In-class writing: What defines your
Choosing your prompt
Formulating a tentative thesis
Outlining your essay
Introductions: Writing a directed summary
How do others perceive
How does your character see
him or herself?
If there is a difference, what
What makes your character who he or she is?
Write out brief answers that explain or defend
his or her behavior and actions. Consider
Write at least three questions that you would like to
ask other characters in your group. For instance, you
might ask why a character treats your character a
certain way, or you might ask about the motivation for
an action or behavior.
Choose questions that will shed light on their
motivations and behavior. Try to make others question
their characters’ integrity, ambition, or other
When we get into groups, these questions
will be the fodder for your discussion
Jot down any discoveries you make about
Is he or she a minor or major character?
Does your character grow during the
Does your character reflect his or her
culture in a significant way?
Does your character suffer internal or
external challenges that reveal his or her
ethics, morals, or nature.
Could your character be read as a tragic
TOPIC 1: Not all supporting characters play
an integral role in a story; however,
sometimes a minor character is so important
to the novel that the theme, plot,
protagonist, or antagonist would be greatly
changed if that character did not exist. From
A Game of Thrones, analyze a minor
character that plays a significant role. Write
a well-developed essay in which you
analyze the character and explain why he or
she is a significant character in the work. Be
sure to use specific examples and quotations
to support your claims.
TOPIC 2: A dynamic character is
one who changes or grows
emotionally or psychologically
from the beginning of the novel
until end. Many novels have
multiple dynamic characters.
Choose one character from A
Game of Thrones and write a
well-developed essay in which
you prove that he or she is a
dynamic character. Be sure to use
specific examples and quotations
to support your claims.
TOPIC 3: Often a character reflects
the culture of the country in which he
or she lives, that is, he or she
exemplifies the skills, arts, values,
beliefs, and ideals of a certain people
or country. From A Game of Thrones,
choose a character that embodies the
culture of the people he or she
represents. In a well-developed essay,
define the culture of one character and
show how that character illustrates that
TOPIC 4: Analyze a character that
reveals his or her personality, ethics,
morals, and nature through the
challenges he or she faces. Think about
the different types of conflict that exist.
Conflict can be external, such as person
versus person, person versus nature, or
person versus society. Conflict can also
be internal, for example, person versus
self. How does your chosen character
experience conflict during the novel?
Keep in mind how conflict causes a
character to change throughout the
course of the story.
TOPIC 5: Aristotle's ideas about
tragedy were recorded in his book
of literary theory titled Poetics. In
it, he has a great deal to say about
the structure, purpose, and
intended effect of tragedy. His
ideas have been adopted, disputed,
expanded, and discussed for
several centuries now. In a well-
written essay, analyze a character
from Game of Thrones, arguing for
or against his or her status as a
1. Analyze a minor character that plays a significant role. Write a well-
developed essay in which you analyze the character and explain why
he or she is a significant character in the work.
2. Choose one character and write a well-developed essay in which
you prove that he or she is a dynamic character.
3. Choose a character that embodies the culture of the people he or she
represents. Define the culture of one character and show how that
character illustrates that culture.
4. Analyze a character that reveals his or her personality, ethics,
morals, and nature through the challenges he or she faces. How does
your chosen character experience and manage conflict?
5. In a well-written essay, analyze a character, arguing for or against
his or her status as a “tragic hero.”
Your thesis is a statement or theory that you put
forward as a premise to be maintained or proved.
It is also a map for your essay; that is, it tells the reader
what you are suggesting and why you believe your
theory is true.
But your thesis does more than help the reader. A
good, clear working thesis (one that may not yet be
beautiful prose but that details your plan) can help you
outline your essay.
If you don’t yet know which prompt to address, responding
to a couple of them by writing rough theses might help you
Write out a rough thesis for at least one of the prompts: for
example, if you chose topic 4, you might start with “Jon
Snow reveals his personality, ethics, morals, and nature
when he faces his life challenges. He struggles with both
internal and external conflict: life at Winterfell, life as a
bastard, life on the wall, and his struggle with honor,
justice and duty. Jon changes as he confronts each of these
issues, growing from an angry boy into an honorable man
of the night’s watch.”
Of course, this working thesis is in its simplest form.
You will likely change it significantly as you refine your
thoughts and ideas about your character.
For example, instead of saying “Jon Snow reveals his
personality, ethics, morals, and nature when he
faces his life challenges,” I would likely assert what
kind of personality, ethics, morals, and nature that
he reveals. I might even limit my thesis to the two
most fruitful categories.
The more I understand about Jon and who he is based
on how he confronts his conflicts, the more specific I
would make my thesis.
For now, a working thesis and a simple outline can
help you see which questions you can, or want to,
They can also help you develop ideas about what you
will write before you launch into your project.
Once you have your thesis (or theses
written), start sketching out a
Use your thesis to determine what
you will write.
As you make your outline, briefly
consider which textual examples you
will use as support.
Struggle with duty on the
Wanting to be a ranger
Life at Winterfell
• A directed summary provides readers of your
paper with the information they need to
understand your argument and explanation.
• State the title and author of the literary work
near the beginning of the first paragraph,
perhaps in the first sentence. This is essential
so that the reader knows which work you are
• Hook the reader. In the first sentences, write what is
particularly interesting about the work. This thought-
provoking information must also be relevant to the
topic you will discuss in your essay.
• Assume that the reader is familiar with the work
about which you are writing. Do not include too much
plot summary in the introduction or in the rest of the
essay. Do include the part of the story that will
support your thesis. This might or might not include
some aspect of your character description
• Use transitions throughout the introduction. Because
there are so many aspects of the work that have to be
included, the introduction can end up fragmented
and confusing. Make sure that it makes sense on its
own as a paragraph. Clearly transition from your
introduction into your thesis.
• State the thesis near the end of the introduction
(your introduction might be more than one
paragraph). The thesis should clearly state what the
essay will analyze/assert/argue and should be very
Begin your directed summary.
Consider what details you must
include to prepare the reader
for your essay.
Try funneling your
introduction, that is, narrowing
your topic as you summarize
the relevant parts of the story.
The thesis will be the neck of
the funnel and will direct the
reader to your specific
Read A Game of Thrones through
Post #10 Post your working thesis
and outline. Find evidence to
support your points. Include exact
quotations and citations in your
Post #11 Directed summary
Study Vocabulary list #3: Test
There will be NO WORD BANK