essay write character analysis

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay and Get an A+

essay write character analysis

A character analysis essay is a challenging type of essay students usually write for literature or English courses. In this article, we will explain the definition of character analysis and how to approach it. We will also touch on how to analyze characters and guide you through writing character analysis essays.

Typically, this kind of writing requires students to describe the character in the story's context. This can be fulfilled by analyzing the relationship between the character in question and other personas. Although, sometimes, giving your personal opinion and analysis of a specific character is also appropriate.

Let's explain the specifics of how to do a character analysis by getting straight to defining what is a character analysis. Our term paper writers will have you covered with a thorough guide!

What Is a Character Analysis Essay?

The character analysis definition explains the in-depth personality traits and analyzes characteristics of a certain hero. Mostly, the characters are from literature, but sometimes other art forms, such as cinematography. In a character analysis essay, your main job is to tell the reader who the character is and what role they play in the story. Therefore, despite your personal opinion and preferences, it is really important to use your critical thinking skills and be objective toward the character you are analyzing. A character analysis essay usually involves the character's relationship with others, their behavior, manner of speaking, how they look, and many other characteristics.

Although it's not a section about your job experience or education on a resume, sometimes it is appropriate to give your personal opinion and analysis of a particular character.

What Is the Purpose of a Character Analysis Essay

More than fulfilling a requirement, this type of essay mainly helps the reader understand the character and their world. One of the essential purposes of a character analysis essay is to look at the anatomy of a character in the story and dissect who they are. We must be able to study how the character was shaped and then learn from their life. 

A good example of a character for a character analysis essay is Daisy Buchanan from 'The Great Gatsby.' The essay starts off by explaining who Daisy is and how she relates to the main character, Jay Gatsby. Depending on your audience, you need to decide how much of the plot should be included. If the entire class writes an essay on Daisy Buchanan, it is logical to assume everyone has read the book. Although, if you know for certain that your audience has little to no knowledge of who she is, it is crucial to include as much background information as possible. 

After that, you must explain the character through certain situations involving her and what she said or did. Make sure to explain to the reader why you included certain episodes and how they have showcased the character. Finally, summarize everything by clearly stating the character's purpose and role in the story. 

We also highly recommend reading how to write a hook for an essay .

Still Need Help with Your Character Analysis Essay?

Different types of characters.

To make it clear how a reader learns about a character in the story, you should note that several characters are based on their behaviors, traits, and roles within a story. We have gathered some of them, along with vivid examples from famous literature and cinema pieces:

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay

Types of Characters

  • Major : These are the main characters; they run the story. Regularly, there are only one or two major characters. Major characters are usually of two types: the protagonist – the good guy, and the antagonist: the bad guy or the villain. 
  • Protagonist (s) (heroes): The main character around whom most of the plot revolves. 

For example, Othello from Shakespeare's play, Frodo from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and Elizabeth Bennet from 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen.

  • Antagonist (s): This is the person that is in opposition to the protagonist. This is usually the villain, but it could also be a natural power, set of circumstances, majestic being, etc. 

For example, Darth Vader from the Star Wars series by George Lucas, King Joffrey from Game of Thrones, or the Wicked Queen from 'Snow White and Seven Dwarfs.'

  • Minor : These characters help tell the major character's tale by letting them interact and reveal their personalities, situations, and/or stories. They are commonly static (unchanging). The minor characters in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien would be the whole Fellowship of the ring. In their own way, each member of the Fellowship helps Frodo get the ring to Mordor; without them, the protagonist would not be a protagonist and would not be able to succeed. In the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, minor characters are Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger. They consistently help Harry Potter on his quests against Voldemort, and, like Frodo, he wouldn't have succeeded without them.

On top of being categorized as a protagonist, antagonist, or minor character, a character can also be dynamic, static, or foil.

  • Dynamic (changing): Very often, the main character is dynamic.
An example would also be Harry Potter from the book series by J.K. Rowling. Throughout the series, we see Harry Potter noticing his likeness to Voldemort. Nevertheless, Harry resists these traits because, unlike Voldemort, he is a good person and resists any desire to become a dark wizard.
  • Static (unchanging): Someone who does not change throughout the story is static.
A good example of a static character is Atticus Finch from “How to Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. His character and views do not change throughout the book. He is firm and steady in his beliefs despite controversial circumstances. 
  • Foils : These characters' job is to draw attention to the main character(s) to enhance the protagonist's role.
‍ A great example of a foil charact e r is Dr. Watson from the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle.

How to Analyze a Character 

While preparing to analyze your character, make sure to read the story carefully.

  • Pay attention to the situations where the character is involved, their dialogues, and their role in the plot.
  • Make sure you include information about what your character achieves on a big scale and how they influence other characters.
  • Despite the categories above, try thinking outside the box and explore your character from around.
  • Avoid general statements and being too basic. Instead, focus on exploring the complexities and details of your character(s).

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay?

To learn how to write a character analysis essay and gather a more profound sense of truly understanding these characters, one must completely immerse themself in the story or literary piece.

  • Take note of the setting, climax, and other important academic parts.
  • You must be able to feel and see through the characters. Observe how analysis essay writer shaped these characters into life.
  • Notice how little or how vast the character identities were described.
  • Look at the characters' morals and behaviors and how they have affected situations and other characters throughout the story.
  • Finally, observe the characters whom you find interesting. 

Meanwhile, if you need help writing a paper, leave us a message ' write my paper .'

How Do You Start a Character Analysis Essay

When writing a character analysis essay, first, you have to choose a character you'd like to write about. Sometimes a character will be readily assigned to you. It's wise to consider characters who play a dynamic role in the story. This will captivate the reader as there will be much information about these personas.

Read the Story

You might think that if you already have read the book, there is no need to do so again; however, now that you know the character you would like to focus on, reading it again will have plenty of benefits. It will give you an opportunity to be more precise while reading the scenes that relate directly to your character and are important for his/her analysis. While reading the book, pay attention to every tiny detail to make sure you grasp the whole array of your character's traits. 

Consider the following things:

  • What specific descriptions does the author provide for each character?

For example, when J.K. Rowling describes Harry Potter for the first time, she describes his clothes as old and oversized, his hair untidy, and his glasses as broken. It might seem just like a simple description, but she expresses compassion and pity for an orphan neglected by his only relatives. 

  • What kinds of relationships does your character have with others?

Think about how Harry builds up his friendships with others. First, he and Ron do not like Hermione because she acts like a know-it-all, but when she gets stuck in the dungeons with a horrendous troll, he rushes to save her regardless. 

  • How do the actions of the character move the plot forward?

In 'The Philosopher's Stone,' Harry is very observant of any events taking place at school. He analyzes people's actions, which builds up the plot around the stone and its importance for the magical world.

Get help with your character analysis from our experts.

Choose a Dynamic Character

Choosing a dynamic character is a great idea. This does not necessarily have to be the protagonist, but a character that undergoes many changes has grown throughout the story and is not boring and/or static. This gives you a perfect advantage to fully show the character and make your paper entertaining and engaging for the reader. If you choose a character that is not very dynamic, your essay might seem monotonous because your character will not end up doing much and will not be very involved in the story.

While you are reading, it is useful to take notes or highlight/underline any of the critical elements of the story. This will add depth to your character description(s). By providing vivid and specific examples, you connect your reader to the character, and the character comes alive in their eyes. Review your notes and formulate the main idea about your character when you're finished reading with your character in mind.

Make an initial draft while taking note of the character analysis essay outline provided by your instructor. You may follow the recommended character analysis essay format if you have not been provided with a sample.

Choose a Main Idea

While reading the story, make sure you keep track of your notes. It is a good idea to look at them, choose the ones that are the most representative of your character and find patterns. This will be your thesis. Then, you must support this idea with examples and situations involving your character. 

If your character were Jem Finch from 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee, the main idea would be how his personal character is shaped through racial conflicts, social inequalities, and internal struggles between public opinion, his own views, and what is actually right. Essaypro offers you history essay help. Leave us a notice if you need to proofread, edit, or write your essay.

Character Analysis Questions

Now that you have jotted down some main concepts about your character, here is a list of questions that can help you fill in the blanks you might still have:

character analysis quesions

  • Where do the events involving your character take place?
  • What are the relationships between your character and other significant characters?
  • What is the primary change your character has gone through throughout the story?
  • What is your character's background?
  • What is your character's occupation?
  • What kind of emotions does your character go through?
  • What are your character's values?
  • What is your character's value?
  • Does your character have friends?
  • Is there a lesson your character has learned by the end of the story?
  • Does the character achieve the goals he/she has set for himself/herself?

