A character analysis essay is a common type of written assignments you will frequently encounter in your English class. It’s familiar both to school and college students, but not everyone knows for a fact how to create an engaging and smart character analysis.
Usually the character analysis essay is divided into three parts, which are similar to most other essays you’ve written in your life as a student. This 4-part structure will help you logically and correctly structure your own character analysis essay:
- Introduction + thesis statement.
- 3-5 body paragraphs.
How to write a successful character analysis
The person grading your work may have their own criteria for determining whether you’ve met the objective of the essay, but meeting the following requirements is guaranteed to get you a good grade:
- The introduction of the character has made it clear why the character is worthy of an individual analysis.
- The character is convincingly described with use of advanced language.
- The analysis of the character is closely connected to the plot, and the advancement of the plot has an effect on the character.
Types of characters
In order to write the most convincing character analysis, first you need to determine the type of the character – it can tell you a lot about the traits and qualities.
- Protagonist. The protagonist is often the main hero of the story, but, contrary to a popular belief, the protagonist does not necessarily consist of only positive traits. In fact, many of the protagonists in history have been villains, but the complexity of those characters and the author’s attitude helped them captivate the minds of the readers.
- Antagonist. Antagonist is a character opposing the character of the protagonist. It’s not necessarily a human – some antagonists are animal or forces of nature. Like the protagonist, the antagonist is not a one-dimensional character with only negative qualities. Moreover, antagonists are often such complex and mysterious personalities that they provide for an even more interesting character analysis.
- Major character. These characters often appear in the story when there is more than one main hero. The number of major characters is unlimited, but they all have an immense influence on the progression of the story and other characters in the book.
- Minor character. Minor characters usually have a recognizable part in the story, but their main job is to often help the protagonist achieve their goal or prevent them from succeeding by throwing various obstacles on their path. They may be very interesting to analyze, but if they remain static during the course of the narrative, there may not be much to analyze.
- Dynamic characters. This group of characters can include the protagonist, the antagonist, the major and the minor characters. These characters go through a significant change in the story and therefore are very interesting to analyze.
- Stereotypical characters. These characters are based on the stereotypes that can be easily recognized by a reader. A shy nerd or a seemingly stupid model are great examples of stereotypical characters, but, due to them hardly being original, they are usually not worthy of analysis.
- Foil. Foil is a character that resembles the protagonist or other major character in some way that helps the character recognize their flaws and issues.
- Three-dimensional characters. Unlike static, one-dimensional characters, three-dimensional characters are very interesting to analyze simply because they are as complex and fascinating as the people you meet in real life.
When writing a character analysis, you can include not only your thoughts, but also the works of other authors in a form of a reference. Moreover, remember to include supporting evidence from the book for every statement you make about the character.
If you’re having trouble writing a convincing character analysis essay, you have several options. First, you can study the examples of character analysis works written by other authors. Second, you can ask your teacher or parents for help. However, the most effective way to get a great character analysis is to order your work from an experienced writer who knows exactly how to write a character analysis essay that will give you the grade you truly deserve.