2 What is a character trait? A character trait is a word that describes a person. A physical trait describes a person’s physical features and physical abilities, but a character trait focuses on a character’s personality/demeanor. For example, one physical trait would be “tall” and one character trait would be “funny.” When you are asked to write about a person’s character traits, focus on personality/demeanor and try to stay away from physical traits. Also, try to identify PERMANENT traits and not just a temporary emotion that goes against the person’s normal character makeup. A good rule of thumb is to identify traits that you can supply plenty of examples for and not just one.
3 How do you identify character traits in literature (a story)? Characters are an important element of a story. The traits of a character can be stated, or they can be shown to the reader by the character’s actions. For example, when you are reading a story, the writer might tell you that the main character is a generous person. The writer could also show you that the character is generous by telling about a time when the character was generous. Well-developed characters help to make very powerful stories.
4 Five ways to identify a character’s traits in a story: What the character says and thinksWhat the character doesWhat the character looks like (physical traits)What others say & think about the characterHow others react to the character
5 How to explain/prove a person’s character traits: When you are asked to explain a person or character’s traits, you must remember to use specific examples and then make the connection between the example and the trait. For example, if you say Brian is brave, it is not good enough to say he travels down the river and overcomes many obstacles. Instead, you must specifically explain the obstacles and THEN explain how this makes him a brave person. So:State trait – give example – make connection
6 “Dominant” & “Prominent” Often, a writing prompt will ask you to identify a person’s “dominant” or “prominent” trait. This simply means this person’s #1 or “biggest” character trait. Or think of it this way, what one word best describes the person more than any other? That’s what these two words mean.
7 Using Different Traits: Instead of using words like “nice” and “kind,” try to switch it up by using different, more advanced words. To do this, use your “List of Character Traits.” You will be coming up with definitions for all of these and then you will be quizzed on your memorization and spelling of all of them, so USE the list and memorize the meaning of each word!
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