How to Write a Character Sketch for Literature Class

Character sketch is basically a written description of a character in a story. You are supposed to keenly observe a character in a novel in order to understand the character better in order to relay your understanding of the character in written form.

The character description has both the physical and emotional characteristics of a character. Character sketches are actually designed in order to provide readers with a better understanding of characters and how their presence in a novel or story affects its ending.


  • 1

    There are eight ways that help characterise the actors of a novel.

    - Physical description
    - What the character says
    - What it does
    - What it thinks
    - How others perceive it
    - What others do to the character
    - The setting in which the character is found
    - What the character is like in the story

  • 2

    In order to support your observations, you should use quotations or pieces copied from the book in order to support your observations. Any words that you copy should be put in quotation marks.

  • 3

    It is better to use verbs in past tense and try using strong and interesting verbs.

  • 4

    Information that you provide should be true to the original content. You are allowed to draw conclusions but they must be logical and based on facts in the story. For instance, a story might not state a character’s age to be 70 but through your assumptions which have to be logical, you can state the age from information such as, white hair, stooped, bent, wrinkled face and not very agile.

  • 5

    A character sketch has to be of four to six paragraphs and not more than that.

  • 6

    In the first paragraph, you introduce the character and also include the title of the story and the author’s name. Then, you can write how you feel about the characters and what you think are the best characteristics of the particular individual. These could be the person’s traits, good or bad. However, don’t support the qualities in this paragraph.

  • 7

    In the second paragraph, describe the person as to how he looks like and how he acts in the story. You can include speech if it is out of the ordinary. You are also allowed to discuss conflicts that the character is going through.

  • 8

    In paragraph three, show how the first trait that you discussed in the first paragraph is demonstrated by the character by citing incidents in your own words. Use quotes to back your argument.

  • 9

    In the fourth paragraph, demonstrate the second trait of the character.

  • 10

    Do the same in the fifth paragraph.

  • 11

    The sixth paragraph will be the outcome of the story and how the character played a part in making that outcome. You can also discuss your reaction and can make a recommendation in the end.

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