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How to Write an Autobiography for a University

How to Write an Essay for Entry in College if You're a Nontraditional Student

How to Write an Essay for Entry in College if You're a Nontraditional ...

Many universities require applicants to write an autobiographical essay as a prerequisite for acceptance. Crafting a concise, compelling life-story essay requires paring down your points to the basics while still engaging readers. The essay should describe your disappointments and successes and what you have learned from them without coming off as conceited or pompous. You can strike the right balance by digging deep within yourself and expressing your accomplishments, hopes, dreams and goals through a well-written autobiographical essay.

Key Life Event Timeline

Make a timeline of the key events in your life, including your birth, childhood years, junior high and high school years. Highlight key accomplishments or awards. Winning the high school spelling bee or helping your father at his repair shop every day after school are some possible life experiences to include. Write down the events that helped shape your sense of self and your outlook on the world.

Overall Theme

Choose an overall theme or focus for your article. Simply listing events from your life doesn't make the autobiography interesting. Think about a theme you might give your life. Perhaps you've focused on volunteering and making your community better or faced a series of difficult events but overcome the adversity. Keep the overall focus in mind as you choose events and include them in the essay.

Use a voice in the autobiography that reflects your personality. Don't use slang or write too casually, but avoid stuffy or academic-style writing that drains all of your personality from the piece. The goal is a casual tone that is still professional and appropriate for your university audience.

Introduction Sentence

Open the autobiography with an attention-grabbing sentence. Avoid sentences such as "I'm going to tell you about my life." Jump right into the stories to interest your readers. You might say, "Summers on the farm meant early morning chores and long days in the field, but my rural upbringing taught me the keys to hard work and perseverance." Include your overall theme here and start painting a picture of your life.

The Early Years

Write about your parents and point out anything unique about your upbringing or childhood. Some things like divorce or a death in the family may be hard to write about. However, examining difficult subjects can shows that you're mature and can tackle tough issues. Consider writing about how you grew stronger or what you learned after painful events or disappointments in your life.

School Interests

Another option is to discuss your passions related to school. Even if you're not at the top of your class, writing about what motivates and drives you will show admissions officers that you are willing to work hard to achieve what you want. If your high school courses don't interest you, write about which types of classes you'd like to take in college and why. Browse through prospective colleges' course listings and mention a few that spark your interest.

Community Involvement

Writing about your passions in the world can also showcase your life's goals. Perhaps you volunteer on the weekends helping the homeless or elderly. Maybe you'd like to go into politics to make your community a better place or study architecture to create safe, affordable housing. Make a list of what drives you and select one or two ideas to write about in your essay.

Finish the essay by discussing why the particular university you're applying to will help foster your goals. Write about why the academic program, the culture and the town itself will help you grow as a person and help you become a responsible, contributing citizen. Tailor your essays to be specific for the college you're interested in.

Always tell the truth in your essay. You don't have to be a straight-A student, high school quarterback or cheerleader to wow admissions officers. Speaking your own personal truth and expressing your convictions and goals can be just as effective as an impressive academic or extracurricular resume. Keep your language simple and straightforward. Using big vocabulary words probably won't make you come off as smart. In fact, it may make you seem pretentious and give off a tone that doesn't reflect your actual self.

Show your essay to your friends, parents and teachers for feedback. Try not to take their criticism as an insult; learn from it and incorporate their suggestions into your essay before submitting to colleges.

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  • Show your essay to your friends, parents and teachers for feedback. Try not to take their criticism as an insult; learn from it and incorporate their suggestions into your essay.
  • Keep your language simple and straightforward. Using big vocabulary words probably won't make you come off as smart; in fact, it may make you seem pretentious.

Angela Brown has been a book editor since 1997. She has written for various websites, as well as National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and more than 20 fiction anthologies. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English from the University of Wisconsin.

How To Write An Autobiography

Autobiography Examples

Nova A.

Top Autobiography Examples & Samples For Your Help

Published on: Sep 10, 2021

Last updated on: Feb 12, 2024

Autobiography Examples

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An  autobiography  is a story of a person's life written down or told. They are interesting to read, but they can be even more interesting to write.

An autobiography is different from a biography. A biography is someone else's story about a person's life. But, an autobiography is the person's own story about their life.

This may make autobiographies more interesting to read than biographies. Also, they give the thoughts and feelings of the person rather than someone else's interpretation.

There are many different stories in the world. Uniquely telling your story is not easy. You need to describe what is happening to make the reader feel like they are right there with you.

In this blog, you will learn about some amazing examples of autobiographies. So, start reading now.

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Autobiography Examples For Students

An autobiography is the story of someone's life written by them. They might write about their hardships or success. Here are some examples of autobiographies that might inspire you to write your own.

Short Autobiography Examples

This is a good example of a creative and interesting autobiography to read. It will teach you how to write your own great autobiography.

Autobiography Examples For Class 6

Autobiography essays are not easy to write. They are different from other essays because they tell the story of a person's life experiences. Every person has a lot of interesting experiences, so it can be hard to choose which ones to write about.

For your help, we compiled an example that you can use for your help and make your writing process easy.

Autobiography Examples For Grade 7

Only you know yourself best. Writing an autobiography is a great way to share your life with others. Everyone has a story to tell, and writing an autobiography is one way to leave your mark on history.

Here is an example that gives you a better idea of sharing your life story with others.

Autobiography Examples For College Students

An autobiography is a text that tells your life story. It can be in the form of a  memoir , which is more informal or more formal. Autobiographies can be written for different reasons:

  • To introduce yourself to the world.
  • To get into a program at school, for a job, volunteering, etc.

You can find more ideas for an autobiography from this example.

Note: As a college student, you might encounter confusion distinguishing between an autobiography and a statement of purpose . While both involve personal narratives, autobiographies provide a comprehensive life story, while statements of purpose focus on specific goals and qualifications for academic or professional opportunities. Understanding their distinct purposes and structures can help streamline your application processes effectively.

Autobiography Examples For High School Students

An autobiography is a self-written biography that someone writes about themselves. They might write about all of their life or just some parts. They do this to share their experiences, put them in a larger cultural or historical context, and entertain the reader.

Take a look at the below example and create a well-written one without any mistakes.

Spiritual Autobiography Examples

A spiritual autobiography is your life story. In it, you write about how God has been present in your life. This includes your journey in and out of organized religion and everything spiritual.

Writing your spiritual autobiography is a chance for you to identify specific experiences with God. You will then reflect on how those experiences have impacted you.

Below is an example for your ease.

Autobiography Examples in Literature

An autobiography is a book written by somebody about their own life. It tells the story of the author’s life, accomplishments, things they have done, etc.

The following is an example that can help you better understand how to write an autobiography.

Cultural Autobiography Examples

A cultural autobiography is more than just telling your life story. Your cultural identity reveals your beliefs and ideas about culture. It also shows how culture affects different cultural groups that make up who you are.

You may want to write a cultural autobiography better to understand yourself and your culture's role in your life. It is important to be aware of your own cultural identity in a multicultural world and be open to other cultures.

An example of a perfect cultural autobiography is below for your help.

Educational Autobiography Examples

The educational autobiography is a way to tell your life story. This type of autobiography includes what you did in school and how it affected other parts of your life.

Take a look at this example to see how to write a good educational autobiography.

Social Class Autobiography Examples

In most sociology classes, students are assigned to write a socio-autobiography. This assignment helps them understand that the subject is relevant to their daily lives. Your interactions with society have a big impact on who you become as a person.

Writing your social class autobiography is a great way to show people how you fit into society. The following example will show what kind of social autobiography looks like.

Autobiography Examples For Kids

Children are often encouraged to write an autobiography, but few people recognize the importance of this task. Everyone has something special from their childhood that they should remember and reflect on. Writing about your life is a good way to do this.

There are many different ways to write an autobiography. If you are writing about yourself, it is best to start by writing about your early life and work experience.

You can also mention your school experiences. After that, you can write about other topics that may be of interest to readers, like your hobbies or interests.

Here is an example that will help in starting an autobiography.

We all have the opportunity to write our own story, but it doesn't always come easy. If writing about yourself seems difficult, then follow the examples mentioned above.

However, if you want a professional writer to write it for you, just say ' write an essay for me ' and consult a professional at .

We have expert writers who will help you write an autobiography, personal narrative, college essay, and any academic assignment.

AI essay writing tools are also readily available to provide you with additional assistance and support.

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As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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How To Write An Autobiography

Autobiography Examples

Barbara P

11+ Autobiography Examples: A Detailed Guide

Autobiography Examples

People also read

Learn How to Write an Autobiography Step by Step

Basic Types of Autobiography Writing With Examples

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Autobiography vs. Biography vs. Memoirs: The Differences & Similarities

Autobiography vs. Memoir - Differences & Similarities

How to Write a Memoir: Everything You Need to Know

Have you ever thought about telling your life story? 

An autobiography is like a special book about you – your experiences, ups, downs, and everything in between. 

But when it comes to autobiography writing , putting it all into words, it can feel a bit tricky, especially for students like you.

In this blog, we're here to help you understand what an autobiography is all about and make it easier for you to write one with the help of examples. 

We'll dive into practical examples and autobiography templates to help you see how it's done. 

So, let's dive in!

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  • 1. Memoir Vs Autobiography Example 
  • 2. Autobiography Outline Examples
  • 3. How to Write an Autobiography - Examples
  • 4. Autobiography Examples for Students
  • 5. Personal Autobiography Examples
  • 6. Famous Autobiography Examples

Memoir Vs Autobiography Example 

Memoirs and autobiographies both delve into personal experiences, but they have their own styles and purposes. 

Let’s jump into example to see what is the actual difference between memoir and autobiography:

Memoir Vs Autobiography Example PDf

Autobiography Outline Examples

Any academic or professional writing needs to follow a proper format to organize the information. And an outline is the best way to follow the proper format. It helps you organize your information and structure your data into a proper format.

Here are some autobiography outline examples to help you learn the basics of the autobiography format .

Autobiography Outline for College - Example

Autobiography Sample Outline

How to Write an Autobiography - Examples

As we have mentioned earlier, there are as many stories as there are people on earth. Each of the stories is different from the others; no two of them could be the same. 

How you present your ideas really matters. That's why using the right strategies and the correct format is essential to make your writing creative.

It is important to know the difference between autobiography and biography . These examples will help you learn how to start an autobiography that leaves a good impression on the reader’s mind.

Autobiography Sample PDF

Writing an Autobiography - Example

Autobiography Examples for Students

An autobiography is your life story. If your teacher tells you to write one, they just want to hear about your life. Even if you think your story isn't super exciting, following the structure can make it work better.

These autobiography examples for students will help you understand how you can properly format the autobiography.

Autobiography Examples for Kids 

School is a time of discovery, and what better way to explore your own journey than through the lens of an autobiography? Here are some great autobiography examples crafted specifically for kids.

Autobiography Examples Ks2

Autobiography Examples For Grade 7

Autobiography Examples For Class 6

Short Autobiography Example for Students

Here is a sample of a short autobiography for you. Give it a good read and learn how to write an excellent short autobiography.

Short Autobiography for Students - Example

High School Autobiography Example

Check out this sample and learn to write an incredible  autobiography for  high school students.

High School Autobiography - Example

Spiritual Autobiography Example for College Students

Spiritual autobiographies give a glimpse into the spiritual person's life. Have a look at the following sample spiritual autobiography and give it a good read to learn more.

Spiritual Autobiography for College Students - Example

Cultural Autobiography Examples 

Here is a sample of a cultural autobiography that contains detailed information on culture. Have a look at the sample to know more about it.

Cultural Autobiography Examples

Funny Autobiography Examples 

Autobiographies are thought to be boring and mundane, but that is not the case. You can make an interesting story, as well as funny. Learn to write a funny autobiography by this example.

Funny Autobiography Examples

Educational Autobiography Example

Here is a sample educational autobiography that will help you formulate an effective and inspiring autobiography.

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Social Class Autobiography Example

Writing a social class or sociology assignment could be a bit difficult. This sample will help you work on yours easily.

Rambling Autobiography Examples

Rambling autobiographies are like a casual conversation with a friend, where stories unfold in their own unique way. 

Let’s jump into some fascinating examples about this type of autobiography:

Personal Autobiography Examples

Personal autobiography or personal narrative essay provides a complete picture of the author’s life story. The following personal autobiography demonstrates how to write a personal narrative autobiography.

Personal Narrative Autobiography - Example

Autobiography Examples for Students About Yourself

Famous Autobiography Examples

Autobiographical essays are usually about famous people or historical figures. Just as a renowned autobiography of Benjamin Franklin tells us about his life, his unfinished records, his accomplishments, etc.

Below are some examples of famous autobiographies for your better understanding:

Famous Literacy Autobiography Example

Famous Autobiography - Sample

All in all, we have explored different examples, like understanding what makes memoirs different from autobiographies and exploring rambling ones. These examples are like guides to help you tell your own story and maybe inspire others on your writing journey. 

So, go ahead, give it a try, and have fun telling your unique tale.

And if you need assistance you can always reach out to us!

Our writers can write outstanding autobiography for you! All you have to do is place your " write an essay for me " request and we'll create your custom autobiography in no time!

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Barbara P

Dr. Barbara is a highly experienced writer and author who holds a Ph.D. degree in public health from an Ivy League school. She has worked in the medical field for many years, conducting extensive research on various health topics. Her writing has been featured in several top-tier publications.

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How to Write an Autobiography

autobiography for university

How to Write an Autobiography

autobiography for university

Writing your autobiography is like exploring a treasure trove of memories that make up your life. But starting can feel overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you turn your experiences into a compelling story? Don't worry – this guide is here to help. Whether you're a seasoned writer or a total beginner, we'll break down the process of how to write your autobiography into easy-to-follow steps. Together, we'll uncover the magic of storytelling and turn your life into a captivating reflective essay that's uniquely yours. Get ready to start this adventure of self-discovery and creativity!

What Is an Autobiography

The autobiography definition explains it is a written account of a person's life penned by the individual who has lived those experiences. It is a personal narrative that chronicles significant events, reflections, and emotions throughout various stages of the author's life. Unlike a biography, which is typically written by someone else, an autobiography provides a firsthand perspective, allowing the author to share their thoughts, memories, and insights. It is a cogent medium for self-expression, enabling students to convey the essence of their unique journey, impart lessons learned, and leave a lasting record of their lives for themselves and others to explore.

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Autobiography vs. Biography: What’s the Difference

The key distinction between an autobiography and a biography lies in the authorship and perspective. An autobiography is a personal account of one's own life written by the subject themselves. It offers an intimate insight into the author's experiences, emotions, and reflections. For instance, in "The Diary of a Young Girl," Anne Frank provides a poignant autobiographical account of her life hiding from the Nazis during World War II. On the other hand, a biography is a narrative of someone's life written by another person. It often involves extensive research and interviews to present a comprehensive and objective view. A notable example is "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson, a biography offering an in-depth portrayal of the Apple co-founder, drawing on interviews with Jobs himself and those who knew him. While both genres illuminate lives, the crucial difference lies in the source of the narrative – whether it emanates directly from the subject or is crafted by an external observer.

A biography vs autobiography offers distinct perspectives on individuals' lives, shaping narratives through either personal reflections or external observations. Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is a powerful autobiography chronicling her tumultuous childhood and journey toward self-discovery. In contrast, a notable biography like "Leonardo da Vinci" by Walter Isaacson delves into the life of the Renaissance polymath, painting a vivid picture through meticulous research and analysis. Autobiographies often provide a deeply personal lens, as seen in "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls, where Walls recounts her unconventional upbringing. In contrast, biographies such as "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand meticulously document the extraordinary life of Louis Zamperini, offering a comprehensive view shaped by the author's investigative work. These examples underscore the unique storytelling approaches each genre employs, either from the firsthand perspective of the subject or the external perspective of an author.

Autobiography Example

Ready to explore autobiography examples? We've got a cool section coming up where we'll check out two awesome examples. Autobiographies are like personal tours into someone's life, and we'll be looking at the stories of Alex Sterling and Trevor Noah. They've poured their experiences onto the pages, and we're going to see what we can learn from their journeys. Get ready to be inspired and maybe even think about telling your own story down the line. Let's dive in!


Example 1: “Wanderer's Odyssey: The Uncharted Life of Alex Sterling”

This autobiography recounts the life of a character born in a bustling city who, driven by a thirst for adventure, leaves behind urban life to explore the open road. The narrative explores the protagonist's experiences of hitchhiking, forming connections, and finding self-discovery in the midst of the unpredictable journey. The story emphasizes the lessons learned from the road, the challenges faced, and the ultimate embrace of authenticity. The epilogue reflects on the character's life as a well-lived odyssey, highlighting themes of resilience, connection, and the pursuit of one's true identity.

Example 2: “Echoes of Eternity: The Memoirs of Amelia Reed”

This autobiography follows a character from a countryside village who harbors expansive dreams of adventure. The narrative unfolds as the protagonist sets out to pursue these dreams, facing trials and triumphs that shape their character and lead to self-discovery. The story emphasizes the transformative power of embracing the unknown, with the epilogue reflecting on a life well-lived, highlighting the legacy of fulfilled dreams and the enduring impact on future generations. In addition to examples, we have samples of narrative essay topics that might be useful for you as well.

