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Flashcards in Methods of Characterization (MOC) Deck (17):

What is a "trait"?
What types of traits are there?

A trait is a quality that a character has.
A person can have external (physical) traits and internal (emotional/intellectual/personality) traits.
Ex. Tall, shy, funny, athletic, skinny, etc.


What is an example of an external/physical trait?

External/physical traits describe a person's appearance.

Examples: Tall, short, skinny, brown hair, blue eyes, sharp teeth, big feet, etc.


What is an example of an internal trait?

Emotional, intellectual, or personality traits are all internal traits that describe how somebody is as a person.

Examples: Smart, funny, shy, quiet, outgoing, loyal, friendly, caring, optimistic, etc.


What is the purpose of a trait?

Traits are qualities that people have. They tell us/show us about people and what they are like as a person. This can be what they look like on the outside (appearance) or what they are like on the inside (personality).


How are traits shown to readers?

Authors use the Methods of Characterization to allow readers to get to know the characters in their story. Readers can read about a character's appearance and personality. Sometimes this is through direct comments made by the character or the narrator. Other times traits can be inferred by the reader when they observe the way a character acts or by the way other characters treat/view the character.


What are the Methods of Characterization (MOC)

-Reactions of others
-Narrator's comments


What is the purpose of the MOC?

The author uses the MOC to introduce their characters to the reader. The reader learned about the characters and their traits though the MOC (the dialogue in the story, the thoughts, the actions of the characters, the narrator's comments about the characters, etc.).


What is "dialogue"?

Dialogue is when characters are talking to each other. Characters' speech. It is the conversation between two or more characters in a story. Dialogue is found in quotation marks (aka quotes). ( " " )
Ex. Sally told Michael, "You run too fast, slow down!"


Will all of the MOC be used for every character in every story?

No. The reader will learn more about the main character(s) in a story, so the main characters will have more MOC involved with them. The smaller roles in the story will not be as developed and will therefore not use all of the MOC. Sometimes the main character will not even use all of the MOC either, depending on the story.
So the answer is no because characters CAN have all of the MOC revealing their traits, but they DO NOT HAVE TO use them all.


What is a "dialect"?

A form of language spoken in a particular place by a particular group of people. It can be the way they speak and also the words they use. Example: In Texas we say y'all and speak with a southern dialect. In the northern states they pronounce some words differently than us and use different words, such as "pop" for soda.
Other examples: People in Britain and people in the US speak English, but they pronounce their words differently and use different vocab for certain words/expressions. The people in Mexico and Spain speak Spanish, but they speak it differently. They pronounce some words differently and use different words for some things.


Dialogue vs Dialect

Dialogue- conversation between two or more people
Dialect- speaking a language differently



What does the person look like? What types of facial expressions or gestures (body language) do they make?



What kinds of things worry him/her?



Does the character speak with a dialect? This can tell you about where they're from, which might tell you a bit about their personality.



How does the character treat others?


Reactions of Others

How do others treat the character? What do they say about him/her?


Narrator's Comments

What qualities does the narrator (person telling the story) say the character has? Does the narrator admire the character? What does the narrator directly say about the character?