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COM 300 - Writing in Communication (3 CREDITS) Spring 2016 Office Hours: By appointment Email: rkrichardson@wsu.edu MATERIALS & ...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Personality Profile Assignment

Overview: Develop and apply interviewing strategies and techniques, interpersonal communication skills, and writing skills that are critical for success in upper-division courses throughout the Murrow College.

Your Task: For the first assignment, you will write a personality/feature profile of another student in the class. Focus on something unique or interesting about the individual (a hobby, accomplishment, habit, etc. -- not just where the person lives), and stick to it throughout the story. DO NOT give a person's life story; find a focus.

You'll need to interview the person you profile and two people who are appropriate secondary sources. Apply your curiosity and eye for detail, as well as your skills as a writer. Treat all your interviews, work and notes professionally.

Minimum requirements: 500 words (Times New Roman 12 point font, double-spaced)

Peer Edits Due Date: Friday, Jan. 29

Due Date: Friday, Feb. 5

Your Audience: Readers of the features section of a Sunday paper, either in the subject's hometown or in the local area, your choice.

Preliminary Memo to Features Editor: A typed memo about your profile person will be due prior to the story completion. It should include the following:
  • The full name of the person you will profile
  • The names and job descriptions/relationships of the two secondary sources who know the person you are profiling
  • What you think might be the focus of the piece
  • The locale of the newspaper; name the profile's hometown paper, size of its readership, and publication cycle
  • A few sentences justifying why your profile person deserves space in the features section of the Sunday paper.
Approach: In advance, draft some interview questions. Feel free to brainstorm questions with classmates. Consider:
  • Background information and context
  • Probes for interesting focus/issue, following up with related details to add depth
  • Rapport with the profile subject and secondary sources 
Secondary Sources & Interviews: Choose (and use in your story) TWO secondary sources. These folks must know the profile person well enough to answer questions in detail and provide interesting examples, background and context. Who could contribute a local angle or flavor in connection with the profile's focus? Think about who would make a good source.