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How To Write An Autobiography

What Autobiography Actually Is?

An autobiography is a self-written storybook. The word autobiography is the formation of two Greek words ‘autos’ and ‘bios’ that mean ‘self’ and ‘life’ respectively in English. An autobiography could also be named as the life story. Autobiographical writing contains different purposes depending upon the type of writing.  Autobiographies  is basically the abbreviated summary which you need to write in chronological order to depict the author’s life experience, his or her high and low times in various phases of his or her life.

These are written usually as the first person, i.e. ‘I’. an autobiography can be written by the lead character themselves or they might hire a ghostwriter to write their life story for them. Autobiographies can be either in the form of movies, documentaries, skit, drama, audio recording, books, etc.

Autography Vs Diary:

Autobiography is different from a self-reflective journal or diary. The main purpose of an autobiography is to highlight the entire lifetime journey, whereas a self-reflective journal highlights any specific moment or any short period of time.

Autography Vs Biography:

An autobiography is also different from a biography. A biography is the life story of any person  which someone else write. Whereas an autobiography is written by the person themselves. Many people hire someone else to write their life story as they don’t have confidence on their writing. But we still call them as an author as they provide entire information for writing. The autobiographies are more interesting to read as compared to the biographies because, an autobiography, you read the person’s own thought to whom the story is dedicated to. But biographies are someone else’s interpretation.

An autobiography also consists of the basic framework like any other essay. It also contains four basic elements namely, introduction, thesis statement, body paragraph, and conclusion.

The autobiography should always start with

  1. An introduction
  2. The introduction includes the thesis statement
  3. Introduction is followed by a body paragraph. Body paragraph includes several paragraphs or several chapters.
  4. A strong conclusion to finish

Always try to make your autobiography interesting to make your reader more attracted to it. Doing proper research and preparing proper notes can help you to narrate in a better way.

Let’s give little focus on the history of autobiography. The first person to write an autobiography was Saint Augustine of Hippo. He wrote his autobiography for the purpose of confession. The credit of creating the word autobiography goes to William Taylor who was said to use the word in 1797 in one of his reviewed periodical/ journals.

Autobiography is the longest and complete story written about yourself by yourself. People also write autobiographies for their personal use to give a shape to their memories. If you think that your life has some interesting facts that may be mesmerizing for the general public, you can create it for them too. It contains the whole period right from your birth till today. If you think that your life story can act as an inspiration for others, add the facts and incidences about your struggles and how you attain success and your goals.

Types Of Autobiography:

You can categorize an autobiography  into several types on the basis of  its purpose and approach. The common goals of these types may contain, helping themselves to overcome a problem by putting it on paper, helping others to overcome the same type of events or simply telling their story:

  • Type 1 – Spiritual autobiography

This autobiography depicts the complete story of the writer before he or she meets god and changes to his or her life after he or she encountered with god. This testimonial account is oftentimes accompanied by backsliding events. These types of autobiographies are written in support of the writer’s religion. The first person to write a spiritual autobiography was Augustine, which was his confession. The spiritual autobiographies showcase various religious views leaving behind Christianity and Islam.

However spiritual stories are very personal but some people feel it as a duty to compel others into their beliefs. The purpose may also to make changes in others lives.

  • Type 2 – Fictional autobiography

A fictional autobiography is written as a novel in which the lead character writes his or her own autobiography. The character themselves is the first-person narrator and he or she narrates both internal and external events happened with the character. Some instances are of such character writer’s are:

  1. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre
  2. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye.
  3. Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield
  4. Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders
  • Type 3 – Memoirs

  The memoir is the slight form of an autobiography. Its aim is to focus more on the series of events that is surrounded by feelings and emotions. It is taken as the tool by the politicians to articulate their war ventures and exploits on paper.

The example of such autobiography is Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico. This memoir of Julius Caesar his courageousness to fight with the local armies in the Gallic wars in the period of nine years.

If you don’t want to add your entire life’s journey as it is not worth sharing, then you can go with memoir. It is written by focussing on any single event, place, duration of life, etc. that makes a great impact in your entire life and changes your personality. Never feel shy to share your personal feelings and emotions in the memoir because the memoir cannot be written simply on the basis of facts but it should be an indication of your inner world.