Make a Character Analysis Essay Outline

When you're unsure how to write a character synopsis, remember that creating a literary analysis outline is one of the most critical steps. A well-constructed character analysis outline will keep your thoughts and ideas organized.

Character Analysis Essay Introduction:

Make the introduction to your paper brief and meaningful. It should hold together your entire essay and spark your audience's interest. Write a short description of the character in question. Don't forget to include a character analysis thesis statement which should make a case for the character's relevance within the narrative context.

Character Analysis Essay Body:

Subdivide your body paragraphs into different ideas or areas regarding the character. Look at your professor's rubric and ensure you'll be able to tackle all the requirements. You should also be provided with questions to be answered to formulate your analysis better. The body should answer the following questions:

  • What is the character's physical appearance, personality, and background?
  • What are the conflicts the character experiences, and how did he/she overcome them?
  • What can we learn from this character?
  • What is the meaning behind the character's actions? What motivates him/her?
  • What does the character do? How does he/she treat others? Is he/she fair or unjust?
  • What does the character say? What is his/her choice of words? Does he/she have a rich vocabulary?
  • How does the character describe themself? How do others describe him/her?
  • What words do you associate with the character? Perhaps a word like 'hope,' 'bravery,' or maybe even 'freedom'?

Character Analysis Essay Conclusion:

It's time to master the secrets of how to write character analysis essay conclusions. Your ending should also hold your ideas together and shape a final analysis statement. Mention things about the character's conflicts that we could experience in real life. Additionally, you can write about how a character should've reacted to a certain situation.

Character Analysis Essay Example

Read our blogs ‘Character Analysis of Jem Finch', 'The Great Gatsby Book Through Daisy Buchanan Character,' 'Analysis of Characters in Beowulf,' or simply use these character analysis essay examples to reference your paper. You might also be interested in a synthesis essay example .

Now that you know what is character analysis, it might be time to choose a character to write about. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to type ' do my homework for me ,' you should contact our writers. You also get a free plagiarism report, formatting, and citing when  buying an essay from us!

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  • December 6, 2020
  • By Homework Help Global

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay: Everything You Need to Know For Your Next Literary Assignment

College student sitting in bed working on a character analysis essay

To properly analyze a character, you have to be able to dig deeper into the text. It’s more than just describing someone’s physical appearance or talking about the things they’ve done in the story; you have to dive into the character’s motivations, their context to the story, and significance of their character.

If that’s starting to sound like a lot to take in, you shouldn’t be worried! In this guide, we’re going to show you how to write a character analysis essay in easy-to-follow steps that will help you get ahead in your course.

Female student choosing a story to use for her essay

What is a Character Analysis Essay?

Like any assignment you write, you’ll need to know what it is you’re doing before you actually start writing your paper. So, let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a character analysis essay, and why are you writing one?

As we mentioned before, in this type of essay, you’re going to analyze a specific character from a novel, text, movie, TV show, or other type of story. In the paper, you’ll discuss various details and information about that character that make them who they are, and establish their position in the story.

Now, let’s get to the question of why you’re writing this essay. Often, a character analysis is a great way to understand and analyze the broader context of a story, as well as the way a story is written. Characters often take on symbolic meanings or are used to represent literary devices that tell a narrative. Sometimes a character is there to cause conflict (such as an antagonist), while other characters are there to progress the story (such as the protagonist).

Essentially, your professor is looking to see how you’ve read, understood, and interpreted a story, and a character within a story, to see the overall meaning of the text.

Male college student at a desk working on his thesis statement

How to Start Your Character Analysis Essay

The first thing you need to do is choose the character you’re going to analyze for your paper. This decision will be easy if your professor assigns you the character to use, but if you have the ability to pick one yourself, you’ll need to choose wisely.

Choosing a character to use for a character analysis essay is usually a strategic decision. If your professor hasn’t assigned you a specific character to use, you’ll want to pick someone you know you can write a detailed and thoughtful essay about.

Generally, you want to avoid minor characters that don’t add much to the story because you won’t typically find a lot of information about them – certainly not enough for an entire essay. These characters don’t show a lot of development over time, which means they don’t have a lot of value to add. Not to mention, it’ll be hard to find external sources if your assignment instructions require those.

This doesn’t mean you have to pick the protagonist or main character, but it should be someone at least a little significant. In fact, if you choose the protagonist, the chances are that tons of your other classmates will do the same thing, and your professor doesn’t want to read 20 essays about one character. By the time they get to yours, the marking will get tougher.

In the next section, we’ll go over a list of the different types of characters usually found in a story to help you determine the best option for your assignment.

College student laying in her dorm room reading a book for her character analysis essay

Types of Characters in a Story

Firstly, to understand how to write a character analysis essay, you should understand the different types of characters that appear within a story, as well as how to identify them. The type of character you choose to analyze will impact your ability to create a well-rounded, in-depth discussion. You have to be able to identify the significance of a character, and choosing the wrong one can spell disaster for your project (and your grade, inevitably).

In the next few sections, we’ll dive into each of these types of characters in more detail, but here is the core list:

● The protagonist

● The antagonist

● Major characters

● Minor characters

● Dynamic characters

● Static characters

The Protagonist

The protagonist is the main character the story is about. Every single story ever told has at least one main protagonist – without one, your entire plot won’t have a leg to stand on.

Here are some examples of well-known protagonists in books, movies, and TV shows:

● Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series

● Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games series

● Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

● Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

● Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit series

● Charlie in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

● Lizzie McGuire in Disney’s Lizzie McGuire

● Alice in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

● Wilbur in E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web

● Macbeth in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

Often, the protagonist is the hero of the story who goes through a journey or learns a valuable lesson. However, you could also encounter an anti-hero as a protagonist. An anti-hero is a main character that is morally ambivalent or doesn’t always do the right thing, or they do the right thing for the wrong reasons. They might do bad things, but the audience is still rooting for them (most of the time). Some examples of anti-heroes include Walter White from Breaking Bad, Tyrion Lannister from Game of Thrones, and Dexter in Dexter.

Another thing you should also remember here is that, while the protagonist often tells the story from their first-person perspective, the narrator of a story is not always the protagonist. Sometimes the narrator is a major or minor character looking in and telling the story, like Nick in The Great Gatsby.

The Antagonist

Usually the villain or “enemy,” the antagonist is the character in the opposite position to the protagonist. While it’s a common trope, the antagonist doesn’t always have to be the villain. It could just be someone who gets in the protagonist’s way or presents an obstacle for them, even if it’s well meaning.

Here are some examples of well-known antagonists in books, movies, and TV shows:

● Jafar in Disney’s Aladdin

● Lex Luthor in Superman

● Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

● Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello

● Regina George in Mean Girls

● Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

● Macduff in Shakespeare’s Macbeth

● Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid

● The Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

● Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Female college student sitting outside reading a book in the sun

Major Characters

A major character is usually someone who is important to the story, but isn’t the protagonist. It could be a best friend, a sidekick, a parent or guardian, or even a close confidant or teacher. A love interest is also a type of major character, especially if that love interest goes along for the journey or causes some type of conflict for the protagonist.

Here are some examples of major characters:

● Professor Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series

● Mercutio in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

● Miss Honey in Roald Dahl’s Matilda

● Lois Lane in Superman

● Daisy Buchanan in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

● Han Solo in the Star Wars saga

● Laurie Laurence in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

● Jane Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

● Baloo in Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book

● Marie in Disney’s The Aristocats

Minor Characters

Minor characters are usually side characters that don’t really add a whole lot to the actual plot of the story. They might be people who pop in every now and then, or someone who has to be included for the progression of the plot. For example, this could be someone’s family member or a bus driver that takes the protagonist to school each day.

Here are some examples of minor characters:

● Cinna in the Hunger Games series

● Eleanora Poe in Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

● Aunt March in in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

● Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series

● Rickon Stark in the Game of Thrones series

● Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Shakespeare’s Hamlet

● Jock and Trusty in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp

● Wheezy in Disney’s Toy Story 2

● Maria Hill in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

● Mace Windu in the Star Wars saga

Remember – minor characters do matter ! It’s important to note that just because a character might be a minor character that doesn’t really get much of their own story, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t important, supportive to the plot, or loveable. If you can find enough information about a minor character’s background and involvement in the plot, you can certainly analyze them for your essay.

