How to Write a Profile Essay (+ Examples to Check)

In the article, you’ll find the profile essay definition and structure. Several examples are also here to help you see how to create a brilliant one.

What is a Profile Essay?

A profile essay is an academic paper students write in school or college. It's a writing piece on a person or a particular thing.

Such papers have two primary goals:

  1.  Stay informative
  2.  Provide as many exciting details about the subject as possible

Another essential detail is that you shouldn’t stray from the topic. Mention only the relevant things, and don’t be afraid to keep the focus as narrow as possible.

That’s the point of any profile essay.

Profile Essay Example

Profile essays look personal, but their style is matter-of-fact and academic. It seems challenging, but you can do that with appropriate examples at hand.

There are two common types of such papers: on a person and a place. Since each has its specifics, let’s jump right into the samples!

Profile essay example on a person 

Lucky you are when a professor assigns an essay about yourself. After all, it’s a person you know best, right? When writing about someone else, the key is to treat them how you’d treat yourself if you wrote your story.

Here’s an example of a profile essay on a person:

The Writer Who Shaped My View of Life

Ernest Hemingway, the iconic American author, is a profound figure in literature, etching his mark through terse prose and vivid storytelling. His impactful narratives, notably characterized by their conciseness and deep themes, have profoundly influenced my perspective on life.

Hemingway’s life was a tapestry woven with threads of adventure, resilience, and profound introspection. Born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois, he grew up amidst the specter of World War I, an event that would later serve as a significant backdrop in his literary works. His experiences as an ambulance driver during the war engendered a deep understanding of the human condition in him, inspiring his themes of stoicism and existentialism.

The hallmark of Hemingway’s writing lies in his mastery of the minimalist style—a technique that captivated me from the moment I encountered his works. His use of sparse language, punctuated by powerful imagery, forces readers to feel his stories. Through his novels like “The Old Man and the Sea” and “A Farewell to Arms,” Hemingway imparts life lessons on resilience, the struggle against adversity, and the enduring human spirit, which shaped my outlook on life.

Moreover, Hemingway’s adventurous spirit resonates with me. His zest for life, evident through his love for travel, bullfighting, fishing, and other pursuits, has instilled in me the belief that life’s richness lies in embracing experiences wholeheartedly. His portrayal of characters grappling with internal conflicts amidst external chaos highlights the importance of confronting one’s inner struggles — it has become a guiding principle in my life journey.

However, Hemingway’s complex persona, marked by his public image of rugged masculinity and private battles with mental health, illuminates the fragility of human existence. His struggles with depression and alcoholism remind me of the imperative to seek balance and self-care amid life’s challenges. Understanding the duality of his persona, I’ve learned to appreciate the vulnerability inherent in all individuals, recognizing the importance of empathy and support in our interactions.

In conclusion, Ernest Hemingway’s literary legacy extends far beyond the words on the page. His ability to distill the human experience into poignant narratives has left an indelible mark on my perspective of life. His themes of resilience, introspection, adventure, and the human spirit have enriched my understanding of literature and become guiding principles shaping my outlook on navigating the complexities of life. Ernest Hemingway remains a timeless beacon whose influence continues to resonate in the hearts and minds of readers, shaping and inspiring generations to come.

Profile essay example on a place 

Another profile paper is the one describing a specific location. It can include its history, spots, and the famous people who visited it. 

Choose the places you find exciting, but consider how much information you can dig up. Remember that a stellar profile essay must be informative. Put your emotions about what you’re describing aside. 


The Grand Canyon: A Dream Destination

Nestled within the expansive landscape of the American Southwest lies a natural wonder that beckons explorers, nature enthusiasts, and dreamers alike—the Grand Canyon. This geological marvel stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring forces of nature and is the place I fervently yearn to visit.

Stretching majestically across Arizona’s terrain, the Grand Canyon’s breathtaking beauty has held a magnetic allure for me. Its colossal dimensions, carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, reveal a kaleidoscope of colors and textures, painting a vivid portrait of Earth’s history. From the rugged cliffs to the intricate maze of rock formations, each layer whispers stories of time immemorial, stirring a sense of wonder and reverence.

