Semester Project: Extended Character-study Analysis

(Check Blackboard calendar/schedule for due date)

  • You may choose any approved film character (featured in at least three films) to han-solo-return-of-the-jedi_612x380examine for your final project by writing an extended character analysis. A Character analysis will allow you to evaluate in detail a character’s traits, their role in the story, and the conflicts they experience. Exploring the character arc will become a significant aspect of this project.
  • Requirements/Expectations:Using APA format, the final project will consist of three (3) sections.
  1. Introduction
  2. Biographical sketch & character evaluation analysis component focusing on at least three (3) films & external sources
  3. A wrap/conclusion


Format guidelines and expectations:

  • This is a semester/term paper, and this guideline will provide you key dates to keep you on target throughout this semester (or term).
  • Your final paper should be based on four (4) – six (6) strong sources outside of the films you view (do not use Wikipedia). You may use IMDB only as an extra source.
  • The paper should be written in APA style throughout your work including in-text citations. There are numerous APA citation generators available online to assist you if needed.
  • You will also need a bibliography/references page at the end of your paper (APA style) identifying your sources (including the films you view).
  • 12 pt font (Georgia, Times, or Palatino).
  • Header at the top of your paper (on each page) should include the name of your selected character-study and your name.
  • Number the pages in the upper right hand corner of each page.
  • Category headings or subheadings as needed throughout the paper.

The structure of the paper should follow these guidelines:landscape_nrm_1417616048-jennifer-lawrence-katniss-everdeen-wallpaper 

I. The introduction(at least two-three strong paragraphs = ½ page – 1 page or 250-500 words) will offer a tease or a preview of what the reader will find in your paper. It should include limited information about your selected character, your chosen films, and why this character is worthy of the study you’re about to share.

II. A biographical sketch & character evaluation analysis (approximately 3-5 pages = 400 – 500 words per page) Things you should consider including in this section: background of character, family, personality type, motivations, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, etc. of the character.

You should select at least three films featuring your character and compare and contrast conflicts, themes, and explore the character arc, character development, and character interpretations, etc.

III. You will then need to wrap (or conclude) the paper with one-two pages of final medium-long-shot-eastwoodobservational thoughts (400-1000 words). This should be based on your research and evaluation. Also address this question: Do you feel your character’s journey in complete (or at least the journey within the selected films)? Why or why not? This is where you offer a defense, personal observations and informed exploration.

How to select a character worthy of evaluation and what to look for:

  • Make sure you only consider characters playing a dynamic role within the films. Those characters who appear flat (one dimensional) and have no complex motivations to consider are not good choices for a character analysis for this project.
  • Watch each film with your character in mind.Even if you’ve seen the films before, you need to watch them again because you’ll notice new things now that you have a specific task in mind. Notice every place that your character appears and consider the following:
  1. What is your first impression of the character?alien-ripley-EDITED-460x300
  2. What is the inciting incident that moves your character into the story (or motivates your character into taking action)?
  3. How do the actions of your character move the plot forward?
  4. What struggles does your character encounter? What are the conflicts? Are they internal or external?
  5. And how does she/he respond to the struggles/crisis situations?
  6. Does your character overcome the crisis situations or does the crisis overcome the character?
  7. Does your character experience real/perceived change?