Tell your story with EssayPro . Our skilled writers can help you craft an autobiography that truly reflects your journey. Share your unique experiences and life lessons in a way that resonates with readers.

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Autobiography Elements Explained

Writing an autobiography provides a personal account of one's experiences, achievements, challenges, and personal growth. While each autobiography is unique, certain common elements are often found in this genre:


  • Autobiographies typically begin with an introduction where the author sets the stage for their life story.
  • It may include background information such as birthplace, family, and early experiences.

Birth and Early Years

  • Authors often include details about their birth, childhood, and family background.
  • Early influences, relationships, and experiences that shaped the individual may be highlighted.

Significant Life Events

  • Autobiographies focus on key events and milestones that have had a significant impact on the author's life.
  • This could include achievements, failures, relationships, and other impactful experiences.

Challenges and Obstacles

  • Autobiographies explore the challenges and obstacles the author faced throughout their life.
  • This can include personal struggles, professional setbacks, or other difficulties.

Personal Growth and Development

  • Authors reflect on their personal growth and development over the years.
  • This may involve self-discovery, learning from experiences, and evolving perspectives.

Achievements and Milestones

  • Autobiographies highlight the author's achievements, whether personal, professional, or both.
  • Major milestones and successes are often detailed to showcase the individual's journey.

Influential Relationships

  • Autobiographies frequently discuss relationships with family, friends, mentors, and significant others.
  • The impact of these relationships on the author's life is explored.

Reflection and Insight

  • Authors often reflect on their lives, offering insights into their beliefs, values, and lessons learned.
  • This section may also include the author's perspective on the world and society.

Themes and Motifs

  • Autobiographies may explore recurring themes or motifs that run throughout the individual's life.
  • Common themes include resilience, determination, love, loss, and personal identity.
  • Autobiographies typically conclude with a summary or reflection on the author's life.
  • The author may share their current perspective and future aspirations.

Writing Style

  • The writing style can vary, ranging from a formal tone to a more conversational and reflective approach.
  • Authors may use literary devices and storytelling techniques to engage readers.

Remember that autobiographies are highly personal, and the structure and emphasis on different elements can vary widely depending on the author's preferences and purpose for writing.

Autobiographical Essay Structure

Autobiographies typically follow a chronological order, beginning with the author's early life and progressing towards the present or a significant moment. The introduction sets the stage, introducing the author and offering insight into the main themes. As you can see in an autobiography example, the narrative then unfolds, exploring the author's significant life events, challenges faced, and personal growth. Achievements and milestones are highlighted, and the impact of influential relationships is examined. Throughout, recurring themes and motifs add depth to the narrative. In the reflection and insight section, the author shares personal lessons learned and beliefs. The conclusion summarizes the autobiography, reflecting on the author's life and future aspirations.

Autobiographical Essay Structure

Learning how to start an autobiography involves captivating the reader's attention while providing context. Authors often employ engaging anecdotes, vivid descriptions, or thought-provoking statements related to the overarching theme of their lives. The goal is to draw readers in from the beginning and establish a connection between the author and the audience. In the introduction, authors can introduce themselves to the reader. This can be done by sharing a captivating snapshot of their life or posing a question that intrigues the audience. The autobiography introduction sets the tone for the entire narrative, providing a glimpse into the themes and events that will be explored in the autobiography.

The autobiography conclusion offers the culmination of the author's life story. Here, authors often summarize the key points and experiences shared throughout the narrative. It is a moment of reflection, where the author can offer insights into the significance of their journey and the lessons learned along the way. The conclusion may also touch on the author's current perspective, providing a sense of closure to the narrative while leaving room for future aspirations and growth.

Literary Forms of Autobiography

Autobiographies, while generally a non-fiction genre, can take on various literary forms and styles. Here are some literary forms commonly found in autobiographical works:

Traditional Autobiography

  • The straightforward narrative of an individual's life, which is usually written by the person themselves. It follows a chronological order, covering significant events and experiences.
  • Similar to an autobiography but often focusing on specific themes, periods, or aspects of the author's life rather than a comprehensive account. Memoirs often delve into personal reflections and emotions.

Diary or Journal Form

  • Some autobiographies adopt the form of a diary or journal, presenting the author's life through dated entries. This format provides a more immediate and personal perspective.

Epistolary Autobiography

  • Written in the form of letters, an epistolary autobiography may consist of the author addressing themselves or others. This style adds an intimate and conversational tone to the narrative.

Graphic Novel or Comic Memoir

  • Autobiographical stories are presented in a graphic novel or comic format. Visual elements complement the written narrative, providing a unique and engaging way to convey personal experiences.

Experimental or Nonlinear Autobiography

  • Some authors choose to play with the chronological order, presenting their life story non-linearly. This experimental approach can create a more artistic and challenging reading experience.

Biographical Fiction

  • While not entirely autobiographical, some authors write fictionalized versions of their own lives. It allows for creative exploration and artistic liberties while drawing inspiration from real experiences.

Travelogue Autobiography

  • Autobiographies that take on the form of a travelogue often focus on the author's journeys, both physical and metaphorical. The narrative is shaped by the places visited and the impact of these experiences on personal growth.

Essayistic Autobiography

  • Autobiographies that incorporate elements of essays, exploring themes, ideas, and reflections on the author's life. This form allows for a more contemplative and philosophical approach.

Collaborative Autobiography

  • Co-written autobiographies involve collaboration between the autobiographical subject and a professional writer. It is common when the subject may not be a writer but has a compelling story to share.

These literary forms highlight the versatility of autobiographical writing, showcasing how authors can creatively shape their life stories to engage readers in various ways. Are you working on other academic assignments? Use our term paper writing services to put your finger on any pending task at hand quickly and for a reasonable price.

How to Write an Autobiography in 5 Steps

Writing an autobiography can be a rewarding and reflective process. Here's a simplified guide in 5 steps to help you get started:

Step 1: Reflection and Brainstorming

Begin by reflecting on your life, considering important events, challenges, and moments of growth. Make a mental inventory of key experiences and people who have influenced you.

Step 2: Establish a Focus

Choose a central theme or focus for your autobiography. This could be a specific period of your life, a significant achievement, or a recurring theme that ties your experiences together. Having a clear focus will guide your writing.

Step 3: Create a Chronological Outline

Develop a rough chronological outline of your life story, starting from your early years and progressing through significant events to the present or another crucial point. Identify key moments and experiences to include in each section.

Step 4: Write with Detail and Emotion

An important aspect of writing an autobiography for college is appealing to emotion. As you delve into each body paragraph, share your story with vivid details. Use descriptive language to bring your experiences to life for the reader. Infuse your writing with emotion, allowing readers to connect with the depth of your personal journey.

Step 5: Conclude Reflectively

In the concluding section, summarize the key aspects of your life story. Reflect on the significance of your journey, the lessons you've learned, and how you've grown. Provide insights into your current perspective and aspirations for the future, bringing your autobiography to a thoughtful conclusion.

Writing Techniques to Use in an Autobiography

When you write an autobiography, the process involves employing various techniques to make the narrative engaging, evocative, and compelling. Here are some tips for writing autobiography commonly used in autobiographies:

Descriptive Language

  • Use vivid and descriptive language to paint a detailed picture of events, people, and settings. Engage the reader's senses to create a more immersive experience.
  • Incorporate dialogue to bring conversations to life. Direct quotes can provide authenticity and convey the personalities of the people involved.

Show, Don't Tell

  • Instead of merely stating facts, show the emotions and experiences through actions, reactions, and sensory details. 

Flashbacks and Foreshadowing

  • Employ flashbacks to delve into past events and foreshadowing to create anticipation about future developments. 

Metaphors and Similes

  • Use metaphors and similes to enhance descriptions and convey complex emotions. Comparisons can make abstract concepts more relatable.
  • Integrate symbols and motifs that hold personal significance. This adds depth to the narrative and can be a thematic thread throughout the autobiography.

Humor and Wit

  • Infuse your writing with humor and wit when appropriate. 
  • Introduce suspense by strategically withholding information or revealing key details at crucial moments. 

First-Person Perspective

  • Utilize the first-person point of view to offer a direct and personal connection between the author and the reader. 

Dramatic Irony

  • Introduce dramatic irony by revealing information to the reader that the author may not have known at the time.


  • Create parallel structures within the narrative, drawing connections between different periods, events, or themes in your life. 

Experimenting with different styles can make your story more engaging and memorable for readers. If you haven’t used these techniques in your paper, simply say, ‘ edit my essay ,’ and our experts will imbue stylistic and creative devices in your document to increase its scholarly value.

Benefits of Writing an Autobiography

Working on an autobiography can be incredibly beneficial on a personal level. When you take the time to reflect on your life and put it into words, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself. It's like a journey of self-discovery where you uncover patterns, values, and beliefs that have shaped who you are. This process not only promotes self-awareness but can also help you grow and bounce back from tough times. Writing about challenging moments can be a therapeutic release, allowing you to confront and make sense of your experiences, leading to emotional healing.

On a broader scale, sharing your life story through an autobiography has its impact. It becomes a piece of history, offering insights into the times you've lived through, the culture around you, and societal changes. Your personal narrative connects you with others, creating empathy and understanding. Autobiographies often inspire people by showing that it's possible to overcome challenges, find purpose, and navigate the ups and downs of life. By sharing your story, you become a part of the larger human experience, contributing to a rich tapestry of diverse stories that help us better understand the shared journey of being human. Order an essay or any other type of task to streamline your educational progress is only a few clicks.

Best Piece of Advice for Making Your Autobiography Spot-on

The most valuable advice is to infuse authenticity into every word. Be genuine, raw, and honest about your experiences, emotions, and growth. Readers connect deeply with authenticity, and it's what makes your story uniquely yours. Don't shy away from expressing vulnerability, as it adds a human touch and makes your narrative relatable. Share the highs and lows, the triumphs and struggles, with sincerity, and let your true self shine through. This honesty not only enhances the impact of your autobiography but also contributes to a more profound connection between you and your readers, creating an authentic and memorable narrative. Here are additional tips for bringing your autobiography assignment up to par:

  • Essential Details. Focus on key moments that significantly contribute to your story, avoiding unnecessary details.
  • Thematic Cohesion. Introduce and explore recurring themes to add depth and coherence to your narrative.
  • Authentic Expression. Embrace your unique voice, personality, and storytelling style to create an authentic connection with readers.
  • Dialogue and Monologue. Use genuine dialogue and inner monologue to provide insights into your thoughts and emotions during pivotal moments.
  • Symbolic Elements. Incorporate symbolic imagery or metaphors to convey deeper meanings and emotions.
  • Strategic Foreshadowing. Use foreshadowing purposefully, providing subtle hints that contribute meaningfully to the overall narrative.
  • Reflective Closure. Conclude your autobiography with a reflective summary that offers insights into the broader significance of your journey.

Our essay writers know many more tips regarding all possible types of academic tasks. If you ever find yourself in writer’s block, not knowing how to tackle any particular assignment, let us know!

Final Words

If you want to understand how to write a good autobiography, think of it as painting a vivid picture of your life for others to see. It's about being real, digging deep into your memories, and choosing the moments that really matter. Let your personality shine through in your writing – be yourself because that's what makes your story unique. Weave in themes that tie everything together, and use storytelling techniques like dialogue and symbolism to make your narrative come alive. And as you reach the end, leave your readers with some food for thought – a reflection on the bigger lessons learned from your journey. If you ever need assistance with this or any other college assignment, use our research paper services without hesitation.

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is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

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How to Write a Good Academic Biography (Part 1)

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When your journal article gets accepted or you are preparing for a public presentation, you will often be asked for a short academic biography. For many people, these academic bios are more difficult to write than a dissertation. How do you sum up yourself and your work in 3-5 sentences? What do you need to include? What should you leave out?

What You Should Do

  • Start with your full name followed by your current position, your general interests, and your current project, keeping them all very brief.
  • If you are within a year of receiving a prestigious award, mention that as well.
  • Finally, finish with a sentence that’s personal: add a hobby, a pet’s name, the city you live in—whatever you are comfortable with that is personal but not too private.

What You Should Avoid

  • Avoid speaking in the first person, i.e., don’t use “I.”
  • Don’t divulge details beyond your current position.
  • In a longer bio of multiple paragraphs, you may add more awards and information about your master’s and bachelor’s degrees, but not in a short bio. Moreover, don’t add anything that happened before grad school—including your place of birth. For example:

Hi! My name is Scott. I was originally born in Vermont and now I’m a professor at North Yankee University in Fargone, New York (in upstate New York). I study antelopes’ migration patterns and their impact of native grain growth. My interest in antelopes began as a teenager when I first saw one in the wild. I did my undergrad degree in biology at SUNY and my masters and UCLA and my PhD in Forestry at Hunter College.

Related: Finished drafting your academic biography and heading for an international conference? Check out this post now!

The above example is far too casual and Scott’s work and current position are overshadowed by all the other random details. This can be written in a much better way:

Scott Sampson is a professor of Wildlife Biology at North Yankee University. His work focuses specifically on the migration patterns of antelope and their impact on the growth of native grain. His favorite place to do research in his backyard, which opens to the Akron National Forest.

This improvised version is concise, relevant, and makes Scott’s bio appear professional while giving a short description of his personal details.

Longer Bios

For longer bios, follow the same basic rules, but go into a bit more depth about your work, your education, and your future projects or interests. You may also consider adding a line about your immediate family. But as always, leave the personal details for a short and friendly mention at the end of the bio.

Mostly, your bio will be used by someone to introduce you at a conference or public event so if you write your bio using these tips, you will help them give a smooth and accurate introduction. Remember that the bio is the first thing that people know about you so pack it full of the most important things about yourself!

If you would like to know more about different formats of academic biography, read the next article in this series!

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How to Write an Autobiographical Essay

Last Updated: April 11, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Alicia Cook . Alicia Cook is a Professional Writer based in Newark, New Jersey. With over 12 years of experience, Alicia specializes in poetry and uses her platform to advocate for families affected by addiction and to fight for breaking the stigma against addiction and mental illness. She holds a BA in English and Journalism from Georgian Court University and an MBA from Saint Peter’s University. Alicia is a bestselling poet with Andrews McMeel Publishing and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets including the NY Post, CNN, USA Today, the HuffPost, the LA Times, American Songwriter Magazine, and Bustle. She was named by Teen Vogue as one of the 10 social media poets to know and her poetry mixtape, “Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately” was a finalist in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 872,949 times.

An autobiographical essay is just an essay about something you experienced. Even so, writing an autobiographical essay can be challenging. You might write an autobiographical essay for a class, an application, or just for your own personal enjoyment. Whatever your reason, there are some key concepts and strategies that you will want to keep in mind as you write. Keep reading to learn more about how to write an autobiographical essay.

Planning Your Essay

Step 1 Choose a story that you really want to tell or that you just want to get out of your system.

  • an accomplishment like winning an award, getting a job, or graduating from high school
  • a trial like a difficult class, an injury, or losing a loved one
  • a meaningful experience like discovering a hobby, meeting your best friend, going away to camp, or learning something about yourself
  • Make sure that you are comfortable sharing your story. Don’t write about anything too hard or heartbreaking if you are not emotionally ready to handle it.

Step 2 Define your purpose for writing.

  • If you are writing an autobiographical essay for an application, make sure that you read the instructions well. If the application includes a prompt or question that you need to answer, make sure that the story you intend to tell will respond to this prompt or question.
  • If you are writing an autobiographical essay for a class, make sure that you read the assignment guidelines well. Make sure that the story you intend to tell will work for this assignment. Ask your instructor if you have any questions about the assignment.

Step 3 Consider your audience.

  • If you are writing your essay as part of an application, consider what your readers will be most interested in hearing about.
  • If you are writing your essay for a class assignment, consider what your instructor will expect you to include in your essay.

Step 4 Generate ideas for your autobiography.

  • Try listing. List the ideas that you have for your autobiography and then look over the list you have made and group similar ideas together. Expand those lists by adding more ideas or by using another prewriting activity. [5] X Research source
  • Try freewriting. Write nonstop for about 10 minutes. Write whatever comes to mind and don’t edit yourself. Review what you have written. Highlight or underline the most useful information for your autobiography. Repeat the freewriting exercise using the passages you underlined as a starting point. You can repeat this exercise many times to continue to refine and develop your ideas. [6] X Research source
  • Try clustering. Write a brief explanation of the subject of your autobiography on the center of a piece of paper and circle it. Then draw three or more lines extending from the circle. Write a corresponding idea at the end of each of these lines. Continue developing your cluster until you have explored as many connections as you can. [7] X Research source
  • Try questioning. On a piece of paper, write out “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?” Space the questions about two or three lines apart on the paper so that you can write your answers on these lines. Respond to each question in as much detail as you can. [8] X Research source

Step 5 Make an outline.

  • It may be helpful to decide where to start from and where to finish, and then work on filling in the middle.

Drafting Your Essay

Step 1 Write in the first person.

  • Do not use the second person perspective (“you”) or switch back and forth between “I” and “you.” Use the first person perspective (“I”) throughout your entire essay.

Step 2 Begin with an engaging sentence that gets right into your story.

