their profiles that made these individuals memorable?

Share the perspectives on happiness of two people who you found especially revealing in the “Pursuing Happiness” video over the last three weeks. What detail/s in particular, did you connect with in their profiles that made these individuals memorable?
How do their perspectives on happiness compare or contrast with the profiles you are compiling and studying? What details do you still need to gather to make your subject memorable and profile insightful?
Strategies for essay
The profile form often relies on narrative. Most commonly, a profile uses narrative to tell the story of the writer’s encounter with his or her subject. You can use narrative in several ways.
You can tell a chronological story about your subject. For example, in “Museum Missionary,” Bruce essentially tells the story of his visit with David Mills, from beginning to end.
You can tell the story of your time with your profile subject.
Another way to use narrative is evident in the flash profile of Dan Akee, the Navajo veteran of Iwo Jima. There the essay is built on a succession of anecdotes—little stories about the subject—that are selected to tell a particular and revealing story. In that essay, the writer avoids using the first person to keep the focus on the subject.
Table 4.1 Types of Peer Review
Workshop Type
No response
Just share the work without inviting comment. This can be particularly helpful with a draft the writer wants to read aloud to others to intensify their own focus on the work and how it sounds.
Initial response
How do readers relate to the topic, what do they understand it to be saying so far, and what’s working? Especially useful for early drafts.
Narrative of thought
A three-act response. Readers report what they’re thinking after hearing the beginning, at the middle, and then the end.
Important lines
What specific passages do readers find important to their understanding of the draft or their experience of it?
Writers first identify what they’re trying to do in the draft and invite readers to tell them how well they have done it.
Reader-interest graph
Readers chart their response to the draft, paragraph by paragraph. Useful for identifying what is working in the draft and how to build on it.
Worksheet invites comments on five key elements of the draft: purpose, theme, information, design, and style. Feedback is comprehensive but goes into less detail about any one part.
Readers identify the controlling idea, key claim, or theme and discuss whether the draft successfully examines it. Especially useful for argumentative genres, though all essays are typically organized around a key idea or question.
For drafts where the larger issues like purpose, meaning, and structure seem resolved, writers seek feedback on voice and style, clarity and conciseness, transitions, and correctness.
Reflecting on the Workshop
After your workshop, annotate your draft with ideas about how you might revise it based on peer comments. You can do this by hand or by using the “review” feature of your word processing program. Your instructor may ask you to hand this reflection in.
Revision is a continual process, not a last step. You’ve been revising—“reseeing” your subject—from the first messy fastwriting in your journal. But the things that get your attention vary depending on where you are in the writing process. Revision is the way you will shape and tighten your draft.
The table below briefly describes the five problems that typically need to be solved in revision. Strategies for addressing each of these are described in Chapter 14. Below we describe some of the revision problems that are common to the genre of the profile.
Table 4.2 Five Revision Problems to Solve
Revision Problem
Doesn’t answer the “so what?” question. Seems to be about more than one thing. (See p. 542.)
Isn’t clear what the draft is trying to say, or it says too many things, or what it says seems general, vague, or obvious. (See p. 546.)
The draft needs more evidence or fails to help readers see what the writer sees. There may be insufficient explanation of key ideas. (See p. 554.)
The draft isn’t effectively organized around a key question, idea, or theme. Some parts of the essay don’t seem relevant or might work better somewhere else. It may be hard to follow. (See p. 558.)
Clarity and Style
The draft may be wordy, some sentences may seem awkward, or transitions abrupt. The voice or tone might be off. (See p. 567.)
Revision Challenges of the Profile
When writers write from scarcity—when they have too little information—then the work is inevitably unfocused. They don’t have enough “data” in order to see meaningful patterns or enough material to develop whatever angle they’ve managed to find on the subject. If you have little useful interview material, then the draft will suffer, and the only solution is to get more information. But sometimes, even when you have collected enough, it’s hard to find a focus.
Remember, your profile needs to answer the following question for the reader: “Who is this person, and why should I care to know anything about them?” By now, hopefully you’ve used some of the suggestions we’ve made for finding a focus, and you can answer that question.
With that problem solved, the more common revision problem with profiles is organizing the material.
Analyzing the Information
One way to think about the structure of your profile is to see the information you’ve collected as being in categories. In a profile, these typically include the following:
Known to Unknown
If your profile subject is a public figure and your motive is to reveal a less well-known aspect of your subject’s life or work, beginning the essay with information that first seems to confirm public perceptions but then promises to challenge those perceptions—in other words, moving from what’s known to what’s less known—can be an effective way to structure the profile. This method of development is quite common in celebrity profiles.
Using Evidence
The most authoritative information in a profile is the voice of your subject. It is also the information that will be most heavily scrutinized by the subject herself: “Did I really say that?” Readers of the profile often believe that the subject’s voice is the most authentic information because it is less mediated by the writer, an assumption that isn’t always accurate. After all, unless quotations were recorded, interviewers must rely on their note-taking skill. Even with a recorded transcriiption, writers commonly tidy up bad grammar and remove irrelevant utterances such as “uh” and “um.”
Profile writers must also establish their authority by giving readers a sense that they are keen and careful observers; they do this by carefully using not just quotation, but also detail, descriiption, and research.