The Character Analysis Essay Assignment



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Mrs. Podgorski

English 2



The Character Analysis Essay
Assignment: Your task is to write a two-page (typed, 12 pt., Times New Roman font) character analysis essay about either Victor Frankenstein or the Monster/Creature/Demon/Fiend. Choose three adjectives or descriptive phrases which you can apply to the character – these are traits that the character possesses. You will organize the body of your essay around these three traits. Possibilities include social skills, intellectual qualities, psychological traits, weaknesses (faults), morals/ethics, and physical traits.

Introduction: In this first paragraph, you will introduce your character. Be creative. Use an anecdote, a telling quote or incident from the novel, or a summary of how the character changes throughout the novel to engage your reader. Remember: your first line must be interesting! Your introduction should be roughly 5-6 good sentences.
Thesis Statement: This sentence is the last sentence of your introductory paragraph. This sentence will inform the reader what he or she will read in your essay. The thesis should include the character’s name and the 3 adjectives.

MODEL THESIS: Throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem Finch evolves from a child to adolescent by becoming more mature socially, more enlightened about the world around him, and more brave from personal experiences.

This is a good thesis because the reader knows the first body paragraphs will show how Jem becomes more mature based on his social interactions, the next paragraphs will demonstrate how he becomes enlightened based what is happening in his “world”, and the last body paragraphs will demonstrate the bravery he gains from experiences throughout the novel. Also, the descriptors are vivid and apt for the character.


BAD THESIS: In this essay, I will show you how Jem is spoiled, stubborn, and childish.

Remember, never write “in this essay” or “you” in formal compositions. Not to mention, these adjectives are weak – you can do better!


First Several Body Paragraphs: Your topic sentence includes the first adjective listed in your thesis statement to describe your character. You will support that topic sentence with 2 examples from the book and 2 quotes. Your quote must be cited in MLA format. Make sure you explain the connection between the examples and the adjective. Each paragraph should be 6-8 good sentences in length and focus on your ideas. The examples and quotes will help support whatever claims you are making about the character.

Next Several Body Paragraphs: Your topic sentence includes the second adjective listed in your thesis statement to describe your character. You will support that topic sentence with 2 examples from the book and 2 quotes. Your quote must be cited in MLA format. Make sure you explain the connection between the examples and the adjective. These paragraphs should be 6-8 good sentences in length.

Last Several Body Paragraphs: Your topic sentence includes the third adjective listed in your thesis statement to describe your character. You will support that topic sentence with 2 examples from the book and 2 quotes. Your quote must be cited in MLA format. Make sure you explain the connection between the examples and the adjective. These paragraphs should be 6-8 good sentences in length.

All body paragraphs need to have a topic sentence, transitions into your evidence of the characteristic, evidence to support your claim, explanation of your evidence, and a concluding sentence.
Conclusion: Summarize your main points. Restate your thesis statement, but make sure you reword it. Provide some final, creative thoughts about the character. This is the last paragraph your audience reads, so make it good (5-6 sentences).
Quotation Requirements: You must include the page number of the quotation and introduce or lead in the quotation properly. For example: When telling about Jem’s attempt to touch the Radley house, Scout tells the reader, “In all his life, Jem never declined a dare” (29). (Notice how I introduced the quotation, where I put the quotation marks, and how I noted the page number.). If you need examples of MLA in-text citations, see Purdue University’s OWL (Online Writing Lab) website. It’s an excellent source.
Guidelines:

o You need an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

o Your direct quotations should be no more than three lines long each.

o Use an MLA heading and page format.

o The paper must be typed; double-spaced, 12 point font; Times New Roman; one inch margins.

o You must have a Creative Title. “Character Analysis”, “Jem”, or something to that effect does not work. Your title should reflect your thesis ideas.

o Include a Works Cited page to coincide with your in-text citations. Your Works Cited page will list the complete information for your copy of Frankenstein. If you were reading from your phone, consult Purdue’s OWL to learn how to cite an e-book.
Writing Tips You Must Follow (or lose points): Check and double-check your paper.

o Avoid contractions (can’t, won’t, etc.) unless in a quotation.

o Don’t use slang or common words (thing, stuff, etc.), unless in a quotation.

o Write only in third person. Don’t use “you” or “I.”

o Do not underline or put your title in quotations.

o Use sentence variety (simple, compound, complex). .

o Fix all comma splice errors, run-ons, and sentence fragments.

o Run spell check, but remember that it won’t catch the wrong use of words

(hear/here).

o Write in all present tense. Books never “end” – they continue on for a new reader.

o Fix all typing errors.

o Make sure all paragraphs are indented a half an inch.



o Do not use “get” or “got.” Use stronger verbs!

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