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Characters are the main focus of all the great works of fiction. Through their actions, reactions, and interactions with other characters we come to understand characters’ personalities and can discern some aspect of what the author tried to do by including them in the story. A character analysis paper presents your reader with a critical view of a major or minor character as well as the evidence from the story that supports your point of view. Here are some tips to writing an impressive character analysis paper:
Your introduction should include a number of lead-ins that take your reader directly to your thesis statement, which is usually the last sentence in your paragraph. Great lead-ins state the subject of your paper as well as some background that is related to your topic. If you are writing about a character’s issues with anger then you should lead-in by stating some earlier event that may have triggered the behavior you will be discussing.
Great transitions are a common element of great writing. When you work through any kind of plot summary you are basically working through several transitions. Transitions in essay writing take practice but you can improve the ones you use by learning how to effectively use patterns of repeated words, ideas or phrases to keep your reader on track. As you start a new paragraph, don’t simply jump into a new idea; start the paragraph with an element that links it to the previous paragraph.
A character analysis requires you to from the story to support your main argument and topic points. Quotations are a great way of achieving this. But beware not to use too many quotes or bits of dialogue that aren’t strong support. When using quotes be sure you accurately state who said it and under what circumstances. Don’t simply pull a bit of dialogue from one place when trying to make a completely unrelated argument.
Never introduce any new ideas; you simply will not have the space to develop these ideas and will risk confusing your reader. The conclusion should subtly and smoothly bring your reader back to your thesis statement without just repeating the statement in the same words. This is your last opportunity to drive your central argument home, so be sure to show how you’ve succeeded in proven your point and leave the reader without any doubt of your accomplishment.
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