College student sitting outside reading a book to analyze

Dynamic Characters, Static Characters, and Foils

A dynamic character is someone who grows and changes as a person throughout the story. Usually the protagonist is a dynamic character who learns a lesson and becomes a better person. However, those changes don’t always have to be positive – in the Star Wars saga, Anakin Skywalker is a dynamic character whose arc goes from starting out as a good, heroic jedi to the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader.

Static characters generally stay the same throughout the story and don’t really experience any growth. Usually you don’t find out too much about static characters, like their background or personal history, but they’re there to play a specific role or be a symbolic character. Minor characters tend to be static characters as well.

Here is an example: In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch is a dynamic character because she learns throughout the story that it’s wrong to judge other people based on stereotypes and prejudices. Meanwhile, Atticus Finch is a static character because he has a strong moral code and sticks to it throughout the story, thereby teaching Scout not to judge others.

Foils are characters who exist as a contrast against the protagonist, usually to showcase certain aspects of their personality or qualities. This isn’t necessarily a villain or the antagonist, but someone who has different traits than the protagonist. For example, you could have a sweet and endearing character who is best friends with a cold, tough character.

George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men are a great example of character foils. While they are best friends, they are opposites: George is small, intelligent, and skinny, while Lennie is very large, strong, and mentally disabled. In presenting them as opposites, John Steinbeck showcases the individual traits and qualities of both of their personalities, as well as how they complete one another.

There are also a few different types of foils an author could use. Foils could be presented through a subplot, two contrasting objects, or a set of characters.

College student in her school library looking for a story to write about

How to Analyze a Character

Now that you know what character you’re going to analyze, it’s time to get to work! Go back to your text and make note of any detail you can think of about your character. Here is a list of things to consider when you’re getting started:

● Physical traits: What does the character look like? Do they have any identifying characteristics, like Harry Potter’s lightning bolt scar? This can include anything from hair colour to the clothing they wear, height and body type, and so on.

● Emotional traits: How does the character react to emotional situations? For example, are they cold and closed off, or are they more open with their feelings?

● Relationships: Who are the closest people to your character? Do they have a posse of best friends they work with, or a close family they confide in?

● Background: Where does the character come from? What is their occupation? Where do they live, and what kind of lifestyle do they have?

● Motivation: What drives your character to do the things they do? For example, in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch chooses to represent Tom Robinson even though he knows he will be attacked for it because he has a strong moral code and believes in justice.

● Moral Code: Is this character inherently good or bad? What are the intentions of their actions? For example, Superman and Captain America are both classic characters that have strong moral codes and live by them in everything they do.

● Values: What are your character’s values? Here are some examples of values your character could have: loyalty, spirituality, determination, jealousy, empathy or kindness, optimism, family, love, wealth, and so on.

● Objective: What is your character’s objective in life? It could be as simple as wanting to become or be wealthy, like Mr. Burns in The Simpsons, or wanting to free the world from evil, like Sam and Dean Winchester in Supernatural.

Here are some other questions to ask yourself while you analyze your text:

● How does the character speak?

● What words would you associate with your character? This can also be a great question to ask to figure out your character’s values.

● What is this character’s purpose in the story? In other words, if they aren’t the protagonist, how do they help or support them along their journey?

When in doubt, try filling out a template like this Ultimate Character Questionnaire from The Novel Factory. It’s designed to be used to create characters, but the questions on the list can be used to analyze existing characters when you need to determine how much you know about them.

Putting it All Together

Now that you understand what kind of traits and elements you’re looking for and have taken down some notes on your character, it’s time to start writing your essay and put it all together.

An analysis essay of any text, character, or theme boils down to your ability to dig deeper and go beyond the surface of your character’s story. You have to look for the points the author is trying to make, or the symbolism they are trying to represent.

For example, let’s say you’re doing an analysis on Harry Potter from any of the Harry Potter books. You’re not here just to talk about his signature glasses and lightning bolt scar or the fact that he lives in a cupboard under the Dursleys’ stairs. The goal is to identify the journey Harry embarks on and the lessons he learns along the way that help him grow as a person. How does he change from the time he arrives at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to the time he leaves, and what does this mean?

Closeup shot of a female student reading a book for her character analysis essay

The Anatomy of a Good Character Analysis Essay

As we say with any writing assignment, you should start with an outline. Your outline will help you keep track of the information you need to include, the order you should present it in, and the flow of your paper as a whole. It’s also a great way to avoid writer’s block because you can always go back and consult the outline if you get stuck.

Here is a basic outline for a good character analysis essay that you can follow: Paragraph 1: Introduction

● Start with a catchy hook.

● Give some background information on your character and the story they come from.

● End with your thesis statement .

Paragraph 2: Background Information and Identification

● Start with a topic sentence to introduce the paragraph.

● Describe your character: physical appearance, background, what type of character they are, their relationships, main characteristics, and so on.

● End with a transition sentence leading into the next paragraph.

Paragraph 3: Your Character’s Journey, Motivation, and Challenges

● Start with another great topic sentence to introduce the paragraph.

● Write about the main journeys, challenges, and obstacles your character goes through in the story.

● If your character is a dynamic character, describe how they grow and change throughout the course of the story.

● End with another transition sentence leading into the next paragraph.

Paragraph 4: Insights and Lessons Learned From the Character

● Again, start with a good topic sentence introducing the paragraph.

● In this paragraph, you can discuss the overall significance of the character and the lessons the audience can learn from them.

● End with a transition sentence summarizing your statements and leading into the conclusion.

Paragraph 5: Conclusion

● Start by restating your thesis statement in different words.

● Summarize the main points you’ve made about your character.

● End with a strong concluding sentence that leaves your reader with something to think about.

For more help structuring your essay, check out our blog on essay format . We go over all the elements you should include in your outline, as well as the right way to structure your paper for your specific assignment type.

Writing a Character Analysis Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement should concisely describe the points you’re making about your character and the overall conclusion you come to. It doesn’t need to hash out every detail you’ll write, but it should give the reader some idea of what your analysis is going to be about.

For example, if we continue with the example of a character analysis on Harry Potter and follow the outline above, your thesis statement might look something like this: “J.K. Rowling’s titular character Harry Potter begins his journey as a lonely, shy orphan boy who finds out he is actually a wizard; from the moment he sets foot on the Hogwarts grounds for the first time until he graduates, he follows the hero’s journey to discover the power of friendship, strength, and courage in order to beat evil Lord Voldemort.”

For more help writing a great thesis statement, or any other part of your essay, download our free essay writing ebook. This book contains over 150 pages of helpful advice, tips, and step by step information that will take you through every part of writing any type of academic essay.

Frustrated student laying with a story book on their head

Don’t Feel Like Writing Your Own Character Analysis Essay? Let us Take Care of it

When it comes to writing a really good character analysis essay that’s worth a large percentage of your grade, you may have some hesitations about doing it yourself when you aren’t comfortable with the concept. Fortunately, at Homework Help USA , we have a team full of experts who are more than comfortable to step in and help out.

Our writing team not only loves to read, but has written plenty of character analysis assignments during their respective academic careers. We’re more than happy to step in and help you get your grades to where you need them. If you need more reassurance, you can always check out our Sample Works page to see some of the papers we’ve done.

Get a free quote now for your character analysis assignment, or fill out our quick and easy online order form so one of our writers can get started for you.

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character analysis

How to Write Character Analysis Essay?

essay write character analysis

A character analysis is a complete evaluation of a character's persona, their role in the story line, their challenges achievements and conflicts as the plot of the story mature along the way. An excellent character analysis has a critical angle of questioning the character as well as draw conclusions based on facts presented by nature in the cause of his or her interactions, (Schauber, 2014). When developing a character analysis, the writer should be open minded not to draw a conclusion on nature without assessing all possible scenario.

Mastering a character analysis essay is part of the academic prowess you'll need as you prepare for college. As a high school senior, it's also the perfect time to explore financial aid opportunities to support your higher education journey. Discover a list of the best scholarships for high school seniors which could provide the financial cushion you need, as you hone your analytical and writing skills through assignments like character analysis essays.

Character analysis has been employed by screenplay writers and professionally in movie scripts where a character, for instance, a villain or heroes is cultivated from the time the movie starts to its end. We know all the trends and help you at our essay writing services . Also known as ' pay someone to write my paper ' service.

