Do you plan to write an autobiography essay but don’t know how to do it? If so, this article explains how to write an autobiography essay to make the process easier for you. Professors require university and college students to handle this writing assignment. But this task is not easy for most learners.
Writing about you can undoubtedly be challenging. Even with an autobiographical essay example, this task can cause you goosebumps, especially if it’s your first time handling it. Nevertheless, this article provides clear guidelines to help you complete the assignment without breaking a sweat.
Table of Contents
What Is An Autobiographical Essay?
An autobiography statement is nonfiction writing that narrates the author’s life. Usually, people write autobiographies in the first person, covering lows and highs. This paper is about the writer sharing their story from their perspective. That means you’re in control of your writing and choose how to write about your life.
Nevertheless, this essay covers personal knowledge, dwelling upon your life experience that affected your perspective or personality. An autobiographer identifies an interesting topic relating to their life. And an autobiography can serve various purposes. For instance, it can be a college application or assignment sharing your life experiences.
But regardless of the purpose, this assignment requires brainstorming to develop your topic and life story with adequate evidence. Writing the essay involves creating an outline and a working thesis. Also, you must prepare an autobiography draft using the plan and revise it to improve its overall quality.
You can also depend on peer review highlighting errors in your autobiographical statement. Alternatively, you can enlist an online service to have expert editors fix errors in your paper. Nevertheless, your autobiography must have adequate information and supporting evidence to help readers develop imagery of the activity you describe.
Basic Autobiography Essay Format
An autobiography does not differ significantly from other essay types. Here’s a general autobiographical outline.
The introduction is the face of the autobiography. It captures the readers’ attention while helping them understand the basics of your story. The intro should have a thesis statement summarizing your life story while briefly presenting background information. Like a research paper or essay, an autobiography introduction should stir interest so the audience can read the other sections. Also, it should introduce the theme and the main idea of your essay.
Here’s what you should mention in the autobiography essay introduction:
- Birth date or age
- High school days or first year on campus
- Personal attributes
- Your world perspective
You can include personal experiences’ details to make the introduction more interesting. Nevertheless, don’t make this section longer than three sentences.
The autobiography structure can’t be complete without the body containing the information supporting the introduction. This section has several paragraphs discussing essential events in the writer’s life. These events should appear in their chronological order of occurrence or in five categorical paragraphs. However, you can organize your life story in other ways. For instance, you use the places where the events occurred or the time.
The last section wraps up the paper after writing. It explains the life lessons the experiences have taught you. You can also tell your readers how the event shaped you into who you’re today.
How To Write Autobiography Essay Step-by-Step
Writing an autobiography essay entails focusing on your life. Its primary purpose is to explain your life and personality to the readers. You don’t base an autobiography on a famous personality because that would make it a biography. Perhaps, composing an excellent piece may require you to ask, “How can I write an autobiography essay about myself?” That way, you can focus on yourself instead of another person. Here are the steps to follow when writing an autobiography.
- Read Autobiography Examples
The first step to writing a winning essay is to read other people’s autobiographies. That way, you will understand this form of writing and what readers expect in your essay. You can find many autobiography examples for students online. Perhaps, you can read this autobiography example.
Reading and researching autobiographies will help you decide on the information to include in your essay. Also, think about exciting aspects of your life and what it’s crucial to reveal to the world.
- Review Your Life
Reviewing your life entails listing all important places, people, and events that have occurred in your life. For instance, consider the role family members, teachers, friends, employers, and coaches have played in your life. Also, think about the places you’ve lived and the events that occurred during your childhood, teen years, young adulthood, and middle age. An autobiography should feature unique information that helps readers know your personality better. After listing key events, people, and places in your life, go back to write their specific details.
- List Events and Experiences to Include
Not every event or experience is worth adding to your autobiography. Perhaps, that’s why you may want to start by learning how to write an autobiography essay for college. The best approach is to select events and experiences that might interest the audience. Please select memorable and exciting events or what has changed or shaped you in specific ways. Also, decide how you want to share your story with the readers.
