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SAMPLE PROFILE STORIES…

Studies show that good journalists are voracious readers. Take a look at some (or all) of these profile stories below. All, except for one, were written by my college journalism students within the past two years. So, you should be capable of doing just as good of a job.

Sample profile stories:

1.    Story about professional online poker player

2.    Story about 18-year-old professional ballerina

3.   

4.    Story about up-and-coming Adelphi musician

5.    Story about woman with unique hobby

6.    Story about Adelphi swimmer

While every profile story unfolds differently, you will notice several components that all of the stories share -- and that your story should have:

1. They all have pretty good leads. They also have good endings. Give your lead a lot of thought. And don't end your story abruptly.
2. They all feature several quotes, yet they don't rely on quotes to carry the narrative. There's a good mix of quotes, observations, facts, etc.
3. They didn't just quote the subject of the profile. They also talked to and quoted people who know the subject well (coaches, professors, friends, teammates, etc.)
4. They all contain details. They show examples rather than just tell information. For instance, the story about the soccer player doesn't just say he was a standout in high school. It states: "In high school, he scored a school-record 86 goals and was a three-time first team all-state selection at St. Andrews in Delaware."
5. The stories all flow well thanks to a good structure; transitions; a mix of short, medium and long sentences. This wasn't accidental. The writers created an outline and then revised, revised, revised. Before you write your story, create an outline. This will a) ensure you don't leave important info out and b) help you create a good story structure. Your should expect to revise your story several times.
6. They are all written fairly tightly. They cover a lot of info in about 600-800 words. You should do the same. Don't submit a 1,300 word article -- that's too long. Revise, rephrase and, if necessary, cut out stuff. On the other hand, if your article is less than 500 words, it's too short; you are probably missing information.
7. The stories are all in correct AP Style and use correct spelling and grammar. Make sure your proofread your stories. You will lose points for sloppiness.
8. All info in the stories was fact-checked and confirmed. For example, the writer of the soccer player story double-checked that the player's team's record was 12-4-2 overall and 7-2 in conference play. She also double-checked the spellings of names. Make sure you check all facts, including dates, times, numbers, statistics, spellings of names, etc.