English 9 Honors
Context: For the past several weeks, we have examined the elements of characterization or the
techniques an author uses to create “the actors in the story.” You have also seen these elements
at work in the various stories of various authors. Though these works diverge, one element is
certain in all the stories we’ve read: the characters pull us in with their personalities, their
struggles, their conflicts, and their contradictions. From “Regret” to “A Good Man is Hard to
Find” to “The Possibility of Evil” to “The Scarlet Ibis”, each character is supremely multi-
layered, enormously human, and unequivocally fascinating.
Assignment: You will be placed in a group of five people. Your group will select a fictional
character from a television show (no reality television please), one who speaks to you in some
way, a character who draws you in every time. It may be a protagonist, an antagonist, even a
supporting character but a character who summons your great passion – admiration, disgust,
hate, empathy, humor, disdain, etc.
Each group member will be assigned one paragraph of the five paragraph essay that answers the
Why is your selected character such a well built and compelling character?
Note: this essay is an analysis of characterization and how it is used to great effect in your
chosen character. Therefore, you will want to think about the elements of STEAL and judge
your character by those standards. Please choose characters with some weight and merit – move
beyond Disney characters and look to complex characters built with insight and intricacy.
Remember you are examining the character and his/her traits and relating why these traits are so
powerful. THIS IS NOT A SUMMARY OF THE TELEVISION SHOW OR EPISODE. You
should only relate plot detail to the extent that illuminates the personality of your chosen
Additionally, your group must employ the language of the discipline throughout your work to
add relevance and professionalism. Please look at your What is Character? Handout to consider
what terms apply to you character. (Please identify only what does apply, not what doesn’t).
While you do not have to directly quote a character, you must include at least three examples
(evidence) that prove your points; this will involve paraphrasing rather than direct quotations
(unless you have text available). I have attached the MLA format for citing television shows.
YOU MUST INCLUDE BOTH IN-TEXT CITATIONS AND A WORKS CITED.
You will be provided time in class to work with your group, especially in regards to ensuring
smooth transitions, a logical and cohesive argument, and a consistent use of the thesis, including
establishing, arguing, and reinventing the thesis.
Some Considerations for Your Essay:
o Identify the character
o Detail why your group chose this character
o What passion this character summons and why
o Any identification you share with this character
Ask yourself such questions as
o How is the character built (using the language of the discipline)?
o What kind of characterizations are employed? (direct/indirect)?
o How is the character revealed?
o What are the characters conflicts or flaws?
o Does the character demonstrate any ironies or contradictions?
o What are the characters struggles and how are they confronted?
o Again, use STEAL and name to guide you
o How does the character change?
o Why does the character change?
o What psychological forces are at play within this character?
o How is the character influenced by internal conflicts?
o How is the character influenced by external conflicts?
o Is there a lesson in this character’s behavior – good or bad?
o What many traits are at work in the character?
You will submit your work at the start of your period _____________________. I will not
accept late work for any reason.
And lastly, you must:
o Include a thesis that uses a “because” or “although”
o Includes an underlined thesis
o Use the MLA format
o Use in-text citations
o Provide a Works Cited
o Use formal register
o Eliminate all taboos
o Provide at least five vocabulary words from any vocabulary list. Please underline
o Edit for all taboos
o Edit for grammar
o Ensure work is in the present tense
o Provide the essay checklist
"Title of Episode if any." Title of Program. Name of Network. Call Numbers if any, city of local
station if any. Broadcast date. Medium
“The Blessing Way.” The X-Files. Fox. WXIA, Atlanta. 19 Jul. 1998. Television.
In MLA, it is proper to cite television shows by including the name of the program or series
within parentheses ("Friends").