  • Jump right in. One way to begin a story is to immediately begin describing something that happened, even if it happened in the middle of your story. You might start with something like, “There I was, standing in front of the entire 10th grade reading a story I had written.” [11] X Research source
  • You can start writing your draft in any order that you like, but then remember to organize the completed story in the proper order.

Step 3 Describe the setting.

  • Say something tantalizing to your reader. For example, you might start with something like, "I never expected to be as happy as I was on that day." Or, "Many things have happened to me in my life, but this was the worst.” Just make sure that the opening fits with your topic.
  • Avoid beginnings that are too general or broad. Never open with, “Since the dawn of time…” This type of opening does not help your reader understand what your story is about. "Too general" openings are boring as well. [13] X Research source
  • Avoid opening with a quote, unless it is meaningful to you and crucial to your story. If you want to include a meaningful quote in your autobiographical essay, it should have something to do with your story. You should talk about what it means to you when you provide it.

Step 4 Transition from the introduction into your story.

  • You might say something like, “Under these circumstances, I began the most challenging year of my life.” Or, “Before this happened, I had no idea that I could do something so huge.” Choose a transition that fits your introduction and that will connect with the ideas in your next paragraph.

Step 5 Tell your story.

  • Talk about why this story is significant to you and what you learned from it. [16] X Research source
  • Refer to the beginning of your story in the end by mentioning a situation or person that was central to your introduction. [17] X Research source
  • Tell your readers about something that came out of this experience that you were not expecting. [18] X Research source

Enhancing Your Essay

Step 1 Include lots of vivid details and dialogue where appropriate.

  • Instead of saying that your teacher wore a blue dress, say that it was aqua blue with white lace trim on the sleeves.
  • Instead of saying you felt nervous, describe your trembling hands, the knot in your stomach, and the weak feeling in your knees.
  • Instead of saying that you spoke to your teacher about something important, put the conversation that you had with your teacher into dialogue.

Step 2 Consider organizing your story in a non-chronological manner.

  • Use chronological organization if you want to start at the beginning and describe your story in the order that it happened.
  • Use starting in the middle organization if you want to put your readers into the midst of your story and then go back to the beginning.
  • Use starting at the end organization if you want to tell your readers how your story ended up and then explain how you got to that point.

Step 3 Be yourself.

  • Don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor, as long as you don’t think it will disrupt the tone of your essay. In other words, if you are telling a sad story, using sarcasm or making a joke about something serious might not be appropriate.

Writing Help

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Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Be concise. When writing a story about your life, it’s best to keep it simple and be straightforward. Avoid padding out your autobiographical essay with unnecessary information. Just include the most important details and describe those details well. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 0
  • Share your work with supportive friends and family. Ask for feedback on what they like and how you can improve your story. If you're a student, try asking your English teacher to help you. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 3

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About This Article

Alicia Cook

To write an autobiographical essay, choose a story from your own life that you're excited to share. Consider who your audience is when selecting a story and go with something that will appeal to them. Next, create an outline for your essay to help you organize all of your thoughts. When you're ready to get started, kick off your essay with an engaging sentence, then jump right into the action to hook your readers. Remember to write in first person and include vivid details to bring your story to life. Let your unique personality shine through! To learn how to enhance your essay by including dialogue, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How To Write An Autobiography Essay?


Table of contents

  • 1 What Is an Autobiography?
  • 2.1 Traditional Autobiography
  • 2.3 Intellectual Autobiography
  • 2.4 Spiritual Autobiography
  • 2.5 Confessional Autobiography
  • 2.6 Therapeutic Autobiography
  • 2.7 Fictionalized Autobiography
  • 3.1 What Structuring Approach to Choose?
  • 3.2 Thematic Order
  • 3.3 Reverse Chronological Order
  • 3.4 Flashback or Non-Linear Narrative
  • 3.5 Circular Narrative
  • 3.6 Epistolary Format
  • 4 How to Structure an Autobiography Essay?
  • 5 How to Title an Autobiography Essay?
  • 6.1 Identifying Key Life Events
  • 6.2 Theme and Narrative Arc
  • 6.3 Balancing Facts and Reflections
  • 6.4 Enhancing Your Essay with Dialogues
  • 6.5 Connecting to the Reader
  • 6.6 Honesty and Vulnerability
  • 7 Examples of Autobiography
  • 8 Bottom Line

When you start writing an autobiography essay, it simultaneously opens doors to your past, present, and future. Indeed, it’s an opportunity to delve into your experiences, emotions, and reflections, weaving them into a compelling narrative that resonates with readers. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or new to personal storytelling, the task may seem daunting. However, composing your life’s narrative can be enriching and fulfilling with the right approach.

In this article, you will find answers:

  • What types of autobiography essays exist;
  • How to write an autobiography;
  • What is the basic essay about yourself.

Let’s embark on this transformative journey together, unlocking the art of autobiographical storytelling.

What Is an Autobiography?

  • Definition and purpose: An autobiography essay is a narrative account of one’s life, exploring significant events, experiences, and reflections. Its purpose varies from personal self-reflection to academic assignments, memoir writing, or sharing insights with a broader audience. Thus, storytelling aims to convey a deeper understanding of oneself and the journey traversed.
  • Audience Consideration: Knowing your audience is paramount to crafting an effective autobiographical essay. Consider whether you’re writing for academic evaluation, personal introspection, or professional sharing. Besides, tailoring your narrative to suit your audience’s expectations, interests, and background enhances engagement and ensures your message resonates effectively.
  • Tone and Style: An autobiography essay’s choice of tone and style depends on its purpose and audience. First, consistency is key to adopting a formal, informal, or narrative tone. Also, reflect on the mood you wish to convey and the emotions associated with your experiences. It helps connect with readers and immerse them in your narrative journey.
  • Reflective Writing: Integrating personal reflections is at the heart of an autobiography essay. It involves introspection, analysis, and interpretation of life events through analogy , highlighting their significance in shaping one’s identity and worldview. Moreover, reflective writing adds depth and authenticity to your narrative, fostering a deeper understanding of oneself and fostering empathy among readers.

Essentially, an essay is your honest dialogue with the readers. To add more engagement, sometimes, you can use an informal style . This way, you can connect with the readers using a conversational tone and no specific structure ─ only your ideas and reflections.

Autobiography Types

The captivating allure of autobiographical writing lies in its intimate exploration of lived experiences. But within this seemingly singular genre, a vibrant tapestry of distinct “essay types” exists, each offering unique approaches to self-narration and ways to start an autobiography. Let’s unravel the threads of these captivating forms:

Traditional Autobiography

This type of personal autobiography tells us the story from birth to the present, typically chronologically. It delves into various facets of the author’s life, including childhood, family, education, career, relationships, and significant life events. Additionally, its breadth offers a panoramic view of the author’s journey, providing readers with a thorough understanding of their life story.

More focused than a traditional autobiography of yourself, a memoir centers around a specific theme, period, or aspect of the author’s life. It emphasizes personal reflections, emotions, and insights over a strict chronological recounting of events. By honing in on particular experiences, memoirs offer deeper insights into the author’s psyche and the lessons learned from pivotal moments.

Intellectual Autobiography

This genre focuses on the evolution of the author’s thoughts, beliefs, and intellectual pursuits. It explores how various experiences, books, and interactions have shaped the author’s worldview and philosophy. Thus, academic philosophers or thinkers often penned intellectual autobiographies, offering readers a profound journey through the author’s intellectual growth.

Spiritual Autobiography

This genre may involve experiences of conversion, enlightenment, or a deepening of faith. While common in religious contexts, spiritual autobiographies can also encompass non-religious spiritual experiences, providing readers with insights into the author’s quest for meaning and transcendence. Don’t forget about the topic sentence as well.

Confessional Autobiography

This genre focuses on confessing and reflecting upon personal mistakes, struggles, or failures. Accordingly, it often adopts a tone of redemption or lessons learned. Besides, confessional autobiographies can be cathartic for the author and inspirational for readers navigating challenges. Thus, if you want to motivate readers to overcome some difficulties, you can write an autobiography about yourself and offer readers glimpses into the author’s vulnerabilities and triumphs.

Therapeutic Autobiography

Therapeutic autobiographies involve writing about traumatic or significant life events to process and understand them better. While not always intended for publication, these narratives serve as a means of personal growth and healing, empowering authors to reclaim their narratives, find solace in storytelling, and hook a reader.

Fictionalized Autobiography

This genre draws inspiration from the author’s life but incorporates fictional elements, altered events, or imagined characters. Indeed, fictionalized autobiographies offer creative freedom and allow authors to explore themes that might be difficult to address directly, providing a captivating blend of truth and imagination.

Need help with essay writing? Get your paper written by a professional writer Get Help 4.9/5

Composing an Autobiography About Myself Essay Outline

Crafting an essay structure provides a roadmap for students to a comprehensive autobiographical essay outline. Moreover, it helps organize thoughts and ensures a cohesive narrative flow.

What Structuring Approach to Choose?

Choosing the right essay outline approach while writing an autobiography about yourself is crucial. While chronological order is straightforward, other methods like thematic or narrative structures offer unique perspectives and deeper insights into your life story.

Thematic Order

Writing an autobiography around central themes or subjects rather than time is the simplest way to create an autobiography essay. For example, if you’ve had a life-long passion for music, you could structure your story around music’s role at different stages of your life. Consequently, this approach allows you to delve deeply into how specific themes have influenced your development and worldview. If you need some help with the beginning, find hook examples .

Reverse Chronological Order

If you want to make your essay more engaging, you can use this method. Accordingly, write an autobiography starting from the present and working backward. It can be intriguing as it starts with who you are now and gradually reveals how you got there. For instance, you could begin with your current career achievements and then trace back to your education and early influences. Thus, this method can create suspense and a sense of discovery for the reader.

Flashback or Non-Linear Narrative

This method will help you to create a nonstandard essay. For example, when you write an autobiography essay, begin with a significant event and then use flashbacks to provide context and background. It can create a dramatic effect and draw readers in by immediately immersing them in a pivotal moment. After the initial event, you can jump around in time to slowly unravel the story and its implications.

Circular Narrative

Another way to make an engaging essay is by using a circular narrative approach when you plan your essay . For example, students who start and end with the same scene or theme create a circular journey. Thus, this technique can emphasize personal growth or resolving crucial life challenges. For instance, you might start with a scene of you running in a marathon, then recount how you became a runner, and conclude with the same marathon scene, now imbued with deeper meaning. Besides, you can find more autobiography examples for students on the Internet.

Epistolary Format

You may think that this method is only suitable for fiction books. However, it works just as well with autobiographical student essays. For this purpose, try to write your life story through letters, diary entries, or emails. It can provide a personal and intimate feel, and the chronological order can be varied to convey your story best. If you need help, you can always order essay online .


How to Structure an Autobiography Essay?

When you Google: “ autobiography of myself as a student, ” you can find the answer varies depending on the individual’s experiences and storytelling style. However, the following autobiography format is commonly used among students.

The “autobiography about yourself” format is simple and similar to any other type of essay. There are no strict limitations or requirements, but certain considerations should be considered.

Each body paragraph should focus on one event or story, maintaining a clear and well-structured path through the paper. Moreover, providing details and writing with clarity is essential, as readers need background information, context, and character relationships to engage fully.

Although not strictly chronological, the essay should have a logical structure, allowing retrospections and flashbacks to flow smoothly. Transitioning between paragraphs should be seamless to maintain coherence and clarity.


Crafting an engaging introduction sets the tone for the essay and presents the thesis, or central theme. Accordingly, it should capture the reader’s attention and provide a glimpse into the unfolding story. Thus, start an autobiography essay with interesting facts about yourself.

Body Paragraphs:

Structuring body paragraphs involves developing the narrative, providing vivid details, and ensuring coherence. For this purpose, each paragraph should contribute to the overarching story while focusing on the chosen themes or events.


If you use transitions between different stages or events in the story when writing an autobiographical essay, the essay becomes flow and coherent. Likewise, transition words and phrases help guide readers through the narrative, ensuring a seamless reading experience.

Autobiography conclusion:

To end an autobiography, you must summarize the main autobiography ideas presented in the essay and may offer insights or reflections on the author’s experiences. It should be concise and impactful, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.

While these components are typical of autobiographical writing, the order and emphasis may vary depending on the author’s preferences and storytelling approach. Ultimately, the goal is to create a cohesive autobiography narrative that engages readers and offers insight into the author’s life journey.

After writing, you need to revise and polish the essay . Also, don’t forget about punctuation rules .

How to Title an Autobiography Essay?

In autobiography writing, there are no rules for beginning at a certain point; some students prefer to write the title first, and others leave the tasks to the end. How to begin an autobiographical essay depends on the writer, but one of the most important things, regardless of its order, is a good title.

The key points to consider when titling an autobiography are:

  • Keeping the title short and precise.
  • Make it as engaging as possible.
  • Don’t include every keyword you chose in this part.

Some good title examples are:

  • The Moment That Changed It All.
  • My First Day at the Office Taught Me 4 Things.
  • Surviving College.

Tips on Writing Autobiographical Essay

Crafting a compelling autobiographical essay requires careful consideration and skillful storytelling. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process and create a captivating narrative that resonates with readers.

Identifying Key Life Events

Identify key events or periods that have shaped who you are today. These could be moments of triumph, struggle, growth, or transformation. For this purpose, choose events that are significant to your personal development and contribute to the overarching narrative of your story.

Theme and Narrative Arc

Find a central theme or narrative arc that ties your story together. It could be a journey of self-discovery, resilience in the face of adversity, or pursuing a lifelong passion. Thus, a clear theme will help guide your storytelling and give your essay depth and coherence.

Balancing Facts and Reflections

Strike a balance between storytelling and personal reflections. While providing factual details and descriptions is important, remember to infuse your narrative with insights and reflections that add depth and meaning to your experiences. As a rule, you should use storytelling techniques such as vivid imagery, sensory details, and emotional resonance to bring your story to life.

Enhancing Your Essay with Dialogues

Consider incorporating dialogues into your narrative to add authenticity and depth. No doubt, dialogues can bring characters to life, provide insight into relationships, and create moments of tension or intimacy. Use dialogues sparingly and strategically to enhance the overall impact of your essay.

Connecting to the Reader

Make your story relatable and engaging by connecting with the reader personally. For instance, share universal truths, emotions, and experiences that resonate with a broader audience. Plus, use descriptive language, vivid anecdotes, and heartfelt reflections to draw readers into your world and make them feel invested in your journey.

Honesty and Vulnerability

Be honest and vulnerable in your narrative, openly sharing your triumphs and struggles. Accordingly, you can embrace vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness, and show humility in recounting your experiences. Besides, authenticity fosters empathy and connection with readers, making your story more impactful and memorable.


Examples of Autobiography

Reading other autobiographies can provide valuable insights into various narrative techniques, styles, and content choices. By exploring how different authors have structured their life stories, you can gain inspiration for your autobiography. For instance, “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank offers a poignant perspective through diary entries, while “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela provides a comprehensive look at political struggle and personal growth.

Other notable examples of autobiographies:

  • “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama: A memoir by the former U.S. President exploring his early years, his journey of racial identity, and his start in politics.
  • “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway: Hemingway’s memoir of his years as a young writer in Paris in the 1920s, filled with insights into his creative process and portraits of other famous contemporaries.
  • “Educated” by Tara Westover: A recent memoir that has gained significant attention, it tells the story of Westover’s upbringing in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho, her self-education, and her eventual escape to study at Cambridge and Harvard.
  • “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt: A Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir detailing McCourt’s impoverished childhood in Ireland and his family’s struggles with poverty and alcoholism.

Bottom Line

When you write an autobiography about yourself, you must reflect on the key takeaways. Thus, embracing authenticity, selecting significant life events, and weaving them into a cohesive narrative is paramount. Your story becomes compelling and relatable by finding a central theme or narrative arc, balancing facts with reflections, and connecting with readers personally. Additionally, honesty and vulnerability are your allies in engaging readers and leaving a lasting impact. Therefore, conclude an autobiography with these insights and embark on your journey of self-discovery through storytelling, knowing that your autobiographical essays for college can inspire and resonate with others. Feel free to use a professional essay service if you need some help with the essay.

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autobiography for university

How to Write an Autobiography Essay: Guide for College Students

So what is an autobiography essay? It is a paper based on your own personal knowledge that usually dwells upon one episode that had a major influence on one’s personality or worldview. It might be a part of a usual assignment or a necessary part of a college application. In any case, it is something you are sharing to present some personal qualities or make an interesting outcome. It might seem very simple to write about yourself at first glance, however, it takes a lot of skill and planning to select the subject and display it in the best possible way. Some people find writing an autobiography essay even more complicated than any other paper as there is a lot of freedom regarding the subject and there are always worries about not being too self-involved. This article on how to write an autobiography essay will help you complete a flawless and powerful paper.

Autobiography Essay Format

Considering planning a paper, an outline is one of the fundamental parts. You need to have a draft plan for the work’s structure. Not only does it provide a coherent order to your reflections, but it also makes a paper more readable and easy to follow. The first thing to do before starting on your own paper is to find inspiration. You can ask for some illustrations from your professor, or look for them online – there are many good presentations on the internet. An autobiography essay is not a story of one’s life; it usually concerns one event or experience that is worth sharing. An event that had an influence on the person who lived it through, and can provide a meaningful message to the reader.

How Do You Structure an Autobiography?

