Essay 3 Assignment: Writing a Profile

A Collaborative Project for Internet Publication

Congratulations!  Your portfolio composition class has been selected to participate in a collaborative writing  project for students from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee (a private four-year non-denominational, Protest, evangelical institution of 500+ students), Columbia State Community College in Columbia, Tennessee (a public two-year college of 4,300 students), and Middle Tennessee State University (a public four-year institution of nearly 19,000 students).  Your teachers--Professors Raymond Legg (Bryan), Julie Lumpkins (Columbia State), and Maria Clayton and Ayne Cantrell (Middle Tennessee State)--have been collaborating since May to create a challenging assignment that will expand our writing communities and further develop our ability to analyze and to adapt to targeted audiences.  Our goal is to put together a collection of essays that profiles places and activities for students at our three colleges and to publish them on a website that you will name.  

TOPIC: Now that you have had several weeks to adjust to your new role as a college student, it is time to explore what your college and the surrounding community has to offer its students and to share that newfound knowledge with others in an informative essay of 550 to 650 words.  You may choose one of two options:  

 A profile of a campus program, publication, service, club, or place (or people for Bryan College students)

A profile of a place or activity in your campus community

  SUGGESTED TOPICS : What follows are suggested topics for the assignment listed for each college.  You may choose one of these or one not listed as long as it is approved by your teacher.

BRYAN COLLEGE--People around campus: Interesting people you know, Office of Student Life, Residence Assistants, Team coaches, Bible Education Ministry (BEM), Pals (Big Brother/Sister), Break for Change, etc.  Places around campus: Rhea County Courthouse, Scopes Trial Museum, Trail of Tears, Fall Creek Falls State Park, local tourist attractions, Tennessee Aquarium, Tivoli Theatre, Pocket Wilderness, Fort Bluff, Cumberland Springs, the Homesteads at Crossville, etc.

COLUMBIA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE--On-campus programs/publications: Developmental Studies, Perceptions, Drama, Nursing, Vet Tech, Portfolio Composition, Radiology Tech, Respiratory Care, EMT.  On-campus student organizations: Baptist Student Union, Circle K Club, Columbia State Aggies, computer Club, Gamma Beta Phi, Geste, Student Ambassadors, Student chapter of the International Association of Administrative Professionals Student Chapter, North American Veterinary Technician Association, Student Tennessee Education Association.  On-campus services: The Counseling and Testing Department, The Advising Center, The Career Resource Center, The health Services Office, The Academic Services Office, Learning Resources Center, The Learning Center.  On-campus places: Student Center, bookstore, a campus eatery, Hickman Humanities Building, The Collegiate Center.  Places in the Columbia community; James K. Polk Home, Rattle and Snap, Rippavilla, Mt. Pleasant Phosphate Museum, Lumpy’s Malt Shop, Betty’s Parkway, Saturn, Sam Hill’s, Maury County Arts Guild, St. John’s Episcopal Church.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY--On-campus programs/publications: Women's Studies, African American Studies, The Honors Program, The Debate Program, Cooperative Education, Developmental Studies, International Programs & Services, Collage, Sidelines.  Campus clubs: Women's Political Action Group, Drama Club, Lambda Association, Dance Club, Biology Club, Chinese Student Association, Flying Raiders, a club sport (like men’s or women’s rugby).  On-Campus Services: June Anderson Women's Center, Disabled Student Services, The Day Care Center, JSA Foundation Scholarships, The Writing Center, the escort service, Counseling and Testing Center, Project Help, Math or Reading Lab, The Adult Services Center, Japan Center of Tennessee, Placement & Student Employment.  On-campus places: Center for Popular Music, Married Student Housing, Center of Historic Preservation, Student Recreation Center, Art Barn Gallery, The Learning Resources Center, Computer Labs, a campus eatery, Phillips Bookstore, Multi-Cultural Affairs, Tennessee Livestock Center, Tennessee Folklore Society.  Chairs of Excellence: Dyslexic Studies, Free Enterprise, First Amendment Studies, Manufacturing Excellence, Nursing.  Places in the Murfreesboro community: Stones River Battlefield, The Greenway, Murfreesboro Ensemble Theatre, Murfreesboro Arts Center, Shoeless Joe’s Sports Bar, Main Street, The Front Porch Restaurant.

 AUDIENCE/PURPOSE: Since your essay will be published in a collection posted on the Internet, anyone around the globe could read your essay, including future students for your institution.  However, we ask that you more specifically target readers at our three colleges.  We are using the collection of essays to learn about each other and our colleges; therefore, the general purpose of your profile is to inform.  Please assume that your target readers are first-year college students at Bryan College, Columbia State Community College, and Middle Tennessee State University who are unfamiliar with the subject of your profile.  

 WRITER’S ROLE: You will write in the role of an informed college student, a knowledgeable ambassador for your college and campus community.


Narrow your subject to a manageable topic.  For example, if your campus has a student recreation center, you may not be able to adequately profile all of its services in a 650 word article, but you could cover one aspect, such as the weight room.  It is better to go into depth on a specific service the program offers than to cover everything about the program.

Whenever appropriate, make at least one observational visit, taking notes on your observations and writing them up.

Interview at least one knowledgeable individual and, when available, collect descriptive materials, such as pamphlets or newsletters, to gather information about the subject.  The first interview must be in person, not via telephone.

Quote the interviewee at least once in the essay.

Acknowledge sources using MLA documentation style by (a) including a Works Cited page and (b) quoting and paraphrasing your sources appropriately in your essay.  Note: Draft 2, the peer draft that you will share via e-mail does not have to be MLA formatted.

You must submit notes from interview and copies of any printed materials collected for this essay with Draft 3.


Do not refer to the interview in the essay, such as "She said in the interview. . . ."

Do not refer to yourself as the interviewer in the essay, such as "When I asked him. . . ."

Do not present a hodgepodge of unrelated information about your subject.  Do have an “angle” for your profile.  Your goal is to create an interesting focus for your profile.  Your angle/focus will be expressed as a thesis, a central, overriding idea to which everything in your essay relates.  

EVALUATION CRITERIA:  Besides meeting the requirements outlined above, a successful profile essay will

Target and adapt to an appropriate audience

Have a unified angle of vision for the profile expressed as a thesis

Present the profile with adequate interesting detail

Organize material as a logical extension of the thesis

Avoid overt persuasion

Use correct and appropriate language