How to Write a Character Analysis Essay

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay

You most probably have read a novel, a play or any other literary material. How did you evaluate its characters? An evaluation of characters is basically their physical description, traits and their roles which sum up to a character analysis essay.

The task of analyzing characters in a literary text creates deeper interest in reading. You strive to understand your target character and search for any information about them from the text. But first.

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What is a character analysis essay?

It is a detailed information on a character. You analyze the physical and behavioral traits. Instructions may require you to analyze a character from a literature book or a video clip.

Character analysis assignment is common with literature students. Given such a homework, apply critical thinking skills to describe the character.

 Expose all character traits depicted in the story. Bring out all the characteristics portrayed by the character in different episodes. Explain how a certain event triggered a behavioral change and state the outcome.

The importance of character analysis essay is to help readers understand the character in a wider way. They can trace characters’ progressive development throughout the story.

Types of characters.

A story can have various types of characters. They are classified according to their roles in the story or their behavioral traits.

  • Main: a story may run with one or two main characters. The two oppose each other in behavior. One is depicted as good hence called a protagonist. The other is portrayed as bad. He is an antagonist.
  • Protagonists: they are the most prominent in the story. They are good characters who portray virtues and become a favorite for the readers. They appear in almost all chapters such that they drive the plot of the story. They are seen as heroes in the story.
  • Antagonist: unfortunately, the author portrays this character in a negative way. They are the villains who oppose the protagonist. Sometimes the villain could be superbeings or natural occurrences that are beyond human control.
  • Minor: they help in developing the main character. They interact with them such that certain personality traits are revealed.
  • Dynamic: they are true representatives of reality. These characters are affected by life situations and react to them like normal human beings. So, at one time, they are happy and strong, then weak and angry or withdrawn.

Main characters portray such behavior and fall in this category. They are the best choice for a character analysis essay.

  • Static; these characters remain unchanged despite life-changing circumstances.
  • Foil: they build the main character. Their actions attract the main character to react in a manner that clearly shows their roles in the story.

How to start a character analysis essay

A character analysis essay assignment comes with different instructions. You can be given a specific character to analyze or have the freedom to choose your own.

A character analysis essay can be difficult and time-consuming. Spare your time by visiting online assignment help websites and make your order. They will write a winning essay for you.

 Character analysis essay calls for intensive reading. Identify various characters and their role. Here are simple steps that will guide you in a character analysis essay.

1.     Read The Text

Read the story keenly. You may have read the story but you must repeat reading to get the actual information. Concentrate on the character’s behavior and interaction with others.

Do not choose a character in a hurry. First, check how the author has described each character. Assess their relationship with the others. Who goes along with others and how?

Evaluate how the character rolls out the plot forward. Note their contribution to the development of the story. What are the impacts of their actions on the story?

The above evaluation helps you determine the character you want for your character analysis essay. Choose the one that meets the above qualities

2.     Select A Dynamic Character

The choice of character depends on the character analysis essay question. Your tutor may give you a specific character to analyze or give you the freedom to go for your favorite. In case of the latter, choose wisely. Select a dominant character that appears throughout the plot.

A protagonist character is well developed as they interact with other characters. They also dominate almost all chapters. You will get more information about them than any other character.

Select an all-around character who represents people. You will have a lot to say about them. It will be easy to analyze their character traits and their role in the setting.

3.     Take Notes

You can choose your character before or after reading the text. For the latter, read again taking notes. You can tag the pages to earmark the important points.

Write short notes as you read the story. Concentrate on the key areas which touch your chosen character.

Consider the following tips when choosing a character. You can read online character description essay examples to get more light on character choice.

  • Name: is the name attached to any meaning or behavior? Some names have imagery interpretation. For example, Small Lily or Peter Smile.
  • Description: assess how they see themselves and how others see them. They can be described according to physical appearance or emotions.
  • Actions: check how they react to situations and how their actions influence other characters. Do they uphold upright behavior or are they mischievous and reckless?
  • Language: the language used by a character determines their characteristic. You can detect the level of education, profession, and upbringing through a person’s language use.
  • Their role: the author gives different roles to different characters. Some play a major role in running the plot and become dominant. They are the major characters who also double as a protagonist and fit for character analysis essay.

Others do the subsidiary role of developing the main character. Choose your character based on their prominence and roles. Prominent characters with major roles have a lot to write about in a character analysis essay.

  • Development: trace characters from the point they are introduced to the end of the story. Assess how the author has developed them. Do they represent real life? Are their personalities progressive or is it an abrupt growth? Pick a well-developed character. They should also represent real life situation or people in the society.

 Use these tips to describe your character. Trace their life from childhood, origin, and age. Describe their family setups such as parents and siblings.

