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What Is Character Essay? The Details You Should Know

Written by Jimmy Rustling

Characters are the central figures in works of fiction. It’s through their actions that the themes in the piece develop. While some characters play major roles in these works, others only act as supporting cast. However, regardless of where characters lie, they all play roles in making the work of art what it is.

When you’re doing a character analysis assignment, you’re expected to look at a given character from different perspectives. Some of the ways to understand character traits include analyzing:

  • The character’s actions
  • How the person handles different situations
  • What do other characters in the story say about the person

Provided you’re reading a novel or any other narrative, the professor will issue a character analysis essay at some point. The quality of the content you submit will determine the marks you score. You’re sure of a top grade when you hand in a good character paper.

What Character Analysis Essay Entails

As the name suggests, a character analysis essay is an essay about a particular person in a storyline. For example, the professor may ask you to analyze the mental and moral qualities of a given individual. It’s upon you to look at the person in question closely before you begin working on the essay prompt. In other instances, the instructor may ask you to describe individuals and their contribution to developing themes in the narrative.

How to Make an Outline for Your Character Analysis Essay

The ideas in your character analysis essay should flow logically. That way, it becomes easy for readers to comprehend the message you’re relaying in your essay. So, you should have an essay outline that incorporates all the ideas. A precise and good character essay attracts an impressive grade.

You begin your character analysis paper by writing an enticing introduction. For instance, you can make interesting comments about the individual in question to arouse the reader’s interest to go through the rest of your essay; this is the character’s background. Then, end your intro with a thesis statement that describes the traits you want to focus on and their relevance in the storyline.

Next, move to the essay’s body paragraphs. Here, you give the mental and moral qualities of the character in question. The information you include depends on the essay prompt. Examples of the pieces of information the body should have include:

  • Character’s actions and personality
  • The experiences that shaped the individual
  • Character traits that make the individual unique
  • What the reader can learn from the character
  • The transformation the individual undergoes throughout the narrative

How do you make the body of your essay more comprehensive? First, incorporate direct quotations from the story. It could be what the character says, the author’s description, or what other individuals in the narrative say about the character. Then, as you describe what makes the character’s moral qualities distinctive, explain the character’s background role in the plot and the development of themes.

After you’ve written a good character essay body, you move to the conclusion. Read your character analysis essay and understand its content. In your conclusion, restate the thesis statement as you review the traits you’ve discussed. Leave your reader with the final thought on the individual.

Correct Way to Start a Character Analysis Essay

An excellent character analysis essay isn’t easy to write. For instance, it’s not enough to say a given character is a good person. You’re expected to give a specific trait. First, point out the character’s background, including qualities such as honesty, courage, and ambition. You then point out the specific instances in the story to explain these traits.

How do you begin your character analysis essay and write an excellent piece without using a professional essay writing service? Here’s how to do it right.

Understand the Requirements of the Prompt

The first step in writing a stellar character analysis paper is to comprehend the specific requirements of the task at hand. Sometimes, the instructor may specify the character you should focus on. For example, you can be directed to explain all the character traits of a given individual. Adhere to that requirement whether you are analyzing a minor or major character.

What happens in a case where you’re free to describe a person who makes the most contribution to the storyline? You should go for a good person or dynamic character. With such characters, you can have much to put into your essay, and it becomes easy to complete the task.

As you assess the essay question, remember the accompanying guidelines. These instructions determine the type of response you should give. The specific instructions you should follow include the following:

  • Essay’s formatting style
  • Number and type of external information sources to use
  • Length of the character analysis paper
  • Preferred essay structure

Create a Good Character Essay Writing Plan

It’s vital to plan how to handle the task after knowing its volume. Without a proper plan, you might get stuck and look for someone to pay to write an essay. So, break the writing process into separate manageable stages. For instance, you can create time for research, assessing the content, creating an outline, drafting the essay, editing, and polishing.

Read the Story and Obtain the Required Content

The grade you obtain in your character analysis essay depends on the type of content you present. With comprehensive content, you’re assured of a top grade. So, you should take time and obtain the best content.

At this point, you already know the character(s) you intend to focus on. Read the story as you pick the important character traits you want to discuss. List all the evidence that makes the character crucial to the narrative. It could be the character’s actions and the author’s words.

Assess Your Content

Begin by assessing the content you’ve gathered from different sources. This assessment determines the character traits to incorporate into your final character analysis paper. Next, decide how you intend to arrange your essay. A good character essay should have an intro, body paragraphs, and conclusion like in other types of essays.

Various Categories of Characters

A story can have a few or many characters depending on the message the writer intends to communicate. These characters are classified according to their behavior, transformation as the storyline progresses, and how they develop different themes in the piece. Here’re the most common types of characters you’ll encounter in a story.

Major Characters in Novels/Stories

Major persons in a narrative are also called protagonists or main characters. They’re also called heroes because they fight for good in the story. Most readers are likely to side with the major characters because they embody desirable characteristics. For example, if the plot is about corruption, this is the individual who is seen to be demanding accountability. Besides, the story often revolves around them from the beginning to the end.

In other instances, a major character rises from situations that can be described as dire and emerge victorious. Such characters are seen as courageous, ambitious, and persistent. Finally, some stories may have more than one major character. Thus, analyze the storyline carefully and identify the hero before you begin writing your character analysis essay.

The Antagonist in a Story

Heroes rise when they face and defeat the opposition. In a work of fiction, the antagonist is the person who opposes the progress of the protagonist. For example, a protagonist may be fighting corruption in government institutions. In such an instance, the antagonist may imprison the protagonist to weaken their resolve.

You should take note that an antagonist doesn’t necessarily have to be a person. It could also be the difficult situations the hero goes through to become successful. For instance, the protagonist may have struggled with abject poverty, rejection, and even sickness to become a respected person. In such cases, the situations antagonize the protagonist.

Static/Flat Story Character

Some characters don’t play the main roles in storylines. However, they’re still important in the development of the narrative. Therefore, they are generally referred to as minor characters. One example is that of the static characters.

Just like the name suggests, this individual doesn’t undergo any transformation in the story. The reader has limited information about them as the writer doesn’t reveal much about them. It could be someone who breaks the tension that comes with reading a story. The writer may also make such a character more interesting by giving a striking description of them.

Complex/Dynamic Character

A dynamic character is the opposite of the static one. Even though these persons could be minor characters, their roles keep changing throughout the plot. For example, at the story’s beginning, this individual could be a good character. However, as the story progresses, the individual could join the antagonists, and the transformation could reverse.

Sample Character Analysis Questions

Your character analysis essay questions could come from a wide range of areas. However, the end goal is usually the same; the professor wants to know if you can analyze the moral qualities distinctive. Examples of good character questions you can encounter include:

  • What is the importance of the character in plot development?
  • How does the character transform as the story progresses?
  • What emotional journey does a particular character undergo in the story?
  • What moral qualities distinctive does the individual hold?
  • How does the main character achieve their goals?
  • In what situations does a particular character exhibit their traits?
  • What important character traits does a particular individual portray?

Extra Tips for Composing a Character Analysis Essay

Writing a stunning character analysis essay requires preparation. So, you should take time to comprehend the requirements of the character analysis paper you want to write. Besides, you should be as clear as possible as you describe your characters. Finally, don’t forget to polish your essay before turning it in.

Final Thoughts

Working on your character analysis piece shouldn’t be difficult if you use the right approaches. Just like when writing other essays, you should understand the guidelines in the character analysis assignment. Research and note down the characters’ different mental and moral qualities to include in your essay. Write your paper expertly and edit it before submission. Remember, only a good character essay is what will attract high marks.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.