Character analysis essay

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A step by step interactive powerpoint that shows the 10th grade English student how to write a basic character analysis essay of Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart. (Note: you have to download in order for the buttons on the slides to work)

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  • I downloaded this twice; I was able to edit but unable to "interact."
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  • This is an awesome tool to provide background knowledge and reinforce daily objectives. Good Job!
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  • I could adapt this for my 6th grade students using examples from a level-appropriate novel. Well structured; probably need to break it into several smaller lessons.
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  • EAT EAT.
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  • The buttons do not function correctly in slideshare. you have to download it to move through the slideshow in the correct sequence.
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Character analysis essay

  1. 1. The Character Analysis Essay
  2. 2. The Introduction <ul><li>Hook </li></ul><ul><li>Mention author and title of work </li></ul><ul><li>Two to three sentences which discuss Okonkwo generally </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis statement : indicates that the essay will cover both strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul>Go
  3. 3. The Hook <ul><li>This essay will be about Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe </li></ul><ul><li>The book is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. </li></ul><ul><li>In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe introduces his main character, Okonkwo. </li></ul>A B C
  4. 4. Sentence C <ul><li>In the novel, Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe introduces his main character, Okonkwo. </li></ul><ul><li>This sentence correctly introduces the title, the author and the subject matter. It does not use the “purpose” statements of the previous examples nor does it use the words “essay”, “topic” or “paper”. </li></ul>Next
  5. 5. 2) Mention two to three Statements about the Character. <ul><li>Okonkwo’s a really good guy, he’s just misunderstood a lot. He is described in many different ways. </li></ul><ul><li>In spite of his father being a failure, Okonkwo starts working hard and sets goals for himself so he will not end up like his father. He wants to be prosperous and works hard to gain this, but does not always make the best choices. </li></ul>A B
  6. 6. Option A <ul><li>Okonkwo’s a really good guy, he’s just misunderstood a lot. He is described in many different ways. </li></ul>This sentence is too informal for formal essay writing. It commits a comma splice and uses contractions. The first sentence is too vague to be specific to Okonkwo (it could be a statement about anyone) and the second sentence also does not help the reader understand more about Okonkwo’s personality. Back
  7. 7. Option B <ul><li>In spite of his father being a failure, Okonkwo starts working hard and sets goals for himself so he will not end up like his father. He wants to be prosperous and works hard to gain this, but does not always make the best choices. </li></ul>These sentences show a good understanding of Okonkwo in general. They offer general motivation for his actions ( his father’s failure) and hints at his positive qualities . The second sentence does a good job of hinting at his weaknesses, and thus preparing the reader for the thesis statement. Next
  8. 8. 3) Thesis statement <ul><li>He is strong and hardworking, but he is also violent and very impatient. </li></ul><ul><li>His strengths are that he is strong and hardworking and his weaknesses are that he is violent and very impatient. </li></ul><ul><li>I’ll talk to you about his strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul>A B C
  9. 9. Thesis A <ul><li>He is strong and hardworking, but he is also violent and very impatient. </li></ul><ul><li>This is a good thesis; it states both strengths and weaknesses and is simple and to the point! </li></ul>Next
  10. 10. The First Body Paragraph : Strengths <ul><li>Topic sentence: both strengths stated </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce quotation and then insert quotation </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how quotation supports your point </li></ul><ul><li>State second strength. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce quotation and then insert quotation </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how quotation supports your point </li></ul>Go
  11. 11. Topic Sentence <ul><li>One of his strengths is that he is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>He has a lot of strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>Okonkwo is both strong and hardworking. </li></ul>A B C
  12. 12. Topic Sentence A <ul><li>One of his strengths is that he is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>This topic sentence only states one of the strengths. Because you’re talking about two, the topic sentence needs to mention both. </li></ul>Back
  13. 13. Topic Sentence B <ul><li>He has a lot of strengths. </li></ul><ul><li>This thesis does not actually mention the two strengths. It is too vague to be a strong topic sentence. </li></ul>Back