The allure of the Grand Canyon transcends its mere physical grandeur. It embodies a sense of timelessness and spiritual depth, inviting introspection and reflection. By imagining standing on its rim, witnessing the interplay of light and shadow across the vast chasm, I envision a profound connection with the natural world—a fleeting glimpse into the sublime.

Moreover, the Grand Canyon isn’t merely a geological spectacle; it’s a thriving ecosystem teeming with diverse flora and fauna. The prospect of hiking along its trails, encountering ancient juniper trees, or glimpsing the flight of majestic condors fills me with an eagerness to immerse myself in the canyon’s rich biodiversity and witness nature’s resilience firsthand.
The Grand Canyon isn’t just a destination; it represents an odyssey, promising an experience that transcends the confines of ordinary travel. Its unparalleled beauty, rich history, and spiritual essence beckon me to embark on a pilgrimage—a journey of self-discovery and connection with the marvels of our planet.

The Grand Canyon is more than a mere geological formation; it embodies an embodiment of wonder, a testament to the Earth’s enduring magnificence. It remains the place I yearn to explore, where the convergence of nature’s grandeur and spiritual introspection promises an unforgettable odyssey of discovery and reverence.

How to Write a Profile Essay: Outline and Tips


One of the profile essay challenges is making it long enough to meet the word count.

You can do it through research and adding extra info during the writing process. Imagine you’re a detective compiling a case file!

More details:

Craft a profile essay outline before writing. It’s a plan for an intro, a body, and a conclusion [1]. Important: Outline the thesis and topic sentences for each paragraph. That way, you’ll get a template for your essay to fill in with relevant information.

How to start a profile essay

The best way to start your essay is a so-called attention grabber. Tell the most intriguing fact about your topic and elaborate on it in the following sentence.

As a finishing touch, focus on a thesis statement. That last sentence reveals all the details you’ll discuss in the upcoming paragraphs.

Body paragraphs

You need several main points, whether writing about a personality or describing a location. Derive topic sentences (your paragraphs’ first sentences) from research and make them informative.

The last sentence of each section should be a transition to the next one. It will make your essay easy to read.

Writing a profile essay conclusion

Unlike an interview or expository essay, your conclusion restates the thesis and summarizes the core info from your paper.

While it sounds simple, this part of your paper is the most significant. Ensure you end it with a relevant sum-up.

Practical tips on writing profile papers 

Profile papers are all about research and editing your essay to perfection. Below are three fruitful tips [2] on how to do that.

  • Use a reference finder. This tool works like a filter, removing all irrelevant sources from your search. It will help you invest less time in finding the materials you need.
  • Spend several hours resting before editing your paper. If you look for mistakes in your essay right after you’ve finished the draft, you’re likely to miss them. Give your brain time to refocus, and you’ll find more typos and inconsistencies.
  • Ask parents or friends how informative it is. If unsure about how your paper turned out, ask someone who doesn’t know much about the topic. If they find your draft engaging, it’s a success.

Bonus: Profile Essay Topics Ideas 

If a tutor doesn’t provide a specific topic for your profile essay and you struggle to find one, try any of these:

  1.   My Hometown’s History: The Hero of People
  2.   The Writer Who Shaped My View of Life
  3.   The Best Five-Star Hotel In Our Country
  4.   An Unusual Millionaire With a Kind Heart
  5.   A Touching Story of a Famous Animal
  6.   My Favorite Painter: A Biography
  7.   My Favorite Touristic Location
  8.   The Spookiest Location I’ve Ever Visited
  9.   The Teacher Who Was My Role Model
  10.   The Landmark I’ll Never Forget
  11.   My Pet Animal: Facts and Stories
  12.   My Hero: The Person I Want to Become
  13.   The Most Impressive Water Body I’ve Seen
  14.   The Place I Dream to Visit
  15.   The Fictional Character I Learned Most From

In a Word

Profile essays can be challenging. Yet, they’re great for training your writing and research skills. You pay attention to details so that a text flows and presents information logically.

It’s okay if you don’t create a masterpiece on your first try. Just remember to have fun in the process.