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					Character Analysis: Traits

            Methods and techniques of
            characterization. Places to look
            for analysis. Before writing a
            character analysis paper, you
            need to list the characteristics
            that you will analyze
1. Appearance and Name

   A possible place to look for analysis is in the
    names of the characters.
   List the direct characterization of a
    character's appearance. Before writing a
    character analysis paper, list the qualities of
    appearance that the author has given you.
    Then try to analyze how the appearance
    develops the character.
2. Actions

   We know a lot about a person by the way he
    or she behaves. If the person cries a lot, we
    assume something about his or her
    character. If a man is always breaking up
    with his girlfriends, there is something we
    can assume about him.
   To begin, list actions of each characters.
    Then analyze how these actions define the
    characteristics of each characters.
3. Speech

   As with action, we know a lot about a person
    by what he or she says. Also, we know a lot
    about a person by how the person says
    something. Is the character extremely
    ironic?
   To begin, list some dialogue that shows
    some characteristics of the character.
4. Thoughts and Feelings

   Look for thoughts and feelings of a character that
    demonstrates to you some characteristics of the
    character.
   If a character always feels guilty, what does this say
    about the person? Does he have a low self-esteem?
    Is he extremely religious?
   List thoughts and feelings of each characters. Then
    analyze how these thoughts and feelings define the
    characteristics of each characters.
5. Choices

   As choices are made, they reveal the character's
    value and self-concept.
   If a character decides to help volunteer at the
    shelter, what does this say about her? If she
    decides to cheat on her husband, what does this say
    about?
   List the choices of each characters. Then analyze
    what these choices say about the character. How do
    they add to the indirect characterization?
6. Past/Biography

   We are often told that we are the products of our
    early environment and our past experiences. If a
    character comes from an abusive family, does this
    make sense out of how he is today?
   Examine family history, nationality, education,
    significant life experiences. Remember that when
    writing a character analysis paper you are thinking
    like a psychiatrist or a detective. You are trying to
    figure out what makes the character tick.
7. Comments about other characters

   We can learn a lot about a character when
    another character or the narrator says
    something about him or her.
Analysis Paper Structure

    After you have figured out what traits you are going
    to use as your focus, or limiting ideas, it is time to
    write the paper.
        Step 1: write your thesis.
        Step 2: write your topic sentences.
        Step 3: Write your body paragraphs using TIQA
        Step 4: Write introduction.
        Step 5: Write conclusion.
Introduction
   Your introduction paragraph is the first paragraph for your essay. It is best to start
    with something general. You want to grab your reader's attention. Then you want to
    inform your reader about what you writing. You want to finish the introduction
    paragraph with the argument for the paper--the thesis.
Follow ANT:
   Attention-Getter: First sentence or two should be an attention-getter. There are
    multiple ways to have make up an attention-getter.
   Necessary information: Necessary information includes:
                   1. Author's full name
                   2. Title of the story
                   3. Brief plot summary
   Thesis: The last sentence of your introduction should be your thesis.
   Attention-getter: different ways to write an attention-getter:
     1. rhetorical question (students often misuse this)
     2. relevant quote from an outside source
     3. relevant quote from the story
     4. fact or statistic
     5. description of initial response to the work
     6. shocking or amusing generalization.
Example: “The Cask of Amantillado”

           Murder! Is this a right way to get back at someone? Montresor
    believes this is the way to seek revenge in Edgar Allan Poe's "The
    Cask of Amontillado." In the story, Montresor tells the reader that he
    was insulted by Fortunato. Because of this insult, Montresor has
    vowed revenge. He finds Fortunato on the streets during carnival and
    lures him into his family's catacombs under the pretense of having
    Fortunato test wine. Once they are in the catacombs, Montresor
    chains Fortunato to a wall of granite and buries him alive. Montresor is
    able to commit this murder because of his ability to manipulate and his
    intelligence.

   Attention-Getter
   Necessary Info (author's full name, title of work, and brief plot
    summary)
   Thesis
Thesis

   Your thesis should consist of a topic and limiting ideas. It
    should never be a question. The thesis is answer to a question
    that seems important to you.
   For example, what characteristic traits make it possible for
    Montresor to be successful with his revenge?
   Thesis Example -- Montresor is successful in getting his
    revenge because of his vengeful nature, his ability to use
    reverse psychology and manipulation to get people to do what
    he wants, and his intelligent choices.
   The thesis is a road map for your readers to follow your
    argument. It should do the organizing for you.
Topic Sentence
    Since a paragraph is a group of sentences that share a single
     idea, the topic sentence must have two parts:
     –   TOPIC     &   LIMITING IDEA
    Examples:
1.   Fortunato is easily duped into his own murder because of a
     blinding sense of pride.
     –   Topic = Fortunato
     –   Limiting Idea = blind sense of pride (and how this makes him
         vulnerable).
2.   Because Madame Louisel is superficial, she misses the deeper
     appreciation of most things in her life.
     –   Topic = Madame Louisel
     –   Limiting Idea = superficiality
TIQA*
    Your body paragraphs should provide a topic sentence.
    The rest of the paragraph should provide context for a quote or a
     paraphrase example.
    Then you should provide that example – in the form of a direct quote.
    After you provide that example, you should explain how it supports
     your thesis statement.
    DO NOT merely tell your reader what the quote means; this can lead
     to summary. You need to analyze.
    Follow TIQA:
1.   Topic sentence
2.   Introduce quote: put the quote into context.
3.   Quote: provide your quote
4.   Analyze: explain to the reader the importance of the quote and how it
     supports your topic sentence.
Transition Sentence

    Transition from the first example to your
     second example.
1.   Introduce quote: introduce your second piece of
     evidence.
2.   Quote: provide your second quote.
3.   Analyze: analyze your second quotes, and if
     possible, tie the two pieces of evidence together
     to make a larger argument.
Example
   Topic Sentence: In her school without walls, Miss Moore provides a
    hands-on education that forces the students to discover new knowledge.
   Introduce Quote: After sitting around for a while in the impoverished
    neighborhood, Miss Moore tells her students to get into a cab, which
    delivers them to the classroom for the day: FAO Schwarz. While in the
    cab, Miss Moore
   Quote: "hands [Sylvia] a five dollar bill and tells [her] to calculate 10
    percent tip for the driver" (2).
   Analysis: Miss Moore uses the cab ride as a teachable moment. This is a
    sign of a great teacher. Miss Moore does more for Sylvia in those few
    moments than probably most of Sylvia's math teachers at school.
    Typically American education assumes that knowledge can be jammed
    into a student's mind. Miss Moore provides a practical basis for the
    knowledge and allows the student to come to it on her own.
   Transition: Using teachable moments and hands-on education works for
    Miss Moore more effectively when she applies these teaching strategies to
    greater life lessons, such as the lesson on dispelling the American dream.
Conclusion

   Your conclusion should not merely be a
    summary.
   Rather, it should restate and reemphasize
    your thesis. It should show the importance of
    the analysis that you have been making in
    the paper.
   You should also try to provide a clincher,
    which might come back to your attention-
    getter.

				
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