Essay Instructions: Character Sketch over the main character in "Sherlock Holmes, the hound of the baskervilles"
Write a five paragraph character sketch (at least 500 words) on the main character. The five paragraphs should be an introduction ending in a thesis statement, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion you’re your thesis statement, state three distinct character traits. Discuss each separate trait in its own body paragraph. Start each body paragraph with a topic sentence, stating the trait to be covered, and develop or prove the trait with at least three specific examples from the story. In your thesis statement and selection of traits, also address: “Does the character change or develop over the course of the story?” The conclusion should repeat and slightly reword the thesis and recap the major points.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: I will be sending a draft character sketch essay via email. Enhance the essay using the notes below and markup included in the essay. You can take some creative license but remain consistent with the original essay. In other words, you can fictionalize, modify or expand on the events that take place as long as you remain true to the basic events described. You can completely ignore the last paragraph of the draft essay. Focus on the events that take place in the restaurant. The total length of the essay should be 500 to 700 words. Lines should be double spaced with the first line of each paragraph indented.
A few notes on characteristics of the essay:
Definition: As the title suggests, this work is a sketch, not a portrait, not a biography. It is limited in scope and intent. It does not presume to say that this is all that can be or should be said. It does say that this outline, this skeleton, this abbreviation is of a person worth knowing or knowing about.
Purpose: The writer attempts to share the experience of another person with others, sometimes to praise, sometimes to damn, frequently to understand better. The sketch can be for the writer, as for the visual artist, a voyage of discovery, noticing new features and traits and acknowledging known ones. The result may be as two dimensional and striking as the caricature or the cartoon or as revealing as the anatomical drawings of DaVinci. Wherever it may lead, the impulse to share our notions and perceptions of another human must be at least as strong or stronger than our urge to present other kinds of information. Consider how much talk in our day is about people: from the breathless junior high girl describing her latest infatuation to the irate senior describing the unpleasant driver on the freeway.
Considerations: Does the subject have an outstanding trait? Can you build up the detail, reveal the complexity of the person?
Stance: The person is the subject, not the writer. But the writer needs to be there--in the background, not the foreground. You do need to establish your connection to the subject. Try not to upstage your own subject. This is a character sketch, not a personal experience assignment. You cannot, because this is not fictional, tell us what the character is thinking or feeling, as if you are a kind of god-like, omniscient author. You can tell what you see and hear and what it makes you think might be going on.
Methods of Characterization:
Direct statement of a trait
"[Robert] Oppenheimer was an intellectual of broad interests and surprisingly disparate eruditions, who read the classics of Greek and Sanskrit and Spanish literature, loved poetry, carefully studied the work of Karl Marx to see for himself what was there. He was an epicure. * * * Leslie Groves was an engineer and a soldier, period."
Reports from others
Grove's military deputy on the project said later: "He's the biggest sonovabitch I've ever met in my life, but also one of the most capable individuals . . . . I hated his guts and so did everybody else but we had our form of understanding."
Effect on others
When Sunshine walked in, all the people in the room hoped he would not sit next to them.
Use all the senses, not just sight. Do not be limited. Each sense has associations. For example, taste may be associated with certain foods a person enjoys or habitually eats; smell with a cologne the person wears.
"Groves was a large man, well upholstered in flesh. Robert Oppenheimer was gangly and emaciated."
"Democracy is not about being a damn spectator against the backdrop of tap-dancing politicians swinging in the winds of expediency."
--Congressman Ron Dellums.
"Call me Ishmael."
--Herman Melville, Moby Dick
More about dialog
Talk. Have others talk. Record the conversation of this person (carefully edited for tightness, of course) in your paper. Show in this assignment that you know how to present and punctuate dialog. Don't confuse good dialog with an actual record of the conversation (like a court reporter might do). You are not a court reporter, but an author. You recreate the feel of the person's speech, not the record of it. You do this by listening carefully and being selective. You look for speech characteristics: length of sentences, vocabulary, grammar, tone of voice, to mention a few.
A good way to begin writing dialog is to start a new paragraph with the speech. Open quotation marks, insert the utterance, insert the needed punctuation, close the quotation marks, finish with the speaker tag. Don't get fancy with speaker tags. Good ones are "said" and "asked." Not so good ones might include "inquired breathlessly" and "muttered murkily." By starting a new paragraph with the utterance, you avoid "burying" the dialog in the paragraph. Writers, even great writers, will bury dialog in the middle of paragraphs, but until you've worked with it for a while, it is usually more effective to handle dialog in separate paragraphs.
Some examples follow:
"Take your hand away from that gun and step into the light," Sam said.
"You don't have anything on me. I want my lawyer," Bennett said. "and I'll have you brought up on charges."
"I don't think so, especially after the chief sees these photos," Sam said.
There are faxes for this order.
Excerpt From Essay:
Essay Instructions: Write a CHARACTER SKETCH of the character Finny from the book "A Separate Peace". A successful character sketch should: present a vivid picture of the personality and physical appearance of the character, establish a dominant, or main, impression of the character, reveal the writer's response to the character, include dialogue, mannerisms, descriptions, and other devices that show rather than tell what the character is like, place the character in a context that contributes to the reader's understanding of the character, and have a clear organizational structure and a strong conclusion. Use at least five examples of text evidence (quotations) and use the quotations that I provide you via fax out of the book. Use the book for a reference source along with the three pages of information that I will provide via fax. Use at least five transition words or phrases.
There are faxes for this order.
Excerpt From Essay:
Total Pages: 5 Words: 1690 Bibliography: 3 Citation Style: MLA Document Type: Research Paper
Essay Instructions: A character analysis on one of the characters in The Things They Carried. You can choose any character except the narrator (Tim O?Brien).
Essay will be divided into two sections: an extremely detailed character sketch and a theories section (discussed in detail below).
Observe the way the characters interact with one another, with their circumstances, and with their surroundings. Once you?ve chosen the character you wish to analyze. Make sure you know everything there is to know about that character. (This is your ?observation? phase.) Organize this material into logical subheadings (personality traits and habits, personal background, etc.) for the first half of your essay.
In the second half of your essay, you will suggest a possible argument for an analysis of the character. Once you have finished your observations, develop an argument about this character. This section must have a clear and debatable thesis statement. Is this character a metaphor for something? Are you proposing a reading different from what might be the ?typical? reading of the character? Does the character analysis point to a greater theme in the work? Or, does your interpretation of this character change the way we might read the book itself?
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