To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis Essay Unit 2

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1 Name: Class Period: To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis Essay Unit 2 Before you can begin to write your essay, you need to choose a character from the novel. Select a character that interests you, and that you want to learn more about. Your character should be a major character a round character (with many traits or characteristics) and dynamic (undergoing change through the events in the story). Once you ve chosen your character fill in the information below. My character is: Significant relationships and interactions with other characters: Character s beliefs (list 3 different beliefs): Character s values (list 3 different values): Now that you have gotten to know more about what your thinks, believes, and values, it is time to consider the essay s prompt. Remember that a prompt is the specific question to be addressed in an essay. However, do not write the prompt in your essay! The prompt for this essay is: How do the character s actions, thoughts, and relationships reflect their beliefs and values? Take some time to think about the answer to the question. Once you have a pretty solid answer please write it in the spaces below.

2 Now, take the answer to this last question and condense it to one compound sentence. You can use a semicolon, and/or a conjunctive adverb such as therefore, meanwhile, consequently, otherwise, or similarly. This will be your working thesis statement. You will probably modify this as you write your essay, but for now write you thesis below. Working thesis: Because this is a working thesis it is okay if the thesis changes and evolves as you write your paper. The main thing to make sure is that your paper proves your thesis. Now that you have your thesis it is time to construct and organize your essay. Please read over the notes, that I provided you on a separate piece of paper, and use them while you craft your essay. Essay Details: Essays should be turned in to on January 13 th, you will also need to turn in a hard copy as well as all rough draft materials, including revisions!!! Any papers submitted in any other fashion, or late will receive a late grade. Your papers should be formatted and include the following items and information: Written in 12pt font 2-3 pages long At least 5 paragraphs, (1 introduction, at least 3 body paragraphs, and 1 conclusion paragraph) Work cited page with correct book citation Correct MLA format Submitted to on January 13 th, along with a hard copy to class, with all rough draft materials, including revisions!!

3 Introduction Character Analysis Essay Components/Notes Your opening sentences must include: an attention-grabbing opener that relates to the thesis the title in quotations or italicized the author Next, include: a brief summary of the story (no more than two sentences!!!) an introduction of the character you are planning to analyze, along with a few important facts about the character Now, introduce your thesis: Remember that your thesis is your main point. This is what you are going to prove in your essay. Your thesis must be stated in one sentence. You can, and most often, will use a compound sentence when stating your thesis. This will be a statement that uses a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb to join two independent clauses. Some popular conjunctive adverbs are: therefore, meanwhile, consequently, otherwise, also, and similarly. Body Paragraphs Each of your body paragraphs, there should at least be three supporting body paragraphs, must include: a topic sentence that helps to prove your thesis a discussion of the idea introduced in your topic sentence concrete details and textual evidence, citations/annotations, in the form of short scene summaries, quotes or paraphrasing of quotes from the scenes commentary (your words and thoughts) on each concrete detail (Discuss the quote or paraphrased idea.) a closing sentence that connects back to the topic sentence and/or the thesis Conclusion Your conclusion should: restate the thesis, but with different words briefly review the supporting points from the body paragraphs say something meaningful and thought-provoking, showing that you learned something new in writing this essay Some things to keep in mind when writing your essay: Write your essay in the present tense and keep your verbs consistent! Use active verbs wherever possible. (Remember active vs. passive voice) Write your essay in the third person point of view. Don t use the word I!!!!! Check your spelling and punctuation.

4 Make sure that you have no sentence fragments or run-on sentences. Reading your essay out loud will help you to catch awkward sounding sentences, as well as help you pick up on mistakes. When you are able to, try to combine your ideas to make more complex sentences. You may have to rewrite your introduction after you finish your essay. This is because you may find that what you had to say about your character changes as you write. Always make sure that your essay prove your thesis statement! Find a character and a thesis that you are excited about exploring; if you care about your subject, your reader will care too! Incorporating Quotations A quotation is any word, sentence, or passage taken from the written text. Make sure to choose your quotations wisely; they must support the main idea in your paragraph. Quotations are one way of adding concrete details to your essay; another way is to paraphrase a part of the text. Remember that you must discuss your quotation. This is called commentary. Be sure to analyze the quote and insightfully discuss its importance. A quotation works best when it is anchored. This means that you incorporate it into your sentence. Try not to say things like, this quote shows Place quotations marks around the exact wording as it appears in the text. Then put the author s name and page number in parentheses. This is called a parenthetical citation. Always place a period after the citation. Take a look at the examples below. Quoting a Sentence Jim is aware of Long John Silver s every move when he notes, I was surprised at the coolness with which John avowed his knowledge of the island, and I own I was half-frightened when I saw him drawing nearer to myself (Stevenson 65). Showing Omissions Dr. Livesey clearly has no fear of Billy Bones when he states, I have only one thing to say to you, sir if you keep on drinking rum, the world will soon be quit of a very dirty scoundrel! (Stevenson 6).

5 Quoting a Fragment Long John Silver explained to his mates that he has aspirations to live as a gentlemen in earnest (Stevenson 59). *If the quotation ends in a question mark or exclamation point, include it but add a period after the parenthetical citation.

