What Is a Character Analysis Essay

Students need to write different essay types from time to time, and a character analysis essay is one of them. This type of academic assignment requires students to pick one character from a literary work they have studied and analyze it from different perspectives. In such an essay, the student may try to show their impression of that character, their reaction to the character’s depiction by the author, or their relationship with others in the literary piece.

No matter which position you choose, there is a need to plan your essay thoroughly. You can’t put the writing process to chance as such an assignment has specific structure and content requirements to follow. Here is a brief review of our pros regarding the operation of character analysis composition.

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay Step by Step

Once you are assigned a character analysis essay, keep in mind that you will hardly complete it without reading the piece. It’s impossible to understand the character, motives, position, and relationship with other novel participants if you don’t read the work thoroughly.

Second, it’s vital to conduct some post-reading analysis of your notes (if you made them in the process of writing). Double-check what impressed you, what you agree and disagree with, and what overall impression you have about the character.

It’s also helpful to perform the following exercises:

  • Write down 3-4 critical attributes of the character. Think of the qualities that distinguish your subject of analysis and put them down on a list. They will be the guiding lines for each paragraph of your essay.
  • Write down all you think about the character in one sentence. No matter how complex and multi-dimensional they are, you should stick to one sentence that captures the gist. It will be your thesis statement.

It’s better to use either of the two methods, not both of them, as there can be some contradiction between the content they may require.

Once the paragraphs are composed (at least in the outline form), you need to work out proper transitions so that your essay reads consistently and coherently.

The final step is to come up with a summative, thought-provoking conclusion. To make it right, you need to revisit your entire essay, double-check what you said in the introduction, whether each of your paragraphs supports the thesis statement, and then restate the key ideas and takeaways in the concluding part.

Character Analysis Essay Introduction

Now let’s stop in a bit more detail on the introduction. First, you need to introduce the character and the literary piece from which it comes. To compose a fantastic intro for your character analysis essay, you may use the following questions as a checklist:

  • Which character impressed you the most in the book/novel?
  • Why did you choose it for analysis?
  • What do you like or dislike about it? Do you agree with their values, beliefs, motives?
  • Do you identify with the character? In which way?
  • Have you met people like this one elsewhere, in reality, or literature?

Character Analysis Essay Format

As a rule, the character analysis essay follows a standard essay format, meaning that it has three main parts:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

We have already dealt with the contents of the introduction and conclusion, so let’s dive deeper into the format of your essay body. Each paragraph of your essay should contain the following mandatory elements:

  • A topic sentence (which serves as a mini-thesis statement for your paragraph and contains its key message).
  • Evidence supporting the idea voiced in the topic sentence. Here you should use direct/indirect quotes from the literary piece and interpret them regarding how they pertain to your topic.
  • A summative statement/interpretation of the evidence/transition to the next paragraph.

Character Analysis Essay Outline

A standard outline for a character analysis essay should contain the key ideas you will consider in its introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Here is a sample outline for the analysis of Jem Finch in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird

Thesis statement: Jem’s character is shown in the transition from childhood to adolescence, and her evolution comes through bitter realization of social injustice.

Body paragraph #1 – Jem’s child features, examples of her childish behavior.

Body paragraph #2 – Jem’s maturity and deeper analysis of social injustice upon seeing prejudice and discrimination in the courtroom.

Body paragraph #3 – Jem’s evolution through understanding the complexities of other people’s lives (e.g., Boo Radley’s unfortunate story)

Conclusion: summary of Jem’s spiritual and intellectual evolution through the realization of social evils. Inferences to Harper Lee’s message of the book transferred through Jem’s character.

More Tips from Professional Writers

Now that you’re better informed about the ins and outs of character analysis essay writing, good luck in writing! Here is a couple of final tips from our expert writers to help you out:

  • Make sure to use quotes to support your opinion, but don’t make them too long (three lines maximum).
  • Try to figure out a creative title for your essay, showing that you took an individual approach to the novel and found something new in it.
  • Don’t use first-person pronouns in the essay; they don’t look relevant.
  • Avoid slang in academic writing pieces.
  • Never neglect a final check; proofreading can help you spot a couple of tiny errors and typos, thus saving you a couple of grade points.

Final Word

As you can see, writing a character analysis essay is nothing complicated.

The key to success is to read the novel attentively and find some valuable character features to focus on. But if you have no time for careful reading and meticulous writing, don’t fall into despair. Instead, contact our writers and order a character analysis from them; your assignment will be ready in hours.

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