After you’ve gotten to know your character, the next step in writing a character analysis is to create an outline of his or her main traits and characteristics. This outline can serve as the backbone of your analysis, so it’s important to do it carefully.
The main things to keep in mind when outlining your character are his or her appearance, personality, background, relationships with other characters, and goals within the story/movie/game/etc. Here are some basics to get you started with writing a character analysis.
What Is a Character Analysis Essay?
A character analysis essay is an in-depth study of one or more characters from a work of literature, film, television, or any other fictional or factual source. A good character analysis essay will not only provide insight into what makes your chosen character(s) tick but also place them within their broader context that is, show how they fit into and influence the larger story at hand.
Knowing why a character wants something reveals everything about who he/she is as well as his/her role in whatever narrative you’re studying.
What Is the Purpose?
Before you start writing your character analysis, first think about why you are doing it. This exercise is meant to illustrate various aspects of your main character, but it can also be used as an evaluation tool for readers who haven’t yet gotten invested in your story. If that’s what you’re looking for, be sure to note that purpose upfront.
You don’t want someone getting halfway through your analysis and deciding they no longer care about learning more about your character. it would be annoying and potentially ruin their experience with your story. To keep everyone on track, make sure you state exactly what they should expect from reading it.
How to Analyze a Character
Before you begin analyzing your character, make sure to read the story carefully. The following questions can help guide your thinking about the character as well as help spark ideas for personal characteristics. You’ll likely find that these big picture questions will raise other thoughts about the character and story, so be sure to get out a pen and paper and record any ideas that pop into your head.
Before you begin analyzing your character, make sure to read the story carefully. You’ll want to record any ideas that pop into your head as you’re reading. Having specific examples will make your analysis more memorable, which can help boost any essays or projects that draw from it in class or later on in your writing career.
How to Write a Character Analysis Essay?
A character analysis is an essay that attempts to explore and explain an individual. It’s important to note that you aren’t trying to analyze someone, but rather their actions, beliefs, and personality. Your analysis should focus on why they think or act as they do. How they feel about other people or situations should also be explored in detail.
It’s important not only that you discuss what these things are, but also how they were developed over time and why your subject made certain decisions in life. When writing a character analysis, it is crucial not only that you show your reader what makes them who they are, but also why it matters.
How Do You Start a Character Analysis Essay?
Most students are nervous about writing an essay, particularly an analytical essay. You’ll be analyzing a character and their motivations, which is what makes it challenging for students. But if you want to learn how to write one, there are some steps you can take that will make it easier. For example, when you’re writing your outline.
Start by brainstorming all of your ideas. Don’t worry too much about spelling and grammar at first. then go back and focus on them once you’ve got everything down on paper. Using action verbs, nouns, and numbers in your description of events will give your characters more personality. And don’t forget to include quotes from different sources.
Finally, when you start writing your actual essay, remember that you have three main points:
- Body paragraphs
Each paragraph should support one of those points. And don’t forget to use transitions between each paragraph so that it flows nicely.
- Read the Story
While the story should be familiar, rereading might not be as helpful as you think. This is because when we read something, our brains are subconsciously categorizing and digesting each line. We have our ideas of how the plot will unfold. To write an analytical paper on a character, you’ll need that objectivity you already have put aside. Instead of just reading the book once, look over the table of contents carefully and highlight the passages you think will be most important for your analysis.
Reading without preconceived notions can help make sure you avoid making assumptions about characters or events before even analyzing them in-depth. If possible, try writing out your analysis after only one reading. It’s also beneficial to talk through your thoughts with someone else who has read it so they can give you some fresh perspectives. Don’t forget to talk with them about how they would analyze certain aspects of the text as well. This process may take more than one sitting so don’t feel like you have to get it all done at once.
- Choose a Dynamic Character
Your character must be dynamic that is, a moving target. If you want your character analysis to engage readers, choose a dynamic character. A dynamic character changes over time. It could be that they change throughout a book or movie. they could change over their life and tell their story in reverse chronological order or they could move from strength to weakness and back again.
Generally speaking, a good plot has three key components:
Tension rises because there is something at stake for both characters (the protagonist and antagonist), conflict arises from those stakes, and resolution occurs when either tension or conflict dissipates or both do in some shape or form. Not every character needs to be dynamic, but your main character(s) should be. You’ll also want your minor characters to have dynamic qualities so that they don’t feel like cardboard cutouts that exist only to move along your plot.
- Take Notes
When you’re writing an essay, there are a few basic things you’ll want to do. For starters, when it comes time to write your essay out on paper, use lined paper instead of unlined. Also, try and keep your handwriting neat it may seem unnecessary at first, but neatly-written essays are easier for teachers or professors to read.
- Choose the Main Idea
Your character analysis should have one main idea. This is typically referred to as your thesis statement. You don’t have to write an introduction and conclusion. Just make sure that everything you include in your paper somehow relates to that single idea, because everything else will rely on it.
Write an Introductory Paragraph that hooks your audience and captures their attention. Without setting up your main idea, readers will have no reason to continue reading.
- Make an Outline
Creating an outline can be considered one of the most critical steps in writing a literary analysis. An outline can include basic information such as title, author, the date is written, plot summary, and character descriptions. On top of that, you will have a list of themes, symbols, and even other literary devices that you can reference when doing your analysis.
You’ll also want to include any specific quotes from important parts of your novel or short story that support what you are saying in your paper. The more detailed you are with each aspect and section of your outline; the easier it will be for you to complete a quality project. Make sure when creating an outline to follow MLA format because most schools require it for their projects.
In most creative writing classes, students learn how to write plot-driven stories. However, developing complex characters is another essential element of good writing. Good characters are compelling, not unlikeable, and lifelike.
They also have weaknesses and flaws and make poor decisions just like normal people do. Read on for some basic tips on how to write a character analysis as well as helpful examples that include both fiction and nonfiction writers’ thoughts on characterization.
Write your character analysis’s body by first discussing your character’s personality, as well as their main goal or conflict. Concerning the latter, it’s important not only to be clear about the character’s goals. But also, any obstacles they may face in achieving those goals. Depending on the plot, you may have different areas or subplots that support your overall plot or even just the other characters.
With a well-written conclusion, your character analysis will stand out. As you write the conclusion to your character analysis, ask yourself how these answers change how we should view your characters.