Traits to Watch for in a Character Analysis Essay

While developing a morph metric scale for character analysis, it is important to choose a character whose role keeps on changing as the plot of the story develops. Continuously examine their ethical alignment on the play. Identify if the author has created a moral persona of the character or a villain or if they exhibit interchanging personality in the cause of the play. Based on these findings, draw a valid conclusion on their ethical stand, (Schauber, 2014).

Artistically, authors and screenwriters do employ the use of redundant phrases that are utilized by the same character over and again. Paying close attention to the characters wordplay is imperative. Analyze what he or she says and does in different scenarios. Be keen to collectively sum their perspective in a whole sum manner. For instance, the character in question might be violent to his family member but be very at ease with colleagues and friends or vice versa. In such a situation this character can be described as having inferiority or superiority complex disorders in relation to a particular group in question.

The saying goes, show me your friends, and I will tell you your characters. Ideally the author has all necessary tools to alter the cause of a specified character throughout the play; however, other characters might have different opinions with the author Thomas, J. (2009). To better understand the writers' personality, it would be easier to hear from those that are in his social circles elaborate what they think of the character. In the case of a movie character review, a character may show their true character when they lower their shield when they are around family and friends.

What is a Character Analysis Essay?

Character analysis essay focus on a “character” in any story. The analysis reveals facts and figures and lesson one takes from the character about life. Character analysis is merely not based on facts but the reviewer needs to read the psychology of the character, his/her emotions, his/her approach to a specific situation, reasons and motivation behind a particular attitude. The review draw conclusion from the character’s approach and relate it to life. This is done by using the evidences provide in the story by the author (approach of character in multiple circumstances).

It is important to read the story properly and keep eye on details and analyze the charter and draw conclusion in light of the given evidences.

There different kinds of characters:

  • Hero (protagonists) the central character, most of the work revolves around him/her.
  • Major characters: there may be one to two major characters where they dominate in the story.
  • Villain (antagonists): the negative or force full character of the story.
  • Minor characters are those in any story which keep help the major character to reveal facts in different situation and they remain unchanged during the story.

There may be dynamic characters which keep changing throughout the story. Static characters are those who remain same or constant in a story.

essay write character analysis

Step 1: Initiate your Essay with Quotation about the Character

Once you have chosen your character to analyze, our write my essay service professionals suggest that you start the character analysis essay by providing a thoughtful and powerful quotation about the character. You can relate the character to the quote and provide a stage for character analysis. If your character is hardworking, use a quotation that reflects hard work or if your character is brave, then share the quotation about bravery. If your character showed patriotism, then start with a quotation that highlights patriotism. By using a quotation, the reader will develop an interest to read, but one shall make sure that quotation should be relevant and best portray the character.

Step 2: Provide Background Information

In the second step one can give background information about the author, title of the story and time frame the possible reasons behind the story. Give briefly what is story all about. It is important to read the story carefully and link passages either they are link to the character directly or indirectly.

Step 3: Introduce the character

The third part of the character analysis essay is most vital and it is further divided into three parts. Initially you introduce your character and then you define three significant attributes that you have identify in the character and which develops as the story progresses. After introducing the character, there are three distinct body paragraphs which define the character traits of your character.

Writing character analysis essays presents unique challenges because it lacks specific method and does not have a clear pattern. The purpose of a character analysis is to explore the traits that influence the persona of a character. Consequently, to make the character study effective, the writer must go beyond the surface of stating the persona of a character, to exploring the reasons that explain that particular persona. In effect, the author must show that, had the character been in different circumstances, his/her persona would be different. The following is a discussion of various elements in a character analysis essay.

How to Write the Introduction?

An ideal introduction starts with a quotation, a statement, or a question that relates to the character in question. The significance of the introductory statement may not be clear to the reader at the early stages of the paper, but should be clear as the essay progresses into the body. The simplest introduction includes elements about the character that the body of the article may not discuss in depth. In the last sentence of the introduction, the paper must set the parameters that will define the scope of the article and state what the character analysis aims to achieve.

Most Common Topics

As noted earlier, the challenge in writing character analysis is that there are no standard items nor clearly defined patterns that a paper should adhere to.

In crafting a compelling character analysis, one can draw parallels to the meticulous process scientists undertake in their quest to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Much like literary enthusiasts dissecting the intricacies of fictional personalities, astrophysicists too, delve into the unknown, piecing together the cosmic narrative. For those with a penchant for both literary and scientific exploration, marrying these interests could lead to a uniquely enriching educational journey. Pursuing a course in astrophysics at one of the top colleges for astrophysics could provide a robust foundation, enabling a seamless fusion of these seemingly disparate realms. Through such an interdisciplinary endeavor, one not only sharpens analytical and critical thinking skills vital for character analysis but also broadens the horizons of understanding, enriching both the literary and scientific discourse.

However, several common topics have formed the basis of character analysis in the past. They include the following.


  • What makes the character great?
  • How do the qualities of a character affect the outcome of his actions?
  • What are the most prominent symbols of the character if any?
  • Has the geography of the character or the narrative in question influenced the behavior of the character?
  • Can the themes wrought be the character analysis be related to the real world, if so, how?

Character Analysis Sample

character analysis example

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay?

A character analysis essay is like most other academic papers which are composed of three parts; introduction, the body of the paper and conclusion. In writing the article, one should ensure that the last sentence of the introduction paragraph clearly outlines the thesis statement. The statement should be clear and objective to as seen from the reader point of view. After the introduction, the items in the body should be organized such that each paragraph explains one idea. The organization of the sections should be cohesive and ensure the flow of ideas. In the last paragraph, the paper should give closing remarks and state whether the thesis of the article has been achieved by the substance provided in the body.

Outline for a Character Analysis Essay

The following is the outline for a character analysis essay used by the writers from our professional paper writing service :

outline character analysis

I. Introduction

  • Introduce the title of the story and the author.
  • Give the background of the story.
  • Thesis: In a single sentence, state the main traits of the character and how they affect other characters as well as the themes of the story.

II. Describe how the character is revealed at the beginning of the story

  • Introduce the adjective that will describe the character.
  • Make reference to what other authors say about the character
  • State and explain how the trait identified affects the story.

III. Describe how the character evolves throughout the course of the story

  • Identify the adjective that best describes the character.
  • Not the change that the character undergoes throughout the story or novel.
  • Explain the significance of the change in the character’s traits.

IV. Describe the traits of the character at the end of the novel

  • Note how different the character is from the character at the beginning of the story.
  • Note whether the character has changed for better or worse.
  • If there is no change, observe whether that is right or bad for the character.

V. Conclusion

  • Explain the lessons learned from the experiences of the character.
  • State the feelings in light of what the character has gone through.

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The summary of character analysis essay may be summarized in three different steps: firstly what are the lessons learnt by the character during the course of his/her struggle. Let’s say any character who entirely depends on her/his family members and is escapes from challenges in life. So how did the character overcome this problem.

The second part should focus on reasoning or evidences that how did the character overcome his/her fear and challenges in life. The character may rely on his/her family whenever struggle but as the story progressed the character overcome his/her fear and become more confident and realize that he/she can face the problems himself/herself. At the end the character did not rely on his/her family in order to face problems and challenges in life.

Thirdly the review can provide his/her thoughts and wrap up the topic by taking the message away. Let’s say from the story I learnt that though challenges are always not really pleasure but they are part of our lives and it’s better to face them than to avoid them. It is a fact that at the end of every challenge one faces one feel more confident, stronger and happier and prospers.

In conclusion , it is important to mention that choosing the correct title for a paper determines whether it will make the desired appeal to potential readers. The most efficient way of developing the title is to go through the thesis statement and the conclusion and derive the statement from the grand idea of the two parts.

If you have any troubles choosing the title or topic for the article you can use our paper topic generator tool, or just order an essay with our essay writing services.

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What Does Character Analysis Essay Mean?

essay write character analysis

Writing a character analysis essay can be a troublesome task without proper guideline. But, before starting a character analysis you must know what is a character analysis and how does it look like. Character essay is aimed to evaluate someone’s character which has been depicted in any story or film. Now, what does it take to make a character analysis essay? For analyzing a character, you need to evaluate the traits, identity and role of a character in the story, and the events through which he or she go through in the story. When exploring, the writer will need to think critically. Be keen and assertive and ask yourself questions about your character and then draw conclusions. A character analysis is not just elaborating a role in the story but it entails more a lot. You need to look into the personality, engagements, behavior, and decisions of a character that are communicated to you as a reader. You can also say that, Character analysis is a type of composition which needs an indulgent study of your character in a particular question. These essays are used to for the purpose of analyzing a character in a literature. Character analysis essay also helps you in making a profile and evaluateyour characters comprehensively. Besides just fulfilling a necessity, Character analysis paper basically reasons us to comprehend your character and the settings where he or she lives in.

