Sample Character Traits Essays

We understand characters in literature by paying attention to what they say, what they do, and how other characters react to them.  The author of a novel will help us understand a character by describing how that character reacts in certain situations.  Select a character from a novel you have read (your October Book-of-the-Month)  and analyze that character's personality.  What adjectives would you choose to describe the character?  What information and evidence from the novel supports the use of those adjectives?

In a multi-paragraph essay, use adjectives to analyze a character from one of the novels you have read .  Use quotations, details, and examples from the novel to support your selection of adjectives.

Sample Essay: 

[Introduction with a main idea sentence]

Jason, one of the main characters in The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, is a young man, fifteen or sixteen (page 3), who is attractive, confused, kind, and powerful.  The reader becomes acquainted with these traits in Jason through what he says and does and thinks, and through what other characters think and say about him.  

[Body paragraphs that include details explaining the ideas presented in the introduction]

Piper, another main character, describes Jason’s appearance this way: “. . . sky blue eyes, close-cropped blond hair, that cute little scar on his upper lip.  His face was kind and gentle, but always a little sad."  And Drew, the cabin leader of the children of Aphrodite, a girl who would require a guy to be very good-looking,  starts flirting with him as soon as she sees him.  So Jason is attractive.

Another quality Jason has throughout most of the book is confusion.  He wakes up in a bus of kids going on a fieldtrip, not knowing quite where he is, who he is, or who these people are he is with. Of course he is confused, not knowing the answers to the most basic questions about himself.  However, he does “know things.”   He knows to pull out a coin that turns into a sword when he needs it.  (23)  In battle, “. . . his instincts won. . .. ”   (25)   Annabeth tells him, "You seem to know a lot, Jason."   (33)   He knows things, but doesn’t know how he knows, and it seems that every time a memory starts to break through, it pulls back and brings on a headache.  He’s even confused about whether he’s a good kid or a bad kid.   Leo tells him,  "We go to the 'Wilderness School" . . . Which means we're ‘bad kids’.. . .” (7) Yet Jason  “knew he hated mean kids."  (10)  

This young hero is also kind.  Piper thinks of Jason (at least the way she thinks it was) : "He was so nice to her and so patient, he could even put up with hyperactive Leo. . . He's accepted her for herself and didn't judge her. . . " (49)   . . . To Be Continued. . .    This essay would still need more details to show how he was kind, then to show how he was powerful.  

The last paragraph would be the conclusion to wrap things up and leave the essay feeling complete. 

Here is a complete essay that received a score on MyAccess of 5.3!

It's by Eric A.  Congratulations, Eric!

     In The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner, we are introduced to the main character Thomas, who is without any memory, except for his first name.  Thomas begins his new life in an elevator like container, or "the box" (1).  When "the box" opens to reveal his mysterious new life,  he is confused.  Thomas is set out on a test to solve the maze.  This test shows that Thomas is strong,  friendly,  determined,  and courageous.  Mr. Dashner unveils these traits to the reader as if they were going along on the adventure with Thomas.  

     Most of the time when we thing about being strong, we think of muscles, and how much weight someone can lift.  Thomas shows us that he definitely is physically strong during his training to become a runner (210).  His friend, Minho also calls him a "big shank" (201).  We see that strength can also be inside, or emotional.  During this test, when things are at their worst, Thomas keeps it together and trudges on knowing that he will find an answer.  Thomas' strengths grow as the book goes on.       

     Thomas' personality draws people in, and he makes friends easily.  When chatterbox Chuck annoys everyone around him, Thomas realizes he is just lonely.  He becomes a friend to Chuck, and this friendship becomes one they both value (13).  Thomas attempts a friendship with Gally(17), but is not successful.  Further in the story when Chuck needs encouragement, Thomas tells him, "I promise on my life, I'll get you back to that room (home)  of yours" (195).  It is clear that friendship is important to Thomas and he treats others the way he wants to be treated.  

     Thomas is determined to make his goals, or dreams, come true even against all odds.  He wants to become a "maze runner" even when everyone says he does not have what it takes to become one (34).  Thomas trains (201) and is eventually successful becoming a runner.  Another goal he has is to solve the maze.  Again he is told he can't do it, but this does not stop him and he keeps on trying (231).  Just like all the others in the maze, Thomas wants to get his memory back and return home.  Discouragement along the way makes this seem impossible, but this is his most important goal and nothing will change that.  Thomas and his determination make him the "Energizer Bunny" of the maze. 

