What is an Autobiography and How to Write it?

Home » What is an Autobiography and How to Write it?

Although reading the autobiographies of numerous well-known people can be motivating, the real challenge only comes when you are asked to write your own autobiography. You will undoubtedly be required to write an autobiography essay as part of your assignment if you are a high school or college student. In general, when writing an autobiography, you should describe the events of your life as an amazing and intriguing story. At first, it could seem challenging, but if you grasp the fundamentals of writing an autobiography, you can do it with ease. Have a look at this blog post if you’re unsure about how to write an autobiography. From here, you can learn everything about autobiography, its types, and the writing steps.

Without any delay, let’s get started.

What is an Autobiography?

In general, an autobiography is a self-written life story. Mainly, to craft an impressive autobiography, you should either focus on your feelings or events that have happened in your life.

Often, people confuse autobiography with biography. Actually, autobiography and biography are different. In the biography, some other person will write about the events that have happened in your life, whereas, in the autobiography, you are the writer.

Your autobiography can be short or long depending on your requirements. The ideal length of a short autobiography is one page with a maximum of 4 to 8 sentences. But there is no fixed length for long autobiographies. Usually, for long autobiographies, the length would be mostly between 200 and 400 pages. At the time of writing long autobiographies, you should consider your target readers and the specifications of the publication house.

In case, you are asked to write an autobiography essay assignment, then be sure to follow the word length, writing guidelines for essay topics, and other formatting rules as given by your instructor. Sometimes you will be asked to submit an autobiographical essay at the time of your college admissions mainly to introduce yourself to the selection committee and convince them that you are the right fit for the course.

How to Write an Autobiography


What are the Types of Autobiography?

Typically, an autobiography is classified into different types. As each autobiography type follows a unique narrative style and structure, while writing an autobiography, based on your goals or the content to include in your story, you can choose your narration type. The following are the common types of autobiography.

Traditional Autobiography

A traditional autobiography is a kind of autobiography that focuses on the whole life story right from birth to the present. In a traditional autobiography, you should mention all the events that have happened in your life. If you desire to preserve your memories, then you can very well prepare this type of autobiography. Mainly, for your personal use, the traditional biography will let you document all the significant events that have occurred in your life.

Besides your personal use, you can also compose a traditional autobiography for the public to read, if you feel that your life has an inspirational value. But when writing the traditional autobiography for the public, your narrative style should be real and engaging to the readers. Furthermore, your story should be inspiring for your readers to learn from your success and failure.

Personal Essay

Writing a personal essay is one of the oldest styles. The ultimate aim of a personal essay is to describe a person’s own life in a way that is engaging to the readers. Moreover, personal essay topics should make the readers feel that they are a part of your life.

Basically, a personal essay needs a detailed narrative style. In specific, you can mention a particular life event that affected you and how it changed your beliefs.


In case, you have committed a sin or if you have done something wrong in your life, then through writing you can confess your mistakes. The confessional autobiography will allow you to admit your mistakes. Also, it will help your readers to learn from your mistakes and prevent them from repeating the same mistakes again in their life.


A memoir is a kind of popular autobiography in which you can focus on a specific event, relationship, time period, or place that has developed an impact on your life or personality. If you don’t wish to explain your complete life journey to your readers, then you can prefer writing a memoir.

For example, you can write a memoir about your native village where you spent your childhood or any particular incident that changed your life.

Key Elements of Autobiography

In general, an autobiography should cover all of the significant moments in your life, but not every last detail. Typically, include memorable events from your life to make them attractive to you and your readers. These are the key components you must include in your autobiography if you want it to be impressive.

  • Catchy and original title.
  • A description of the setting for your story, such as your hometown, family background, notable kin, etc.
  • Detailed recollection of motivational moments in your life.
  • A tale of personal failure.
  • Describe the unique experiences that have shaped the person you are today and altered your perspective on the world


Simple Steps for Writing an Autobiography

Worried about how to write an autobiography? Cool! Just follow the simple and effective steps shared below to come up with an inspiring autobiography essay.

Step 1: Read the autobiographies of famous personalities

Before you begin writing your autobiography, firstly, read the autobiographies of any famous person or the work of someone who inspires you. Reading other persons’ work will give you an idea about the writing style, narrative structure, and information type.