Generally, an autobiography essay outline follows the common framework of any essay, meaning a five-paragraph paper. It shouldn’t be very long; however, you may change the standard outline according to your needs. It might be closer to a narrative paper, but remember to use the first-person narration, as it is not fiction. It is not a short story, it is a personal essay.

When planning an outline consider the story and how it can be presented, how many paragraphs do you need and what are the demands to an assignment. It might be a good point to include a plot twist. However, you can never go wrong with a well-proven traditional structure.

How to Title an Autobiography Essay?

There is no right or wrong time for choosing the title for life story. Some start with it, others do it in the end, it is totally up to you. A title can be creative if you want but it should be appealing, intriguing and deal with the main point of your paper.

The tips on how to write a title vary, but the main aspects are:

  • It shouldn’t be very long;
  • Do not try to include all the key points in a title;
  • You may use puns for a comedy effect if it is appropriate;
  • Make it engaging for a reader.

You can look through creative titles about yourself online and use them as a basis for your thought process. However, do not use someone’s idea as your own as it won’t represent your writing.

Here are some autobiography titles ideas that might inspire you:

  • Driving Exam that Almost Drove me Crazy;
  • Living Through a Happy Accident;
  • What My First Job Taught Me;
  • The Day that Changed it All;
  • Surviving High-School Graduation.

The choice of a title is completely up to you as long as it is made in accordance with the assignment’s requirements.

How to Start an Autobiography Essay?

Before you start writing, brainstorm and choose an incident you want to depict. It must be relevant and have something to tell the reader. Create an outline and follow a coherent way to describe it. The first sentence of an autobiography paper must be attention-grabbing and interesting. You might as well start right with the story instead of putting a long autobiography introduction. Underline the main idea of your writing and what is going to be disclosed.

There are several good ways to start an autobiography, such as to start in the middle of a setting, “Here I was standing in front of the whole group with my presentation.” Another way is to add a little bit of suspense, like “I never knew that such a simple thing as going to a vet with my dog can change my whole perspective”.

An autobiography essay introduction doesn’t have to be very long. Underline the main point, create a setting or go directly to the events that inspired you. A good idea is to use a non-chronological order in the description of events to make the story more interesting. It is also crucial to have a nice transition to the main part; it can be a sentence like, “I’d never expected that what was coming next would be the most important day of my life.”

How to End an Autobiography Essay?

Autobiography conclusions are as essential as the beginning, as they sum up the story, tie the ends together and make a meaningful impact on the reader. How to end an autobiography in a stylish and exciting way? First of all, conclude what has been stated before and focus on why it is important, what was the influence on your life and what conclusion did you make from this experience. Refer to the significance and make a connection to the beginning. Describe the central person in the story if there had been one. It is also great if you tell what was so unexpected for you and what this event has taught you about yourself or the world around you.

If the story was non-chronological, make sure that by the end of an autobiographical essay it all comes together as one comprehensive piece. Check one more time if it is easy to follow and creates a vivid picture in the reader’s mind.

autobiography for university

Extra Tips on How to Write a Good Autobiography Essay

Writing an autobiography essay can be challenging as it deals with the introspective process and makes us learn about ourselves more. It is important not only to follow formatting requirements but also to create a living picture of an event that the reader can re-live. Some students choose to use a fast essay writing service to help them with this assignment and it is only understandable.

Here are some more tips for writing an excellent autobiography narrative essay:

  • Select an event you are excited to tell about, it will make it more engaging and easy to write;
  • Think about the audience of your paper, who will read it and what they might be interested in;
  • Use a first-person narration to underline your perspective;
  • Be sincere and be yourself. After all, this is your life you are writing about. Even a negative experience can teach us a lot;
  • Understand the purpose of your work – what is the key point you are making? What is the question you are trying to answer?
  • When writing an autobiography essay always check the demands of the assignment. An application and a college task have different purposes. Be sure you know all the guidelines;
  • Don’t forget to describe the setting and add some vivid details to make the story more interesting and create a picture in the reader’s mind;
  • After you are done, take some time to proofread your text. Here are some useful proofreading tips that might help you to check your writing and make sure it is flawless.

Autobiography Essay Example/Autobiography Sample Essay

Here is a short excerpt from an autobiography essay:

“When I was growing up I had never wanted to be a teacher unlike many of my peers. However, one day what promised to be a normal Monday changed my whole perspective. I was in high school at that time, and we went with my mother to visit a college to find out more about the programs I might follow in the future. We were lucky to visit a lecture by a physics professor and I thought it might be boring at first. Little did I know, this lecture was the most important hour in my life.

It was a nice sunny day and the campus looked great, there were lots of students and they all seemed so adult to me. It also was unbelievable that soon I might be one of these intelligent and nice people. We were welcomed and had a great excursion over the campus and the main building and now it was the time to visit a lecture.”

It is an example that shows how to complete an introduction and connect it to the main part. Here are many other autobiography essay examples that you can read and use as an outline for inspiration.

When working on a personal essay it is important to spend a lot of time planning and selecting a subject. Find an event that was significant for you that can present your worldview or unique experience. Create an outline and take enough time to draft ideas and think on how to present a story.

Remember to be frank about what you are writing, do not make fiction as it is inappropriate. Show what you’ve learned and focus on it in the conclusion.

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autobiography for university

Autobiography Essay | Overview, Techniques & Examples

Juliann Urban has taught high school English and has previously held the positions of English tutor for at-risk high school students and lead teacher at a private K-12 tutoring center. She holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in secondary education from Governors State University, an associate in arts degree from Moraine Valley Community College, and a professional educator license with senior high and middle school language arts endorsements.

Bryanna has received both her BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing. She has been a writing tutor for over six years.

How do you write an autobiography essay?

To write an autobiography essay, choose one aspect of your life about which to write. Use the first-person point of view, write in a narrative style, and include only relevant details. The essay should contain an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

How do you start an autobiography about yourself?

An autobiography should begin with a catchy introduction, one that captures the attention of the reader. This could be a rhetorical question, a quote or something that someone said, foreshadowing the end of the story, or briefly describing the most interesting part of the story that will be expanded on later.

Table of Contents

What is autobiographical writing, how to write an autobiography essay, autobiography essay techniques, example of an autobiography essay, lesson summary.

What is autobiographical writing? Biographies and autobiographies are two types of nonfiction writing. Unlike fiction, nonfiction is about true events. A biography is a written account of someone's life. The biography A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar recounts the life of the renowned mathematician John Nash who also suffered from schizophrenia. An autobiography is a written account about one's own life. "Long Walk to Freedom" is an autobiography by human rights activist and former South African president, Nelson Mandela. In it, he recounts his early life, education, activism, imprisonment, and eventual triumph.

To remember the difference between a biography and an autobiography, it helps to remember that the prefix auto comes from a Greek word meaning "self," as in the word automatic which means "self-acting."

What is an autobiography essay? An autobiographical essay is similar to other essays that are written for academic purposes, but instead of writing about a novel or a historical event, the writer's life is the essay's topic. An autobiographical essay is much shorter than an autobiographical book that often recounts a person's entire life. In an autobiographical essay, the writer usually focuses on one personal experience. The essay is written using first-person point of view, meaning the writer uses pronouns such as I , me , and my . This makes sense given that the writer is recounting personal experiences. Although an autobiographical essay should be factually accurate in recounting experiences, the essay should still contain elements of creative writing that make it interesting to read. The essay should be organized and include an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Autobiographical essays are sometimes referred to as autobiographical statements on college admissions or job applications. However, the format and instructions for writing an autobiographical statement are similar to the autobiographical essay.

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  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:57 Writing Guidelines
  • 1:50 Examples
  • 5:11 Lesson Summary

How does one write an autobiography essay? There are certain principles and steps to follow when writing an autobiographical essay. First, the writer should choose one personal experience, set of experiences, or aspect of his or her life to give the essay a specific focus. This should be an experience that stands out, one that shaped the writer into the person he or she became. Second, only include details that are relevant to the essay's focus and use clear, concise language. If the essay's topic is about how a near-death experience as a teen gave the writer a new appreciation for life, the writer should not include any unrelated details like who his kindergarten teacher was. Third, the essay should be written in a narrative style. That is to say, it should read like an interesting story even though the events are true. Fourth, chronological order is usually the best method for organizing the events recounted in the essay. Begin with the first thing that happened and end with the last.

Steps for Writing an Autobiographical Essay:

  • Define the purpose, topic, and audience. Why is this essay being written— for a class assignment, a college admissions essay, a job application? What is the topic— is it narrow enough, is it interesting, is it important? Who will be reading it— a teacher, readers of the school newspaper, a prospective employer?
  • Brainstorm topics and make an outline. There are several methods of brainstorming including making lists and using graphic organizers. Once a topic is chosen, make an essay outline that includes the important details of the experience that will be recounted in the essay. The outline should have an introduction, body paragraphs (three paragraphs is conventional), and a conclusion like a standard essay. The introduction should introduce the topic, the story of the experience should be told in the body paragraphs, and the conclusion should summarize why the experience was important or impactful in the life of the writer.
  • Write the first draft, or version, of the essay using the outline as a guide. The purpose of a first draft is to get the writer's ideas into an essay format. The first draft reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the essay's topic. Spelling and grammar are secondary at this point in the writing process.
  • Edit and revise the first draft. Editing includes correcting spelling and grammar mistakes, but it also includes adding and deleting ideas or sections of the essay. Write additional drafts as necessary until the essay is polished.

Using certain autobiography techniques can make an ordinary essay into an extraordinary essay. Beginning the essay with a compelling or catchy introduction is one technique. An essay that immediately captures the reader's attention or piques their interest will stand out and compel the reader to keep reading. This can be done in a variety of ways: ask a rhetorical question; quote someone; foreshadow the end of the "story" that will be told in the essay or the lesson learned from the experience; briefly describe the most interesting, exciting, or crazy bit of the story.

Another technique that will improve the essay is using emotionally expressive language . When describing situations and experiences, use words that convey to the reader what the writer (you) was feeling at the time. This helps the reader to become emotionally invested in the story, to feel the same feelings.

Though they are more often thought of as creative writing techniques, character development and dialogue are important in an autobiographical essay, which essentially tells a story. Obviously, the "characters" in this type of writing are real people, but it is important to impart the essence of the important people mentioned in the essay to make the reader feel like he or she knows who they are and what they are about. Character development can be achieved through descriptions of a person's appearance, actions, and dialogue. Dialogue is a conversation or the things that people say, which often reveals a lot about a person.

The use of retrospective lessons is a technique that helps readers become invested in the essay. Retrospective lessons are lessons that are learned afterward when looking back upon incidents. Two well-known writers, Call of the Wild author Jack London and Go Tell it on the Mountain author James Baldwin , use this technique in their autobiographies.

A photo of Jack London published in 1916

Jack London reflects on extreme poverty that surrounded him as a child and how it forced him to realize the simplicity of humans— food and shelter are our most important priorities in his autobiography What Life Means to Me . To get food and shelter, people sell things, be it merchandise, their trust, their honor, or their bodies. James Baldwin reflects on the bad relationship he had with his father in one of his autobiographical essays in a collection called Notes of a Native Son . After his father died, he wished he had done something to improve their relationship.

A photo of James Baldwin taken in 1974

Below is an excerpt from the first chapter of Life , an autobiography by Keith Richards of the band the Rolling Stones. Though not an example of an autobiography essay, it contains many of the elements discussed above such as beginning with a catchy introduction that foreshadows a later event, first-person point of view, concise language, and a narrative style.

Why did we stop at the 4-Dice Restaurant in Fordyce, Arkansas, for lunch on Independence Day weekend? On any day? Despite everything I knew from ten years of driving through the Bible Belt. Tiny town of Fordyce. Rolling Stones on the police menu across the United States. Every copper wanted to bust us by any means available, to get promoted and patriotically rid of these little fairy Englishmen. It was 1975, a time of brutality and confrontation. Open season on the Stones had been declared since our last tour, the tour of '72, known as STP. The State Department had noted the riots (true), civil disobedience (also true), ... and violence across the united States. All the fault of us, mere minstrels. We had been inciting youth to rebellion, we were corrupting America, and they had ruled never to let us travel in the United States again.

An autobiography is a written account about one's own life. It is a type of nonfiction writing, meaning it is about true events. An autobiographical essay is an essay in which the writer's life is the topic of the essay. Autobiographical essays usually focus on one aspect of the writer's life; use first-person point of view through pronouns like I and me ; include an introduction, body, and conclusion; include only relevant details and concise language; use a narrative style; and organize the events in chronological order.

The steps to follow when writing an autobiographical essay are to define the purpose, topic, and audience; brainstorm topics and create an outline; write the first draft of the essay using the outline; and edit and revise the essay. Some techniques that may be incorporated are beginning with a catchy introduction that grabs the reader's attention, using emotionally expressive language that convey what the writer was feeling at the time, proper character development that helps the reader to become acquainted with the people mentioned in the essay, relaying dialogue or things that people said, and including retrospective lessons or lesson learned when looking back upon incidents as Jack London and James Baldwin do in their autobiographies.

Video Transcript

Unlike a biography , which is a true account of someone else's life, an autobiography is a focused account of a writer's life told from the writer's own point of view. Autobiographies fall into the nonfiction category.

Autobiographies are typically written in the first person , and use the pronoun, 'I', which makes it easier for the writer to reflect upon and provide some perspective on life events.

Although autobiographical essays can be an abbreviated summary of an entire life, they usually focus on a certain accomplishment or experience. Their purpose is to educate, entertain or illustrate lessons learned retrospectively. As works of nonfiction, autobiographical essays are expected to be accurate, as well as creative and expressive, so that readers remain interested. Readers will only care about the writer's life if he or she is emotionally invested.

Writing Guidelines

When writing an autobiographical essay, either for a class or for potential publication, there are three basic criteria to keep in mind.

First, because an essay is shorter than a novel, focus on one aspect of your life, such as a job, your family or the loss of a loved one, and dig into it. Use the essay to embrace mistakes and show readers what you have learned.

Second, make your writing clear and focused, and only include those details essential to your story. For example, if you're writing about your marriage, do not go onto a tangent about your childhood pet.

Third, keep in mind that, even though you are writing about true events, the essay should still read like a story. Start with a catchy lead-in, develop your characters and plot and finish with an ending that leaves readers thinking.

After gaining literary fame, Jack London published an autobiographical essay in which he describes the struggles he faced growing up with no means and lofty ambitions, entitled 'What Life Means to Me', written in 1905. Let me read you an excerpt.

'…I was down in the cellar of society, down in the subterranean depths of misery about which it is neither nice nor proper to speak. I was in the pit, the abyss, the human cesspool, the shambles and the charnel-house of our civilization. This is the part of the edifice of society that society chooses to ignore. Lack of space compels me here to ignore it, and I shall say only that the things I there saw gave me a terrible scare.

I was scared into thinking. I saw the naked simplicities of the complicated civilization in which I lived. Life was a matter of food and shelter. In order to get food and shelter, men sold things. The merchant sold shoes, the politician sold his manhood, and the representative of the people, with exceptions, of course, sold his trust; while nearly all sold their honor. Women, too, whether on the street or in the holy bond of wedlock, were prone to sell their flesh. All things were commodities, all people bought and sold…'

By writing about his past self, London was able to reflect on his struggles and the horrid conditions forced upon the lower class. Notice how London dissects his emotions, such as his fear and repulsion when confronted with poverty. Instead of just writing 'I was poor,' he paints a picture of poverty and helps readers understand his emotional state.

Another famous American writer and social critic, James Baldwin, published several autobiographical essays in his 1955 collection, Notes of a Native Son . In his title essay, Baldwin unearths painful memories about his deceased father. Here's an excerpt:

'…I had not known my father very well. We had got on badly, partly because we shared, in our different fashions, the vice of stubborn pride. When he was dead I realized that I had hardly ever spoken to him. When he had been dead a long time I began to wish I had. It seems to be typical of life in America, where opportunities, real and fancied, are thicker than anywhere else on the globe, that the second generation has no time to talk to the first. No one, including my father, seems to have known exactly how old he was, but his mother had been born during slavery. He was of the first generation of free men. He, along with thousands of other Negroes, came North after 1919 and I was part of that generation which had never seen the landscape of what Negroes sometimes call the Old Country…'

In his essay, Baldwin reflected upon his and his father's broken relationship. Fueled by hatred and paranoia that originated from a dark past, Baldwin's father pushed the writer away. When his father died, Baldwin lost all chance of mending the relationship. By using expressive language, Baldwin not only engages readers, but also helps them become emotionally invested in his loss.

An autobiographical essay is a work of nonfiction about a writer's own life, typically told in the first person.

Although the story must be accurate and true, the use of creative writing techniques, such as expressive language, engages readers and helps them become emotionally invested in the story.

Guidelines to writing the autobiographical story include a clear and concise approach to a specific aspect of your life. Catchy introductions, an interesting plot, well-developed characters and a thought-provoking conclusion are also important. Popular autobiographical essays, such as 'What Life Means to Me' by Jack London, and 'Notes of a Native Son' by James Baldwin, relied upon emotionally expressive language and lessons learned in hindsight, which made them of interest and relevant to readers.