     All of Thomas' attributes can be wrapped up into the fourth one listed, courage.  It takes courage to go on in the face of danger and discouragement.  Courage is used to show and use your strength.  Putting yourself out there to make a new friend can be a courageous act.  Of the times Thomas was courageous through the story, two stand out most.  When faced with capture and death from the grievers he put himself in danger to save his friend, Minho (134).  He also "took one for the team" and let himself be stung by a griever, so he could save the glade (city) (295).    Courage is more about whom you are and how you act rather than how you act.  It is a foundation to a person's entire character.  

     These character traits were designed to effect the other characters in a positive way.  The strength Thomas showed helped to get the others through the maze and served as support to everyone.  Chatterbox Chuck found a loyal friend in Thomas, and this opened doors to many other friendships.    It was his determination that kept Thomas and the others moving farther and farther towards their goals.  Courage saved some of the friends from harm, motivated them to keep going, and helped them all to make good friends.  The characters Thomas has many traits, some good, some bad, but these are the traits that meant the most to me.  


Here's another essay that did well.  It lost some points because it lacks a conclusion, and needs more editing, but it does explain the traits of the character.  

Thanks to Nathanael B.

         In Tina Monsen's book, Leahona Legacies, Bubba is the main character and the kind of person that always takes charge when there is a problem or if they are just playing a game. Bubba is always a very good influence on other people. He is always positive and optimistic, and those are just some of the things that I will tell you about.

        First, he always takes charge when there is a problem, like in the book they are cleaning out their neighbor's attic and find an ancient map that sends them on a quest, and he was the very first to take charge. The main people in the book are on a baseball team, and he is the unofficial team captain. They also have some very dangerous criminals chasing after them in the story, and he is the one who chose the plan of action to get the criminals caught.

        Second, he is always honest, cheerful, courageous, and a good influence on others. For instance, they needed to climb a cliff, and he was the one who went up first then threw down a rope for the others. When it was poring and they could not go out side and look for more clues to reach the treasure, and he was very positive and optimistic and let every one come inside and have some snacks and they planed the next day.

        He is also very friendly, which he clearly shows threw being very nice to the team his family friends and neighbors. For instance he was the one who convinced the team to go and clean the neighbors attic where they found the map that lead them on their quest to find the treasure.

        His positive attitude and very uplifting spirit leads the team on very many other adventures and fun activities which includes: climbing the face of a very imposing cliff, and going in to the mountains off of the beaten path and in to an abandoned cave.

(Needs a conclusion)

Thanks to Alicia J --

         I wrote about Dominic from the book "Everest: The Climb" by Gordon Korman.  I chose him because he's the main character and the narrator describes his traits a lot.  I took notes on how he was judged because he was very small for his age.  He was good at climbing and his dream was to climb to the top of Everest.  Many thought he couldn't do it because of his lung capacity which he was bound to struggle breathing with such thin air from the altitude.  He showed them that he could do anything he set his mind to.  

        His personality had a positive effect on most characters in the book because he was kind and a really good climber.  The only person who he probably had a negative effect on was Tilt Crawley.  Tilt was jealous of Dominic because he was strong and always helping others.  Dominic was younger than him and would beat his record of being the smallest person to climb to the top of Everest.  Tilt decided to secretly email a newspaper company to tell them false things about Dominic to make the public worried about such a small teenager attempting the climb.

        In one of Tilt's e-mails to the newspaper, he wrote that Dominic was a poor little boy who their leader of the expedition, Cap Cicero, forced to join the team just for the pride that he was the youngest to climb Everest.  He included that he should not have done that because now Dominic caught a very dangerous disease.  This is all of fib to scare the public.  Instead of thinking that Tilt was writing the mysterious e-mails, they suspected it was Ethan Zaph who was a member of another team.

        Other than that, everybody else liked Dominic.  Even the Sherpas who normally do all the hard work were grateful when Dominic carried the heavy packs up a steep slope for them.  Cap was proud of Dominic for being such a great climber but sometimes doubted having him on his team because of his size.  He also got many negative opinions about letting him climb too.  Dominic always proved them wrong, though.

