How To Write An Essay On Characterization

Literary courses at any level will sometimes require students to write character analysis essays. We will be delving into their conflicts and how the characters resolve them. We will be looking through the eyes of the characters and analyze their roles in the story. If you are having trouble looking through the eyes of characters in a literary piece, look no further and read on because EssayPro is here to provide a top college essay service!


Table Of Contents


What is a Character Analysis Essay?

In a deeper sense, this is a type of essay which requires an understanding of the character in question. These kinds of essays are usually to understand protagonists and antagonists in any literary piece. One of the aims would be to make a profile and analyze characters well.

What Is The Purpose

More than to fulfill a requirement, this type of essay mainly helps us understand the character and the world he/she lives in. One of the important purposes of this essay is to look at the anatomy of a character in the story and dissect who he/she is. We must be able to study how the character was shaped and then learn from their life.

Different Types Of Characters

  • Protagonists (heroes): The main character around whom most of the plot revolves.
  • Antagonists: This is a person that is against the protagonist. This is usually the villain but could be also a natural power, set of circumstances, majestic being, etc.
  • Major: These are the main characters. They run the story. Regularly there are only one or two major characters.
  • Dynamic (changing)
  • Static (unchanging)
  • Minor: These are the figures who help tell the major character’s tale by letting them interact and reveal their personalities, situations, stories. They are commonly static (unchanging).
  • Foils: These are the people whose job is to contrast with the major character.

How to Write it?

Of course to go into the deeper sense, and to truly understand these characters, one must immerse oneself in the story or literary piece. Take note of the setting, climax, and other important literary parts. You must be able to feel and see through the characters. Observe how the writer shaped these characters into life. Notice how little or how vast the identities of the characters were described. Look at the characters’ morals and behavior and how it affects situations and other characters in the story. Observe characters whom you find interesting.

How to start?

First, you have to choose a character you’d like to write about. Sometimes, a character will be readily assigned to you. It’s wise to consider characters who play a dynamic role in the story. It will captivate the reader since there is tons of information about these characters.

Read The Story

Even if you’ve already heard or read this story before, you will probably need to read it again. It will definitely help you notice something new that you’ve missed before. Keep in mind or highlight every place that your character appears.

Consider the following things:

  • What specific descriptions does the author provide for each character?
  • What kinds of relationship does your character have with others?
  • How do the actions of the character move the plot forward?

Take Notes

While you are reading, take notes or highlight/underline all important elements of the story. That will add depth when describing your character.When you’re finished reading with your character in mind, review your notes, and formulate the main idea about a character. Make an initial draft while taking note of the character analysis essay outline provided by your instructor. If you’re not provided with a sample, you may follow this format:

Make An Outline

This step can be considered as one of the most important steps in writing. A well-constructed outline will keep your thoughts and ideas organized.

Introduction:

Make an introduction of your paper brief and meaningful. It should hold together your whole essay and should spark interest in people. Write a short description of the character in question.

Body:

Subdivide your body paragraphs into different ideas or areas to be considered regarding the character. Look at your professor’s rubric and make sure that you’ll be able to tackle the things required. You should also be provided with questions to be answered to better formulate your analysis. The body should answer the following questions:

  • What is the character’s physical appearance, personality, and background?
  • What were the conflicts that the character experienced and how did he/she overcome them?
  • What can we learn from this character?

Conclusion:

Your conclusion should also hold together your ideas and should shape a final analysis statement. Mention things about the character’s conflicts which we can experience in real life. Also, you can write about how a character that should’ve reacted to a certain situation.

Character Analysis Essay Example

There are many character analysis essay examples available online. Study how authors of these essays wrote about different characters. Go on and search for character analysis about Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, and the Crucible. Look at how conflicts are resolved by characters. Consider things to learn about the characters and take note if any of the characters reflect something in you. A character analysis essay is more than looking into the character but also looking into the character’s personality, actions, and decisions that speak to you.

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Tutor Clement, from EssayPro

Often, a character analysis will help you understand the work as a whole better. When a teacher assigns you a character to analyze, they are essentially asking you to understand the character’s role in the novel. Discuss the character’s intentions. Sometimes, in some works, the intentions of the character may be blurry. A good example of those cases is Iago from Othello. Your job, in this case, will be to analyze Iago’s intentions (why did he want to kill Othello) and then support it with evidence from the text. Like all analysis, having a strong argument, in this case, is very important. You do not necessarily have to believe that your argument is true, but if you can support it then stick with your initial idea. If you are assigned a prompt that states something along the lines of “analyze a character’s influence on the work as a whole”, then this question is calling for a character analysis. Ask yourself questions along the way like: what would I do in their place. This will help develop a deeper sense of empathy with the character and thus help you analyze them better. Good luck!

If you still need help, EssayPro is here for you!

We can provide you a character analysis essay sample which you can use as a guide for your essay. Our expert writers will help you choose a character which you can write on. We can also help you synthesize an analysis. If you have a hectic schedule and you find it hard to look for a good time to sit and write about your essay, don't hesitate to use our online writing service. If you have already written an essay and want it checked, just reach us, and we’ll edit your work for a higher grade you deserve.

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Teach Parts of a Paragraph

Before students can write a paragraph, they need to know the parts of a paragraph: topic sentence, body and conclusion. To help students organize their paragraphs, try the fill-in-the-blank topic sentence and concluding sentence. In addition, make a list of three supporting details for the body so that students can successfully organize their first characterization paragraph.

Students should write out the three parts of the paragraph on notebook paper by following the directions.

Topic Sentence

The topic sentence should tell the reader what the "topic" of the sentence is and include a controlling idea. An example of a topic sentence for the characterization paragraph is as follows:

In the novel Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan, Jake Semple is a dynamic character.

For the characterization paragraph, the students could try this fill-in-the-blank topic sentence to get started.

In the novel, (book title) __________________ by (author)_____________________ the character (name of character) ________________________ is a (type of character: dynamic, static, round, or flat) _______________________ character.

Body

In the body of the paragraph, students need to include detail sentences that support their topic sentence. If students tell that a character is dynamic, they need to give specific examples from the novel to support this statement.

Have them first make a list of three reasons why the character is the type of character they chose.

For example, three reasons to support the example topic sentence in this lesson, which states that Jake Semple is a dynamic character, are as follows:

  1. When Jake first comes to the Applewhite home called Wit's End, he is a juvenile delinquent who has been thrown out of many schools. He is a chain-smoking, spiky-haired punk. At first he enjoys the "bad boy" image, but by the end he does change by enjoying helping Destiny, an annoying four-year-old.
  2. At first he does not get along with E.D., who is super organized and is close in age. However, they are homeschooled together and have to create their own projects. He actually enjoys finding butterflies and finds the one that she cannot find.They learn in the end to appreciate each other’s talents.
  3. Also, Jake finds that he has a talent for acting in the Appelwhite's staged production of the Sound of Music. He has success on the stage and has a place where he thrives.

Conclusion

The conclusion should wrap up the essay. An example concluding sentence for the Jake Semple paragraph could be as follows:

Jake Semple goes from a smoking, juvenile delinquent teen to a star of the Sound of Music, and he truly changes into a better person.

For first time writers, they can fill in the blanks of this concluding sentence:

In conclusion, (character’s name) ____________ is a (type of character) ___________ character who (a summary of the character’s actions) _________________.

Once the topic sentence, detail sentences and conclusion are written, students can put together the parts and write a complete paragraph. The paragraph should be at least five sentences, but it can be up to ten sentences. A good paragraph will generally be around six to eight sentences.

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