Learning Outcomes

When you're through with the video lesson on autobiographical essays, test your readiness to:

  • Differentiate between a biography and an autobiography
  • Present the guidelines for writing an autobiographical essay
  • Recognize examples of autobiographical essays

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20+ Student Biography Examples

Welcome to the world of students! We have created an amazing collection of 30 student biography examples to help you write your own.

As a student, you are likely to be writing a variety of biographical pieces. Whether you are writing a personal profile for your CV, a biography for an awards application or a biography for a college admissions essay, it’s important that you construct an interesting and engaging narrative of who you are.

Student Biography Examples

1. Growing up I was always interested in the sciences and technology. In high school, I excelled in math and science classes, which led me to pursue a degree in engineering. I went on to earn my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and am currently working on my Master’s in Civil Engineering. After I finish my degree, I plan to use my knowledge to help improve infrastructure in developing countries.

2. Since a young age, I have been passionate about helping people in need. During college, I decided to focus my studies on sociology and political science. I used my knowledge to take action and participated in several non-profit organizations to promote social justice. With the help of internships, I have also gained experience in policy development and public relations. I’m currently working on a graduate degree in Social Work and aim to eventually work for the United Nations .

4. I never thought that I had the ability to become a professional photographer, but my high school photography teacher pushed me to pursue my dreams. I learned how to use a variety of cameras, develop photographs, and post-process my images. I continued my photography studies at college, where I gained additional knowledge in studio lighting and digital editing. I was even able to gain experience in the fashion industry, interning for a well-known photographer . Today, I am working as an event photographer, documenting weddings, reunions, and corporate events.

5. When I was younger I was passionate about art, which prompted me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. During college, I was able to gain experience as a studio assistant and also learn various digital and traditional art techniques. With the help of a scholarship, I was able to travel to various countries and learn even more about different art styles. After graduation, I started working as a freelance artist and have been able to produce several commissioned artworks and pieces.

7. I have been involved in theater since I was a young child. During my high school years, I focused on honing my abilities through various extracurricular activities. I was able to gain valuable experience by participating in multiple productions and I even gained a scholarship for theater. I attended college to study Musical Theater and continued to foster my talent. With help from internships and workshops, I was able to build additional experience and formed a touring theater company with some of my colleagues.

8. From an early age, I was interested in the environment and the outdoors. I spent a lot of time reading environmental books and researching environmental issues. This passion inspired me to major in Environmental Science in college. I’ve gained valuable experience through various internships and part-time jobs. With the help of my degree, I’ve been able to work on several conservation projects and hope to soon work for a non-profit organization focused on sustainability.

9. When I graduated high school I wanted to focus my career on the medical field. After much research, I decided to major in Biomedical Engineering. During my time in college, I was able to gain a valuable experience by interning as a research assistant. I have been able to learn more about medical technology and have been able to contribute to various projects. I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and plan to continue my research in the field and eventually work for a healthcare company.

10. I have always had an interest in fashion and design, so when the time came to decide my career path it made sense to pursue design. During college, I was able to study many aspects of fashion and gain experience through various internships. I was also able to travel to other countries to observe trends and learn about different cultures. With my degree, I am currently working as a fashion designer and I plan to continue to use my creative eye to come up with innovative and stylish designs.

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Home » Blog » How to Write an Autobiography in 31 Steps

How to Write an Autobiography in 31 Steps



If you’re thinking about writing an autobiography, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will be telling you all about how to write an autobiography – breaking it down and helping you along with the process.

1. What is an Autobiography?

So you want to know how to write an autobiography? First off, let’s start with what an autobiography is. Put simply, a biography is a book written about someone’s life. It includes all elements of their life, particularly featuring any significant events that took place.

The word ‘autobiography’ is made up of the two Greek words ‘autos’ and ‘bios’, meaning self and life. Put them together and you get a book that is a mix of who you are, and the life you have lived.

2. Memoir vs. Autobiography

Before you start any kind of writing process, it is important to know what kind of a book it is you are wanting to write. There is no way to know how to write an autobiography if you can’t distinguish the two. Memoir and autobiography are often plumped into the same genre, because they are both about someone’s life.

But they are two genres of their own. So here’s the difference:

It’s pretty simple – if the book is about the person’s entire life – it’s an autobiography; if it’s about one or two events, themes or memories within their life, it’s a memoir .

Knowing the difference will save you time and energy. It will also help you to shape and plan your book (if that’s your style).

You can always change your mind and switch genres, but at least you will know what you are doing and how both of them work. Whichever you choose will change a lot about your book – particularly the content you choose to include and the structure of the entire piece.

Memoir is the perfect platform to share your personal life experience, and you don’t have to share every other significant moment of your life. (A wise decision if only one really interesting thing has happened to you during your lifetime.)

Writing an autobiography is much different. While they are both to do with the author’s life, biography is more to do with what happened throughout your life.

That means all significant events from birth ’till now.

If you set out to write a biography and it turns into a memoir, this is not a problem. The problem is when you don’t know what you’re doing at all. This leads to confusion in the writing process. And a lack of professionalism outside of it.

A great way to learn how to write an autobiography is to read. A lot. Reading other autobiographies will give you an idea of which direction to go in and how this genre is structured. It can also help you to develop your style and tone of voice, and to pinpoint which writing techniques you find most effective. All good tools to have in your writing toolbox.

Here are a few examples of autobiographies you might want to read:

  • My Autobiography, Charlie Chaplin (1964)
  • The autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin
  • Long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela
  • The story of my experiments with truth, Mahatma Gandhi
  • The story of my life, Helen Keller
  • The autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley, Malcolm X
  • An Autobiography, Agatha Christie (1965))
  • The confessions of St. Augustine, Augustine of Hippo
  • Scar tissue, Anthony Kiedis, Larry Sloman
  • Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi
  • Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
  • Autobiography of a yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda

4. When to Write an Autobiography

autobiography for university

Cellini (1500-1571) wrote one of the finest autobiographies of the renaissance. He stated:

“No matter what sort he is, everyone who has to his credit what are or really seem great achievements, if he cares for truth and goodness, ought to write the story of his own life in his own hand; but no one should venture on such a splendid undertaking before he is over forty.” Cellini

Knowing how to write an autobiography can have a lot to do with your life experiences. This fact brings into question the age of the reader.

Many biographies are written later on in life, when experience has been gathered and there are many exciting moments to draw from. But this isn’t always the case.

If you are a younger writer and feel that your life has been sufficiently fantastic, or you feel a growing desire to get down all of the details of your childhood days, there is no rule that says you can’t. So don’t let others’ perceptions stop you.

Twenty-one-year-old Edouard Louis, for example, published a hugely successful fictional autobiography (aka an autofiction), The end of Eddy about his childhood and adolescence. So it is possible. Sorry Cellini.

That said, an older, more experienced writer may have an easier time writing an autobiography, simply because they have more material to draw from.

Like memoir, autobiographies tend to center around a theme, even though you are including many life events. That is because people tend to also be themed, in a way. Want to know how to start an autobiography? Thinking about theme can be a useful way in.

If you are a professional dancer, and that is the passion of your life, it makes sense that your book would also center around the theme of dancing and how you reached that success.

If you are ghostwriting for a celebrity, naturally they will be famous for something in particular.

The main theme, of course, is the person’s life. But that is not enough to sustain interest across time. So bear in mind a secondary theme that ties it all together.

If your theme or themes are relatable, then that will stand you in good stead. If you are not writing a glitzy celeb autobiography, then having a very relatable and original theme is more likely to find a readership than any other. Be careful not to choose and manufacture your theme, however. If you are meant to write an autobiography, you will likely already feel compelled to write about your life. So try not to put too much thought into it. Just keep it in mind, as it will keep you on track.

6. How to Pick a Theme

How to start an autobiography? One way is to pick a theme. And stick to it.

One way of picking a theme is to choose an aspect of your personality that you feel is awesome and make that your sole focus. Maybe you’re great at maths, for example. Perhaps you made it to the world championships on mathematics or something. That would be a story worth telling.

Another is to look at your philosophy in life and make that the focal point of your book. Showing your values throughout the book can inspire and uplift the reader as it can show a good example of a life well-lived. It also reveals quite clearly who you are as a person, without you having to explicitly spell it out.

A third would be to consider the things that are most important to you in your life and to make a reference to these as you work your way through each significant event mentioned in your book. (This works especially well if you are writing an autobiography for those who know you.)

7. Exceptions

You might also be wanting to know how to write an autobiography, because you want to share your story with your family. This is an admirable reason to write a story. It means that your family will always have a special connection to you through story, no matter what. It also means that generations to come will have that link to their own past and history.

From that sense, everybody should write one!

This kind of story can even be compiled as an oral history of your families’ history and lives, which makes for an extremely personal keepsake.

Autobiographies are sometimes written in short form, as essays for college assignments. This is a similar exercise to writing a full book , but in a condensed format.

Another form of autobiography is as an autofiction. This book is based mostly upon autobiographical content, but is also a work of fiction. This is an easy way of avoiding any concerns you might have about privacy. If you are wanting to distance yourself a little and take more control over the content, then this may be the way to go.

You can also consider other formats, such as writing an autobiographical graphic novel, which has the essence of cool written all over it. If you are an artist or have a passion for strong visuals, this is something to consider.

8. How to Plan

“Look for the times when your life changed the most, and when you changed the most, those are the times of peak drama in your life.” Janice Erlbaum, The Autobiographer’s Handbook

An excellent practice when learning how to start an autobiography, is to begin by writing out all of the significant events in your life. These could be anything; from graduating college, to losing your virginity, to being born. Whatever you think is most important and noteworthy, write it down.

You can later play with the order of events if you like, to shake things up a little bit,  but for now, just get anything and everything you can think of written down.

When considering how to write an autobiography, it seems to be the most natural of all genres to plan. This is because within it’s very construction there is a presumption of what it will be about: events in your life. From this sense, it is already set up for you. In some ways, this makes writing a lot easier. On the other hand, the risk that easy planning poses, is boredom. For the reader or yourself. The challenge then becomes, how to make these life events interesting and stand out. But we’ll get to that a bit later on…

Nb If you are a pantser (someone who likes to write by the seat of your pants) then you might want to skip this step. In all likelihood you have something in mind to write about, so just start there.

9. Writing Schedule

A schedule helps you to get things done. You will know what works best for you after trying a few things out. You could try planning out how much you are going to write by the hour (i.e. I will write for an hour a day, every weekday) or by word count (I will write 500 words a day). Be realistic and don’t overwhelm yourself. If you are too overambitious, you may find you end up not writing at all.

Otherwise, you could aim to write a certain section of the book per week or month if that works better for you. Because autobiography is so clearly and easily arranged into story beats (was born, had first pimple, dyed hair red etc.) organizing your writing by these events works for almost all writers, even if you are not a fan of planning.

Ask yourself the question, what’s the minimum I could manage on a regular basis? And be honest.

Everyone has their own writing style, including the way they schedule (or don’t schedule) their writing habits. So don’t ever let anyone tell you how you should be writing. It’s up to you.

10. How to Start an Autobiography

autobiography for university

Well, now you have a list of important events in your life, starting to write should be pretty straight forward. If you don’t like planning, it’s even simpler, just pinpoint a significant moment in time and get to work! If you have a plan, all you need to do is start writing out a first draft of each event.

Next up we have a few tips and tricks to get you started.

11. Go Digging

While figuring out how to write an autobiography, you will want to have everything you are writing as fresh and vivid in your mind as possible. This clarity will translate onto the page and give your readers a strong impression of each moment.

To do this, you will be wanting to dig out any old photos of you and whomever you might be writing about, and begin filing things away for each chapter or section of the book.

You also might find it beneficial to interview anyone who remembers what happened. This can bring a new light on old events. Try using a recorder or dictaphone and typing up the best bits once you’re done.

12. Fill Up Your Senses

A good way to get into the moment before a writing session is to surround yourself with the materials relating to that particular event. Look at photos or listen to recordings from around that time, and jot down any thoughts you might have about them.

You may also want to listen to some music from the time. If you have any old clothes or keepsakes from the person, you will also want them to be around or near as you write. Listen to any interviews about the time or the characters before writing.

13. Write a letter

If you’re struggling to start writing, you can try writing a letter to yourself or to other members of the family from the time. This is a very personal way of connecting with the past. Remembering your connection to your characters will help your writing to flow more easily and mean you have material to draw from before you even start writing.

14. Emotions

Writing about certain life events is likely to be emotional. Say you had a car crash when you were younger, or had to deal with some maltreatment of some kind, this will impact your writing, and how you feel about it.

It can be a difficult balance. You need to care enough about your subject matter to write it. But you don’t want your emotions to take over to the point where style and the content of your book suffers.

While feeling impassioned by your writing, it is also important to be able to step back and take a second look at your viewpoint. This may take several rewrites to get right.

If you are finding it difficult, then consider writing out as many different viewpoints of the event as you possibly can. This will open up how you see it and may even lead to an inspiring revelation for both you and your book.

15. New Insights

One of the benefits of learning how to write an autobiography, is that, as you develop as a writer, new insights will likely occur.

So while emotions can run high, it is good to know that writing about anything difficult that has happened in your life can help you psychologically.

Dr. James Pennebaker, a professor at Austin Texas university discovered that students who wrote for just fifteen minutes a day over three days about difficult or emotional experiences had a better level of wellbeing. He found that going through the process was upsetting for them, but it was the new insights the students discovered through the process of writing, that led to their improved levels of psychological health.

16. Take Care

As with memoir, if you feel that it is too much to write any subject matter, always take a break and come back to it (or not). Your mental health and general wellbeing are always more important than a book.

17. Know Your Why

Make sure that you don’t add in topics or incidents simply to vent about them. Instead, get all your feelings out about it during your first draft, and then start with a fresh perspective. If your writing is only about venting, it will not interest the reader. You may come across as petty or whiny.

Instead, you will want to make sure you can see the benefit of sharing your experiences with people. When you truly know how to write an autobiography, it should empower and enlighten people and help them connect to your story, rather than reading like an unfinished diary entry. It is perfectly acceptable for it to start out that way. But by the end of your writing process, you should be confident in the purpose of why you are writing your book, and what kind of impact it will have on its readers.

Knowing why you are writing will keep you on the right track, and help you like a compass in the storm, when you are lost.

18. Tone of Voice

An important aspect of telling your story will be your narrative style and tone of voice. This completely depends upon who you are writing for and the purpose of your book.

If you are writing for your grandchildren, for example, you may use more simplistic language. If you are writing for a broader audience, then you may use a more neutral tone. Writing for friends? You might want to use more familial or colloquial terms.

This also depends a lot on what kind of person you are, and you will want your attitude and personality to be reflected in your writing. This should happen naturally, but don’t be afraid to write as if you are talking or to use a recording device and write up your account of each chapter afterwards.

Pro tip: Relax. You won’t find your tone of voice by constantly thinking about how you might come across. Just write as you think and your natural expression will do the rest.

19. First or Third Person?

You can experiment with viewpoint as you go along, but once you have chosen, you will be wanting to stick with it. Third person gives us the feeling it has been written by someone else. So, if you are employing a ghostwriter or are working on a fictional work, then this is a good way to go.

First person is the generally accepted viewpoint for most autobiographies, because it is your story, and you are the one writing it.

20. Conflict

As you recall the people in your life, adding in any conflicts, even if they are comical, will add to the richness of the book. Conflict drives drama, intrigue and interest. And that’s what you want, if you want your book read, that is.

21. Story Arc

autobiography for university

One of the most critical components of how to write an autobiography is story arc. Like most genres of story, autobiography is no exception and will need some sort of an all-encompassing story arc. This is one of the main challenges you may face while writing this kind of book.

It simply can’t be a long list of events and then an ending. They have to all meld together cohesively in order to have some sort of an impact on your reader.

A story arc gives writers a structure, in which our main character aims to do something, and then either manages (or doesn’t) to achieve it. There are normally many obstacles in the protagonist’s way, and they must overcome them. Simply put, our main character must get from A to B. And you will need to decide at some point, what your start and end points in the story will be.

This ties into your overall message in the book. The great thing about autobiography is that it basically tells your reader who you are as a person.

You can start by making a note of your core beliefs and who you feel you are as a person before you begin. But don’t be surprised if, as you write, you reveal a value you hold that you had never especially acknowledged. This is a true gift to the reader, to leave them with your wisdom or knowledge.

Your philosophy can play a big role in the book, as it has likely led you to make certain decisions and can be featured and interlaced with certain events when your process of decision making was integral to the direction of your life.

22. Comedy and Funny Anecdotes

While you don’t want to overdo it on the comedy (unless it is a comedic autobiography, in which case, carry on!) a little comic relief can work wonders in this genre. It can lighten the mood and even make sad moments even more poignant. Funny stories specific to your family can add to the color of your characters, so they don’t fall flat .

23. Where to Begin ?

Think about when you might want to start your story. The logical point to start is from birth, but as your writing evolves over time, you may change your mind. You may want to add some perspective about your life from before you were even born. Your heritage may also be a large influence on who you are as a person today.

Once you have written a full first draft, you can consider changing around the order. Editing in this way can make for a more dynamic and varied read. If placed in the right way, you can even add in a plot twist or add to the suspense of your book.