        An example of the positive way he effects other characters is when he didn't stop searching for Nestor and Ethan until they found them.  Cap and the doctor, Andrea, had gone looking for them on the totally wrong side of the mountain.  Dominic knew that they had to break the rules and slip out of Base camp to save them.  It was a bitter night and they had to be smart and prepared for anything.  After filling their packs an extra supplies of gas tanks and breathing masks, their started their journey.

        They climbed a icy, sloping mountainside for over two hours and almost reached the top when they found out that they didn't have enough pegs.  It was to far to heave their bodies up over the edge so they almost gave up.  This is were Dominic came in.  He remembered that Perry had an ancient peg in his pack which was his uncle's who intended to have it put on top of Everest.  "Use your uncle's peg!"  Dominic shouted to Perry.  It was just enough to get them to the top of the slope and save Nestor and Ethan from freezing to death.

        From my perspective, I think after reading the book, I really liked Dominic.  He can be funny but if you need to get the job done, he'll do it right.  At times when everything seems to be going wrong, he turns it in a different direction and helps his teammates get back on track.  Especially when their lives are at risk, he's always there to save the expedition.  The author did a really good job at describing this character in the book.  I was surprised at how big of a personality Dominic had despite his small structure. 


Character Traits (of a Character from The Outsiders)
Thanks to Bonnie S.

         In the book "The Outsiders," Johnny is Ponyboy Curtis' best friend. In the book I think that Johnny has character traits that affect people in a positive way because he is not as mean as the others in the gang. He helped out the little kids that were in the church that was burning down, and he is brave enough to stand out and show others that they are doing something wrong, if they are doing something that is wrong.

        First of all, Johnny is not as mean as all of the others in the gang. I found it interesting that Dally (one of the boys in the gang) was Johnny's role model, because I thought that Johnny and Dally had opposite personalities. Dally is so entertained with hurting others feelings and making people hate him, because when they all snuck into the movie theaters, he tried to make Cherry Valance and Marcia feel as uncomfortable as possible. Because of his actions Cherry threw a  bottle of coke at him. On the other hand, Johnny is so nice and kind and does not want to do things like that. In fact he was the one who stopped Dally when he was annoying the girls. Because of Johnny's actions Cherry and Marcia talked to Pony and Johnny and trusted them.

        Second, Johnny and Ponyboy had saved those kids that were stranded in the burning church. The two boys had been running away from "the fuzz" or the police because Johnny had killed someone. They had been hiding in an old abandoned church building, and while they were out eating lunch with Dally, there had been a picnic going on at the church. The building had caught on fire because Pony and Johnny were not being careful with their smokes. Both of the boys had rushed into the burning building to save some kids who had decided to go exploring. Johnny had ended up in critical condition because of his generosity.

        Third, Johnny is brave enough to stand out and make a difference. When they had snuck into the movie theater, while Dallas was picking on Cherry and Marcia, Johnny and Pony were getting sick and tired of it and wanted him to stop. Ponyboy knew better than to tell Dallas Winston what to do. To everyone's surprise, Johnny stood up and told him to lay off. He did. Another time that Johnny stood out, was when the Socs were drowning Ponyboy and Johnny had stabbed Bob. I think that he was standing out and making a difference because he could have just ran away from the situation and tried to get someone else to help Ponyboy, but he tried to help the situation himself.

         So you can see, that Johnny was not a terrible person just because he had killed Bob.  If he would not have killed him, the social gang probably would have killed Ponyboy and Johnny for picking up their girls. The Socs were drunk, and they had already started trying to kill Ponyboy by drowning him.  Johnny stabbed Bob as a matter of self defense.  So, I think that Johnny did affect people in the book "the outsiders," because he is not as mean as the other kids in their gang, he helped the little kids get out of the burning church building, and he is brave enough to stand up for people when they need it.

Literary courses at any level will sometimes require students to write character analysis essays. We will be delving into their conflicts and how the characters resolve them. We will be looking through the eyes of the characters and analyze their roles in the story. If you are having trouble looking through the eyes of characters in a literary piece, look no further and read on because EssayPro is here to provide a top college essay service!

Table Of Contents

What is a Character Analysis Essay?

In a deeper sense, this is a type of essay which requires an understanding of the character in question. These kinds of essays are usually to understand protagonists and antagonists in any literary piece. One of the aims would be to make a profile and analyze characters well.

What Is The Purpose

More than to fulfill a requirement, this type of essay mainly helps us understand the character and the world he/she lives in. One of the important purposes of this essay is to look at the anatomy of a character in the story and dissect who he/she is. We must be able to study how the character was shaped and then learn from their life.

