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How to Write an Autobiography

How to Write an Autobiography

At least once in your life, whether it is a school assignment, a college task, or a personal narrative, you will have to write an autobiography. Probably, with no idea how to write an autobiographical essay. In my experience, it is a very entertaining paper to write, since you get to explore your memories in depth and present them in a descriptive and creative manner.

There is nothing overly complicated when it comes to writing this type of essay. However, if you master how to write an autobiographical essay, you need to follow some simple rules to meet the requirements, such as an established formatting, first point of view style, and so on. But worry not, you will find everything you need to know in this article.

Table Of Contents

What Is an Autobiography

Before we go into dissecting the writing process, let's set the autobiography definition. The autobiography is a way to record and present an aspect of a writer’s life. It can incorporate a concise description of an event, experience, interest, hobby, etc. There are many applications of this writing: however one of the most common ones is an autobiography for college.

These are the main characteristics of autobiography writing:

  • Describes a story from the first point of view.
  • Talks about a real event that has occurred.
  • Ties vaguely or directly to a career choice.

There is a commonly asked question when it comes to writing down your experience “What to include in an autobiography? Should I tell my whole life story?” Well, a logical answer would be no, because writing a whole life story could fill up an entire book. Instead, a good approach would be to select one or a few vivid moments that would be worth sharing. However, the concept should be based on your motivation, your purpose.

How to Start an Autobiography

The starting process usually follows the following steps:

  • Understanding the purpose of the work. There are a few different types of autobiographical essays. If you are doing a creative writing assignment, your goal is to recreate the event as vividly as possible which is going to require very expressive and eloquent words. If we go back to an autobiography for college, it’s going to require a slightly different approach, one that's more moderate. You will need a good understanding of how it can tie into your future.

  • Brainstorming ideas and recreating events. This step speaks for itself. You need to write out the ideas that most fit your purpose. Try remembering important events, talking to your parents, and through old photo albums. Visuals are always helpful when it comes to recreating a sharp mental picture.

  • Creating an elaborate outline. One of the most important steps of any writing. Create an outline of your story to keep you on track and focused on the main details. Write out the most important information and spread it out under headings. It’s going to serve as a guide for your thoughts. Keep it short and to the point.

  • Standing out. An effective way to stand out when writing an autobiography is incorporating a non-chronological order of events. You can even start the story from the middle and then introduce the beginning. If properly executed you will create suspense. Do not mess around too much with it, because you risk confusing the audience.

Autobiographical Essay Structure

It is true that there is no distinct format for the autobiographical essay. It is your story, and your way of catering it is supposed to be unique. However, there are some recommendations when it comes to information flow and an efficient way of presenting it.


Most stories include the following acts:

  • Normal World
  • Inciting Incident
  • Resolution

The introduction must include the first two. Introduce the reader to your world and then present a turning point when the event you are going to disclose is uncovered. Do not provide every single detail of the event right away to allow suspense to do its job.


Resolution is going to be divided among the body paragraph and the conclusion. Rising action is going to represent most of your body. When writing your paragraphs keep the following things in mind:

  • Tie the introduction paragraph to the body with a small transition.
  • Provide sufficient details for the reader to understand the concept of the event.
  • Always watch out for your word choice.
  • End the body with a smooth transition into your conclusion.


Finally, the conclusion. At this point, the audience should not have any questions left about the story itself. That is precisely the point where you need to explain to your audience why they have spent the last twenty minutes reading your work. Narrative writing requires a powerful beginning, as well as a powerful ending. The conclusion is going to be the last thing that the reader will capture in their mind, so you have to save the best for last.

Now you know how to end an autobiography. Another important thing is the title page.

Title Page

An essential part of writing a great paper is creating a proper title page. Just like selecting a font and font size, title page requirements could vary based on the standards of the institution you are writing for. However, there are some commonly established rules when it comes to making a title page. The following information usually goes on the title page:

  • Title
  • Author
  • Your phone number
  • Email
  • Address
  • Date of creation
  • Class you are writing this for (optional)

The title and the author section must always be separate from the contact information and the rest. It’s usually located in the middle of the paper while the rest of the info goes in the bottom right corner.

Do you need some help with your autobiography? Count on the support of our professional writers and editors.

Autobiography Template

That is a sample outline for a basic narrative essay. However, if you search for autobiography examples, you will find one down below.


Autobiography template

  • The cause of the Event: Either a complication, a misfortune, or a push that has to lead to the event leaving the zone of normality.
  • Important Detail 1
  • Important Detail 2
  • Important Detail 3
  • Lesson Learned: Every story must carry a meaning behind it. If you believe that this event has contributed to your personal growth, it's a good idea to share it.
  • Bigger Picture and Conclusion: The bigger picture aspect applies mostly if you are writing this for your college admission. Describe how you will tie this event to your long term goals and conclude the story with a summary overview.

Writing Tips

Just a good narrative sometimes isn’t enough to meet the quality requirements. Here are some practical writing tips which could potentially save you the grade.

Word Choice
When you read any quality sample of an autobiography, you will notice that most words used in inspiring autobiographies are possibly irreplaceable. When it comes to narrative, there is no substitution for vivid and expressive descriptions. To create an environment where the reader will feel as if he visited this event himself, you will need to use outside sources to find the right words. A thesaurus and glossary will be your helpers along the way.

Drafting is a major step that you should not neglect at any time. Just like you draft any other academic essay, you need to keep upgrading and narrowing down this one as well. The entire concept of improving this kind of essay is telling the same information in less amount of words, which links directly to your word choice. Spent sufficient time to find the words that best represent your feelings and experiences.

Recently I’ve been reading an autobiographical essay example for college, and I instantly noticed content flaws that could have been avoided if the paper was peer-reviewed by someone other than the writer.
Reviews are essential for quality work. The content creators are usually biased towards their work and miss out on small details. For this reason, keep your mind open and let other people help you find your mistakes.

Autobiography Example

Click on the button to download the autobiography example of a student.

How Can We Help?

Everyone gets to live a vivid moment in their life, but not everyone can describe it to its full extent. If you are wondering who could write about your life for you, then you have wandered into the right place. is an essay writing service which incorporates many talented and professional writers. We are here to cater to autobiography or any essay help you need and get you closer to your goals!

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