24. Consider Your Reader

Don’t rest on your laurels. This can especially be a risk if you are writing only for friends or family. Just because someone knows you, it doesn’t mean your story will automatically become interesting to them. It will likely make it more interesting than if you were a random passerby, true. But this is not something to take for granted.

This point can be ignored during the first draft, but as you begin to develop your story, it becomes an implicit part of the process.

If you are wanting your book to sell, this becomes even more important as the reader’s interest and word of mouth can mean the difference between a book being put down or another sale.

25. How to Make Events More Colorful

Once you have written the thing, you will want to make sure that it is an interesting read. Even if you are writing just for friends and family, they will want to be excited by your life. And surely, that is why you are writing this in the first place?!

So a few tips to make sure that each story beat pops with color is to:

  • 1. Keep a notebook with you at all times for when you remember particular details about a person or place. Details will always give your story more originality and color.
  • 2. Show don’t tell – this is always relevant to any kind of writing and autobiography is no exception. Try adding in things you saw, smelt, tasted or touched within the scene. Avoid making a statement and describe what happened in the moment, instead.
  • 3. Add metaphor or simile- when describing a character or a vivid memory, don’t just describe how it looked on the surface. Unless this is not at all your writing style, you can enjoy emphasizing how something made you feel through descriptions that include metaphor. (use ext link for how to use metaphor) For example, ‘she was as fit as a fiddle’.
  • 4. Avoid common descriptive words – words such as ‘nice’ and ‘good’ should be considered with great caution once you have reached the third draft of your book.

26. Consider Your Reader

An important part of knowing how to write an autobiography, is having an awareness of the reader throughout the entire manuscript. This is not only a book for you. So don’t rest on your laurels.

This can especially be a risk if you are writing only for friends or family. Just because someone knows you, it doesn’t mean your story will automatically become interesting to them. It will likely make it more interesting than if you were a random passerby, true. But this is not something to take for granted.

Many new writers are tempted to leave in every detail of their life. But longer doesn’t always equal better – often it means that you simply haven’t cut out the parts that aren’t needed. So make sure you have your ego in check – don’t make your book too long just for the sake of it. Just because it’s interesting to you, does not mean every reader will want to know about it – family and friends included.

The average autobiography is around 75,000 words long. Much shorter than 60,000 and you might want to find other sources to write about, and any longer than 100,000, you might want to cut it down a bit.

28. Consider Privacy/Confidentiality

Much like memoir, autobiography includes characters who are real people. This means that some might be negatively affected by your work. So make sure to talk to those involved and to have an attorney at hand, just in case.

If you are unsure about leaving in their real name, it is best to give their character a pseudonym.

29. Editing

Both editing your book and getting it proofread will make or break it.

That means that you will want to find a professional editor to work with, who knows what she or he is doing. Ideally, you will want to find someone who is experienced in editing autobiography or memoir. Check that you have similar values and that you are both clear on what you are going to be working on, before you start.

30. Proofreading

Make sure that all your hard work shows. You can have a strong storyline and everything else in place, but if there’s a typo on the front cover, there is no way you will be taken seriously.

So, ask friends to check over your manuscript, or better yet, employ a few proofreaders to check it over for you. Don’t use the same editor to proofread, as they will find it more challenging to spot minute mistakes by the time they have reread the story more than once. A fresh pair of eyes will likely do a better job.

31. Autobiographies on the Shelf

The autobiographies in our bookshops today, you will notice, are mostly written by celebrities. This is because they often have interesting lives that we want to read about. They include incidents that we could never have access to otherwise, in our day to day lives.

And that’s what makes them so appealing.

Most people are not so interested in other’s lives, unless they have done something extraordinary. So if you’re thinking of writing something purely to try and get it sold, then you might want to rethink the genre you are writing in. We’re not saying it doesn’t happen that unknown authors sell a lot of autobiographies. It does. It’s just a lot less likely.

But don’t dismay, this is only a problem if that is the only reason you are writing your book. If it is because you feel impassioned to do so, then that is all the reason you need.

If it is for your friends and family to read, then you need not worry about big sales or landing a large publisher. It is so easy to self-publish these days on a relatively small budget, that you are pretty much guaranteed to achieve your aim.

If you are looking for a book deal, then you might be hard pushed, if you can’t say your life has an original element to it at all. If this is the case, consider writing a memoir , instead. There are many more memoirs written by ordinary people with extraordinary stories, than autobiographies. Because people love to hear about how ordinary people overcame the odds.

No matter what your reason, if you believe in your book enough to start writing the first page, then don’t let anyone stop you from writing the book inside of you.

So there you have it. Hopefully you will now feel confident about how to write an autobiography and ready to start. All it takes, is putting pen to paper.

Josh Fechter

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How to Start an Autobiography about Yourself: Full Guide + Autobiography Examples

You’re probably thinking: I’m no Mahatma Gandhi or Steve Jobs—what could I possibly write in my memoir? I don’t even know how to start an autobiography, let alone write the whole thing.

But don’t worry: essay writing can be easy, and this autobiography example for students is here to show you that memoir writing can be easy and even exciting. Every person, whether famous or not, is unique and has a story worth sharing. All you need to do now is scroll down the page and enjoy this amazing sample autobiography, as well as some related practical hints.

👨‍🎓️ A Student Autobiography Example

📚 more autobiography examples for students.

  • 💡 Autobiography Ideas

😕 How to Start an Autobiography

🔗 references.

An autobiography is the story of your own life . Even if you think you don’t have much to include in your memoir, you can still make it quite interesting.

Bill Gates claims that he always tries to find a lazy person to do a difficult job. Why? Because a lazy person will look for an easy way to do it! That’s why we found a lazy but smart student to write a short autobiography example, and now we’ll share the easiest ways to do it with you. Feel free to use it as an autobiography example outline .

Below is a student autobiography sample with subheadings. Remember: it doesn’t have to be exactly as shown in the examples. They’re rather to show you the right path to be moving towards. Also, if something in your writing needs fixing, don’t hesitate to use a phrase reworder .

My Childhood

Not sure how to make an autobiography introduction? Why not start from the very beginning? Writing about your early years is the easiest and most logical start for an autobiography.

I was born on a cold winter night, when even time seemed to stand still, in my native Bennington, Oklahoma. I do not remember much of my early childhood, but my mom said I was a very active, curious, and communicative child. I would ask dozens of questions each minute, even without waiting for the answers. I suppose this is why my parents offered me books and educational movies as early as my third birthday.

In the next part of your autobiography essay, describe yourself in a few words. It does not necessarily need to be too creative. You can take a short learning style quiz and put the information you’ll find out into your autobiography. It will be quite a unique addition. And don’t forget to make a smooth transition from the previous part!

Fortunately, my thirst for knowledge did not come to an end when I was at school. I was passionate about history and science. This passion helped me gain a profound knowledge of these areas, and I was admitted to the college of my dreams. Today, I am a student at a law school, and I feel very happy about it.

An old saying goes, “A life with a goal is a life that is whole.” Be positive and show everyone that your life is whole.

I am certain that my degree will become my ticket to a better tomorrow. I want to become a renowned lawyer in the field of employment legislation. I study hard and devote my free time to reading scholarly reviews and watching interviews with recognized specialists in the field.

My Ups and Downs

This part aims to show that you are capable of analyzing your experiences and learning valuable lessons.

Of course, I understand that life is not just a bed of roses, and challenges and hardships are an integral element of life. Since my parents could not help me cover my college expenses in full, paying off my student loan has become an important challenge for me. I combine a part-time job and full-time study to earn my living and my education. I feel triumphant at the beginning of every month when I receive my salary and plan how I will spend my money.

Autobiography Conclusion

In this part of your autobiographical essay, you want to establish the main lesson to take away from your story. In other words, what’s remarkable about your story?

I have come to believe that two main factors determine success. The first is a person’s determination and will to succeed. Are you ready to make sacrifices to achieve your goal, like working and studying at the same time? Are you prepared to recover after failure and proceed to your goal again? Without strong internal motivation, it is nearly impossible to become successful. Equally important is the support of people around you. Being determined to succeed does not mean alienating everyone and stepping on other people to achieve your goal. On the contrary, success is about recognizing your weaknesses and accepting support from people who genuinely want to help you. For instance, if it were not for my parents’ support of my educational endeavors, I might not be attending law school today.

Would you call this student an inspirational leader like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, Jr. ? In all honesty, no. He may be an interesting and nice person, but he hasn’t left such a mark on history as some other people have—at least not yet.

But can you learn something from his story? Most definitely.

The autobiography example above is suitable for both college and high school students.

In case you still lack the inspiration to write your memoir, you can always come to our experts, who will help you structure and write your narrative. Alternatively, you can find some more interesting examples of an autobiography at and at Southwestern College website .

And in case you’re still wondering how to write an autobiography, just keep reading!

Short Autobiography Example

As a student, you might need to write a short biography for various reasons, such as when applying for a scholarship, internship, or job. If you’re looking for a short autobiography example, check out the sample below.

I am Aisha Patel, hailing from the city of Mumbai, India. Growing up in a culturally rich environment taught me to appreciate traditions, diversity, inclusion, and community. 

I have always been motivated by my parents, both accomplished physicians. I found myself drawn to the field of medicine at an early age. Since then, I devoted countless hours to volunteering, participating in healthcare camps, and working with NGOs to expand medical access in marginalized communities. I became determined to expand my horizons and receive a world-class medical education. Eventually, I set my sights on studying in the United States. 

I aspire to use the knowledge and skills I acquire to contribute to healthcare practices in India and globally. I plan to address pressing societal health challenges with empathy and expertise.

Autobiography of Myself as a Student

Writing an autobiography focusing on academic interests creates a platform for self-reflection. This activity can help you understand how your academic pursuits have shaped your identity and aspirations.

The following example will provide valuable insights into the content of a well-crafted autobiography:

My name is Sam Davis, and I am a dedicated student from Boston. My academic journey has been shaped by my passion for history. Since childhood, I have been deeply interested in people’s experiences throughout the centuries. This fascination is what inspired my academic pursuits. 

I have always been on top of my class in history courses. I enjoyed diving deep into the different eras and learning about various cultures and events. In addition to excellent grades, my commitment has been recognized through multiple honors and awards. In particular, I have been included on the Dean’s List and received accolades for my research papers. 

My primary academic interest is studying American history and evolution since the nation’s founding. I enjoy exploring the social and political forces that have shaped the United States. I am also keenly interested in ancient civilizations and the parallels between them and the contemporary world. 

Outside the classroom, I actively participate in historical reenactments and volunteer at local museums. Helping preserve and share our collective heritage is one of my primary goals. Such experiences allow me to bring history to life and engage with others who share my passion. 

I am eager to continue my scholarly pursuits and contribute to our understanding of the past. I believe we can learn many important and exciting lessons by making meaningful connections between history and the present.

💡 Autobiography Ideas for Students

Are you looking for inspiration to write your autobiography? Here are some thought-provoking autobiography essay topics that will help you reflect on your personal growth, academic journey, and unique experiences.

  • Personal experience adopting a cat from Humane Society .
  • My first travel to Dresden.
  • Describe your personal leadership experience.  
  • Discuss your experience of resolving a problem in your neighborhood .
  • How Italian culture influenced my life .
  • How refraining from coffee for two weeks changed my everyday life.  
  • Tell how you implement the concept of life-wide learning in your life.  
  • Why I decided to take up wrestling and how it changed my life.
  • Narrate your personal experience of a healthy lifestyle .
  • My first memories of riding a bicycle .
  • How the quarantine time helped me to focus and myself and grow.  
  • My health vision and strategy to improve health behavior.
  • Discuss how a psychology course changed your vision of the world. 
  • How parenting style affected my childhood.
  • Personal experience of working with self-initiated expatriates.
  • My first day at college .
  • Why I love poetry.  
  • Describe your experience in Shotokan Karate and your favorite technique.
  • The role non-verbal communication plays in my everyday life.
  • Lessons I learned from my first semester. 
  • My reminiscence of the tragedy on September 11th.
  • Give details about a childhood experience that changed your life .
  • My understanding of the concept home .
  • Personal experience of mysophobia and the lessons I’ve learned.
  • Represent your favorite meeting place .
  • A defining event from my childhood.
  • Describe your experience of relocation to another country.
  • Why I started practicing art and dance movement therapy.  
  • The impact mindfulness practicing had on my life.
  • My experience of winning the fight by losing it.
  • Why people like having lunch at a restaurant : my experience.
  • Describe the last conflict , its reasons, and how you resolved it.
  • Tell about your dream car .
  • Starting college as a major life event.
  • Describe your dream home .
  • My experience as a manager in an organization .
  • Narrate how peculiarities of your culture influence your behavior.
  • Tell about the significant event that influenced your life.
  • Personal experience of challenging gender norms.
  • Discuss your personal relationship with alcohol abuse .
  • Represent your plans and career goals .
  • Describe a high school experience that influenced your personality.
  • How I managed to apply international marketing courses in daily life.  
  • Write about the teachers who made a difference in your life.
  • Experience of working as a head nurse.
  • My history of important habit development.
  • Discuss the challenges in friendship you’ve experienced and how you managed to cope with them.  
  • Significance of music in my life.  
  • Describe what you are responsible for in your life.
  • Give details about the most memorable holiday you had in your childhood.  

What does every autobiography include? A theme. Essentially, the theme is the main “lesson” from the autobiography—the critical point that all of your life events come together to demonstrate.

How do you go about creating a theme?

You can do it by:

  • Discussing a string of events or one event in particular (or even just one day in your life)
  • Introducing a role model or an authority figure
  • Talking about your childhood dreams and memories

To make the task easier for you, we’ve put together a list of prompts you can use to signal your theme to the reader.

Simply complete these phrases, develop the ideas, and add specific details to your student autobiography examples and ta-da! Your A-level autobiography is ready!

A Student’s Autobiography: Starting Phrases

Use one of these phrases as the first sentence of your autobiography:

  • I was born in…
  • I was an active (or quiet, knowledge-loving, shy, curious, etc.) child.
  • My childhood dream was…
  • My earliest memory is…
  • I am grateful to my parents (or teachers, friends, etc.) because…
  • My role model was…
  • My lifetime dream is…
  • The most memorable day of my life was…
  • One phrase that I will never forget is…
  • If only one of my dreams could come true, I would wish for…
  • My main belief in life is…
  • I am driven by my desire/passion/wish to…
  • The main lesson that my parents taught me was…
  • The childhood hobby that most shaped my personality is…
  • One event that influenced who I am today is…
  • My motto in life is…
  • My favorite book/movie/author is…
  • When I was growing up, I always dreamed of becoming a…
  • One thing I wish I knew five (or ten, twenty, etc.) years ago is that…
  • My favorite childhood picture is…

Feel free to use this example of an autobiography for students and follow the simple steps described above to complete an A-level memoir with ease.

✏️ Student Autobiography FAQ

Writing an essay for a scholarship, be sure to include relevant information about yourself. Prove that you are a perfect candidate. Customize your life story in a way that showcases your strengths and positive qualities. Any other application will require a similar approach.

It’s a source of background information about the author that he or she chooses to reveal. An autobiographical essay is to include key facts about the author in chronological order. These facts usually are name, birth date, education, occupation, etc.

For a good college application, make sure to put an emphasis on the positive sides of your personal history. They should be relevant for the admission commission. Focus on academic achievements, relevant certifications, courses, etc.

Some people believe that an autobiography is one of the easiest essays to write. The author definitely knows the subject thoroughly. When writing about yourself, start with an introduction : your name, birth date, education, current position.

  • What Is an Autobiography? ThoughtCo
  • Beginning the Academic Essay: Harvard College Writing Center
  • What Are the Differences Between an Autobiographical Narrative & a Biography? Seattle PI
  • 500 Prompts for Narrative and Personal Writing: The New York Times
  • Autobiography: Merced College
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What Is an Autobiography?

What to Consider Before You Start to Write

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  • M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
  • B.A., History, Armstrong State University

Your life story, or autobiography , should contain the basic framework that any essay should have, with four basic elements. Begin with an introduction that includes a thesis statement , followed by a body containing at least several paragraphs , if not several chapters. To complete the autobiography, you'll need a strong conclusion , all the while crafting an interesting narrative with a theme.

Did You Know?

The word autobiography  literally means SELF (auto), LIFE (bio), WRITING (graph). Or, in other words, an autobiography is the story of someone's life written or otherwise told by that person.

When writing your autobiography, find out what makes your family or your experience unique and build a narrative around that. Doing some research and taking detailed notes can help you discover the essence of what your narrative should be and craft a story that others will want to read.

Research Your Background

Just like the biography of a famous person, your autobiography should include things like the time and place of your birth, an overview of your personality, your likes and dislikes, and the special events that shaped your life. Your first step is to gather background detail. Some things to consider:

  • What is interesting about the region where you were born?
  • How does your family history relate to the history of that region?
  • Did your family come to that region for a reason?

It might be tempting to start your story with "I was born in Dayton, Ohio...," but that is not really where your story begins. It's better to start with an experience. You may wish to start with something like why you were born where you were and how your family's experience led to your birth. If your narrative centers more around a pivotal moment in your life, give the reader a glimpse into that moment. Think about how your favorite movie or novel begins, and look for inspiration from other stories when thinking about how to start your own.

