How to Write an Autobiography Essay

How to Write an Autobiography Essay

What is an autobiography essay?

If you want to know how to write an autobiography essay, the first thing you need to do is understand what it entails. An autobiography is an account of your life, told from your own point of view. This means you have to write it in first person by using the pronoun “I”.

The purpose of an autobiography is to entertain, illustrate lessons and educate readers. To write a great autobiography that will capture the attention of your readers, you must make sure that it is creative, expressive and accurate-

Guidelines on how to write an autobiography essay

Whether it is for class or potential publication, there are 3 basic things you need to keep in mind while writing an autobiography essay:

  1. Compared to a novel, the essay should be shorter. The focus needs to be in one area of your life for instance, your family, new job or loss of close friend. Embrace mistakes in the essay and who your readers’ lessons you have learned.
  2. Your writing should not only be clear but focused and it should include details that are of importance to your story. For instance, if the essay is about your marriage, you should not deviate and start talking about a childhood pet.
  3. While the events you are writing about are true, remember the essay should read and sound like a story. Begin with a lead-in that is catchy, develop characters and a sound plot then have a conclusion that leaves your readers deep in thought-

Knowing how to write an autobiography essay is easy so long as you remember these three things.

Tips on how to write an autobiography essay

Planning the essay

Start by choosing a story you really want to share. Remember that in the essay, you are supposed to write about a particular aspect of your life and not your whole life. Pick a topic you can easily discuss in a manner that is detailed. Some options to consider include:

  • A major trial such as a difficult class, loss of a loved one or injury
  • Meaningful experience such as going to camp, meeting a long-lost friend or discovery of a hobby
  • An accomplishment such as getting a dream job, graduating from the university or winning an award
Define the purpose of the essay

Think of what you intend to accomplish with the autobiography essay. What reasons do you for telling the story? What kind of accomplishment are you looking for?

  • If the autobiography is for an application, read the instructions carefully. If there is a question or prompt you need to answer, make sure the story you choose to tell will respond to that question or prompt
  • If the essay is for a class, ensure you read the guidelines provided for the assignment carefully. This will make you pick a story that is in line with the assignment. If you have any questions regarding the assignment, consult with your instructor.
Review your audience

You have to think about your audience. Consider what expectations our readers have as well as their needs before you commence with the writing process. It is advisable to jot down things that you need to keep in mind while writing the essay.

  • It is part of your application, take into consideration what readers are interested in hearing.
  • If it is part of a class assignment, take into consideration what the instructor wants you to include in the essay.
Generate Ideas

Before you start writing your autobiography essay, take time to flesh out ideas and jot them down. Some of the activities you can use for purposes of developing ideas include free-writing, clustering, questioning and listing.

  • Listing-List some of the ideas you have for the autobiography and look at the list in order to group similar ideas in one category. Expand the list by adding new ideas.
  • Free-writing-Take 10 minutes to write nonstop. Whatever comes to mind, jot it down and do not edit anything out. Review what you have, highlight/underline information that could be important for your autobiography.
  • Clustering-Write brief explanation of your subject at the center of a page and circle it. Draw four or more lines that extend from the circle. Write corresponding ideas at the end of every line. Continue to develop the cluster until you come up with as many connections as you possibly can.
  • Questioning-Some of the questions you need to ask include when, who, what, where, why and how. Space the questions so you can answer them on the blank lines.
Create an outline

Once your ideas are on paper, organize the ideas into a suitable outline before drafting the essay. Write an outline to plan the entire essay, develop additional ideas and determine whether there is anything you have left out.

Drafting the essay

While writing your autobiography essay, you should use first person perspective (I, me, my, mine). Since you are sharing your own personal experiences, it is important that you use this perspective.

The autobiographical essay here best explains this. An excerpt from the essay reads:

“I came to the United States of America to realize my dream: the creation of a transnational corporation which, through utilization of mass production techniques, would become the world leader in the market of custom software development. By this time, I had already devoted six years to solving the problem of mass production in custom software development. There were accomplishments during this period.”

As you can see, the author uses first person from the start. Keeping this angle in mind is important towards ensuring you know how to write an autobiography essay.

Additional tips on how to write an autobiography essay

  • Use engaging sentences

From the beginning, use engaging sentences that get right into the heart of your story. The introduction should begin by narrating your story. Think of what you intend to discuss in the essay as this will help you write an ideal introduction. The introduction should identify the main idea of your essay and serve as a preview to your story.

The best way to start the story is by describing something that took place though it did so in the middle of the story. For instance, you can start by saying, “There I was, sitting in the middle of the playground as everyone around me went about their business.”

  • Describe the setting

By using vivid details describe the setting of the autobiography to readers. You should provide background and context they can use in order to understand the story.

“I remember walking down the musty smelling halls of Cleveland High School. My black boots clicking against the floor. Weaving in and out of fellow teenagers-some with spiked pink hair, others with a brief case and a dress shirt- I made my way from the right side of the hall to the left.

My mouth was dry. I bent down and took a sip of water. When I straightened my back, sound seemed to stand still for a moment. I saw this big, bright orange sign that read: “speech and debate, room 103, Thursdays after school.”-

In the excerpt above, the author uses details to describe the setting of his autobiography easily drawing the reader in.

  • Transition from introduction to the story

Once you have introduced the story and got the attention of the readers, you need to transition into telling your story. End the introduction with a sentence that leaves your readers with interest to continue reading. The transition you choose should be one that works well with your introduction and connects ideas that are in the next paragraphs.

  • Conclude the story

At all times, the conclusion is supposed to be interesting and memorable. The story should end in a manner that wraps up any loose ends and also provides reflection on your experience. Being able to write a compelling conclusion is an indication you already know how to write an autobiographical essay.

  • Talk about the significance of the story in your life and what you were able to learn from it.
  • Refer to the start of the story in the end by highlighting a person or situation central to your introduction.
  • If there was something you got from the experience, share it with your readers.

If you want to know how to write an autobiography essay, these tips should serve as a guideline.

Get help on writing an autobiography essay

If you do not know how to write an autobiography essay or you need help to write one, you can get in touch with us for assistance. We also provide academic writing assistance on different subjects and topics.

Visit our homepage for more information about our academic writing services. Alternatively, you can also continue reading more academic paper writing guidelines and sample papers on this blog.