See also Tim Kreider’s eassy, “The Busy Trap”; note his organizational structure and use of clear topic sentences.
You can read Meredith Hall’s memoir “Killing Chickens” here.
Here are some suggestions to help come up with an idea for a reflection essay:
- Write about the places you have lived. Think about what was unique about each and reflect upon your life at the time.
- Why do you think some people take advantage of others?
- Why do some people choose to dress differently?
- Write about a characteristic you admire in others.
More prompts to help get started on a memoir essay:
- If you had 15 minutes to tell someone who you are, what would you tell them?
- Write about a childhood family tradition. Write about your current traditions and the thoughts that you want to convey through them.
- Write about how you felt the first time you were fired from a job or had to quit.
Here are some writing prompts to help get started writing a memoir essay:
- Write a six-word memoir. Tell the story of your life—some part of it or all of it—in exactly six words. So give six a try—and make your words count.
From Blau, Susan, and Kathryn Burak. Writing in the Works. Boston: Wadsworth-Cengage, 2009. Print. p. 218
- Write about a moment that you remember well. Include all of the following: weather, a gesture, dialogue, music, color, a smell. Do not exceed 250 words.
- Choose a day from your life that you remember well, not necessarily because it was dramatic or important but because you can recall many of the details. Write a diary entry as if it were yesterday.
- Write two different openings for a story about your first day of school or your first day on a job. Choose one of the following openings:
- Start in the middle of the action
- Start by describing a photograph of that day (real or imagined)
- Start by seeing your reflection in a mirror or window
- Start at the end
- Start with dialogue
In the last year, Eastern European cybercriminals have stolen Brian Krebs’s identity a half dozen times, brought down his website, included his name and some unpleasant epithets in their malware code, sent fecal matter and heroin to his doorstep, and called a SWAT team to his home just as his mother was arriving for dinner.
“I can’t imagine what my neighbors think of me,” he said dryly.
Read the full essay here, and note how the essay isn’t a biography of Krebs and doesn’t attempt to tell his whole life story. Instead, it focuses on a few anecdotes to give a picture of him. Contrast the NYT profile with the Wikipedia entry here. Keep this distinction in mind as you draft your own profile essay.