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Simple Steps In Building A Character Map Literature

What is a character map literature?

Image credit: deviantart.net

Image credit: deviantart.net

A literature map is a graphical method that provides a structured way to focus on the different elements in literature such as action, setting, atmosphere, or mood. It can be structured to reflect the emphases that are most applicable to the work being studied. One type of literature map is the character map. Literature mapping of characters helps students keep track of facts and details and draw conclusions about a character. It also helps students understand the process of characterization. Learning to create a literature mind map of a character aids students when they have to write a character analysis in assignments, as well as providing a foundation for characterization in their own writing. A character map can be relatively simple or quite complex.

Creating a literature character map

There is more than one way to create a character map. Literature mapping of a character may focus on a character’s physical appearance, personality, speech, thoughts, feelings, actions, and interactions with other characters or any combination of these. The following is one way to build a literature character map in five steps:

  1. Identify the character – Write the name of the character within a circle in the middle of a piece of paper. Usually, this will be one of the main characters or at least a character who has a major influence in the story.
  1. Qualities and characteristics of the character – Write different qualities the character possesses in separate circles around the name of the character and link them to the character. Characteristics and qualities may deal with the physical appearance of the character, their emotional state, moral views, thoughts, or anything else that goes into making up an individual.
  1. Look for evidence that supports the characteristic – Go back to the story and look for examples of evidence that supports the particular characteristic. There are many ways that evidence may be found or recognized. The characters speech, actions, behaviors, through what other characters say about them or comments from a narrator. Sometimes evidence may not be directly stated but can be inferred through things such as behavior and actions a character takes.
  1. Add the evidence to the literature concept map of the character – Write the individual pieces of evidence in rectangular boxes around the characteristic they are providing support for. Sometimes evidence may support more than one character and can be linked to both.
  2. Study the character map for changes in characteristics – In many stories, what happens during the course of events changes the character is mapped. This can produce contradictions in a character map. Characteristics that were present in the beginning may no longer be consistent with who the character is by the end. In some cases, this is the point of the story, while in others it may be incidental.

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