  14. 14. Topic Sentence C <ul><li>Okonkwo is both strong and hardworking. </li></ul><ul><li>This topic sentence is perfect; it is short but also mentions both strengths. </li></ul>Next
  15. 15. 2) Introduce quotation and then insert quotation <ul><li>The following quote, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3) proves he is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>In the book it says, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.” </li></ul><ul><li>While still quite young, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3). </li></ul>A B C
  16. 16. Intro quotation #1 <ul><li>The following quote, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3) proves he is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not good practice to write “following quote”. It is not a smooth quotation integration. You should also not use the word “prove’ with literature. </li></ul>Back
  17. 17. Intro quotation #2 <ul><li>In the book it says, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat.” </li></ul><ul><li>First, you should use the word “novel”, not “book”. Also, you will notice “it” doesn’t actually refer to anything and is a vague reference. It’s also missing the parenthetical reference (last name of author plus page number in parenthesis) </li></ul>Back
  18. 18. Intro quotation #3 <ul><li>While still quite young, “he had brought honor to his village by throwing Amalinze the Cat” (Achebe 3). </li></ul><ul><li>This is a good introduction to the quotation because it offers context (information about the quotation) and is still a complete thought with the quotation. </li></ul>Next
  19. 19. 3) Explanation <ul><li>A) This quote proves that Okonkwo is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>B) Okonkwo’s strength is proved due to the fact that he beat Amalinze. </li></ul><ul><li>C) Okonkwo’s ability to beat a famous wrestler at a young age shows how he has great physical strength. </li></ul>A B C
  20. 20. Thesis B <ul><li>His strengths are that he is strong and hardworking and his weaknesses are that he is violent and very impatient. </li></ul><ul><li>While this is an acceptable thesis, it is needlessly wordy with the words “strengths” and “weaknesses.” Good writing is simple. </li></ul>Back
  21. 21. Explanation A <ul><li>This quote proves that Okonkwo is strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Notice that this explanation does not actually explain why the quotation illustrates Okonkwo’s strength. The writer leaves it up to the reader to figure out why. The writer also used “proves” which is not an appropriate term for English ( you can “prove” a math equation, but not a literary opinion) </li></ul>Back
  22. 22. Explanation B <ul><li>Okonkwo’s strength is proved due to the fact that he beat Amalinze. </li></ul><ul><li>While this is slightly better than the first explanation, it does not explain very well; why does beating Amalinze illustrate his strength? Also, the phrase, “due to the fact” is unnecessarily complicated and should be simpler . </li></ul>Back
  23. 23. Explanation C <ul><li>Okonkwo’s ability to beat a famous wrestler at a young age shows how he has great physical strength. </li></ul><ul><li>This explanation points out the context of the quotation and show how it supports Okonkwo is strong. It also avoids seeming repetitive by writing “strength” instead of “strong” . </li></ul>Next
  24. 24. Last, <ul><li>4) State second strength. </li></ul><ul><li>5) Introduce quotation and then insert quotation </li></ul><ul><li>Explain how quotation supports your point </li></ul><ul><li>After you state the second strength, you repeat the previous process: introduce the quotation, insert the quotation, and explain how the quotation supports your point. </li></ul>Next
  25. 25. Thesis C <ul><li>I’ll talk to you about his strengths and weaknesses. </li></ul><ul><li>This thesis uses first person (never used in formal essays) and does not mention the strengths or weaknesses. It is too informal and sounds as if the writer is “chatting” with us. </li></ul>Back
  26. 26. Sentence B <ul><li>The book is called Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. </li></ul>Like Sentence A, this sentence lacks creativity and imagination. The purpose of the “hook” is to draw the reader in. This sentence not only incorrectly calls it a “book” instead of a NOVEL, it does not really help the reader understand what the essay will be about! Back
  27. 27. Sentence A <ul><li>This essay will be about Okonkwo in Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe </li></ul>This opening “hook” is too obvious a purpose statement. It is neither interesting nor does it grab the reader’s attention. The purpose of the “hook” is to draw the reader in with a thought-provoking idea. Just stating what the essay will do lacks imagination and interest. Back
  28. 28. For the Weaknesses, <ul><li>You’d follow the exact same procedure: state both weaknesses, introduce a quotation and then insert the quotation, and then explain it. State the second weakness, introduce the quotation and then insert the quotation, and then explain it. </li></ul><ul><li>--------------------------------------- </li></ul>
  29. 29. Notes on the Conclusion <ul><li>For the conclusion, it is always best to avoid “I”. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of you put “I think______ will happen” when you could simply have put “_______ will happen because_____.” Using I, you or we is not appropriate for formal writing. </li></ul>

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