How to Write Character Analysis: 8 Useful Tips
If you have ever watched any TV crime drama or British detective movie, you’ve seen a group of investigators trying to solve the crime. It can be noticed in any episode of “Colombo” or “CSI.” Even fantastic TV series like “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” deal a lot with personality identification. These skills are really useful in real life. But if you have no idea on how to analyze one’s personality, you’ll be stuck in many life situations. That is why your school and college teachers often ask to write character analysis or analyze just any other subject.
Further in the text, we will cover the most useful tips that help to write in-depth literary character analysis that works. The result of the efficient paper is your “A” and teacher’s appreciation.
- Mind Character Analysis Form
There are two possible analysis forms student should consider when he is ready to write such type of paper:
- A part of a literary analysis paper.
- A separate essay that focuses on a single character.
As you can guess, the first type involves more text and more sections. Write about things like:
- Main idea
- All main heroes
- Compare & contrast
- Other elements of literary analysis
In the first case, you don’t have too much space to write a detailed character evaluation as you have to write about all elements equally. Thus, if your essay must include more than 1000 words, and you have three literary elements to discuss, you should not write more than 200 words on each topic taking into account introduction and conclusion are always needed. These two parts figure as the summary. At the same time, there is more evidence to support your view on a particular hero.
A separate character paper is a bit less complex.
- Begin with the Basics
You should start with identifying the hero. Name the original story, author, years of publishing, and write a brief summary. Then recall the character to whom you wish to dedicate your essay. Write some basic observations first:
- Name (if any)
- Social status
- Physical appearance
- Speech patterns
Thus, the primary step is to describe your hero before composing a more detailed analysis. You should have a draft where you mention how each quality influences your chosen character and, perhaps, the whole story.
- Don’t Take It to Face Value
- The name of your target hero may have a different meaning. In your analysis of Don Quixote, for instance, the second word in character’s name does not necessarily mean something idealistic or unbelievable.
- The age of the person most often predetermines how he or she behaves, talks, and what he or she wears. Write more about how this individual interacts with other characters to show the impact of age.
- Such small elements of analysis as weight, height, and clothing preferences can point to the main qualities of your hero. Clark Kent wears glasses and strict suits to hide his Superman nature under the mask of office nerd.
- Word choice is the last critical element of short analysis. It points to the character's education, sense of humor, beliefs, etc.
Write more complex analysis only once revealing these sides.
- What Would Your Interview Questions Sound Like?
Pretend that you have a chance to talk to your hero. What questions would you write down to conduct an analysis? Choose something like:
- Character’s background: discuss the childhood, relationships, work experience, and all other elements of personality analysis that could influence this person.
- Write about the way other people talk about your hero. In other words, get and share the feedback.
- Try to imagine how this character would describe his own personality. In case such information is missing in the book, try to guess.
- The essay requires a short review of the relations with other people. Highlight the name of his friends and enemies – it may tell a lot.
- Write down the ways your individual reacts to various situations and how he acts in different force majeure.
- Use Supportive Materials
We recommend using extra study materials and prepared templates for your character analysis. The best way to write a perfect essay is to find excellent samples online.
We also encourage you to try one of these worksheets to keep your ideas and entire paper organized:
- Find a Focus
When you write, it is critical to concentrate on something. Even though the main goal is to conduct a character’s in-depth analysis, you should still define the main point of the paper. After you name all features of your hero and his or her role in the particular story, you have to highlight only one trait that you find to be the most curious. In other words, define that one thing that made you choose this character (unless you were assigned your topic).
Here is an example of great analysis focus. Batman’s mission is not only fighting criminal authorities of the city but also ensuring that justice is served properly. Write down about the quality which makes him whom he is – justice.
- Body of Evidence
Just like in any other essay or research paper, you will have to present evidence to support every aspect of your character analysis. As far as most of the time you will have to provide analysis of fiction character, scientific materials and academic journals won’t do. Be ready to find evidence from the piece of literature you’re working on. Thus, you will have to prove your awareness with the in-text citations and indirect quotes from the book or movie your hero comes from.
- It’s All about Powerful Conclusion
At the end of your character analysis essay, you need to find out whether the information you have provided throughout the text would be useful for detectives. Will they identify a character using your writing? Have you mentioned the most outstanding and important traits of your chosen person? A killer essay conclusion might reveal one more aspect of your target character which would be a shock to the audience. Finally, you must write down the reasons for choosing this character out of all other alternatives. Stay creative, or ask for professional online help immediately after you receive a confusing task like that.