How Do You Write a Character Analysis Essay? Easy Steps

When the instructor assigns you to evaluate a character, first make an outline and jot down the points on which you are about to work. While taking notes from the teacher, make an initial draft of your essay while observing this paper layout. Following are the few tips on writing a successful character analysis:

  • Regularly, analyzing a character in the story, enables you to better comprehend the story itself. At the point when you are about to write about a character to investigate, be sure that you are basically requested to know his/her purpose in the story. You can talk about his/her aims. Also, in a few works, the outlooks of your character might be unclear.
  • You should portray your his/her Identity. It’s not as troublesome as it might appear to make sense of identity characteristics dependent on a his/her considerations and practices
  • While analyzing a character, think of your characteras the leasing role in the story
  • Getbits of information through characters’ words, activities, responses, emotions, developments, thoughts, and characteristics. Indeed, even the opinions provided by your charactercan enable you to become familiar with them
  • Analyze your character according to personality traits
  • If your character you are going to analyze is doing a leading role, then look for the leadership characteristics in his character
  • You intend to characterize the type role of your Character in the story you are examining.
  • When you compose this type of essay, you should characterize the identity characteristic, which can enable you to comprehend what your character is about in the story. Your charactercan be either a main role around which the story revolves or just a minor/supporting part that helps the real characters in the story.

How Do You Start a Character Analysis Essay?

Starting a character analysis is very crucial for making a successful and eye caching essay. At First, you need to pick a character you are about to illustrate on. In some cases, a character will be promptly given by instructor to you. If your character analysis is to be written for your character of your choice, then select a characters who is playing the main role in the story. Reading a story more than once will enable you to observe things that you may have missed previously. You can use a highlighter or marker while reading the story and mark each spot where your character is showed up. This is how you begin with a character analysis essay.

  • Take notes while reading – While starting to write an analysis, take notes and then underline every basic component of the story. That will include profundity while depicting your character. When you are done perusing in view of your character, review the notes, and plan the primary thought regarding a character.
  • Introduce your character – Present your character being broke down by depict your character and clarifying his or her job in the bit of writing. Next, recognize whether your character is the hero, foe or a minor character. Depicting whether your character is static is a critical subsequent stage to advancement. A static character remains the equivalent from start to finish while a dynamic one experiences an individual change. At long last, give a few sentences to the general depiction of your character.
  • Present your dissertation for your character – As you complete your character analysis paper, give a smooth progress from the general depiction of your character to the point of convergence of the article. This is the spot to present your general expansive affirmation or contention of the examination pursued by the proposition articulation that incorporates your thoughts.
  • Make a thesis statement – Complete the presentation with your paper’s proposal articulation. The theory is the primary affirmation or contention of your investigate and should express your thoughts in an unmistakable and compact way.

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How Do You Format a Character Analysis Essay?

A character analysis is formatted just like other essays. Similar to other papers, it includes an introduction, body section and conclusion. Below is the detail given to you about how to write for each section in a character analysis essay?


The introductory part of your paper should be brief and important. The introduction should hold together your entire exposition and it must start eagerness for individuals. In the beginning of your essay, compose a short portrayal of the character being referred to.

The body of your essay should be divided into three or more passages discussing the various thoughts or territories to be considered with respect to the character. Don’t forget to considerthe teacher’s rubric and ensure that you can have the capacity to handle the things required. The body paragraphs responds to the accompanying inquiries:

  • What are his/her physical appearance, identity, and foundation?
  • What would the readers be able to gain from that character?
  • What were the contentions that the character experienced and how did the character has overcome them?

To make a conclusion, hold together your thoughts and shape a last concluding remarks. Notice things about his/her contentions which we can involvement, in actuality. Likewise, you can expound on how a character that should’ve responded to a specific circumstance.

What is an Example of Character Analysis Essay?

By considering a readymade example, you can concentrate on how the writers of these papers have expounded on various characters. So, students need to go on and look for character analysis samples. Composing a character analysis essay presents itself as a test to numerous students at school and college. In contrast to other essays, where the technique for writing is distinct, making a character analysis essay does not pursue same pattern for every character. Therefore, students appear to be uncertain when they write a character analysis essay, and regularly, the introductory part of the analysis is the hardest part because it starts things out. So, the students may need to realize the significance of a solid prologue to their essay. To build up the foundation of the whole paper, some students seek for the written examples of a character analysis essay. When writing an essay, a fundamental structure for the presentation of a character can be same for all. They can replicate disposition changes and responses, which may find in their character, can enable them to compose a character analysis essay. Here are some examples of written character analysis for characters from the several famous stories:

Bottom Line

Conclusion is one of the most critical part of your character analysis essay. Review and recap the major events, personality traits, behavior and responses shown by your character during the story. On the basis of his role in the story, re-assert that why was this particular character important for you. Also, make sure to conclude by stating whether your character has a positive or negative impact in the story. Conclude with the lessons or morals you have learned from your character.


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How to Write a Character Analysis

Last Updated: November 11, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Jamie Korsmo, PhD . Jamie Korsmo is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Georgia State University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 743,878 times.

Learning how to write a character analysis requires a thorough reading of the literary work with attention to what the author reveals about the character through dialogue, narrative, and plot. A literary analyst writes about the role each character plays in the work. The protagonist is the most important character, while the character who plays the villain in the conflict with the main character is called the antagonist. Great writers create characters with many facets, so character analysis should focus on these complexities. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you write your own character analysis.

Getting Started

Step 1 Choose your character.

  • For example, if you are reading Mark Twain's classic Huckleberry Finn , you might consider choosing Huck or the runaway slave, Jim, because they are dynamic characters who show a wide range of emotion, who often act in unpredictable ways, and who move the plot forward with their actions.
  • It might be less effective to choose the duke or the king, the tricksters Huck and Jim meet in Arkansas, because they have fairly minor roles in the story, they don't show a wide range of emotions, and, more than anything, they're simply stock characters (the story needs a humorous detour and a way for Jim and Huck to be separated, so that Huck can have his infamous All right, then, I'll go to hell! moment, and the duke and the king fulfill that role).

Step 2 Read the story with your character in mind.

  • For the Huck Finn example, you might think about how Huck is described as a backwoods boy, but he clearly wrestles with larger issues that have complex social implications - like slavery and religion.
  • Think about how Huck relates to runaway slave Jim, both in the beginning of the novel and at the end. Think about Huck's relationship with his drunk, abusive father and how it shaped his identity.
  • Huck is the main character, so obviously his actions are important. But what, specifically, is special about the way Huck acts? How does he make different decisions than someone else in the same situation might? You could talk about how Huck decides to rescue Jim from the people who intend to return him to his owner because he decides that slavery is wrong, even though this idea contradicts everything society has taught him.
  • Think about how Huck grows and learns throughout the story. In the beginning, he is more likely to get caught up in schemes (like faking his own death); but later on, he avoids the trickery he observes (like when he tries to ditch the deceptive duke and king).

Step 3 Take notes.

  • You can also keep a notebook handy while you're reading to help you keep track of your thoughts about the character as you read.

Step 4 Choose a main idea.

  • For the Huck Finn example, you might choose something about the hypocrisy of civilized society since, in essence, the novel is about a boy who was brought up to support enslaving blacks, but decides, through his experiences with Jim on the river, to value Jim as a person and a friend rather than just as a slave. Similarly, Huck's own father captures and "enslaves" Huck, a situation that Huck eventually escapes and mirrors Jim's own quest for freedom. Society views Huck's escape as moral and just, but Jim's escape is a terrible crime to the townspeople. In this contradiction lies a major crux of the story.

Step 5 Make an outline.

  • An outline will help keep your thoughts organized and maintain an effective flow as you move through the analysis.

Writing the Character Analysis

Step 1 Write your introduction.

  • Your introduction should provide the topic of your analysis, enough background information to inform and intrigue your reader, and your thesis idea/claim.

Step 2 Describe the physical appearance of the character.

  • Think about Huck's ragged clothes and what that says about his character. Discuss how Huck dresses up like a little girl to find out the news in town and how this altered appearance influences your analysis of Huck.

Step 3 Discuss your character's background.