Note the personality traits of your character. Indicate the physical traits such as height, appearance, and general body physique.

Identify the behaviors portrayed by the character. Take note of traits such as generosity, passion, temperament, and maturity.

Follow the character in all the five elements of a story. Analyze how they are portrayed in the introduction, development, climax, anticlimax, and resolution.

Assess the character’s role in the success of the plot. Observe how they interact with other characters in the story. Do they have any challenges?

 Note how they overcome the hurdles to accomplish their goals. Identify how the challenges impact on their development.

4.     Select Your Thesis Statement

It is important to point out your argument or theme statement. What are you writing about? Think of a thesis statement that is relevant to the character analysis essay question.

5.     Write An Outline

An outline is a roadmap for the easy. You will easily write your character analysis essay without missing a point. A standard character analysis essay outline has an introduction, body, and conclusion.

A good character analysis essay organizer should be sequential. It has a character’s name, personal description, traits and their role in the book. Show how the character relates with other characters. Touch the main conflict and explain how it affects the character.

Introduction: write brief information about the character in an interesting manner. Your character analysis essay introduction should attract the readers and invite them to read your essay. Use intriguing language that hooks the reader.

Body: arrange your points in order starting with a personal description. Link the paragraphs with transition sentences that join them coherently. Ensure a seamless flow of points.

In the body paragraph, describe physical features of the characters. Explain in detail their personality and background information. You will learn more about them through their words and the emotions they express.

Describe the conflict and how the character intervened to solve it. Highlight their achievements in reaction to the conflict.

List values learned from the character. Give the lesson the reader can emulate.

Conclusion: summarize your character analysis essay by pointing out the main areas of the analysis. Remind the reader of the thesis statement.

You can restate some key sentences from the body paragraph. Another way is to write a quote that fits the character description.

6.     How To Write a Character Analysis Essay?

Follow the outline you drafted when writing your essay. Introduce your character in a catchy description. You can download free character analysis essays to familiarize yourself with the format.

Provide information on the value of your chosen character. Are they worth the character analysis essay? Make your audience eager to read it.

Conclude your introduction with a thesis statement. Write an intriguing statement that will interest your audience. Create an urge in the audience to dig more in the essay.

The body of the essay contains detailed information about character analysis.

Write body paragraphs with evidence to support your argument. Write strong topic sentences and explain them exhaustively. Give relevant examples and quotes to further support your statement. Here is a skeleton point lineup. Read these points on how to start a character analysis essay body paragraph.

  • Personal information: Character’s physical appearance, background, and character traits that identify them.
  • Conflicts or challenges faced by the character: explain how they reacted to the challenges. Did they come out victorious? Show how they overcame the problem.
  • Lesson learned: enlighten the reader on the moral lesson from this character. The lesson should reflect on the real-life situation. It should be relevant and familiar to your targeted reader.
  • Analyze the behavior of the character under scrutiny. Assess every behavior and the reason behind these actions.
  • Characters’ interaction with others: describe how the character relates with others in the story. Evaluate how they treat others, whether humane or harsh.
  • Language use: write about their language skills. What is the level of their vocabulary use? You will be able to place the literary text at the right reader’s level.
  • Character analysis: observe the text from the character’s eye and the reader’s eye. Provide the character’s view about himself as well as other characters in the story.
  • Characters blueprint. After reading the story with a character in mind, you identify some unique traits associated with them. They include freedom, courage, and hope.

At the start of your character analysis essay, give background information about the character. Use 2-3 paragraphs. State their time and place of birth.

Describe their childhood life. What kind of a family raised them?

Bring to light the character’s childhood lifestyle. Tell if the family enjoyed surplus resources or whether it struggled for the basics like food and clothing.

Your analysis is in the development stage. Bring out the conflict and how your character is involved. Show its progressive development up to the climax.

 Your main focus is the character under analysis. Show how the conflict in the storyline shapes their traits. How do they handle issues?

Weigh their strength in overcoming obstacles and how they influence events and other characters.

Trail the character through the climax, anticlimax, and finally resolution. Express your opinion concerning the character. You can comment on their role in the story.

Evaluate their appropriateness? Did they fit well in the setting? Always remain focused on your thesis statement.


Your takeaway paragraph comes as a summary of the entire character analysis essay. Emphasize your main points as in the body paragraphs. Make your conclusion convincing to leave a print in the reader’s mind.

The conclusion of your character analysis essay shows the thesis statement. Restate it without sounding repetitive. It should however not distort the original message.

 State conflicts in the story that are possible in real life. You can also suggest how the character could have reacted differently. Additionally, show a possible reaction to different situations

Bottom Line

A character analysis essay can be exciting if you stick to the right procedure. Follow the tips on how to write a character analysis essay for a strong analysis essay.

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