There are so many more interesting methods to writing a character analysis than writing an analysis paragraph. Oftentimes, English or language arts teachers forget that there is creativity in language and we should embrace it while also staying on track to grade based on our standards or curriculum expectations.


A character interview is a fun way to evaluate the student’s understanding of who this character is and how they would interact in a modern time. Expect students to show you the character’s personality traits with how they word the characters' responses to questions. As well as their comprehension of the storyline with the specific details the character references in their responses.


It’s simple to set up:

  1. Have students choose a key character from their novel to “interview.”
  2. Choose a set of questions to ask the character that will fulfill their requirements for the analysis.
  3. Add an introduction and conclusion to the interview, or in podcast talk: an intro and outro.
  4. Have students reflect in a well-written paragraph on how the student successfully addressed the task in their interview.


With these resources you should be able to simply print and hand outlines to students as well as reference an exemplar, working with the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.

New call-to-action

Hear from a teacher! Watch Jenn introduce this lesson. 


Jennifer Epping is a high school English and journalism teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. She has a passion for reading, writing, and making lame jokes to her students just to see them laugh or roll their eyes. She just concluded her tenth year of teaching. Epping graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in journalism and mass communication (2010) and BA in English Education (2013). She attended New York University’s Summer Publishing Institute (2010), and spent some time in children’s book publishing in New York.