  • Type 4 – Autobiographical essay for college

  Such essays are written with the purpose of convincing your admission officer to give approval to your admission. There are general guidelines for the students about the word limits to include in the essay. Remember not to mess up your autobiographical essay with the CV or resume. Both are written by using distinct structure and formats. A CV is written for professional purpose whereas essays purpose is to depict your personality.

  • Type 5 – Personal essay

Personal essays are very touching and intimate kind of. The author mainly focuses on any personal event in a detailed version to share it with the readers. The personal essays should be written in a manner so that the reader is able to feel it and is able to make an imaginary view by reading the incidence. The story should be written is a way to touch the reader’s heart and he or she could understand the author’s feelings.

The personal essays are mainly focused on two important aspects and that is:

  1. The entire explanation of any specific situation
  2. Its impact on your life and world view

It is the shortest form considering all the types of autobiographies.

  • Type 6 – Full autobiography (traditional):

This is the form of autobiography that should contain your entire life journey right from your birth to childhood, adulthood, and the present time during which you are writing the book. The writers mainly pick this form of autobiography when they feel that their whole life is interesting and worth sharing with others.

  • Type 7 – Psychological illness

  People suffering from certain kinds of mental illness feel that writing their thoughts can act as therapeutic. Therapists are the people considered as the experts listen to people’s problem and in return grant solution to them. But most of the people also consider writing as the best therapist to lower down their tensions.

  • Type 8 – Confession

Similar to psychological illness, people who committed something wrong and want to confess consider writing as the best key for confession by sharing their story. By sharing the story the writer might feel that he is converting the wrongs into right and others will learn something to avoid such mistakes in their life.

  • Type 9 – Overcoming adversity

Not all people have a happy journey throughout their life. Some people might face certain terrible events such as life frightening illness, dreadful accidents, murders, kidnappings, assaults, robberies, etc. Sharing the story can inspire others while also helping the person express deep emotions to heal.

Difference Between Autobiography And Memoir:      


To understand the difference between autobiography and memoir, first, let’s understand what is a memoir? The memoir is a French word, the meaning of which is reminiscence or remembrance. The memoir is a memory written by the author themselves to depict a message to the readers.

The purpose of writing a memoir is to share the experience of the reader that he got from any incidence and the incidence changed their life. the person who writes the memoirs is known as a memoirist. It is the section of the author’s life that could act as the turning point of their life or maybe failure that changed their life. Memoirs are written less formally.

There are several points that differs a memoir with an autobiography and that are:

  1. Autobiographies cover the entire life story of the author, whereas memoirs cover only the part of the author’s life.
  2. It is written mostly by or about the famous personalities who had inspired the general public in some way and people read it to know more about the author, whereas memoirs can be written about and by any normal people, people read it because of its unique style, theme or subject.
  3. Autobiographies are written in chronological orders right from the birth to the present day, whereas memoirs also might be written in chronological order and can shift back and forth in time.
  4. It mainly focused on the facts and history, whereas the memoir mainly focused on the emotional experience and interiority.
  5. The autobiographies are comprehensively written most of the time, whereas memoirs can be short.
  6. Autobiographers cover all aspects of their life, some part might be in more detailed version compared to others, whereas memoirs choose any important part of their life to write which they find interesting to tell, they might provide a short story for the best part of their life.
  7. The autobiographers usually tell their story because they are famous and have recognition among normal public, whereas memoirs can be anyone regardless of he or she is famous or not.
  8. People read autobiographies because they are eager to know about that person, whereas people read memoirs because of their interest in the subject or theme.
  9. An autobiography is written in the first and third person, whereas memoirs are written in the first person.
  10. Autobiography gives significance to all events of life collectively, whereas memoir emphasizes on any particular event or incident and provide in-depth knowledge about it.
  11. The autobiography should be written in chronological order, whereas memoir does not have any structure, it can be started by taking any point of life.