Different Types Of Characters

  • Protagonists (heroes): The main character around whom most of the plot revolves.
  • Antagonists: This is a person that is against the protagonist. This is usually the villain but could be also a natural power, set of circumstances, majestic being, etc.
  • Major: These are the main characters. They run the story. Regularly there are only one or two major characters.
  • Dynamic (changing)
  • Static (unchanging)
  • Minor: These are the figures who help tell the major character’s tale by letting them interact and reveal their personalities, situations, stories. They are commonly static (unchanging).
  • Foils: These are the people whose job is to contrast with the major character.

How to Write it?

Of course to go into the deeper sense, and to truly understand these characters, one must immerse oneself in the story or literary piece. Take note of the setting, climax, and other important literary parts. You must be able to feel and see through the characters. Observe how the writer shaped these characters into life. Notice how little or how vast the identities of the characters were described. Look at the characters’ morals and behavior and how it affects situations and other characters in the story. Observe characters whom you find interesting.

How to start?

First, you have to choose a character you’d like to write about. Sometimes, a character will be readily assigned to you. It’s wise to consider characters who play a dynamic role in the story. It will captivate the reader since there is tons of information about these characters.

Read The Story

Even if you’ve already heard or read this story before, you will probably need to read it again. It will definitely help you notice something new that you’ve missed before. Keep in mind or highlight every place that your character appears.

Consider the following things:

  • What specific descriptions does the author provide for each character?
  • What kinds of relationship does your character have with others?
  • How do the actions of the character move the plot forward?

Take Notes

While you are reading, take notes or highlight/underline all important elements of the story. That will add depth when describing your character.When you’re finished reading with your character in mind, review your notes, and formulate the main idea about a character. Make an initial draft while taking note of the character analysis essay outline provided by your instructor. If you’re not provided with a sample, you may follow this format:

Make An Outline

This step can be considered as one of the most important steps in writing. A well-constructed outline will keep your thoughts and ideas organized.


Make an introduction of your paper brief and meaningful. It should hold together your whole essay and should spark interest in people. Write a short description of the character in question.


Subdivide your body paragraphs into different ideas or areas to be considered regarding the character. Look at your professor’s rubric and make sure that you’ll be able to tackle the things required. You should also be provided with questions to be answered to better formulate your analysis. The body should answer the following questions:

  • What is the character’s physical appearance, personality, and background?
  • What were the conflicts that the character experienced and how did he/she overcome them?
  • What can we learn from this character?


Your conclusion should also hold together your ideas and should shape a final analysis statement. Mention things about the character’s conflicts which we can experience in real life. Also, you can write about how a character that should’ve reacted to a certain situation.

Character Analysis Essay Example

There are many character analysis essay examples available online. Study how authors of these essays wrote about different characters. Go on and search for character analysis about Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, and the Crucible. Look at how conflicts are resolved by characters. Consider things to learn about the characters and take note if any of the characters reflect something in you. A character analysis essay is more than looking into the character but also looking into the character’s personality, actions, and decisions that speak to you.

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

Tutor Clement, from EssayPro

Often, a character analysis will help you understand the work as a whole better. When a teacher assigns you a character to analyze, they are essentially asking you to understand the character’s role in the novel. Discuss the character’s intentions. Sometimes, in some works, the intentions of the character may be blurry. A good example of those cases is Iago from Othello. Your job, in this case, will be to analyze Iago’s intentions (why did he want to kill Othello) and then support it with evidence from the text. Like all analysis, having a strong argument, in this case, is very important. You do not necessarily have to believe that your argument is true, but if you can support it then stick with your initial idea. If you are assigned a prompt that states something along the lines of “analyze a character’s influence on the work as a whole”, then this question is calling for a character analysis. Ask yourself questions along the way like: what would I do in their place. This will help develop a deeper sense of empathy with the character and thus help you analyze them better. Good luck!

If you still need help, EssayPro is here for you!

We can provide you a character analysis essay sample which you can use as a guide for your essay. Our expert writers will help you choose a character which you can write on. We can also help you synthesize an analysis. If you have a hectic schedule and you find it hard to look for a good time to sit and write about your essay, don't hesitate to use our online writing service. If you have already written an essay and want it checked, just reach us, and we’ll edit your work for a higher grade you deserve.

Hire an essay writer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *