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How to Write an Autobiography: Guide That Makes It Easy

14 Mar 2019

When students are asked to complete an essay of this type, they are usually puzzled. They immediately think of Donald Trump’s Surviving at the Top or Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity. Those are great biographical books. But this is not about a book as you’re just college student, after all.

Professors don’t teach how to write an autobiography. All they do is go through their lectures and leave everything else to you. So you’re left browsing through Internet, trying to find specific guide that teaches covering all steps.

This article is perfect formatting, structure and style guide on how to write autobiography essay of yourself. Plus, we’ll include an example of autobiography essay for better demonstration.  

Autobiography Essay in a Nutshell

Let’s clarify: what is an autobiography paper, exactly? It’s standard essay about personal experience. It’s different from personal essay. It can be about your feelings regarding any topic, but autobiography format is focused on events.

But why do they demand it for college? You’re not writer or famous personality and took this writing class because you thought it would help deal with all those written assignments. Well, American colleges are getting more competitive by the day. They try to make education more challenging for their students.

One may also need to write this type of essay for scholarship application. In that case, it’ll be called personal statement, and you’ll need to link experience to studies. Explain why you deserve scholarship as student and person.

Read also: National Honor Society Essay Ultimate Guide

Types of Biographies

There are three different types:

Autobiography – narrative of someone’s life or particular experience, written by that person in first person. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is an autobiography.

Biography – narrative of life/particular event, which can be written by another author. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson is biography.

Memoir – similar to autobiography, but focused on writer’s earlier experiences. It may be about exceptional places, events, or people from writer’s life. Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway is memoir.

Step-by-Step Writing Guide

It is time for actual tips. You can do this! Just complete a plan and follow it precisely. This is how the process goes:

1. Think about Your Audience

This is the first level in any kind of writing: write for people who will read this essay.  If it is for class, think: what do professors expect? They give some hints throughout lectures, be all ears? They have definitely told how good autobiographical essay should look like. And if you’re writing this for scholarship committee, think about way they select their candidates. What kind of story and style would convince them that you deserve this chance?

2. Choose Your Story

When you’re wondering how to start an autobiography, this is first step: choose experience. Good-old brainstorming technique is still useful. Take a piece of paper and list some most important things you’ve experienced so far. It may be vacation, first job, first swimming marathon, meeting with best friend… If you’re free to choose the theme for an essay, take advantage of that flexibility.  When you have few ideas, choose most attractive topic and focus on it.

3. Complete an Outline

This is a standard paper. It should have an introduction, body, and conclusion. What will you write in those sections? Add some bullet points in template. They’ll serve as guidelines, so you won’t cause digressions while writing.

4. Try Freewriting Technique

Follow outline points and compose whatever you want. Do not go back at sentences to edit at this stage. Set yourself loose and complete entire paper. You’ll edit later.

5. Editing Step

If you want to edit autobiography essay yourself, take some time away from it. Then, go through the text, pay attention to logical order, gaps in information, excessive wording, and grammar/spelling. Do it perfect! For foreign students or for those who are not really good at grammar, hiring an online proofreading service at Edubirdie would be a smart idea.

Excellent Tips for Autobiography

Now that you know how to cover the process, use some extra tips that will make it easier.

  • Be honest! It’s easy to exaggerate things about experiences, but don’t do that. Readers will appreciate paper more if it’s realistic.
  • While figuring out how to write an autobiographical essay, it is easy to become rigid and boring. Usually, people omit details to impress readers. That’s not correct approach. This is an essay about you. So set yourself free while writing!
  • Maintain logical flow! Do events have clear connection when you talk about them? Can reader understand where actions come from?
  • Make it easy to read. Do not use “big” words, thinking they would make you look more special.

Best Autobiography Paper Example for an A Grade

It has been almost decade, but I remember that day as vividly as if it was yesterday. It was a day that felt like whole year. Sad, melancholic, rainy day in a country so poor that it is hard to describe. Parents unemployed. Son and daughter studying. That’s how most families looked like, and that was picture of my family, too.

I wake up early in the morning, ready to catch the train and arrive on time for that exam. But my wallet is empty. I don’t have money for ticket. My mother, broken down but trying not to show it, borrows money from her friend. So that her daughter can go take that exam. “She studied so much.”  

Something brakes in me as I take money. Humiliated and infuriated. I get into that bus and can’t control tears and huge change happening inside me. This was that moment. From that day on, nothing was the same. I had to become more involved in my own life and start making changes. Not just for me, but for everyone around me as well. The thing that broke me became the thing that enlightened me.  

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Questions Checklist for Successful Writing

Here’s a brief questionnaire that will help figure out approach to this paper:

  • What’s the most exciting event you ever experienced?
  • Is there a personal story you’d like to get out of your system?
  • What’s your greatest accomplishment?
  • How can you describe yourself as a person?
  • What’s your most powerful memory?
  • What thread of events brought you to this particular moment, studying at this school and taking this class?

Now you know what is an autobiography and how to write essay. If all this still sounds difficult, contact Edubirdie with ‘write my essay for me’ request. Our top-notch writers are available 24/7 to make it happen. Just tell us some things about your life, and we will implement them in a perfect writing an autobiography essay!

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