Character Sketch Essay


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

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Character Sketch Essay

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