English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Character Analysis
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Character Analysis Introduction (Peer Review)

    Character Analysis Introduction (Peer Review)


    In this lesson, students revise their Character Analysis Essay. They will look at an example of an effective introduction and write an alternative introduction for their essay. With a partner, they will discuss their two introductions and pick the most effective.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Facilitate writing conferences with students. After working with students who have requested conferences, conduct conferences with the rest.

    Character Analysis Essay

    • Give student partners a couple of minutes to share before a brief Whole Group Share.


    How did you revise your essay?

    • Share with a partner the revised draft of your Character Analysis Essay.
    • Then talk about what and how you revised your draft with the whole class.

    An Effective Introduction

    • By the time they reach their senior year, students have written informational/explanatory essays many times.
    • One effective way to introduce a topic is to begin with a broad statement about the larger topic, in this case, social class or law. The idea is to move from a global issue to the more narrow and specific and particular topic and thesis.
    • Review the sample introduction with students. It is from a writer who is analyzing ‘Melia from “The Ruined Maid” by Thomas Hardy.

    Work Time

    One effective way to introduce a topic is to begin with a broad, global statement—in this case, about social class or law—and move to a more narrow and specific thesis.

    • Look at this example of an effective introduction.

    Character Analysis Essay Introduction

    • Give students about 10 minutes to write a new introduction.
      • SWD: Offer suggestions for students to scaffold this activity by. For example, they could create a graphic organizer to plot out their ideas before they begin drafting their introduction.

    Work Time

    Take time to write a new, alternate introduction to your Character Analysis Essay.

    Follow this pattern.

    • Begin with ideas that are global, the broadest topic that your specific character fits into.
    • Introduce the literary work and character, and set context, giving enough information for the reader to understand.
    • Finally, write your thesis statement.

    Though this model for introduction has three parts, the essay doesn’t necessarily have just three body paragraphs.

    Two Introductions

    • Give students about 15 minutes to share their essays with a partner.
    • Continue to conduct writing or reading conferences with students who request them.
      • SWD: Striving writers may have a more challenging time identifying specific skills and areas to target and include in their personal writing goals. It may be helpful to model explicitly for students (using an example essay or student essay) how to review a piece of writing to identify personal goals. Draw specific connections between what you observe in the example essay and what goals a writer might generate as a result. For example, “I notice that this writer included one piece of evidence to support her claim. A goal for her might be to include at least two pieces of evidence in her next piece of writing.”

    Work Time

    With a partner, review each other’s essays, focusing on the introductions.

    • Share both your original introduction and the alternate one.
    • Discuss which of the two introductions works better for your essay.
    • Take the opportunity to read the complete essay and comment about places in the essay that are particularly strong and places that may still be confusing.

    More Revision

    • Continue to conduct writing or reading conferences with students who request them.

    Work Time

    Use the remaining time to confer with your partner about any of the comments made about your paper, and consider applying them.

    • Revise and make changes to your essay as necessary.
    • Decide which introduction is most effective.
    • Make final changes to your introduction.

    Author?s Chair

    • Ask for volunteers to read their introductions and get feedback.
      • ELL: Some students may come from countries where critiquing others’ work is not encouraged. Be sure that all ELLs understand that in the United States it is not only encouraged in contexts like this one, but it is also considered an important way to improve and help others improve. Be sure that students critique the work and not the person.
    • Facilitate a Whole Group Discussion about how revising their introductions went.


    Take part in an Author’s Chair.

    • Listen as some students share their introductions.
    • Consider sharing your own.

    Then discuss how revising your introduction went.

    Character Analysis Essay

    • Remind students that they will be working on their Character Analysis Essays over the next several lessons. They are due Lesson 28.


    Continue working on your Character Analysis Essay.

    • If necessary, finalize your introduction and make any other revisions to your essay.