Although a character analysis essay is a common type of assignment, writing it is a challenge for many students. Character analysis essays are different from book reviews and other analytical assignments. When writing an essay of this kind, you should focus on a single character and analyze all its strengths and weaknesses.
Such essays are common among college and high school students who study literature. If English Literature is your major, the chances are that you will have to write numerous character analysis essays and consider different characters from the same book.
The success of your character analysis essay directly depends on your analytical skills. Besides, you should be able to follow countless requirements. You should support all your claims with quotes and evidence from the book. This way, you can establish credibility and make your essay more informative and therefore more valuable for readers.
When analyzing a character from a book, you should also ask the right questions and think of what information will be interesting for your readers. The author might have described some things about the character in detail so there’s no need to focus on these things in your essay.
What Character Analysis Is
Simply put, character analysis requires you to explain a character’s key traits. Therefore, you should choose a character and analyze it based on the information present in the book, including the character’s actions, thoughts, and other details. You should also explain this character’s role in the story and its influence on other minor or major characters.
- Character analysis essays can be written about characters from novels, dramas, and even poems.
- Character analysis papers are usually written about main characters, but sometimes it can be about a minor character as well.
To write a nice character analysis essay, you should collect and analyze all the subtle hints on the character’s personality left by the author throughout the story. The more prominent the character, the more information you will find. However, it’s impossible to find all the relevant information in one place so you should always look for relevant details while reading and make notes so that you won’t miss anything important when you start to write the essay.
Some details may look insignificant at first but start to make sense as you read further. Therefore, taking notes is always a good practice. Whenever you see some information related to the character that you’re going to analyze in your essay, highlight it or use bookmarks so that you can quickly find this information later if you need it.
When writing a character analysis essay, you should understand its purpose. Your ultimate goal is to help readers better understand the character, its background, and its motivations. Therefore, there’s no surprise that character analysis essays are loved by professors.
Many students who have to write such essays will become literature researchers or writers so such essays can help them add some depth to their explanations or create more complex characters in the future. However, not all students have a talent for writing, so if writing a character analysis essay isn’t your thing, you can choose a top-rated essay writing service to have it written for you by professional writer.
How to Write a Character Analysis Essay
1️⃣ Choose a character
You may or may not be able to choose a character for your essay. Sometimes, you may get a character assigned by your teacher, and sometimes, you may choose it. If you can choose a character yourself, we recommend that you consider choosing a dynamic character so that you can have more material to work with. You don’t necessarily need to choose a protagonist because it’s an obvious choice. Just make sure that the chosen character gives you some space for analysis.
2️⃣ Take notes
We’ve already mentioned how useful note-taking is. If you can choose a character for your essay before reading the book, it’s great because you can take notes while reading and make the writing process much easier. First of all, make sure to note the details about the character’s background. For instance, the author might have mentioned something about the character’s childhood. Such details can help you provide a more general overview.
Obviously, you should also note the character’s physical and psychological traits. Consider the way this character interacts with others, as well as its distinctive traits that differentiate it from other characters. Take notes on how the character evolves throughout the plot. What challenges does it face? How does it change? Who are this character’s friends or enemies, and why?
3️⃣ Come up with a thesis statement
A good approach is to come up with a thesis statement before you start to write the essay. The thesis statement is the main idea of the essay that will tie together its different sections. Make sure that your thesis statement is character-focused and specific. You should present the thesis statement in the introduction and repeat it in the conclusion. All your thoughts and evidence should be related to the thesis statement.
4️⃣ Write a character analysis essay outline
Don’t start to write your first draft immediately so that you won’t need to do a lot of editing. Jot down the overall structure of your essay, along with your key points. The essay should consist of three sections: an introduction, body, and conclusion. When writing a five-paragraph essay, the body section should have three body paragraphs, with each paragraph focusing on one point.
The structure of each body paragraph should mimic the overall paper structure. A paragraph should begin with an introductory sentence where you state the main point of this paragraph, followed by sentences with details and evidence. At the end of the paragraph, add a brief conclusion or a transition to the next paragraph. Once you’ve finished the outline, you can start writing the first draft of your essay, filling the structure with details.
5️⃣ Write the essay
Now that you have a clear outline and your notes, you can write the first draft. Write an engaging introduction that grabs attention and explains why your character is worth analyzing. In the introduction, you should also present your thesis statement and briefly outline the overall direction of your essay. In the body section, dedicate the first paragraph to the character’s background and upbringing.
In the second paragraph, consider the character’s personality traits. In the third paragraph, you can analyze the way this character evolves and grows. When writing the conclusion, summarize the main points and rewrite your thesis statement to establish a clear connection between the thesis statement and your arguments. At the very end, add a meaningful statement or open question to leave your readers with something to think about.
This guide will help you plan the writing process so that you can create a strong essay that will impress your readers. Don’t submit your first draft as soon as it’s finished. We recommend that you take a short break so that you can distance yourself from the essay and read it, considering it from a fresh perspective.
Edit sentences that sound awkward, remove unnecessary and irrelevant passages and proofread your essay to make sure that it’s grammatically correct. We suggest that you always dedicate enough time to editing and proofreading because, even if the content is amazing, you may still receive a bad mark because of grammar mistakes.
Generally, this type of paper is relatively easy to write. But in case you need a character analysis essay example, you can find it here.