A Guide To Academic Writing: The Definition Of A Character Analysis Essay


Essay writing is a learnt skill and an acquired taste. Like all other crafts, you get better at it as you keep practicing it. A lot of students find it hard to imagine essay writing as anything other than a dreadful exercise in masochism. When you are asked to write an essay, the first thing is to understand the assignment: What is being asked? What are you supposed to do?

Let us look at a character analysis essay as an example.

Q. What is a character analysis essay?

A. A character analysis essay is a descriptive explanation of the various traits of a character as it appears in a literary work.

It is not merely a summary or a retelling of the obvious things about the character that are told in the novel or play. It is your personal understanding of how the character is developed. You connect with the character on a deeper level. Somewhat like an actor, you get under your object’s skin; trying to understand the person being described.

You go beyond the obvious in your character analysis. Start writing an outline after you have “felt” the character that you are going to analyze. Although “analysis” sounds like a cold and objective term, there is nothing objective in your understanding of a character. The interplay of the objective and the subjective gives rise to a synthesis. This synthesis is expressed as your analysis of the character. The real and momentous task is to give a clear and understandable account of the character to your reader.

Parts of a character analysis essay:

  1. Description of the chosen character: Describe the traits that the author has provided in his/her description. Address color, ethnicity, color of eyes, or other traits and peculiarities.
  2. Description of the role: Define what the character is “like.” This will call for the use of adjectives. The main thing is to describe what the character does in the story. It does not matter whether the role is a major one or a minor. Everyone does something in a story.
  3. Development of the character: Follow the development of the character throughout the story. The dynamics that change and modify or otherwise affect your character should be included.
  4. What is it that the character wants (motivation): Write about what is driving your character? For example: love, ambition, vendetta etc.
  5. Interpretation: Interpret the character in your own way. Draw new meanings. This is especially important if you are a college student.

Tips to consider

Start writing with brainstorming.Any essay or research paper start with creating an interesting and unique topic. Most students find it hard to make up a topic that would interest the professor. The easiest solution is check the available college paper examples available online for free use. Read the topics, write down the ones you like, conduct a research and give birth to a great topic of your own. The alternative way is to read a newspapers, watch a television program and write about any current issue going on in the world.

Proofread and edit your draft.Make sure to check your final draft before submitting it to your school. Most students are so happy they've finally finished writing their essay or research paper, they forget to spell-check and search for grammar and punctuation mistakes. Most professional writers even use the help of editors (and actually pay them for their services) to ensure the paper is coherent, well-structured and flows well.

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