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Steps to Writing a Character Analysis Essay

Updated on January 20, 2022

In literature, character is a term used in reference to a verbal representation of a person, particularly the inner self of the person which influences behavior, thought and speech. The interaction of circumstance and character are captured by literature through action, dialogue and commentary. These interactions are livened by literature through presenting characters that are worth rooting for, loving and taking care of. However, there are characters that make the audience laugh, hate or dislike. This essay presents the procedure of writing a character analysis essay.

Common topics in Character Analysis essay include completeness of context, literary characters, character appearance, and character presentation. The writer must also focus on the role which the characters play, protagonist and villain, main themes of the story, the background of the characters, the character’s personality, and character transformation.

Writing a Character Analysis Essay

For a character analysis essay, the character to be analyzed is normally assigned to the student. However, in the event that the character is not assigned, the writer needs to choose only those characters playing a key role in the story. Characters that appear flat in the sense that they are either bad or good with no complex motivations to take into considerations may not be ideal for character analysis. The writer also needs to read and re-read the story so as to understand it fully as well as all the characters. While reading, it is important to notice each place that the character appears and take into concern the following:

a) How is the character (characters) described by the authors?

b) How does the character relate with others?

c) What is the role of the character in moving the story forward?

d) What challenges does the character undergo?

e) Which words are used to describe the character?

The other aspect in character analysis assignment is to pay a closer attention to the ethics of a character. This is in terms of whether the character makes unjust or just choices. For instance, there are characters who make choices which are morally correct only when it is convenient for him or her to do so. However, there are those who can stick to their principles even when life is at a compromise.


The following outline should be used when writing a character analysis essay

1. Introduction

a).Provide background to the story

b). Introduce the author and title

3. Thesis statement (state the traits of the character and how they influence the story)

2. Presentation of the Character at the Story’s beginning

a) Identified traits of the character

b) The impact of these traits on the story

c) How does the character’s trait portray him or her?

3: The transformation of the character in the story?

a) Describe your character

b) Consider changes in beliefs, attitudes, self-concept, the character’s actions

c) The impact of this transformation on the character

d) How the character’s trait influence the story

4. A Description of the Character at the Story’s end

a). What are the character’s traits at the end of the story?

b). How does the trait influence the story?

5. Conclusion

What does the character’s experience teach the readers and what are your general feelings towards that character?


In summary, it is necessary for a writer to study many diverse aspects of a character as possible when writing a character analysis paper. Further, just like any other essay, a character analysis essay ought to be written in an organized manner. Nonetheless, a character analysis essay is a simple task and which should not have many hurdles as long as the writer is conversant with important aspect for considerations.


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