Step By Step Autobiography Writing Guide:

Are you feeling confused about how to write an autobiography and need some guidance, so here is the best one for you.  Go through each step intensely and follow all of these whenever next time you write any:

  • Step 1 – Read a well-known autobiography

It is obvious that you are not the first person who is thinking to write an autobiography. Many famous personalities have already done that to share their astuteness with the normal public. Pick any one autobiography of any of them whose personality is an admiration for you and go through it intensely to get the understanding of writing an effective autobiography.

  • Step 2 – Think about your whole life

Remember every single moment of your life such as an important incident, remarkable experience and all the significant characters of your life. This process can consume you plenty of time. Your life might have many worthy moments and interesting facts to share. If you want to add the beautiful moments from your childhood, you can ask the experts that are definitely your parents. You certainly have certain outstanding stories from your childhood that your parents can narrate better.

  • Step 3 – Prepare a list

This is the most crucial part if you are writing your autobiography. You should divide all your life incidences into categories. It will help you to give a structure to your thoughts in a more logical manner.

  • Step 4 – Select any single point from your list

Remember not to write your full autobiography. Select any person, place or event that you find interesting to write about. Focus on being objective and pick up a theme that is fascinating also for the readers, not only for you.

  • Step 5 – Brainstorm your ideas

After choosing a specific topic, now it’s time to think about all the amazing ideas and facts for your autobiography.

Here are certain questions that are to be focused:

  1. The reason you picked up to write an autobiography at this stage of life.
  2. Things   which  makes you decide to share your portion of the story with the readers?
  3.  General idea that is related to this particular event?
  4.  Importance of this moment in your life?
  5. Lessons did you learn from this incidence?
  6. What changes occurred in your life after this incident?
  7.  Feelings do you want to awaken?
  8.  Mood of yours do you want to share?
  9. Details are worth readers’ attention?
  10. the best or worst thing about the incidence or any person you want to tell about?


  • Step 6 – Avail an outline

Planning is very necessary for writing any form of project. Prepare a proper outline by taking important events of life to write an autobiography. Here you decide what you should include in each section of your autobiography. You can prepare the outline in the form of a list, scheme, table or pyramid.

  • Step 7 – Prepare a draft

You need to first complete the draft as it will  work as your foundation. There are little or no chances of mistakes if you avoid them in the first place only. Also, remember not to be so demanding as this is your first attempt. Good ideas will come sooner or later. Spend enough time while enjoying the whole process.

  • Step 8 – Proofread your writing

Now you have to check the autobiography that you have written, for all sorts of errors such as word forms, punctuation, style, verb tense, grammar, spelling, etc. The error-prone writing can lead your readers back, in spite of the fact of how interesting it is.  An illiterate author cannot win the trust of the audience, so you should take this step very seriously.

  • Step 9 – Get feedback

  Before publishing your autobiography in front of the whole world, you should for feedback from your parents, friends and other relatives. They might find certain mistakes and help you to make improvements. This way you can improve the quality of your autobiography.

  • Step 10 – Write the final copy:

After completing the process of proofreading and taking and accepting all the valuable feedback, now its time to prepare the final draft.

Proven Tips On Autobiography:

  • No.1 – Catch attention from the very starting

If your introduction is not interesting and catchy, the readers will get detached and would not read the whole autobiography. You should convince your readers that your story is unique and their time will not get wasted by investing it on it. If you wish to describe any incidence from childhood, utilize a feeling of nostalgia as there is a need to establish a strong bond between your memories and the readers. You should absorb the fact that everyone experiences the same things in life to some extent. Everyone shares similar experiences in their day to day life, you need to make your writing unique and attractive by using these similarities.

  • No. 2 – Don’t emphasize on your resume

This is the most beneficial tip if you are writing an autobiographical essay for college. The admission officer is aware of your grades and academic achievements.. Through essays, you should reflect your personality and show that you deserve to get admitted in the college.

  • No. 3 – Add sensory details

You should use vivid details to make your readers feel the part of the essay and its overall background. The story should have the power to light up all the sensory sensitivity of the reader. Craft a complete picture of your personal universe and invite the readers to be your guests.

  • No. 4 – Make your characters feel alive

If you have more characters in your story apart from them, then introduce all of them. Furnish at least few words for their description along with some dialogues to reflect their personal voices. If you use real names of your characters, don’t forget to take permission, otherwise, use fake names.

