Character Sketch Essay

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Prompt: Is there a member of your family whom you wish you were not related to?

Prompt: Is there a member of your family whom you wish you were not related to?

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  • 1. Is there a member of your family whom you wish you were not related to? Gayla S. Keesee, Education Specialist Paine College, Augusta, GA Mack Gipson, Jr. Tutorial & Enrichment Center rev. 9/2007
  • 2. Writing about a character
    • Writing about a character, whether fictional or real, involves noting and analyzing the person’s
      • personality
      • actions
      • values
      • motives
  • 3. Writing about a character
    • Personality traits
    • Actions
    • Choices
    • Speech
    • Comments about others
    • Physical appearance
  • 4. Personality traits
    • Mannerisms, characteristics, features that reveal one’s personality
      • curious, brave, cold, loving, aggressive, open-minded, overbearing, sneaky, naïve…
    • Personality traits are also qualities that make us find people likeable, lovable, etc.
  • 5. Actions
    • “ Actions speak louder than words.”
    • Motivated by attitudes and values
  • 6. Choices
    • We make judgments about people based on the choices they make every day.
    • The choices people make regarding how they deal with obstacles, resolve conflicts, or overcome difficulties reveal character strengths or weaknesses .
  • 7. Speech
    • What he/she says
    • How he/she says it
      • He/she is unhappy, selfish, sarcastic, or domineering, uneducated…
    • Choice of words
      • information about person’s age , education , culture , and values .
  • 8. Comments about others
    • What people say about others often reveals important information about them as well.
      • How judgmental are they?
      • How supportive?
  • 9. A character’s thoughts & feelings
    • “A penny for your thoughts”
    • Reveal information about themselves— motives and qualities .
      • love, hate, fear, revenge, etc.
    • Think about how a person’s body language shows how he/she is thinking/feeling
  • 10. A character’s past
    • Setting of one’s upbringing is important; we are the products of our early environment .
    • Significant past experiences influence who we are and shape our personalities.
    • Family background may also be important as it reveals values and traditions that are passed on from generation to generation.
  • 11. A character’s appearance & name
    • Physical appearance is important if it brings out a person’s unique personality qualities, culture , traditions , or influences .
      • His warm green eyes lead me
      • right to his soul.
    • A name is often significant as it may reveal information about one’s family background , tradition , influences , or personality traits.
  • 12. The Character Sketch Essay Organization
  • 13. Introduction
    • Introduce the character in a creative way.
      • Take the reader to the time and setting where you met your character.
      • Begin with a colorful illustration.
      • Broad to specific (family/relatives to specific relative)
    • Share why this individual is significant enough to you to write about. (Thesis)
      • Why you wish you were not related
      • Introduce major personality characteristics to be developed and supported in the body.
  • 14. Body
    • Develop and support each personality trait you mentioned in the introduction.
    • Provide incidents , actions , and behaviors to support your character’s qualities.
    • Make sure you develop at least one full paragraph per personality trait.
  • 15. What to watch for. . .
    • Do not just tell what a person is like; show qualities through the use of incidents .
    • Do not describe a story or event that you experienced with someone without drawing some conclusion about your character.
    • Avoid developing points about a character that you did not list in the introduction.
  • 16. Conclusion
    • Tell the reader why you are writing about this “terrible” human being.
    • Consider discussing why this individual is significant to you—if at all.
    • You may want to share how this person has influenced you— positively or negatively .
  • 17. Key Points:
    • Introduction
      • Be creative; discuss significance of individual
      • Provide time and setting of original meeting
      • Begin with a colorful illustration
    • Body
      • Touch on physical appearance, if important
      • Develop each personality characteristic
      • Show; don’t tell!
    • Conclusion
      • Discuss why this individual is significant to you
  • 18. Now it’s your turn!
  • 19. To begin… Fold your paper into four squares. Darken in the lines. Write your basic thesis statement above the line in the middle to remind you of what you will be proving. I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry.
  • 20. I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry. Now we have to answer the question— Why? Provide reasons , examples , incidents , facts/statistics to support our thesis. Animal level
  • 21. Disagreeable Loud Overbearing Basic Thesis Statement ( because ) + the three reasons, examples, facts, or incidents in Box 1 of each section I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry because he is loud, overbearing, and disagreeable. Dog Level I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry.
  • 22. Disagreeable
    • Loud
    • Always yelling at people
    • Voice grates on everyone’s nerves
    • Dog even covers ears
    Overbearing I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry. Now we need to clarify what we mean by each reason. In other words, why/how is Uncle Harry loud , overbearing , and disagreeable ? Poodle Level
  • 23. Paint a picture with words Dog Level Poodle Level FiFi Level
  • 24. I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry. Disagreeable Overbearing FiFi Level Be Specific! Paint a Picture with Words Names, dates, numbers, colors, sensory details, comparisons, vivid verbs
    • Loud
    • Bellows when speaks
      • Not know how to whisper
      • Voice carries throughout the house
      • Sounds like Mack truck horn--blaring
    • Voice grates on everyone’s nerves
      • Brother Warren scrunches face
      • Son David index fingers in ears
      • Sister Gena whispers, “Shush”
    • Dog even irritated
      • Paws cover ears
      • Slinks into living room
      • Crouches under sofa
    Last Thanksgiving, Uncle Harry came in late—everyone already seated…
  • 25.
    • Transition Words
    • Connect Paragraphs
      • First
      • Next
      • Not only…but also
      • Most importantly
      • In summary
    • Connect Ideas Within the Paragraphs
      • Also, in addition
      • For example
      • After, late at night, as, final
  • 26. I wish I were not related to my Uncle Harry. Topic Sentences:
    • First , I wish my Uncle Harry and I were not related because he bellows and roars constantly.
    • Not only is Uncle Harry loud, but he is also officious and domineering.
    • Finally , Uncle Harry’s negative and judgmental attitude makes me want to run in the other direction.
    • In summary , I cannot think of another person that irritates and provokes me as much as my Uncle Harry.