Some definitions of a profile are quite narrow (e.g., a story of one person that explores their
background and character). However, I invite you to consider the process of researching and
writing a profile more dynamically. Yes, a profile should examine the subject’s personal and
professional life, as well as give the reader a greater understanding of the subject through the
lens of their personal interests, career, education, background, advocacy, and contributions to
the feminist movement. However, it is important to consider going beyond the obvious twodimensional
portrait of a person. For example, you could do a profile of a feminist movement
(e.g., women’s liberation, #MeToo, the Red Dress Campaign) or a place, space, or event that is
important for the feminist movement. You will probably find it still comes back to the people
involved with the place/idea/campaign/movement, but you are still researching and writing
about the movement/campaign/idea/event.
If I can write about movements/campaigns/etc., why call it a feminist profile?
• Require some personal interpretation or perspective, often because of a stake in the
• Typically provoke more thinking about ideas even beyond the “individual” at the centre
of the profile.
• Develop the breadth, depth, dimensionality, and contradictions inherent in the topic.
• Might emphasize the exotic, peculiar or bizarre, but they always get beyond the surface
— sometimes with emphasis on social, political, or moral implications implicit in the
Yes, your readers could look up the information themselves to get the basic facts, but they’ll
read your profile because of your investment in, exploration of, and interpretation of the topic.
Choosing a Subject
Give some serious thought to your choice of a subject. The subject can be contemporary or
Feminist Profile Guidelines 2
Your task is to bring out what is interesting about your subject — no matter how “ordinary” this
individual may at first appear. You must, however, ensure that you are choosing a subject that
without question is a feminist or part of a feminist movement. If you are unsure if the subject
you selected is a feminist, please e-mail the instructor to confirm that the subject meets the
basic requirements of this assignment.
As Steve Reid observed about researching and writing profiles, “the investigation into time and
place and context is simply what is required of a good profile, and what makes a good profile
more than a brief bio or feature.” Plan to invest a lot of time digging into your topic to collect
more “information” on your topic through research, reflection, and fully developing your
• You must meaningfully integrate at least five 5 sources into your profile. Two (2) of
these sources must be peer reviewed journal articles. The remaining three (3) or more
can be other credible sources (e.g., biographies, autobiographies, books, credible news
sources such as CBC, government websites/reports/documents, historical documents,
official documentation of any kind).
• Make sure the sources you select are credible. If you have difficulty evaluating the
credibility of your source(s) the instructor is available to assist.
• Sources you CANNOT use under any circumstances, and penalties will be applied if they
o Personal websites or blogs (*unless* it is a website or blog that belongs to your
subject, in which case it is acceptable)
o Social media (*unless* it belongs to your subject in which case it is acceptable)
o Dictionaries and encyclopedias
o Online forums
The Overall Requirements
• A minimum of 5 full double-spaced pages in length excluding the cover page and
references (you can exceed this minimum and there is no maximum, but you should not
submit less than 5 full double-spaced pages of text).
• 1” margins on all sides, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, do not use
unnecessary spacing between paragraphs (you might need to check your paragraph
settings to ensure that the spacing between paragraphs is no more than doublespaced).
• You can include images (optional), BUT the images do NOT count toward the minimum
length requirements. Make sure your paper is 5 full double-spaced pages without the
images included. If you choose to include images, you must also give credit to the
source (review APA citation and reference requirements for images).
Feminist Profile Guidelines 3
• APA format throughout (including title page, references page, in-text citations, and
• You MUST include page numbers (or, in their absence, paragraph numbers) in all of your
in-text citations (even for paraphrased material).
• Do not use any direct quotes. The entire submission must be in your own words.
Some Additional Considerations
• For this assignment, your writing should be accessible and clear, and it can be somewhat
informal. However, you must avoid colloquialisms, slang, and conversational writing.
• This assignment CANNOT be fulfilled with a summary-based report of basic facts about
your chosen subject. You will almost certainly use fact-based resources to build
background on your topic, but you must move well beyond those bare facts.
• The scope of your topic and perspective could be a major pitfall. Think carefully about
how much space/attention you will have to decide how broadly you can frame your
• Your style choices will reflect your specific rhetorical contexts for documents; still, I will
look for careful attention to sentence structure and effect, as well as the fundamentals
of writing (e.g., spelling, clarity).