Step 2: Recall your life events

Once you gained a basic idea from the autobiographies of famous people, go ahead and recall the events that have happened in your life. At the time of recalling, relax and think of all your life events and experiences. In case, you face any difficulties in recalling your life events, take help from your friends and family members.

Step 3: Coherently organize your experiences

After recalling your life events, categorize them in a logical manner. If you want to effectively organize your memories, then use lists. Especially, with the help of lists, you can effortlessly arrange your life experiences, without missing any specific events or points.

For instance, you can categorize your life events by splitting them as childhood, school days, college memories, and so on.

Narrow down your focus whenever you write an autobiography. Also, in your autobiography, never mention every single event that has occurred in your life. Always, set your focus only on the significant events in your life.

Step 4: Collect more ideas

Chances are there for you to miss any particular event that happened in your life, at the time of working on your thoughts. So, as soon as you narrow down your topic, brainstorm several ideas associated with the topic. In order to gather more ideas, find answers to the following questions.

  • Share the important details about your life that you want your readers to know.
  • What is the one thing that you love or hate about that event or person?
  • Why do you desire to write about that event or people?
  • Specify your emotional attachment to that person or event.
  • What is the emotion or feeling that you wish to evoke?
  • Mention the significance of that event.
  • Explain how that event affected your life.

Step 5: Create an outline

When it comes to writing something be it an academic essay, research paper, or autobiography essay, never skip preparing an outline. With the help of an outline, you can logically arrange your thoughts in a well-structured manner. If you want to prepare your autobiography in a readable format, then initially compose an autobiography outline as per the standard writing template or style.

Step 6: Compose the first draft

As soon as you sketch the autobiography essay outline, move forward and start crafting the content for your autobiography. At the time of writing your autobiography, include all the relevant details by skipping the insignificant events. Also, be certain to stick to the grammar rules and come up with a flawless draft.

Step 7: Obtain feedback

After you complete writing the autobiography essay, ask your family and friends to review it and give honest feedback. Never ignore the comments you have received. According to the feedback you get from them, update your content. Most importantly, proofread your content multiple times. The final draft that is ready for submission should be error-free and original.

If you want to end up creating an impressive autobiography, then make sure to execute all the steps without skipping any. Next, let us see how to write an autobiography outline as per the standard format.

Autobiography Essay Structure

To write an autobiography, a well-structured outline is necessary. Most importantly, it will help you to easily organize your life events in chronological order. In a nutshell, the autobiography outline will act as a roadmap for your entire piece of writing.

If you want to logically structure your autobiography essay, then follow a standard template or format that contains the below-mentioned essential components.


Open your autobiography essay with a catchy introduction. In the introductory paragraph, to your readers, you should briefly introduce yourself without sharing more details. To be more specific, just share the basic information such as a name, birthplace, age, personality trait, etc.


It is the core section of your autobiography essay. Here, in a sequential manner, you should narrate all the significant events that happened in your life. Also, in the body paragraphs, present the entire information by diving them into several paragraphs in a logical way with proper transitions.


It is the closing paragraph of your autobiography essay. The aim of the conclusion is to captivate the readers. So, while writing the conclusion paragraph, you should present the content in a way that is thought-provoking to your readers. Furthermore, share the life lesson that you have learned from that particular event or incident.

Autobiography Writing Tips

Follow the tips provided here to make your autobiography impressive and motivational.

  • Don’t embellish your experience. Be sincere and realistic in your account of your experience.
  • Stick to a free writing style to amaze your readers.
  • To make it simple for your readers to comprehend your life story, logically narrate the events in your life.
  • Always use simple words to construct phrases that are easy to understand.
  • From the opening to the conclusion, try to hold the readers’ attention.
  • Make use of sensory language to connect with your audience.
  • Never reiterate in your autobiographical essay the points you made on your resume.
  • The autobiography essay should be formatted and structured in accordance with the instructions provided by your instructor.
  • Make use of the first-person narrative tense to build a connection with the readers.

Wrapping Up

We hope you have now gained a better understanding of how to write an autobiography essay assignment. In case, you still experience any trouble in writing an autobiography essay, quickly reach out to us. Simply send your requirements to us along with your personal details and important events. As per your needs, our essay helpers will prepare and deliver you an impressive autobiography essay.

Jacob Smith Education Reading Time: 10 minutes

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