  • Discuss Huck's relationship with his father and with the Widow Douglas and Miss Watson, who take him in. How do these characters influence Huck's development? The contrast between Huck's alcoholic father and the conservative ladies who care for Huck later is an interesting continuum of social behavior to analyze and consider where Huck's own beliefs/actions fall on that continuum.

Step 4 Discuss the character's language use.

  • Huck has an admittedly vulgar attitude for a little boy and often does not speak in a way that the Widow Douglas approves of. He does try hard to obey her and act appropriately in church, but he often missteps and announces himself, through his actions and words, as a person who is far less civilized than he pretends to be, or than the Widow would like him to be.

Step 5 Write about the personality of the character.

  • Huck Finn tries to abide by the rules of society, but at the end of the day he acts based on emotions. He decides to rescue Jim from being returned to his master, even though it is against the law, because he believes that Jim does not deserve to be treated like a slave. Huck decides this on his own, in direct opposition to the values his society has taught him.

Step 6 Analyze the character's relationships with others.

  • Huck's external conflict relies on all of the events that take place on his journey down the river - the physical struggle of the trip, his mishaps along the way, getting caught up in various scandals and schemes, etc. His internal conflict reaches its climax when Huck decides to help Jim attain freedom from slavery. This is a crucial moment in the story where Huck follows his heart instead of his social conscience.

Step 8 Collect supporting material or evidence for the analysis.

Using Evidence in Your Writing

Step 1 Support your writing with textual evidence.

  • Using quotes from the text will increase your credibility as an author and will support your ideas more effectively.

Step 2 Use the PIE method.

  • For example, you might say the following: Huck Finn garners a significant new identity from being a raftsman. He insists, "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that." This shows the freedom and pride he associates with his raft.

Step 3 Anchor the quote within your own words.

  • Incorrect: "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that."
  • Correct: He insists that "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that."
  • Correct: "It amounted to something being a raftsman on such a craft as that," Huck insists.

Step 4 Do not over-quote.

Writing Help

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Community Answer

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  • Use specific details from the text to support every point. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0
  • Write a rough draft to gather your thoughts about the analysis before polishing your work for submission. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0
  • Organize the analysis carefully. Write an introduction that will attract a reader to your work. Make sure that each paragraph is unified around a central topic. Tie your work together with a polished conclusion. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Jamie Korsmo, PhD

To write a character analysis, first you'll need to come up with a main idea, or thesis statement, for your character, like "Huck Finn embodies the struggles of growing up as a young boy." Then, you'll want to write about each facet of your character, like their appearance, background, personality, relationships, and growth throughout the story, and explain how they prove your thesis. As you're writing your analysis, try to use quotes and examples from the text to back up what you're saying. To learn how to outline a character analysis, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Character Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline

A character analysis is an examination of the personalities and actions of protagonists and antagonists that make up a story. It discusses their role in the story, evaluates their traits, and looks at their conflicts and experiences. You might need to write this assignment in school or college. Like any other essay, your character analysis should contain an introduction, a conclusion, and a thesis.

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Want to know how to write a character analysis essay? Not sure how to start? We understand. Whichever piece you choose – Lady Macbeth, A Rose for Emily, or something else, – analyzing a character for the first time might be challenging. No worries, we are here to help! In this guide by our custom writing experts, you will find a step-by-step guide, outlining and writing tips, as well as a number of character analysis examples.

  • 📔 Character Analysis Definition
  • 🧙 Types of Characters
  • 📝 Writing Guide
  • 🖥️ Formatting Tips

📑 Character Analysis Essay Examples

📔 what is a character analysis essay.

A character analysis essay is an assignment where you evaluate a character’s traits, behaviors, and motivations. It requires critical thinking and attention to detail. Unlike descriptions, analyses focus on a character’s personality and internal drives. It explains how those factors shape the narrated events.

The picture shows the definition of character analysis.

So, what you need to do is to see the characters as if they were real people who feel and act just as we do. Ensure there are no baseless assumptions and interpretations: the ideas you present should be supported by quotes from the text.

Character: Definition (Literature)

How do you define a character? It is a person, a creature, or an animal that makes up the story’s world. A character can be based on a real-life person, or it can be entirely fictional. It is someone who thinks, feels, and acts.

We use the word “character” in many different contexts. For instance, it can denote someone eccentric or worthy of our admiration. In both contexts, the term “character” means a distinctive personality. Similarly, in an analysis, your task is to show what makes a character stand out.

Characterization: Literary Definition & Examples

Characterization is the process by which a character’s personality is revealed. It presents characters’ traits, feelings, and motives to the reader. For this reason, characterization is closely connected to character analysis. It helps us to understand the characters better throughout the reading process.

Characterization can be direct and indirect .

  • Direct characterization is when the narrator directly tells the audience what the personality of a character is.
  • In contrast, indirect characterization shows things that hint at a character’s nature.

Here are some examples of direct characterization taken from Patti Smith’s Just Kids :

“But he always suppressed his real feelings, mimicking the stoic nature of his father.”

Here we see a direct description of a character. The author straightforwardly talks about Robert’s feelings. In comparison, look at the description of a woman taken from John Steinbeck’s The Snake :

“He looked around at her again. Her dark eyes seemed veiled with dust. She looked without expression at the cat’s open throat.”

These lines don’t directly reveal anything about the woman, but the reader can understand that she is cold and dangerous. It’s an indirect characterization that focuses on looks and actions to convey the message to the reader.

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🧙 Types of Characters for Your Essay

When it comes to characters, they can be divided into several groups. For example, characters can be:

  • Protagonists or antagonists,
  • Static or dynamic,
  • Flat or round.

These types define how much the characters change through the course of the story and their role in it.

Character Type: Definition

In psychology, a character type is defined by a combination of personality traits that coexist in an individual. Authors incorporate different types of characters into their works to convey the message and make the story more exciting or relatable to the reader.

There are three ways to categorize a character type:

  • by archetypes,
  • by their role in the narrative,
  • by their ability to change throughout the story.

If you are about to write a character analysis essay, being familiar with character archetypes is essential. They have been categorized by a generation of writers, including the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and the American literary theorist Joseph Campbell. A lot of characters we see in today’s literary works are rooted in them.

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Archetypes include the Trickster, the Ruler, the Lover, the Sage, and others. The Hero is one of the most notable archetypes. Hercules or Achilles can be good examples of heroic protagonists. They are strong and courageous; they meet challenges and save the day by helping others.

Main Character: Definition & Examples

The main character and the protagonist often get mixed up. Most narratives also have the figure of the antagonist , whose actions affect the plot and stimulate change. Let’s have a look at the similarities and differences between these types.

The main character is central in the narrative. We experience the story through their eyes. They don’t necessarily have to be protagonists, though it happens in many cases.

The crucial difference between the main character and the protagonist is that the protagonist goes through changes throughout the story. The main character, however, is there to guide the reader through the experience. Often they help to show a different, darker side of the protagonist.

To understand the difference better, let’s turn to some examples.

What’s a Static Character?

Now that we’ve learned about the main character and the protagonist, we will closely look at other types of character classifications. One of the ways to categorize a character is by their ability to change throughout the story.

A static or simple character is someone who undergoes little or no significant changes. They often exist for comedic purposes. Here are some examples:

Complex Character: Definition & Examples

Complex or dynamic characters are the opposite of static characters. Characters of this type change as the book progresses. They display different qualities, emotions, and motives. They become more complicated and interesting to the reader as the story unfolds.

Check out these examples of dynamic characters:

Other Kinds of Characters

You already know about several ways to define a type of character. Now, let’s go over some other types, starting with flat and round characters.

Similar to dynamic and static ones, round and flat characters represent two different ends of a spectrum. Round characters usually come with an in-depth background. They are traditionally protagonists, antagonists, or those close to them. In contrast, flat characters are two-dimensional, and there is not much depth to them.

For the examples, we will turn to the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Finally, here are some bonus character types for you:

  • Stock characters have a fixed set of traits and are flat. Most of the time, they exist for comical relief.
  • Symbolic characters represent a concept or a theme that goes beyond them. They can be round and flat as long as they symbolize a particular notion or phenomena.
  • Sidekick is a secondary character who supports the protagonist.
  • The love interest is someone with whom the main character is infatuated.
  • Foil is someone who’s set in contrast with the protagonist, thus putting more emphasis on the latter’s qualities.

Characterization Essay: Which Character Type to Choose

Before you start writing a paper, it essential to decide on the character you’re going to analyze. There are different types of characters in every story, so you need to choose which one suits your essay topic the best.