6 Name: Class Period: To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis Essay Unit 2 Introduction Paragraph 1. Attention-getter: 2. Title and Author: 3. Describe the novel s plot in a sentence or two: 4. Introduce your character and state a few important facts about him or her: 5. Write a sentence that introduces your thesis statement:

7 6. State your thesis in a compound sentence: *Make sure that your thesis statement addresses the prompt (the question being asked of you).

8 Name: Class Period: To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis Essay Unit 2 Body Paragraphs Each of your body paragraphs will help to prove your thesis. You must be able to state your paragraph s topic in a sentence. Body Paragraph #1 Choose one of your character s beliefs of values for the topic of this paragraph. The topic of this paragraph is: 1. Write your first topic sentence. The topic sentence tells the main idea of the paragraph. In this essay, you should pick one of the beliefs or values of your character, and describe how their actions, thoughts and relationships reflect those beliefs and values. (Remember to move from the general idea to the specifics of your character.) 2. Write a sentence that explains the scene you chose, the role your character played in it, and how it reflects a belief or value. This scene should help to illustrate a belief or value. 3. Select a quotation from this scene that supports the topic sentence. This is your concrete detail. Include the page number in parentheses. 4. Explain the significance of the quote as it relates to the topic of your paragraph in two or three sentences.

9 5. Write a concluding sentence (or two) that brings the ideas of the paragraph together in an interesting and thought-provoking way. Body Paragraph #2 Choose one of your character s beliefs or values for the topic of this paragraph. The topic of this paragraph is: 1. The topic sentence tells the main idea of the paragraph. In this essay, you should pick one of the beliefs or values of your character, and describe how their actions, thoughts and relationships reflect those beliefs and values. (Remember to move from the general idea to the specifics of your character.) 2. Write a sentence that explains the scene you chose, the role your character played in it, and how it reflects a belief or value. This scene should help to illustrate a belief or value. 3. Select a quotation from this scene that supports the topic sentence. This is your concrete detail. Include the page number in parentheses. 4. Explain the significance of the quote as it relates to the topic of your paragraph in two or three sentences:

10 5. Write a concluding sentence (or two) that brings the ideas of the paragraph together in an interesting and thought-provoking way: Body Paragraph #3 Choose one of your character s beliefs or values for the topic of this paragraph. The topic of this paragraph is: 1. The topic sentence tells the main idea of the paragraph. In this essay, you should pick one of the beliefs or values of your character, and describe how their actions, thoughts and relationships reflect those beliefs and values. (Remember to move from the general idea to the specifics of your character.) 2. Write a sentence that explains the scene you chose, the role your character played in it, and how it reflects a belief or value. This scene should help to illustrate a belief or value. 3. Select a quotation from this scene that supports the topic sentence. This is your concrete detail. Include the page number in parentheses. 4. Explain the significance of the quote as it relates to the topic of your paragraph in two or three sentences:

11 5. Write a concluding sentence (or two) that brings the ideas of the paragraph together in an interesting and thought-provoking way:

12 Name: Class Period: To Kill a Mockingbird Character Analysis Essay Unit 2 Conclusion Paragraph 1. Write a sentence that restates the thesis of the essay, but in a new way: 2. Write a sentence or two that reviews the three main points you made in your body paragraphs: 3. Write a closing sentence or two that expresses your final thoughts on your character. Here is where you can show what you learned in the course of working on this essay. While you don t use the words I or me, you do show your original thoughts and insights. Leave the reader with something meaningful to think about.

13 Revising your Essay Congratulations! You have written the first draft of your essay. Now it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of your work by sharing it with a peer. Find a classmate and take turns reading your papers to one another, out loud! Once you have finished reading your essays work through this worksheet. You can correct misspelled words and other grammar mistakes, however your main goal is to listen to each other s essays and determine if you have the following components: Introduction o an attention-grabbing opener o a concise summary of the plot o an introduction to the character under investigation o a clear thesis statement introducing the character s traits and how they affect the plot Strengths: Weaknesses: Suggestions: Three Body Paragraphs o topic sentences that introduce the character s traits o scenes that reveal the character s traits in action o concrete details (quotations that support the paragraph s topic sentence and reveal the trait) o commentary (two or three sentences that discuss the concrete details) Strengths: Weaknesses: Suggestions: Conclusion o a sentence that restates the thesis of the essay, but in a new way o a sentence or two that reviews the three main points from the body paragraphs o a closing sentence or two that expresses the writer s final thoughts on the character and his importance to the plot

14 Strengths: Weaknesses: Suggestions: Now, go back and revise your essay. Make changes where your classmate was confused or you felt you weren t making your point as well as you could have. Editing Your Essay You have revised your essay and are satisfied with the results. Now is the time to double-check the following mechanical features of your essay: Enlist a classmate to help you, but first see if you can catch your own errors. Editor s Checklist Do all sentences begin with a capital letter and end with appropriate punctuation? YES/NO Are all words spelled correctly? Are all proper nouns capitalized? Are there commas where they are needed? Do possessive words have apostrophes? Is this essay written in the third person? Are all quotations properly cited? YES/NO YES/NO YES/NO YES/NO YES/NO YES/NO * If the answer is "no" to any of the above questions, go back and correct your paper.

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