  • No. 5 – Create a connection with a general idea

You should write all the parts of your autobiography by using your idea. The reader could be able to see the intense meaning behind your narration.

  • No. 6 – Select one verb tense

It is the most vital part of any kind of autobiography. You should be particular with your verbs and tenses before beginning and use the same for the entire text.  You can use past  tense for writing past events.  But stay consistent throughout the writing, never switch in the middle.

What you have written is your autobiography i.e. your life story. You should word such as “I,” “my,” and “me” for narration. Autobiography is not similar to academic writing where you do not include any personification.

Autobiography Paper Examples:

Examples of autobiography in literature: If you search for autobiography examples in literature, the most famous one wan written by Helen Keller, that has mesmerized the world for approx 100 years. There are many movies and plays based on her autobiography. Her teacher Anne Sullivan also gave her many recognition with the help of writing and television. Current generation also loves to read about this young girl who went blind and deaf when she was just 19 months.

The impact of this is that she also loses her ability to learn and speak. The turning point in her life is when her teacher Sullivan entered into her life. She learned Braille and soon became an activist to help blind and deaf people throughout the nation. In 1968, she died, but her autobiography is still an example for others.

Examples of autobiography in pop culture:  (Gabby) Douglas, the name of the autobiography is “Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith”  provides the best example of autobiography in pop culture . She takes help from a writer Michelle Burford to guide her in the process of writing the autobiography.  Mainly those people who have something from their life story to tell others but can’t make use of the proper words.

Gabby was the heroic personality of 2012 Olympics who has win gold medals the U.S. in gymnastics along with being the All-Around Gold Medal winner, the first African-American to do so.  She has become an admiration for many young athletes.

Mistakes To Avoid While Writing An Autobiography:

  • Don’t make it too long

It is the habit of many people that they keep on writing more and more when they start. But a lengthy piece of writing does not work at all. You should keep in mind your target audience and write it briefly according to them. To check the efficiency of your writing and whether it will keep the interest of the audience or not, you can ask any of your friend who likes reading, to provide suggestions.

  • Don’t make it trivial

If you write phrases such as ‘I am …’, ‘I was born in …’, would you like to read when you are having many other options. No one prefers such when they already have been through the writings starting with the same phrases. You should not use any slang or colloquial language, but use specific and unique pattern of writing.

  • Don’t turn it into your personal diary

The mantra for successful autobiography is to be candid and quite informative.  You also need to explain some good and bad times of your life to depict your path through the hard times and how you coped up with it. But always remember to include the things that are fruitful to write. Never compare your short autobiography with your personal writing. Always try to make a balance.

How to select autobiography topics

Below are few tips for selecting autobiography topics.

Make it focused

The main aim of writing an autobiography is to endorse you and reflect your personality and character. Always choose the topic that can attract maximum appreciation from the institution and can reflect the maximum aspect of your personality.

Choose one or two aspects of your personality

In understand and sure that you definitely have an inspiring personality and you cannot even make it in a lengthy book. But while writing an autobiography it is necessary that you should focus on one or two aspects of your life and write a meaningful story rather than trying to cover the entire life.


Every aspect of your autobiography novel should match with each other. For example, if you were saying that you are persistent and purposeful, pick a matching drawback and show how you overcame it due to your good character traits.

Find out what is in trend

It might be a little awful, but it is a fact that you should pick a topic according to the world.


Autobiographies are the form of writing for the writer to share their personal stories with the aim of enlightening, informing, persuading or stimulating the readers. Most of the writers find writing as the best therapist to heal them that can either achieved with the help of counseling. It is also the best method to keep history alive in the present time that allows the people of the current world to know about the person who lived in the past.  The future generation will be able to learn and understand our present culture by the reading autobiographies of current generation people.

Hire A Ghostwriter To Write An Autobiography?

I think this article has helped you to understand autobiography and how to write it. Writing an autobiography is the best way to depict your feelings to share your life stories, healing your life and overcoming stress. The students still might certain problems while writing an autobiography. And if there is the case that you want to share your story but not having skills or willingness to write then you can ask our writers of students assignment help to help you or to write an autobiography for you. You just have to give them all the details, they will act as ghostwriters and write the perfect autobiography for you.