Think About Your Childhood

You may not have had the most interesting childhood in the world, but everyone has had a few memorable experiences. Highlight the best parts when you can. If you live in a big city, for instance, you should realize that many people who grew up in the country have never ridden a subway, walked to school, ridden in a taxi, or walked to a store a few blocks away.

On the other hand, if you grew up in the country you should consider that many people who grew up in the suburbs or inner city have never eaten food straight from a garden, camped in their backyards, fed chickens on a working farm, watched their parents canning food, or been to a county fair or a small-town festival.

Something about your childhood will always seem unique to others. You just have to step outside your life for a moment and address the readers as if they knew nothing about your region and culture. Pick moments that will best illustrate the goal of your narrative, and symbolism within your life.

Consider Your Culture

Your culture is your overall way of life , including the customs that come from your family's values and beliefs. Culture includes the holidays you observe, the customs you practice, the foods you eat, the clothes you wear, the games you play, the special phrases you use, the language you speak, and the rituals you practice.

As you write your autobiography, think about the ways that your family celebrated or observed certain days, events, and months, and tell your audience about special moments. Consider these questions:

  • What was the most special gift you ever received? What was the event or occasion surrounding that gift?
  • Is there a certain food that you identify with a certain day of the year?
  • Is there an outfit that you wear only during a special event?

Think honestly about your experiences, too. Don't just focus on the best parts of your memories; think about the details within those times. While Christmas morning may be a magical memory, you might also consider the scene around you. Include details like your mother making breakfast, your father spilling his coffee, someone upset over relatives coming into town, and other small details like that. Understanding the full experience of positives and negatives helps you paint a better picture for the reader and lead to a stronger and more interesting narrative. Learn to tie together all the interesting elements of your life story and craft them into an engaging essay.

Establish the Theme

Once you have taken a look at your own life from an outsider’s point of view, you will be able to select the most interesting elements from your notes to establish a theme. What was the most interesting thing you came up with in your research? Was it the history of your family and your region? Here is an example of how you can turn that into a theme:

"Today, the plains and low hills of southeastern Ohio make the perfect setting for large cracker box-shaped farmhouses surrounded by miles of corn rows. Many of the farming families in this region descended from the Irish settlers who came rolling in on covered wagons in the 1830s to find work building canals and railways. My ancestors were among those settlers."

A little bit of research can make your own personal story come to life as a part of history, and historical details can help a reader better understand your unique situation. In the body of your narrative, you can explain how your family’s favorite meals, holiday celebrations, and work habits relate to Ohio history.

One Day as a Theme

You also can take an ordinary day in your life and turn it into a theme. Think about the routines you followed as a child and as an adult. Even a mundane activity like household chores can be a source of inspiration.

For example, if you grew up on a farm, you know the difference between the smell of hay and wheat, and certainly that of pig manure and cow manure—because you had to shovel one or all of these at some point. City people probably don’t even know there is a difference. Describing the subtle differences of each and comparing the scents to other scents can help the reader imagine the situation more clearly.

If you grew up in the city, you how the personality of the city changes from day to night because you probably had to walk to most places. You know the electricity-charged atmosphere of the daylight hours when the streets bustle with people and the mystery of the night when the shops are closed and the streets are quiet.

Think about the smells and sounds you experienced as you went through an ordinary day and explain how that day relates to your life experience in your county or your city:

"Most people don’t think of spiders when they bite into a tomato, but I do. Growing up in southern Ohio, I spent many summer afternoons picking baskets of tomatoes that would be canned or frozen and preserved for cold winter’s dinners. I loved the results of my labors, but I’ll never forget the sight of the enormous, black and white, scary-looking spiders that lived in the plants and created zigzag designs on their webs. In fact, those spiders, with their artistic web creations, inspired my interest in bugs and shaped my career in science."

One Event as a Theme

Perhaps one event or one day of your life made such a big impact that it could be used as a theme. The end or beginning of the life of another can affect our thoughts and actions for a long time:

"I was 12 years old when my mother passed away. By the time I was 15, I had become an expert in dodging bill collectors, recycling hand-me-down jeans, and stretching a single meal’s worth of ground beef into two family dinners. Although I was a child when I lost my mother, I was never able to mourn or to let myself become too absorbed in thoughts of personal loss. The fortitude I developed at a young age was the driving force that would see me through many other challenges."

Writing the Essay

Whether you determine that your life story is best summed up by a single event, a single characteristic, or a single day, you can use that one element as a theme . You will define this theme in your  introductory paragraph .

Create an outline with several events or activities that relate back to your central theme and turn those into subtopics (body paragraphs) of your story. Finally, tie up all your experiences in a summary that restates and explains the overriding theme of your life. 

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Learn How to Write an Autobiography for College With an Example

Writing an autobiography to send along with your college application can be quite easy once you know what to write and how to write it. This article will give you instructions on writing one along with an example.

Autobiography Example for College

A good autobiography is a documentation of one’s life, in such a way, that it makes the readers imagine themselves as the person in it. Step by step, as the story of one’s life unfolds, the readers are enthralled and get captivated by the experiences and emotions mentioned in the autobiography. They feel one with the writer and they go on a trip with him into his world and explore all the avenues that the writer himself has. As I said, a good autobiography will make all this happen. If you’re looking for guidelines on writing one for college, then you must read this Penlighten article. It will give you some pointers.

Remember The first step towards writing an autobiography is to sit yourself down and remember all the things and people that are important to you. Sit and remember incidents from your childhood. You know yourself best. Think of some of the habits that you have developed. Try to find out how you came to form them. Was it a particular incident that triggered the behavior or was it an inherent quality that you were born with. Once you start with this process, you’ll come up with so many things that you’ll want to write about. So, good luck!

Jot ’em Down Once you think you have the required concentration level, sit with a paper and pen (or your computer) and write down every tiny little detail that you can remember about your life. Right from kindergarten, to high school, segregate your experiences. Have separate sections for school and home. Separate sections for the good and bad memories. Different sections for different emotions that you felt while growing up. All the times you were confused. All the times you were angry. All the people who helped, hated, loved, angered, annoyed, or pleased you. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll remember once you start writing.

Draft Once you have so much material, you need to start writing. You need to decide the theme or angle that your autobiography will have. For a college application, it is obvious that you need to create a good impression to the reader, as your admission depends on it to quite an extent. So, choose a theme that highlights your best abilities and shows that you are not afraid to admit that you have some flaws too, and that you’re willing to work on them. Draft one based on these points.

Credit Writing an autobiography means a lot of self searching and researching. In the course of this searching and researching, you are bound to come across a lot of people that will be worth mentioning. You can mention as many people as you want. Just make it a point to inform all the noteworthy people among them, that they have been included. By noteworthy, I mean all those who have got a ‘special’ mention in your write-up.

I still remember that day. The day when I decided I wanted to be a writer. It was bright and sunny, and I was walking to school. My sweet neighbor, Mrs. Simmons handed me a candy as I passed her home, just like she did everyday. That day she gave me a red one. My favorite color. And I knew it meant something special. She kissed my forehead and told me (like she did everyday) that I reminded her of her grand-daughter, who had died at the age of 9. That day, she said she had a secret to tell me. She said that her grand-daughter, Emma always wanted to be a writer. Mrs. Simmons told me how much she missed Emma, and gave me a copy of , from Emma’s cupboard. She said that was the least she could do and just smiled a mysterious smile. I was already a voracious reader at age 12 then, and was jubilated to receive a classic! So I just thanked her and left for school.

When I returned home, I immediately ran up to my room, finished my homework and began reading. I continued reading till my eyes closed and I fell asleep and the next morning, as soon as I woke up, I continued reading till I finished it. When I was done, I was in a completely different world. The trials and tribulations that I faced were nothing compared to David’s experiences. And I simply could not help but admire the great Charles Dickens.

Just as I was beginning to imagine myself as a renowned writer, my mother came into my room. She was visibly distraught. When I asked her what the matter was, she simply hugged me and sobbed. After a few moments, she told me that Mrs. Simmons had passed away in her sleep the previous night.

It was the greatest epiphany I had (I was only 12, after all). Suddenly it all fell into place. Mrs. Simmons giving me the book. And her passing away into the next world while I was discovering a new one of my own. I do not remember if I cried. All I remember is, that day, I decided that if there was anything I could do for the sweet lady who pampered and spoiled me with candy every single day, for the lady who loved and missed her grand-daughter so dearly, it was to fulfill her last wish. It was that day that I decided that I was going to be a writer. And that is exactly what I hope to learn from your prestigious institute. By learning to write well, I want to ensure that wherever the sweet Mrs. Simmons is, she’s wiping a tear of joy. From her eyes and from Emma’s too.

These guidelines and the example are sure to have helped you and given you an idea about how to go about writing your own autobiography. Have a good time, reminiscing and writing. Remember, the key is to remember!

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Autobiography Examples

40 autobiography examples (autobiographical essay templates).

Writing an autobiography template isn’t an easy undertaking. When written, there will be as many life stories as there are people. What will make an autobiographical essay stand out are the essential topics.

Those which will make it unique among the rest, sorting out the most significant events in one’s life and writing about them are difficult. There is an abundance of experiences to choose from.

Table of Contents

  • 1 Autobiography Examples
  • 2 Formats for autobiography examples
  • 3 Autobiography Samples
  • 4.1 Map out your whole life
  • 4.2 Creating your narrative
  • 5 Autobiographical Essay Templates
  • 6.1 Edit your information first
  • 6.2 Publishing your autobiography

Fortunately, there are plenty of innovative and well-thought-out autobiography samples that are available. They can assist you in organizing your thoughts to come up with a great autobiography. These samples can save you valuable time, especially on how to start an autobiography. Check out our extra 40 biography templates

Free Autobiography Template 01

Formats for autobiography examples

As mentioned earlier, there could be as many life stories out there as there people. Each life story is unique; no two can be the same. It will be up to the writer to make his autobiography stand out.

The presentation of ideas will be an integral factor. Using the right strategies and format to make the writer more creative are necessary. As we all know, an autobiography is an account of a person’s life and it’s written by that person. Find out a suitable autobiography example to take reference from.

The reasons for writing an autobiographical essay differ from person to person. The main point of the writer’s exercise is to convey his life events using words. Autobiography samples will make it easy for the writer to organize thoughts.

To get you started, learn first the following types of written works:

  • Dramas or scripts Usually presented on stage or screen as the venue, this type is in script formats.
  • Graphic novels This new genre of novels is unique in the sense that they use drawn panels to convey a true story. Simply said, it’s a novel in comic-strip format. They tell stories through pictures and words.
  • Memoirs This type limits the information you will present. It’s an account written from personal knowledge or special sources. Its main focus is on specific moments in one’s life. Those which could either are historical, religious, philosophical, adversity, coming-of-age, and more.
  • Personal narratives or essays This type is shorter than a memoir. Its narratives focus on a single event in time. It expands that moment’s experience through conversations and imagery. These types are usually seen in classrooms, magazines or written by internet bloggers.
  • Traditional autobiographies This type usually covers the events of the writer’s life from birth to the present moment.
  • Vignettes This type covers just one particular occurrence at a time. It’s a brief evocative description, account or episode. You can even call it a lone chapter in a compilation of vignettes. You can have it published as a complete piece of work. Bear in mind, though, that each chapter in the collection is not directly related to the others.

Autobiography Samples

Free Autobiography Template 10

How to start an autobiography

Interesting lives make for good autobiographies. When we say interesting, it means the person lived a life full of fascinating experiences. Those he can and should share with others.

A good trick when writing your autobiography example is to think of it just like any other story, a good one at that. There’s always the protagonist, a central plot, and a number of compelling characters. All these will keep the reader’s attention.

Before venturing for an autobiography sample, think of an important event in your life and build your story on that. There is a writing craft or a technique that can make your story come to life. Read on and make your writing sing!

Map out your whole life

It wouldn’t be so hard to map out your timeline; after all, you have lived it. Before anything else, conduct a study on your life. Make a timeline to ensure you will include the important details, both events, and dates.

This will provide you a basis to work on. Don’t inhibit yourself from writing down all you can recall. Don’t underestimate the importance of each event.

  • Autobiographies needn’t always start with your birth Include a brief history of your ancestors if relevant. Introducing your family’s history can make readers relate. They can understand how you evolved into who you are at this moment.
  • Identify your main characters Make them interesting and compelling, either he/she be friend or foe. Be sure they help in moving the story along. Obviously, an autobiography sample will mention your parents. Also, include your spouse, friends, and relatives. But think past your family and friends. Search for those characters that have directly influenced your life. They should play their roles in your life story.
  • Include the best stories Your life is a collection of short stories and anecdotes. Each day, each struggle could be in itself a chapter. But there would be too many of them to contain in a book. Choose the best stories you can remember that have influenced you. Begin your manuscript with these chosen stories. Weave them together to create a picture of your life.
  • Write using your own voice Most people like reading autobiographies to experience what it’s like to be the writer. Being yourself when writing your story is a great way to maintain the reader’s attention. Remember, you are writing about yourself and your life experiences. Stiff and formal writing is for college essays . It won’t and can’t totally engage your readers.
  • Reveal things about your life You can reveal the truth about yourself without having to be too explicit. Write down the good as well as the bad experiences. This will make the reader feel the human side of you. You can write about your accomplishments but you also need to write the flaws that have made you what you are. Readers should empathize with you and may even cheer for you as the story progresses.
  • Show your weaknesses too You may have pitfalls in life but will still remain a protagonist. Write about your mistakes and the times that you have failed in some struggles. Writing too much about your positive side may even turn off some of your readers.

Creating your narrative

One, or perhaps the most important element of an autobiographical essay, is the plot. Not just a plot but a great one that could hold your readers spellbound. When you’ve gathered the material to work with, it’s time to create a fascinating story that would end with a climax as well as final resolutions.

Autobiographical Essay Templates

Free Autobiography Template 20

Craft your story by organizing your memoirs and anecdotes in an autobiography example. Keep in mind that these are coherent to your plot and should flow logically together. There should be a central conflict in your narrative.

It can involve an eventful experience in your life that took you years to conquer.

  • Build the suspense and tension to make it interesting Organize your plot in such as a way that every story would veer towards the conflict’s climax. Make it your goal to include anecdotes on your initial successes and failures. Readers love underdogs. Build on that.
  • Think about your climax Every story will have to end as the protagonist will deal with the conflict. You have read novels and seen movies. You should know what a climax is. You should also know that it’s very important.
  • Also, think about the resolution Autobiographies usually end with happy endings. If for some reason your story’s ending isn’t happy, just make sure that it’s profoundly satisfying. You might have lost the race but the wisdom you gain from the experience will be compensation enough.
  • Determine where to start your story Most autobiographies start with birth and end with the present. But many successful writers have resorted to mixing up their chronology. This makes the narration more interesting. If you’re bold enough, try doing this.
  • Weave in your themes Try to remember major themes in your life. Use them to link stories together by connecting the past with the now. Apart from a central conflict, there are themes that have followed us all through life. Use these themes as often as you can to form a consistent depiction of your story.
  • Reflect on the content of your autobiography template You surely have learned many lessons during the course of your life. It would be nice to relay your desires, intentions, feelings of joy and loss, and more you’ve gained in your life. You can include these lessons intermittently throughout the story. Reflect on these important experiences and what they have meant to you. This is a great way you can add profundity to your life story.
  • Add structure to your book by using chapters The use of chapters will permit you transition from talking about specific times in your life. We’ve all heard the expressions, “closed a chapter” and “opening a new chapter” in life. These are very applicable to autobiography samples and autobiography examples.

Free Autobiography Template 30

Creating and publishing your autobiography

After you’ve written everything, subject your work to several processes. Do this to make sure that its contents are true and accurate. Be sure to comply with all the rules of writing to avoid any problems that may arise later.

First, does a substance check. Second, do forms check? Here are some tips for you:

Edit your information first

  • Your facts should be completely accurate Double check or even triple if you have the time. Check the names, event descriptions, dates, and other things. Everything in your story should be accurate. Wrong facts will certainly get noticed at one time or another by people acquainted with you.
  • Ask permission from those you mention in your book You may name names or quote quotes from sources. In this case, make certain they’ve granted permission. Many don’t appreciate the thought of appearing in an autobiography. Respect that. If the character is central to the plot, describe them differently or change their names.
  • Go through your draft and edit if needed After you’ve finished the initial draft, go through your life story again. Comb through it by double checking your data. Reorganize the paragraphs, passages, and characters if necessary. Check your vocabulary and replace tedious words. Make your phrases more clear and compelling. And lastly, check your grammar and spelling.
  • Let other people read your work An outside or second opinion will be necessary to make sure that your work would appeal to all. You may find passages in your book that are funny or serious but would be mundane or even offensive to others. Present your work to as many close acquaintances and listen to their feedback. This will make sure that your thoughts will come across clearly with other people.
  • Hire a copy editor The job of a copy editor is to clean up your work and make those boring parts shine. Almost all writers seek the services of copy editors. Being a beginner, take a hint by seeking their help as well. Hire a seasoned copy editor to make sure that your book will have that professional polish.
  • Think of your title Think of a title that is intriguing and attention-grabbing. A simple and short title for your autobiography can be “My Autobiography”. If you find it too direct and common, choose something more unique.

Publishing your autobiography

Some people try self-publishing their books. That means they will have their finished work printed but only for themselves. It would also be appropriate to present your work to persons you mentioned in your book.