- Choose a Topic
Your life experiences can’t fit in a single essay. Therefore, narrow down your focus to a single topic. Also, categorize occurrences in your life to divide the paper into sections. Therefore, choose a topic that will do the following:
- Capture your readers’ attention
- Make the audience interested in knowing you more
- Show the readers how significant experiences and events have taught you
Ensure that your topic allows you to add relevant subtopics without digressing.
- Brainstorm Ideas
In addition to finding a topic, think about your life experiences and the concepts on which to focus. Here are questions to ask before adding experiences to your essay.
- Is the experience vital to you?
- Why is the particular event important and not others?
- What relevant details can you share about the experience?
- What lessons have the experience have they taught you?
- How has the experience changed your personality?
- What feelings can the experience evoke in the audience?
Answer these questions to determine which experiences are worth incorporating into your essay.
- Outline Your Essay
Outlining helps you plan the paper by highlighting the sections to include as subheadings. It shows how you will structure the paper and roughly the information to include in every section. It is a sketch of what you will write and enables you to avoid digressing while tracking progress during the writing process.
- Write the Autobiography
Once you have outlined your paper, you can start writing. Perhaps, you’re wondering how to start an autobiography about yourself. Start by sharing essential information, like your age, where you grew up, and your schooling life. After that, you can proceed to the body with several paragraphs or sections. Each section or paragraph can disclose one experience with supporting evidence.
After the body, proceed to the conclusion. Perhaps, you’re also wondering about how to end an autobiography. You can conclude by compressing what you have written by sharing shallow details.
- Proofread the Essay
Once you’ve written your autobiography, go through it keenly to correct grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and bad tense errors. Alternatively, ask somebody else to proofread the work. They may see mistakes that you can miss and provide valuable advice on ways to improve the paper.
Autobiographical Essay Example
It is always great to check out custom college papers and examples if you want to know how to write an autobiographical essay like a pro. Below is a sample that will help you understand how to structure, format, and provide tips for writing an article of high quality:
Ever since I was a small child, I could not imagine my world without books. I vividly remember that moment when books entered my life. In fact, I can draw the line which marks before and after I learned to read. Without a shade of doubt, I can say that this was the day when I was born. As reading entered my life, it felt like I was ignited deep inside. All that I could ever do to dim this light was to stop reading. But I never did. Since I turned five, I have been reading every single day of my life.
My mother, who was an elementary school teacher, was a beautiful woman. She loved me, my two sisters, and my brother dearly. And when I say beautiful, I mean magnanimous both on the inside and out. She was a tiny woman with brown eyes and plump rosy lips. Here, I spoke in the past tense in order to enliven my childhood emotions and feelings as much as possible. Being an adult now, I see my parents in a somewhat different light. Yet, for the purpose of this story, I wish to become that little girl once again, with eyes full of wonder and a heart overflowing with love.
Now, my mother invested much time into teaching my siblings and me to read and write. On one occasion, she told me that her own mother never had the time to teach her such things. My grandmother raised my mother all by herself and had little to no time to teach my mother anything. All that my mother learned was in school and in college. Therefore, I am grateful to my mother for teaching me to read so early on.
I remember my first book, which was a gift. My mother and I went to buy it together when I was five. Prior, I was learning to read from little children’s books that I found boring. So when the mission was accomplished, and I could read freely (for a five-year-old, of course), my mother decided to give me a present. One day, when all of my siblings were at school, my mother asked me to get dressed. It was a sunny fall day… I thought we would be simply taking a walk, but no, my mother made it clear right off the bat that she had something special in mind. Frankly, I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, but went along with it anyway.
I trusted my mother. In fact, I found her to be the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world and when we got a chance to spend time together, just the two of us, I was elated, overjoyed, and bursting with love. As we went outside, my mother took my hand, and we started walking in the direction of the city centre. We were quiet the whole time, but the expectation of something special filled my body inside and out. I could sense joy and a certain lightness all through my body. At one point, I felt like I was floating instead of walking.