Examine the characterization of the character

  • Describe the physical appearance of the character.Describe what your character looks like in great detail and explain what her/his appearance reveals about the individual as a person. What is: her/his gender, age, size or build, ethnicity, and any other distinctive physical characteristics, or unique character ticks or physical markings that would be pertinent to the story. Are there any physical items associated with your character (example: magic wand, suitcase, fedora, chainsaw, eye patch, pocket watch, lucky coin, etc.)?xmen-mystique
  • Discuss your character’s background.If provided, include details about the personal history of the character (some of these details may be inferred). People’s histories inevitably influence their personality and personal development, so it is important to discuss your character’s history if you can. Where/when was the character born and raised? What kind of education does the character have? How does the character’s past experience influence what he or she does or says? Are they rich, middle class or poor? What kind of parents do they have, etc.?
  • Discuss the character’s language use.Analyze the language that the character uses throughout the selected films. Does the character use the same language throughout or does his or her choice of language change from the introduction to the conclusion? What type of accent does the person use, and does that influence the audience’s perception of the character? Are there unique speech patterns in your character?dragontattoo-g-720x720
  • Write about the personality of the character.Does the character act on emotions or reason? Is your character serious or do they exude a sense of humor? Does that change or remain constant? What values does the character exhibit through words or actions? Does the character have goals or ambitions? Be specific.
  • What are the character traits? These are a character’s behaviors and motivations. Analyzing these factors can help you begin to understand the character’s internal and external qualities. Would you classify the traits as heroic or villainous? Good natured or grim? Greedy or generous, brave or a coward? Religious, nervous, confident?will-marvel-never-give-scarlett-johansson-a-solo-black-widow-movie-scarlett-johansson-in-477047
  • Examine your character’s ethics:are the choices the character makes morally just or unjust? Does your character make wise or unwise decisions? Do they stick to their principles when everything is against them or life itself is at stake? Is your character the protagonist or the antagonist? What are your character’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • Analyze the character’s relationships with others.Think about how your character interacts with others in the story. Does the character lead or follow others in the story? Does the character have close friends and family? How do other characters feel about or respond to your chosen character?
  • Explore the character arc and development. Describe how the character changes or grows throughout the series of films. Is the character better or worse at the conclusion? Are they smarter, kinder, more courageous, even more jaded, filled with additional anger, etc.? What caused the change?War-for-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-poster-2

Which “Literary Hero” pattern best fits your selected character?(refer to the lesson and notes on story & character for details on each of these)

  • The anti-hero
  • The tragic hero
  • The romantic hero
  • The modern hero
  • The Hemingway hero
  • The epic hero

Timeline to assist you is available on Blackboard or by request

Characters for consideration:(You may select any character from this list or offer HP7-2_ACTION_Hermione_INTLanother option for approval) James Bond, Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Elizabeth Swan from Pirates of the Caribbean Series, Indiana Jones, Jason Bourne, Luke Skywalker from Star Wars series, Princess Leia Organa from Star Wars series, Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Series, Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games series, Black Widow from Marvel Universe films, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter series, Fiona from Shrek, Ripley from Alien Series, Sarah Conner from Terminator series, James Kirk from Star Trek series, Hannibal Lecter from Hannibal series, Raven Darkhölme/Mystique from X-Men franchise, Alice from Resident Evil series, Han Solo from Star Wars series, Scarlet Witch (MCU), Tony Stark (MCU), Lisbeth Salander from Dragon Tattoo films, Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible films, Selene from Underworld films, Caesar from the Planet of the Apes, etc).


The following papers are offered for examples of content and structure (they may not be in APA format). These are used with the permission of the student.

Hannibal Lecter – Hannibal paper

Batman/Bruce Wayne – batman-christian-final-final


Carfagno, V. R., Higgins, M., & Rafael, C. M. (1972). Character Analysis. Retrieved from

Davis, D. R. (2008, February 28). How to write a character analysis. Retrieved June 29, 2016, from Teaching college English: The glory and the challenges,

Harcourt, H. M. What are the differences between an epic hero and a Romantic hero? Retrieved June 29, 2016, from Cliffnotes,

Hemingways code hero powerpoint presentation. (2002, November). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from–PPT.html

How to write a character analysis in 10 easy steps – (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2016, from

Lopez, E. (n.d.). Responding to literature: Understanding character analysis | Retrieved June 28, 2016, from

Manning, N. (2020, August) – Character explorations: Really deep thoughts. Meet me at the Movies, C19 TV.

Morris, A. (n.d.). Character analysis in literature: Definition & examples – video & lesson transcript | Retrieved June 28, 2016, from

Purdue owl: Writing a literary analysis presentation. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Ray, R. (n.d.). What is an epic hero? | Characteristics of an epic hero. Retrieved June 28, 2016, from


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