What is an Autobiography?

What is an Autobiography and how to Easily Write a Good one

This section presents a comprehensive description of what is an autobiography and guidelines for crafting an outstanding piece. Learning how to write an autobiography is critical in your studies since it will enable you to deliver high quality papers for assignments. In fact, the benefits of writing an outstanding autobiography stretch beyond school since you may at some point in life want to write your own. Read on to learn more about an autobiography and how to create an impeccable piece.

What is an autobiography?

An autobiography is simply defined as information about the life and times of a person as written by that individual. It is an illustration of the experiences and events that one has undergone over time to the present. However, an autobiography is not only about the past and present experiences of an individual but also brings to light, his or her future prospects.

The reason why an autobiography should contain the past, present and future outlook is that it is through a combination of all these that one will be able to understand the life of the person discussed in the autobiography.

There is no specification on who can write an autobiography. Any person can own an autobiography provided that you have certain experiences in life that you may want to share. However, there are various reasons for writing an autobiography paper or essay.

Components of an autobiography

As much as you may feel free to tell the story of your life, there are certain factors that you have to put into consideration to make the work be categorized as an autobiography. As you continue to learn about what is an autobiography, it should be noted that the following are the key aspects that have to be reflected in the paper.

  • First person

An autobiography should always be narrated in the first person. This means that the piece should speak directly to the reader as if you are telling your story to another person.

  • Photo

As the saying goes, a picture is always worth a thousand words. A photo of you or the subject being discussed in the autobiography should be included in the piece. Photo cuttings from past and present events could tell the story much better. However, they should be strategically placed alongside the discussion of the particular events that they illustrate.

  • Accuracy

When detailing your life’s events or experiences, it is always important to make sure that the information presented therein is factual. It is advisable that you ignore a point or an experience that you are unable to remember well since wrong information can end up distorting the entire autobiography.

  • Clarity

It is also important that you write the autobiography in a way that readers can easily read and understand. Avoid putting in so many exaggerations that may end up confusing the reader.

  • Drama

In order to make your work enjoyable to the readers, you have to include an element of drama. Most autobiographies are more focused on challenges faced an individual and it is important that you also take that curve. However, you must also make sure that the piece has segments detailing some of your best moments.

When writing an autobiography, it is also critical to note that the process requires recollection of events of an individual’s life. It is true that there are some bits of information that you may not be able to remember. Therefore, you should always assume a gradual pace. Handle just one event or experience at a time and exhaust it before moving on to another.

As you come to the close of the writing exercise, it would still be advisable that you review the entire piece. Writing is in itself an experience and through the process, you will learn about several new things, ideas and dimensions to pursue.

Procedures for writing an autobiography

Depending on how you want the final work to appear, you may choose a unique way of writing. However, it should be noted that there is particular direction that has to be taken in order to deliver a good piece. The best way to writing an outstanding autobiography is starting with an outline.

An autobiography outline is important since it will guide you on formulating the flow of information. If you are successful in writing the outline, you will find it easy putting down the information into detail to give an outstanding autobiography.

Below are the main procedures that should guide you in writing an autobiography. Use them to first come up with an outline of the information that you would want to cover in the autobiography.

  1. Create a catchy title

In every good publication, there is always a title. This will give the readers a rough idea of what the autobiography is all about. In order to grab the attention of readers, you should always make sure that the title is short, simple and to the point. It should be compelling such that readers can hardly ignore reading on.

  1. Include an introduction

The title is only meant to tell the reader about the subject of the autobiography. It is important that you write a paragraph at the beginning, detailing the reason for writing the autobiography. In this section, you will need to give a hint to the readers on why you are confident that sharing information about your life is important to them. The introduction should urge the reader to proceed further.

  • Organize the autobiography in subheadings

Subheadings or subtitles are crucial to help you in formulating a chronological order for your points or ideas. Besides, they can also assist you to easily remember the events or experiences in life that you would want to share in the autobiography. For instance, if you are in college, you can organize the subheadings to reflect your life in kindergarten, primary, high school and college in that order. You can also have subtitles based on age, locations of residence, work, holiday or any other that can enable you to present the facts in proper order.

  1. List the facts or events of your life

Since an autobiography is a discussion of your life’s experiences, you will need to list the core events that you want to talk about in the piece. Under the subtitles created in the above step, make a list of the key moments or experiences to be included in the autobiography. In order to make it easier for reference, write the events or facts in numbers or bullet points.

  1. Provide more information to support the listed facts

Depending on the reason why you are writing the autobiography, you have to make sure that there is adequate information to support the facts. On this part, you will need to get more elaborate with the outlined facts or events of your life. For instance, you should ensure that the experience listed is backed by dates when it took place, where it happened, who was present among other elements. It is under this section that you can include additional information about the experience and how it influenced your life.

  1. Write a conclusion

Just like in other forms of writing, you will need to include a conclusion for your autobiography. The conclusion should not be too long but well crafted in short paragraphs to clear the air on any questions that the readers may still be bothered with about the autobiography. It should bring a smooth closure to the events discussed in the autobiography. It is in this section that you can give your future prospects with regards to the reason for writing the autobiography.

With the elements of an autobiography discussed above into place, you can now get down to writing the actual piece. However, it is very important that you cross check the information listed in the outline in advance. This will help you in identifying the right information to be included. In case there are certain events or facts that you may want to be altered, rephrased or changed in any way, it is advisable that you do it before starting to write the autobiography.

However, changes may also arise in the event of writing since during the process; you may acquire new dimensions on how to present the autobiography.

After learning about what is an autobiography and the steps to follow in writing one, it is important that you also look at some examples.

Examples of autobiographies

By looking at the following sample autobiographies, you will be able to understand quite well how to write the best considering that they are actual work from renowned authors. Visit the links below to find out more about what is an autobiography.

  • elc.byu.edu
  • idiom.com
  • grammar.about.com


We hope the above guidelines will help you to write a good autobiography with ease.









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