How to write good characteristics: Vocabulary matters

One of the stylistic features you may encounter at the GCSE is a characteristic.

See how to write it properly.

Characteristics is a feature of the characterization process. This means that the author tries to capture both the external and internal features, characteristic features, abilities and interests of the object – most often the person.

Choose a text outline in advance. For example, start with general information, further develop the look and finally get to the character. Jumping from one to the other seems confused.

The characteristics of the person described can be expressed in several ways:

  • directly: “Anna is good.”
  • indirectly: “Anna always shares a snack with Paul.” → indirect characteristic
  • by comparing: “Though Paul smiles nicely on the others, he can’t compare himself with Alice’s favor.”

Thus, in the indirect characteristic, we draw conclusions about the nature of man based on his behavior in different situations. Direct characteristics attribute specific characteristics to a person.

Change the types of expression while you work, to make the text more dynamic. For the same reason, similarities and sayings are used in the characteristics, such as “having eyes like forget-me-nots” or “eating funny porridge”.

Take advantage of vocabulary

Above all, avoid constant repetition of verbs to have and be. Use synonyms. Although nothing can be spoiled by the characteristics at first glance, the poor vocabulary will bury it with confidence. See the following:

My friend Pepa is sixteen years old. He is tall, handsome, with black hair and brown eyes. He likes to wear his favorite blue shirt. He is nice and self-sacrificed, he will be happy to help everyone.

This is NO. Characteristic acts austere, sentences poor and simple. Pay attention to the variety of expressions.

My friend Pepa was born sixteen years ago under the sign of weights. Since then, he has grown more than many of his classmates. Perhaps because of his height, raven hair and nut eyes he became a girl’s idol today. I rarely see him in anything other than his favorite blue shirt. Instead of my best friend, he has earned his willingness to give away.

Then yes. Don’t be afraid to use terms you would never say in spoken language. If the spoken word differs from the normal spoken word, it’s just right.

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