As we entered that part of the city centre where numerous small shops were located, my mother led me in the direction of a local bookstore. Once we approached its entrance, she kneeled down and whispered in my ear, “You choose any book you want, little one. It’s your day today. Afterwards, we’ll get you some ice cream at Mr Chen’s”. Up to that point, I had only been to a bookstore once. That one time my mother needed to buy some literature and we only stayed in the bookshop for about ten minutes. Frankly speaking, I was very small (about four) and kept nagging that we leave because I was completely bored. This time, however, I felt different. In fact, my senses have never been so sharp. Until this day, I remember the smell of the bookstore, the soft music that was playing in the background, and my eyes, running in all directions in search of the best book I could find. My mother took me to the children’s section. I cannot recount how long we stayed there. My mom told me afterwards that we were there for quite a while, but for me, the time went unnoticed. At that point, time seized to exist.
I remember that day so vividly because it marked a turning point in my life. In the years that followed, just like Jhumpa Lahiri, I searched for sentences and books that would spark a chemical reaction in me. I deeply resonate with the following words from Lahiri’s article: “The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates”. Today, as I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s article called “My Life’s Sentences”, I was touched to my very core. It seemed like she spoke the words I had only felt until now. But now I know that there are others who feel the same way. This inspires me.
In my opinion, and based on my personal experience, readers come to writers in search of feelings, in search of certain emotional states. At least this is what I search for in the books I read. Sometimes, people read to travel in time. They look for mental travel. Yet, I am convinced that in most cases we, as readers, are in search of deep heart travel. The reader boards a book as if it was a train, gets cozy on the soft plush seat, and dives deeply into that inner world which remains unseen by the neighboring stranger. Within us, we carry worlds that are magnanimous, undiscovered, sometimes scary, and other times atrocious. Books are keys. They lead us up to hidden entrances and doors. We are handed the keys, and it is up to us whether to enter these rooms, labyrinths, and universes or leave them shut. Sometimes, the writer may break the reader’s expectations by not offering that which one is looking for. In these cases, the reader might develop an utterly new perspective on things, opening up to new ways of thinking about a given subject; refocus. However, in other cases, the reader may jump ship, giving up on the literary piece.
For some, like Frederick Douglass, reading opens up unknown worlds of new opportunities. As Douglass recounts his years spent in slavery, he talks about the tremendous importance of books in his life. Books “gave tongue to interesting thoughts of my own soul” (Douglass 102). He uses the word “thoughts”, yet if we talk about the soul, I would argue that it communicates to us in feelings. Douglass mentions that the more he read, the more he wanted to die (103). As the soul and mind came to know more freedom, they could no longer exist in states of confinement.
For others, like Sherman Alexie, reading was about trying to save his life (131). While his soul strived toward intelligence and greater freedom, social norms dictated otherwise (Alexie 130). Nevertheless, Alexie explains that he “refused to fail” (130). Instead, he chose to be smart, arrogant, and lucky. Of course, one could say that all this he learned from someone… However, from his short text, it becomes clear that reading was what truly helped him to become who he is today.
Clearly, readers come to writers with certain expectations. From my personal experience and that of the above mentioned authors, I am deeply convinced that we, as readers, turn to books for answers. Answers that stem from deep emotional states. Writers use words to guide their readers into a world of deep emotions and feelings.
How To Write A Good Autobiography Essay – Practical Tips
An autobiography should inform the audience about you. Therefore, you should do your best to present your bio in the best way possible. Here are tips to help you write a winning autobiography.
- Get motivation: An excellent autobiography depends on inspiration to compose outstanding essays. Your topic for every piece should be interesting. Hence, you require internal motivation to generate relevant ideas about the subject.
- Create a core concept: Your essay should have a central idea unifying the overall narrative. Therefore, consider fundamental concepts, including persevering faith or love during difficult times. Also, you can share the strategies that helped you succeed or more inspiring themes. The best approach is to think about a reoccurring theme that weaves interest and continuity throughout the paper.
- Recall enjoyable memories: Think about exciting moments in your life when writing an autobiography. For example, unleash vital unique memories. Such memories can help readers discover meaning in life.
- Maintain clarity: An autobiography should have an impressive flow. Therefore, read your paper loudly to see if you notice wordy sentences or awkward phrasing. Using this strategy will help you ensure your concepts flow uniquely.
- Show the audience: Instead of telling your audience, show them vivid explanations of different concepts. Use similes and figurative language to create imagery in your narrative. Also, present accurate and precise facts to help your readers understand your messages.
Even with these guidelines and tips, you may not have the time to write your autobiography. In that case, you can seek help from experts.
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