Usually, it’s best to choose a dynamic and round character . With static and flat ones, there may not be enough substance for you to analyze. However, some such personalities can be interesting to work with. For instance, a flat character such as Mr. Collins can be symbolic of something. Then, you can talk about how it embodies a specific idea or notion. You can also look at how they affect other characters in the story.

📝 How to Write a Character Analysis Step by Step

Now, we’re going to discuss how to write your paper step-by-step. But first, here are some pre-writing steps for you to consider:

  • Choose a character for analysis.
  • Take notes while reading;
  • Define the type of the character and their role in the story;
  • Pay attention to their descriptions and actions.

How to Analyze a Character: Description Examples

Knowing how to organize your work is an essential skill. Certain things need special attention if you are describing a character:

  • physical appearance,
  • emotional state,
  • how the character speaks,
  • behavior and personality traits,
  • relationships with other characters.

When you analyze a character, try to look at them as if they were a real-life person. You want to know their motive, learn about how they feel, and understand why they think in a certain way. Ask yourself:

  • How did the character change throughout the story (if at all)?
  • What do other characters say about them? Can their words be trusted?
  • Where is the character physically and emotionally? What brought them here?
  • What is the character ready to do to achieve their goal?

Now, let’s look at the character of Franklin from the short story Just Before the War with the Eskimos by J.D. Salinger:

Character Profile Template for Writing

When writing your essay, use this character analysis template:

The picture shows the main steps in writing a character analysis essay.

In the following sections, we’ll discuss each step in detail.

Character Analysis Outline: How to Start a Character Analysis

The beginning of your essay is its crucial part. It sets the mood and grabs the reader’s attention. There are many different ways to write a character analysis introduction, but here are the most effective ones:

  • Use a quotation. It’s a great way to make a catchy hook. If it relates to the character and reflects their nature, it can also help to set the tone for analysis. In case you are using a quotation from somewhere else, mention the source in parentheses.
  • Talk about the book or story. Mention the author, the name of the story, and the genre. Briefly describe the main events that are taking place in the story.
  • Introduce the character. State their role in the story (define whether they are a protagonist, an antagonist, etc.) Then, explain whether the character is static or dynamic. Finally, describe them in 2-3 sentences.

The final part of an introduction is a thesis statement.Read on to learn how to write one!

Character Analysis Thesis Statement & Examples

A thesis is the key component of every essay, and character analysis is not an exception. It’s crucial to develop a good and clear thesis statement that includes all the aspects of your paper. For instance, if you plan to write a 4-paragraph body, including 4 points in your thesis.

What should a character analysis thesis include? Well, try to think of any trait that the character possesses that has to do with their downfall or somehow influences the story. Think about how this trait affects the character’s relationship with others or how it contributes to their motive or aspiration.

Take a look at the following examples:

How to Write Character Analysis Paragraphs for the Main Body

The main body of your essay can include as many paragraphs as you need. In this part, you introduce the character and analyze them. We have already talked in this article about what kind of questions should be answered in these paragraphs. The most important points are:

  • Describe the character and their role within the story.
  • Give the audience an explanation of the character’s motives.
  • Show what message the author wanted to convey through this character.

Keep in mind that every paragraph should have a topic sentence that captures its main idea.

Tsukuru Tazaki’s spiritual rebirth also affects his physical appearance.

Character Analysis Conclusion: How to Write

The conclusion part of your essay summarizes all the information you have mentioned and restates the thesis. Here is some advice for your conclusion paragraph:

🖥️ Character Analysis Essay Format

Most college assignments and essays are written according to the APA or MLA format. Both styles have the same formatting, which requires:

  • a double-spaced paper with 1-inch margins,
  • a page header with page numbers flush right,
  • an 11-12-point font.

While writing an essay on characters, pay special attention to quotations. Here are some tips for APA in-text citations:

  • When you summarize or paraphrase the information, mention the author’s name and publication date in brackets. Example: According to Collins (1997.)
  • When you quote directly from the source, add the number of the page, as well. Example: “There is a view that…” (Collins, 1997, pp. 134-135.)
  • If the source includes three or more authors, use the abbreviation “et al.” after the first author’s name. Example: (Collins et al., 1997)

As for MLA format:

  • You can write the author’s name in the sentence. Example: As Collins mentions in his essay<…>.
  • You can mention the author’s name in the parentheses at the end of the sentence. Example: (Collins, J.K.)
  • The last option is to use either footnotes or endnotes.

Below you’ll find a collection of character analysis essay examples and a downloadable sample to inspire you even more.

  • The Grandmother in A Good Man Is Hard to Find: Character Analysis
  • Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman: Character Analysis
  • Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway: Character Analysis
  • Prospero in The Tempest: Character Analysis
  • Agamemnon in the Iliad: Character Analysis
  • Lord Pococurante in Candide: Character Analysis
  • Andromache in the Iliad: Character Analysis
  • Character Analysis of the Knight from The Canterbury Tales
  • Essay on Soldier’s Home: Analysis of the Characters

Character Analysis Example (Downloadable)

Roald Dahl’s  Matilda  is one of the most famous children’s novels of the 20th century. The protagonist of this tale is Matilda Wormwood, a five and a half-year-old girl with a brilliant and lively mind that distances her from the rest of the family. Matilda’s character is particularly interesting as she has a powerful personality with extraordinary mental abilities, and she manages to overcome all the obstacles that surround her.

Character Analysis Essay Topics

  • Character analysis of Abbas from A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge .
  • Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Beowulf and Hamlet : similarity and diversity of the characters.
  • Personal and social failures of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller.
  • Character analysis of Othello .
  • Analyze the characters of Stanley and Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire .
  • The tragedy of Mathilde Loisel from The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.
  • Character analysis of Huck Finn from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .
  • Moral force of Kate Lipton from Double Helix by Nancy Parker.
  • Character analysis of Thorvald and Nora in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House .
  • Discuss the character of king Creon in Antigone .
  • Analyze the personality of Lydia from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice .
  • Compare Nick Carraway and Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • Describe the peculiarities of Lord Pococurante in Candide .
  • Sarty Snopes in William Faulkner’s Barn Burning : character analysis.
  • Analyze the character of Biff Loman in Death of a Salesman.
  • Personality of Nora in A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen.
  • Examine the main characters of The Yellow Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
  • Personality change of the main character in Edgar Alan Poe’s The Black Cat .
  • Analyze the characters of E. Hemingway’s A Clean, Well-Lighted Place .
  • Describe the main characters of the novel The Overstory by Richard Powers.
  • Controversial personality of Vladek in Maus: A Survivor’s Tale by Art Spiegelman.
  • Character analysis of Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein by Mary Shelley .
  • Discuss the character of Creon in Oedipus the King .
  • The manipulative character of Iago in Willian Shakespeare’s Othello .
  • Analyze the characters of Nil and Kristine in A Doll’s House .
  • Eccentricity of Grendel’s character in Beowulf .
  • Describe the main characters of Four Summers by Joyce Carol Oates.
  • Examine the characters of Harold Krebs and his mother in Ernest Hemingway’s Soldier’s Home .
  • Analyze common and different traits of the characters in The Monkey’s Paw .
  • Character peculiarities of Rostam and Sohrab in Shahnameh by Ferdowsi Tousi.
  • How does the character of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen differ from the rest of her family?
  • The behavior and meaning of the characters in Nicholas Rowe’s The Tragedy of Jane Shore.
  • Compare the characters of Victor Frankenstein and the monster in Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley.
  • Discuss the differences of main characters in Everyday Use by Alice Walker.
  • Examine the character of Connie in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates.
  • The influence of social pressure on the characters of Chopin’s Desirée’s Baby and Sedaris’ A Modest Proposal .
  • Dynamic feminist characters of Delia and Jig in Sweat by Z. Hurston and Hills Like White Elephants by E. Hemingway.
  • Analyze the personality traits of Emily in William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily .
  • Examine the characters of The Quiet American by Graham Greene.
  • Henry ΙV by William Shakespeare : analysis of main characters.

Now you know everything necessary for writing an excellent character analysis. What character would you like to analyze? Let us know in the comments!

Further reading:

  • How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay Step by Step
  • Literature Review Outline: Examples, Approaches, & Templates
  • Library Research Paper: Example & Writing Guide [2023]
  • How to Write a Critique Paper: Tips + Critique Essay Examples
  • 435 Literary Analysis Essay Topics and Prompts [2023 Upd]
  • How to Write a Literature Review: Actionable Tips & Links

❓ Character Analysis FAQ

A character analysis involves:

1. description of a character; 2. explanation of how they change throughout the story; 3. their role in the narrative; 4. relationships with other characters; 5. what idea the author wanted to convey through the character.

