#1: Character Analysis Assignment
Length: 750 minimum words -excluding the Work Cited page
1. Be typed in 12 point, Times New Roman
2. Double spaced-be sure to check the do not add space between paragraphs of same style 3. Have 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left, and right
4. Have a title – be creative
5. Have the required information in the heading and header
*A Work Cited page must be included- a deduction of 10 points if the Work Cited page is not included with the character analysis essay.
An analysis (from the Greek: “breaking up”) essay breaks a story into its elements and, usually, studies one part closely. The purpose of a character analysis is to examine the make- up of a character to better understand his or her motivations and actions. The writer of a character analysis reads the short story for evidence about a character that will assist in a better understanding of the story as a whole. A good character analysis demonstrates the writer’s ability to identify the relationship between character and action.
Prompt: Choose one character from one of the assigned short stories to analyze.(THE BIRTHMARK BY NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE) In the paper, analyze the character just like you would analyze a friend, family member, or a person you observe during work or school, etc.
Use the questions below to help you analyze the character you have chosen for this paper. Questions to help you analyze the character:
• What motivates the character?
• Does the character change over the course of the story?
• Is this character a minor or major character in the short story?
• What are the character’s most distinctive traits? What is most distinctive about his or her outlook and values? This could also include the character’s strengths and/or weaknesses.
• Do the readers sympathize with this character? Why?
• What is it about the character that creates internal and/or external conflict?
• What are the other characters’ thoughts about the character you are analyzing and why do they feel this way about this character?
• What is the character’s physical appearance?
As stated in the Norton textbook on page 184, “In analyzing character, we thus need to consider not only who a character is and what precisely are his or her most important traits, motivations, and values, but also precisely how the text shapes our interpretation of, and degree of sympathy or admiration for, the character; what function the character serves in the narrative; and what the characters might represent.” One of the worst mistakes the writer of literary criticism can make is that of summarizing; the purpose of criticism is to interpret and analyze, not summarize, the work in question. Read the sample student paper on eCampus.
Elements of a Character Analysis:
Make sure you include the following in your character analysis essay.
1. A title- This is the first thing the reader sees, so make it brief, but interesting. Do not title the essay: Essay #1, Fiction Essay, or Character Analysis Essay.
2. Introduction-must include:
a. The title of the short story. Short story titles go in quotation marks.
b. Include the name of the author of the short story.
c. Clear thesis statement- it needs to take a stand and be a clear, decisive statement that gives you something to prove. Refer to pages 2226-29 in the Norton textbook for help with a thesis statement.
3. Textual evidence from the short story that supports the thesis. For this paper, use quotes from the short story as evidence to support the analysis.
4. Important passages or words that appear within quotes. You must quote from the primary source. No secondary sources may be used in this assignment.
5. A good conclusion that reminds the reader of the thesis and ties up any loose ends without simply restating all that has come before.
6. Be sure to write in the present tense; see page 2225 in the Norton textbook for more information on writing about literature in the present tense.
7. Do not write in first or second person. For example, use the audience instead of we.