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Informative Guide On How To Write a Character Analysis Essay

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Learning how to prepare a character analysis essay involves a complete understanding of the literary work. You’re also required to pay proper attention to what the author discloses about the character through narrative, dialogue, and the plot. When you’re analysing the characters, you need to write about the role each character plays in the actual work.

The protagonist is the central character, while the character that is in direct with the protagonist is known as the antagonist. Great writers develop characters with many layers, so character analyses should focus on these complexities. Let’s ponder over a few things as you write your own character analysis essay.

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What is a character analysis essay? What is the purpose?

A character analysis essay elaborates on the in-depth traits and characteristics of a specific literary character. The essay involves evaluating a character’s traits, their function in the story, and the conflicts they experience. Authors also reveal the character traits, which are essentially a character’s behaviours, motivation, personality types, and their relationships with other characters throughout the literary piece.

The purpose of every character is to extend the plot in general. Most stories employ multiple types of characters. Every narrative revolves around one or more main characters. These characters are supposed to have the greatest impact on the plot or are the most influenced by what happens in the story.

Different types of characters

The types of characters in a story are categorised by their roles and the quality they possess. When it comes to roles, you probably know the protagonists play a crucial role in any story. This indicates that all other roles come from their relationship to the protagonist. Types of characters based on role include-

  • Protagonist
  • Antagonist
  • Deuteragonist
  • Tertiary
  • Foil

Character quality means what kind of character someone is. The types of characters based on quality include:

  • Dynamic/changing
  • Static/unchanging
  • Stock
  • Symbolic
  • Round

Read Also: An Elaborate Overview Of How To Write A Synthesis Essay

How to write a character analysis essay

If you’re not too familiar with preparing this type of essays, you may find yourself wondering, “How do you start a character analysis essay?” For clarity, read on to know how these essays are prepared.

  1. Select a character to analyse

In case, your college doesn’t assign you with a specific character to assign; you can choose one yourself. In this case, always ensure you only select characters who have a dynamic role in the narrative.

The characters that come across flat (basically someone who is only good or only bad and has no complex motivations to consider) are not the ideal choices for the analysis.

For example, if you’re reading Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, you might consider analysing the character of Elizabeth Bennet or Mr Darcy. They are dynamic characters who express a wide range of emotion, and often act in unpredictable ways and move the plot forward with their actions.

  • Take proper notes

As you read, take notes on all crucial elements that add to the depth of the character which you’re assessing. Write down notes in the margins and underline proper passages.

You can also keep a notebook handy while you’re reading. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of your thoughts about the character as you read.

  • Focus on the main idea

Collect all your important notes about the character and try coming up with the main idea relating to the particular character you’re set to analyse. This will serve as the character analysis essay thesis statement. You need to think about the motivations or actions of the characters and also the outcome of their storyline.

Maybe your thesis statement will be something about how the character embodies the struggles of being part of a classist society, or about the role of women within the society. Maybe your character can reveal to readers that despite the societal pressures, a woman can dare to exercise her dreams and wishes.

  1. Prepare a character analysis essay outline

Once you’ve decided on the main idea, create a brief outline consisting of all of your supporting material. Take note of each place in the original text where the character displays a specific trait you’ve chosen for your thesis statement. Include appropriate evidence that allows the character to have more depth.

An outline will assist you in keeping your thoughts organised and maintain a proper flow as you move through the analysis.

  1. Present the introduction

Keeping your thesis idea in mind, prepare an introductory section about the character you’ve chosen and the role that he/she plays in the literary piece. Now, if you were to analyse the character of Elizabeth Bennet as a character analysis introduction example, you need to write about her place in the setting of the novel.

Your introduction should highlight the literature review topic of your analysis, sufficient background details to inform and intrigue your reader, and the thesis statement.

  1. Explain the background of your character

Incorporate details about the personal history of the character (some of the information may have to be inferred). People’s histories inevitably impact their personality and their development, so it’s crucial to discuss your character’s history if you can.

Consider where/when the character was born and raised or the kind of education the character received. Also, think about how the character’s past experience impact what he/she does or says.

  1. Describe how the character grows throughout the plot

Most notable literary characters tend to experience conflict throughout the course of a story. Some conflict is external (presented by forces outside of his/her control, or by the people around them). Then again, some other conflicts are internal (personal struggles the characters grapple with about their own feelings or actions).

Check if the characters are better or worse at the conclusion.  Memorable characters usually change or grow in a literary work of merit.

  1. Gather adequate evidence for the analysis

See to it that you provide examples from the actual text that support what you are conveying about the character. Add quotations wherever applicable to support what you’re saying.

If the author discusses the character as lazy, you should present specific details to highlight this trait, quoting or paraphrasing directly from the original work.

Final thoughts,

When you’re working on a character analysis essay, you need to think about multiple layers that shape a particular character. Once you develop a solid understanding of the characters, analysing becomes a piece of cake.

Read Also: A Comprehensive Guide To Writing A Winning Welcome Speech Essay

Receive well-written character analysis essays from our writers

While writing a character analysis essay, you may face a lot of confusion. Since it involves an in-depth understanding of a character and his/her background, you need to put in considerable effort to prepare the analysis. But you won’t have to worry about your efforts getting wasted as long as you have for writing a character analysis essay help.

The writers working for our website know how to bring out the best in your essay papers. Hence, they emphasise on the quality of your papers. They make sure to study the characters thoroughly before analysing them. They make sure to present brilliant insights into the characters while writing the papers. Take literature research paper topics help from our writers at

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Lachlan Nguyen

Hi, my name is Lachlan Nguyen. I have been an English writing expert for for the past seven years. I have loved English and Literature all my life. That’s the reason I pursued a PhD in English and made a career in the same. I’ve written a couple of blogs on English writing for some of the most prominent academic websites. You can find some of my write-ups published on sites like ABC, LMN, and VFX. There’s one more thing that excites me just like English and Literature - Photography. When I am not working, you can probably find me clicking at some breathtaking destination. 

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