A character analysis creates a description that contains their most important qualities. It provides a new perspective of a character that reveals more about what it’s like to be human. It can also point to a moral or a lesson.

Literary analysis uses the technique of tracing the character development. This technique is usually used to understand the theme of the work better. Through tracing a character’s development, we can learn more about the story’s message and how it’s conveyed.

A summary paragraph in a character study should include answers to the questions “what,” “who,” “where,” and “why.” You should mention who narrates the story, where the story is set, its theme, and the message it conveys.

  • Critical Concepts: Character and Characterization: Kansas State University
  • Analyzing Novels & Short Stories: Texas A&M University
  • Guidelines for Writing a Character Analysis Essay: Tidewater Communite College
  • Literary Criticism: Thesis Examples: The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Writing a Literary Analysis Paper: Germanna Community College
  • Flat and Round Characters: Encyclopedia Britannica
  • Literature: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • How to Write a Book Analysis: Kean University
  • Elements of Literary Analysis: Alamo Colleges District
  • Defining Characterization: Read Write Think
  • APA Style: General Format: Purdue University
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How to Write a Character Analysis Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

21 Nov 2022

Quick Navigation

❓What Is a Character Analysis Essay?

✅Common Types of Characters in Your Essay


✏️Character Analysis Essay Format


🔍How to Write a Character Analysis Essay?

Read up on the story

Decide on what character to choose, outline your essay, define the main idea, make notes while reading, compose a list of questions.

📝Character Analysis Essay Example

Writing can be as interesting as communicating. You can provide your thoughts and in-depth analysis of a character you like. That’s why you can come across various writing assignments in high school or college, including an  analysis essay . Preparing such a work enables you to reveal your creativity and develop your ability to analyze and systemize information.

Like any other  essay types , a character analysis paper sticks to a particular structure and has a certain purpose. It also discloses a range of specific points you should take into account when putting words on paper. So, if you need help starting to write, you landed in the right place. Here, we uncover all you need to know on how to write a good character analysis article.

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Writing essays

What Is a Character Analysis Essay?

A character analysis essay is worthy of putting effort into writing. This assignment involves a versatile description of a central character from a book, novel, or whatever storytelling. In such an essay, you must open the main personality traits you choose to write about.

Writing about a character, you should describe their inner world as well as their behavior, actions, and lifestyle. This is detailed work about a person you should study well. To be able to explain their particular behavioral line in the context of a story, you must turn on your imagination and thorough examination.

With this in mind, it is easy to understand the purpose of a character analysis essay. It involves evaluating a character’s pack of traits reflected in the context of the primary source. You might choose whether to disclose the positive or negative side of a character. This depends on the topics and the approach used for composing an analysis paper.

Also, it is possible to call this type of writing a process analysis essay because you are to disclose the character’s emotions along with how actions occur and change during the plot.

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Common Types of Characters in Your Essay

When encountering characters’ analysis and defining an objective of your essay, you must know what types of characters exist. This might help you direct your analysis into the correct flow.

The protagonist is the story's central figure on which the main focus is fixed. Not only one character can be a hero. You can find several of them through the narrative, expressing their experience and engaging scenes.

This character represents an opposite role to a protagonist in the context, bringing some worse experiences to the story. They always create an obstacle for a protagonist to reach a goal.

A major person in a story plays an important role, yet not the central one. These can be characters who are close in relationship with the main hero and accompany them throughout the book.

Minor characters, accordingly, play a minor role in the story. They can show up occasionally in a plot for a while and then disappear.

A dynamic character shows growth and brings some modifications throughout the story. Typically, a protagonist is dynamic, accepting challenges and learning to become better and stronger.

An opposite message to dynamic persons brings a static character. They don’t reflect any story changes and remain with the same traits and behaviors. Minor persons are usually static.

This type of character is specific as they draw a reader’s attention to crucial persons in a story. Their mission is to strengthen a protagonist’s role.

Understanding the role of your character is crucial. You will know how to explain particular actions and scene changes. If you still find it challenging to start writing a character analysis essay, contact our PapersOwl writing service and let professional writers bring you an excellent piece of copy.

Character Analysis Essay Format

In addition to the context you must provide, an essay should look elegant and meaningfully ordered. For this purpose, you should adhere to a particular character analysis paper format. Here is a sample of what compositional elements your work should include.

As you deal with a literary composition in different volumes, you should provide a background of what a story is about. Also, you need to mention the author and the title of a book or novel you will describe characters from.

Furthermore, if you put on a character analysis thesis statement, it will be a brilliant idea to make your introductory part more enticing. So think about how to compose a meaningful statement in one or two phrases.

This main component in an essay’s format is the biggest one. You must write all you want to reveal about your characters at this stage. But keep in mind to order your train of thought and present it in a comprehensive way.

An overall description of your personality, specific traits, and influencing factors should be carefully covered in your body section. To confirm some unique characteristics or actions, you must cite a dialogue inside essays as an original reference. Information can be voluminous, so make sure you separate it into several meaningful paragraphs.

Concluding your main points about your protagonist is the final stage of your writing. Highlight the experience your character has gone through in the story.

Whatever question you have about character analysis writing, you can always address our helpful platform. We will help you do your essays in the best way to improve your academic performance.

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Editors on PapersOwl can edit your paper and give recommendations on how to improve your writing:

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How to Write a Character Analysis Essay?

There needs to be more than just knowing how to arrange your essay. So, we’ve outlined some helpful steps you should take before getting started.

If you want to demonstrate good knowledge of the characters and all episodes they were in, you should read the entire story more than once. Thus, you will be able to note some crucial details and cite them. Rereading a story will enhance your knowledge about each scene.

Your choice might depend on your preferences and the type of narrative you read. Think of whose personality you can easily reveal and build rich judgment around them. It’s up to you to write about a protagonist, major or static characters.

This is one of the most important strategies in writing. You should create an outline of what you are going to uncover in your article. It is a good idea to draft a structure for your composition and note down the insights in each structural element. This will help you follow the presentation of the material and, at the same time, remind you of the next step.

Once you select a character you want to analyze in your character analysis essay, you decide what part of a personality you will focus on.

To create a comprehensive picture of a character, you should know as much as possible about their traits and behavior. Your outline helps you follow the structure while referring to quotes and dialogues, allowing you to confirm specific situations that best show personalities.

To make your character analysis less challenging, we recommend you make a list of lead-in questions. You can even create those questions for each structural part of your composition. This enables you to be precise in providing relevant information about a character.

In addition to general steps on how to write a character analysis essay, we’ve prepared a range of insightful tips. By following them, we believe you will bring up solid work. Here they are:

  • Provide a catchy hook in the introductory part;
  • Keep short and simple sentences;
  • Split into paragraphs each idea you want to mention about a character;
  • Use examples right from the primary source;
  • Be concise and clear when estimating your characters.

One of the literary analysis papers is writing a poetry essay and describing a character analysis in poetry. Writing such an essay can be more challenging as students need help understanding this style. No worries. There is always a way out, and you can buy essays online from the best writers as an option.

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Character Analysis Essay Example

Lady Macbeth is one of the most influential female characters in literature. She conveyed an entirely different figure of how a woman doesn’t need to look. Shakespeare created a sick-ambitious character burning to be queen.

Lady Macbeth was pretty rude to her husband. She judged him for not being as brave as she expected from him. We know about his bloody deeds on the battlefields, though. But in public, she acted like a real actress, conveying her best traits to respect her king.

In the scene when she loses consciousness after Duncan's murder, the audience wonders whether she was playing another role at that very moment. Eventually, she fails each test coming into her life. After the follow-up blaming her husband during the banquet (Act III, Scene 4), the worst turns back into her life. She becomes nervous and unable to control her emotions. We can notice her strange behavior when murmuring in Act V, Scene 1, as she “confesses” her participation in the murder.

Her death became an event that made Macbeth contemplate deeper on the time of nature and mortality in the speech "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" (Act V, Scene 5).

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As an experienced Data Analyst, Julius never stops analyzing things, which makes him a good writer who provides his share of analytical skills. As a responsible person with a strong civil position, he likes writing about social issues, healthy lifestyle, culture, volunteering, and education. Using his experience of being a leader in numerous student clubs, Julius likes sharing helpful tips to assist students and educators alike.

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