English 3 Introductory Unit Essay: Character Analysis Task

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English 9.3 Introductory Unit Essay: Character Analysis

Task: Choose one of the main characters from the following stories to write a character analysis essay about.

“The Birds” by Daphne DuMaurier “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

Nat Hocken Mathilde Loisel

“Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst

Waverly Jong or Mrs. Jong Narrator or Doodle

Order of Operations:

  1. Complete the Character Analysis Graphic Organizer (due: )

  2. Create an outline of your essay (due: )

  3. Type up a first draft of your essay (due: )

  4. Revise essay based on peer feedback and turn in final draft (due: )

Paper set-up:

  • Have an introductory paragraph that begins with an interest grabber, introduces the short story and author, provides some basic background information on the character and basic plot (no more than three sentences), and ends with a statement about the character including THREE character traits (thesis statement).

  • Have a separate paragraph for each of the three traits to be discussed (in the same order as they appear in the thesis). Provide specific details and evidence that support your points.

  • End your position paper with a conclusion (a separate paragraph which sums up you main points from the paper).


  • Use complete sentences, good mechanics/grammar, and spelling.

  • Support your opinions with evidence/examples taken right from the story! Don’t make a statement without giving an example to back up your point!!! Include page #s for direct quotations.

  • Your paper (even the rough draft) must be typed in a 12 point font (Times New Roman) and double spaced.

  • Do not use 1st person (“I,” “we”) or 2nd person (“you”) in your paper (unless these words show up in a direct quotation).

Note: Your paper will be peer evaluate

dHow to do a character analysis: (Use your character analysis graphic organizer)

Step one: Look back at the story and determine the character’s distinguishing characteristics.

For example, if I were to do a character analysis on Zaroff from “The Most Dangerous Game,” I’d say he has the following characteristics:

  • Intelligent

  • Cultured

  • Demented

Step two: Next, think of examples from the story to SHOW that character trait. (Use your graphic organizer)

  • Intelligent:

    • Good hunter

    • Knows how to coerce Rainsford into playing the game

    • Likes to be intellectually challenged

  • Cultured:

    • Lives in a huge mansion

    • Has expensive tastes

    • Knows famous operas

    • Likes expensive foods

  • Demented:

Step three: Go back to the text and find SUPPORT/ EVIDENCE that SHOWS those character traits. Don’t forget to include page numbers. (Use your graphic organizer)


  • “cultivated voice” (22).

  • Lives in a huge mansion

    • “the lights were in one enormous building – a lofty structure with pointed towers plunging upward into the gloom . . . . a palatial chateau” (22).

    • “There was a medieval magnificence about it; it suggested a baronial hall of feudal times with its oaken panels, its high ceiling, its vast refectory table . . .”

  • Has expensive tastes:

    • “We do our best to preserve the amenities of civilization here” (24).

    • “gold cigarette case . . . long black cigarette with a silver tip” (25).

    • Silk pajamas

  • Knows famous operas

    • “Then he sat down, took a drink of brandy from a silver flask, lit a perfumed cigarette, and hummed a bit of Madame Butterfly” (35).

  • Likes expensive foods

    • “They were eating borsch, the rich, red soup with whipped cream so dear to Russian palates” (24).

    • “thick Turkish coffee” (26).

Step four: Now that you’ve determined the characteristics and have support, develop a THESIS statement.

  • Your thesis should make a statement about your character including the character traits identified.

  • Example: While General Zaroff is a very intelligent and cultured man, he is also a very demented individual.

Step five: Now you are ready to do an outline and write your essay!

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