There are companies that can handle your book design, printing, and even shipping services. But if you want to go public on publishing your autobiography, the sensible thing to do is hire a literary agent.

He will send a query letter to research agents who work frequently with autobiographies. The query will contain information about your autobiography. It will also contain information about the author and how you want to market the book.

You can also send the query letter yourself directly to the publisher and wait. Depending on your query letter, he might get interested. Don’t send them your manuscript all at once. Send it when you get a request for your manuscript.

You can also try publishing your work online. This new alternative method is increasingly getting popular. It doesn’t involve expenses for printing and shipping. Search for online publishers and send them a query letter.

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Student Autobiography: Examples, Outline, & Autobiography Format for Students

A student autobiography is a short paper written by a person about their life, achievements, and goals.

A student autobiography is a short paper written by a person about their life, achievements, and goals. You often need to compose one when entering a college or when applying for work. Your autobiography shows your attitude towards the chosen path. This is how you let the committee or employer know that you do want to get the position.

We’ve prepared for you a step-by-step guide that will help you write the perfect student autobiography. You will learn the difference between a biography, an autobiography, and a memoir. Then we will explain how to define a goal and outline your essay. In addition, you’ll find autobiography examples for high school and college students at the end of this article. Keep reading and write a remarkable student autobiography using our tips!

  • 🆚 Biography vs. Autobiography

📝 Autobiography Format for Students

  • 👣 Step-by-step Writing Guide

✏️ Short Autobiography of Myself as a Student: Example

  • 👀 Student Autobiography Examples

🆚 Biography vs. Autobiography: What’s the Difference?

Biography versus autobiography. What is the difference between them?

  • A biography is a story about a person written by someone else;
  • An autobiography is a narration about its author.

Of course, they have many other differences and similarities.

The table below compares these two types of texts.

Describe one’s life’s journey
Are non-fiction texts
Tell about real-life events and people
Are usually written in chronological order
Is written by someone about someone elseIs written by someone about themselves
Can be written for different purposesNeeded when one is entering a college or applying for a job
Usually aims at a wide audienceUsually aims at a small group of people
Can contain mistakes and inaccuraciesCan be too expressive and biased
Is usually longIs usually not longer than 400 words
Is written in the third personIs written in the first person

A common way to structure an autobiography is the past-present-future approach. This way, you can reflect on your past experiences and how they have shaped your present identity and future goals.

In the following table, you’ll find the autobiography’s main parts and great ideas for constructing a compelling narrative of your life.

Part of the autobiographyIdeas
The purpose of the introduction in an autobiography essay is to engage the reader and provide a glimpse into the events that will be explored.
Here are some ideas on how you can : . Begin with an intriguing statement that hints at the themes in your autobiography. . Paint a vivid picture of a significant moment from your life that captures the essence of your story. . Create a list of key experiences or people that have shaped your life, providing a snapshot of your autobiography. . Start with a reflective passage that delves into your thoughts and feelings about a pivotal moment in your life.
Talking about your past provides context and insight into the events, experiences, and influences shaping your life.
When writing about your past in the autobiography, you can include the following elements:
Including your present in your autobiography provides a snapshot of who you are at this moment and offers insight into your thoughts, feelings, and experiences as you .
Consider these questions to reflect on the present moment:
Describing your future in an autobiographical essay allows you to , goals, and dreams.
Here, you can focus on the following:
In the conclusion of an autobiography essay, it’s essential to:

👣 7 Steps to a Perfect Student Autobiography

Now let’s write a creative student autobiography! We are sure that every person has something exciting to share with others. With our guide below, you’ll be able to express your own experience.

The picture contains 7 steps to a top student autobiography.

Step 1: Determine Your Goal

The first thing you are to do before writing an autobiography is to define your goal. What are you writing your autobiography for? What is your audience? Are there any requirements? Most student autobiographies feature a similar format. However, if there are any special requirements, you should take them into account.

Below are five questions to help you set up a goal.

Is it for academic, professional, or personal purposes? If your purpose is not personal, there should be some rules to follow. Do not worry, as we are here to explain them to you. If you write an autobiography for yourself, you are free to do whatever you want!
It plays a crucial role if you write for a vast group of people or your potential chief or admissions office. The first situation gives you more freedom of expression. The other one is stricter.
Once again, you are free to choose any size for your essay if you write it for your private purposes. If you are looking for a job or a scholarship, there are fixed rules. Your autobiography should contain about 200-400 words and consist of 5 paragraphs.
It is best to keep it simple but not . Find the middle ground and stick to it. You should not use slang or jokes. Keep the essay coherent and easy to read.
Most of the student autobiographies have more or less the same standards. Still, we recommend you study the requirements of your potential employee or admission committee carefully. There may be some minor but important differences – for example, a particular length of an essay.

Step 2: Outline Your Autobiography

Start working on your student autobiography by creating your life’s timeline . It will help you structure your thoughts in a logical order and see the big picture. Then look at the list of events and choose those worth describing in the text. It is also a good idea to think of the people you will mention.

Once you’ve decided which facts to include, it’s time to draft an outline of your autobiography. A typical one consists of the following parts:

  • Introduction . This section provides a general idea of who you are, what your goal is, etc. Your aim here is to grab your reader’s attention. You can do this by starting with a hook or by writing an engaging thesis statement at the end of the paragraph. It could be your goal or a childhood dream you are trying to bring to life.
  • Body. This is the base of your text that should contain a description of the events selected before you start creating the outline. You might want to briefly describe your family , childhood , and hobbies . Share something personal that not many people know about. It is also a good idea to talk about your cultural background and the things you like about it. Feel free to write about your achievements and skills. Any small victory will do . It will help if you mention some of your failures but state that you have coped with them. The next thing is to present your future goals and prospects. Where does the college or job you applying for to get fit into your plans?
  • Conclusion . The last paragraph of a student autobiography should summarize its main ideas. The conclusion should be more or less the same size as an introduction. Formulate the main idea of your text in one sentence. Repeat here why you want to enter a college or get a job.

Student Autobiography Outline Example

Below you’ll find an outline for an autobiography that could be written by a student who is applying for admission to a vocal department of a college.

  • Basic info about the author: name, age, the city they live in.
  • Thesis statement: I feel empowered to make a meaningful contribution to art as a vocalist.
  • When I was a child, I enjoyed watching talent shows with singers and wanted to be like them. My parents sent me to music school, and a path to my dream began.
  • I gave many concerts as a soloist in the choir. I took part in several singing competitions. It was not easy to get the victory, especially with such professional competitors. But I have not given up and practiced my skills, so I have managed to win some of them.
  • Now the project of my life is to go further and become a professional vocalist. I would like to go to this college because I believe that you have the best professors that help students develop excellent singing skills.
  • Since my childhood, I have done everything I could to sing professionally. The next step to my dream is to enter and graduate from college.

Step 3: Start Writing Your Autobiography

Now, after you have prepared an autobiography outline, let’s proceed to the writing itself. You have already completed the most challenging part. In the introduction, you might want to write a catchy and creative thesis statement or a hook that will draw the reader’s attention.

BTW, if you need any help with formulating a thesis statement, you can use our free thesis maker .

Here are some ideas for your introduction:

  • I wondered, how can I become a desired position ?
  • The desired position inspires many people to be better. That is why I have chosen this path.
  • I decided to enter the name of college , just like my relative/friend did.

Step 4: Write the Body

The body part is the most important one because here you write about your life in detail. You need to expand on the topics you have touched upon in the outline. Be honest and write whatever you find interesting. When you come to the difficult period of your life, do not write about yourself as a victim of circumstances. You need to prove yourself strong and committed to your goal.

Make sure your paragraphs are in a logical order and do not contradict each other in any way. Use linking words to connect the paragraphs coherently. If you do not know how to use them, look at the paragraphs’ examples later in the article!

Step 5: Conclude Your Autobiography

The conclusion is the part where you paraphrase the ideas you have stated in the introduction. Here you also need to summarize the points you have made in the body. Need help with making a summary quickly? Use our free summarizing tool !

Then you need to define the central idea of the autobiography about yourself in one or two sentences. It has to be short, simple, and memorable so that the committee would remember you.

Please do not forget to pay more attention to your goals and plans. Explain how the place you are applying for is going to help you in achieving them. Be sure to add why you think you will fit the position.

Step 6: Title Your Autobiography

We recommend that you do not choose a title for your student autobiography before writing the text itself. This must be the second last step you take because you do not know what your essay is going to be. You may consider some titles after you have composed an outline .

The purpose of the title is to attract attention and be remembered by the reader. The last thing you want to do is to create a boring heading. Write a catchy or inspiring phrase, your motto, or something that characterizes your life journey.

Here are some examples of good and bad titles:

My path to a number one pianist: per Aspera ad AstraAn essay about myself
The way a childhood dream comes trueMy interesting and unusual life
A mistake that turned out as my best decisionHow I have become the best student

Step 7: Proofread & Relax

The last step you will take is to give yourself a day or at least a couple of hours break. Then read through your autobiography again and check for errors. Maybe you want to add or change something? If the final result suits you, then you have done a great job and can relax. Congratulations, you have your autobiography written!

You might need to write an autobiography when applying to college, seeking scholarships, or as a form of self-reflection. We created a short example to use as a helpful reference for crafting your autobiography. Check it out!

Ralph Emerson once wrote that every artist was first an amateur. My journey as an art student has been a colorful canvas of experiences shaped by a deep-rooted passion for creativity. From a young age, I was immersed in a world of artistic expression, surrounded by the vibrant strokes of my parents’ masterpieces. Growing up in a household where creativity flowed like a river, I was inspired to explore the boundless possibilities of artistic expression. Today, I find myself fully immersed in the world of art, navigating the rich tapestry of art history and contemporary trends. Through my studies, I have had the privilege of honing my craft under the guidance of esteemed mentors, each imparting invaluable insights that have further enriched my artistic journey. Looking towards the future, I aspire to bring my vision to life through my first solo exhibition, where I can share my art with the world. I’m excited about what’s to come and determined to leave a mark in the art world with my work.

👀 Student Autobiography: Examples

In this section, you’ll find great autobiography examples for high school and college students. Use them for inspiration and as templates. They are written as a paper to enter a college in the first case and to get a job with the second. Read them through, and you will be ready to compose your bio!

Autobiography Example for High School Students

A dream i want to share with others.

My name is Lucy Thompson, I was born on April 28, 2003, in Atlanta, but I have not grown up there. My parents and I moved to Boston when I was three years old, and I have lived there ever since. At the age of 5, I realized my life dream is to sing like a nightingale.
When I was a little girl, I watched singing shows on TV with my parents every weekend. It was my favorite part of the day. I could not stop but sing and dance, imitating that this is me who is on stage. I remember the very first time my parents brought me to Philharmonia to listen to a choir. I was so amazed by the talent of singers that my mom decided to get me to music school. It was a great pleasure studying there, though it was not always so romantic as I imagined. At first, I had to sacrifice a good sleep and connections with some people to show above-average results at school and competitions. I was stressed and under pressure, but my family and close friends have helped me get through this time. I have managed to organize my life in a peaceful and productive way. I practiced my singing, gave four solo concerts and won three competitions. Now I enjoy singing even more because I do it for people who love and support me. After that tough period, I understand that I want to share my passion with as many people as possible. I think the best way to do this is to master my skills with enthusiasts like me. I am sure that your conservatory is the perfect place for it!
All my life I have dreamed only about singing. No matter what was happening, I could not let this dream go. It has made me stronger, showed me the true nature of people around me and myself. The next step I can take to achieve my goal is to enter your conservatory. Many talented musicians, composers, and singers graduated from it, and I want to be among them.

Autobiography Example for College Students

It turned out not as i expected.

I am Peter McNeil, 21. I grew up in a small town near Denver with my parents and my older brother. He is a successful programmer, and he got me interested in computers and technologies. I wanted to go the same path my brother went, but the stars were not aligned.
As far as I remember, I always looked at my brother, who coded different programs. Apps and cites he created do help others and are profitable for him. He has taught me some basics, and I began to code on my own. I thought I was going to devote a significant part of my life to programming. When I was at school, the IT classes were far from ideal because our teacher did not care much about education. It has seriously slowed down my studies in college. I have to work much harder and spend more time than expected on some tasks. It was a surprise for me that I was not the only one with such problems. Many of my friends struggled as well. I was in shock because of this situation, and at some point, it struck me. I want to work as a teacher so the students have the opportunity to graduate from school with useful knowledge and skills. They have a right to an interesting tutor who is into modern technologies and methods. I wish more children were aware of how exciting IT technologies could be.
I spent a significant amount of time studying computers. I was sure that my purpose was to create a life-changing app or program, but I was wrong. I have to help children become better students and people. My goal is to share my experience, be an inspiring and supportive teacher, and provide educational lessons.

Congrats, now you know everything you need to write an exciting autobiography! We hope our article and student autobiography examples were useful to you. Check out the FAQ section to get rid of all the remaining questions and start writing your essay as soon as possible!

❓ Student Autobiography FAQ

How to start an autobiography.

The first sentence of your autobiography contains your name, age, and status (a high-school student, a college student, or your profession). Then you should present yourself in more detail. What your family is, where you were born and what school you went to. It is very easy and you do not have to imagine anything.

How to conclude an autobiography?

In your autobiography conclusion, you should restate a thesis if you have one and summarize the key points of your text. You don’t have to give any new information here. Make sure you have written about your goals and expectations for the college or job you want to get. Those who will read your essay have to know why you are interested in the position.

How to title an autobiography?

Remember to title your autobiography after it is written. Read your paper through and identify its main idea. What have you emphasized and paid most attention to? Point it out in the title, but do not exaggerate, be confident. It would be best if you draw attention to your person so that the committee or an employer wishes to read it.

How long should an autobiography be?

It depends on your goal. If you want to describe your life to a vast audience, you may write a book of any length you want. When you need to get a job or enter a college, the appropriate size of an autobiography is five paragraphs.

🔗 References

  • Autobiography | Definition, History, Types, Examples, & Facts
  • Autobiography | Definition of Autobiography by Merriam-Webster
  • 9 Tips For Writing Your Autobiography | Everyday Health
  • Writing My Autobiography: A Step-by-Step Lesson Plan
  • The Autobiography of a Student – JSTOR
  • Memoir | Definition of Memoir at
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His 414: life-writing and history: diaries, memoirs and autobiographies.

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how to write a good autobiography

One of my university requirements is that I need to write 800-1000 words of autobiography and haven't started it yet. I'm having a hard time since I really have no interesting thing to talk about, like what should i write? half of my high school life is done online, comparing to others my autobiography would have seen really boring and average. Have you ever write one? Any suggestion? and what are things you wrote about?

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The Best Short Professional Bios (Examples + Templates)

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Summary. To write a short bio you should first make an initial introduction introducing yourself in the first or first person. Your short bio should include your brand, your accomplishments, and your values and goals. Your short bio should be one to three short paragraphs or four to eight sentences long.

Knowing how to write a concise, informative, and interesting biography about yourself can help throughout various parts of the professional process. You can use your bio to capture the attention of potential employers or clients and convince them to choose to employ or work with you.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what goes into a short bio and how to write one, and you’ll also get to see some short bio templates and examples to help you get an idea of what yours should look like.

Key Takeaways

A short bio serves to introduce you, your achievements, and what you offer professionally to potential employers or clients.

It’s important to keep your bio brief so that readers stay engaged and will remember your main points.

You may need to adjust your bio for different audiences, as your clients may want to know different information than a recruiter would.

Talk about your skills and accomplishments in your bio, but don’t exaggerate them.

How to Write a Short Bio

What Is a Short Bio?

How to write a short bio, what to include in a short professional bio, short bio examples, short bio templates, tips for writing a short bio, writing a short bio faq.

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A short bio serves as your introduction to the professional world. In terms of finding or expanding on your job, a bio will cover your:

Work history


Any other relevant professional information

Think of it as a professional memoir that a hiring manager or consumer can read and understand quickly. It’s usually about one to three paragraphs depending on experience.

There’s an emphasis on being succinct when it comes to writing a professional bio. This is because a bio is supposed to be a preface to attract recruiter attention and incline them to reach out for more information. Many readers will get lost or bored with a lengthy bio.

Using a short bio can be helpful across very different industries, from marketing to accounting, from psychiatry to sales.

You’re probably familiar with providing short bios on social media websites and applications. While the information and skills you include in a professional bio may differ, the general formatting is similar.

There’s a lot of considerations to take into account when writing a short bio, and it can quickly become intimidating. Deciding what information is relevant and how to keep it near 140 characters is no small task.

If you’re having difficulty writing a short bio, follow the outline below to craft an introduction that engages your reader.

Make an initial introduction. You can’t jump right into everything you’ve done and what you want to do in the future before introducing yourself.

Your bio’s first sentence should begin with your full name in the third person or introduce yourself in the first person and continue to briefly outline your most notable skills and accomplishments. It’s a good place to state your current job and employer.

Go deeper with what motivates you. Once you’ve catchily illustrated who you are in your short bio, you can use the second sentence to describe your motivations for your work.

Stating what drives you to do the work you do is essential to employers and customers alike. Whether you work as a physician or fitness consultant , there’s a reason why this is your profession, and you should explain that in your short professional bio.

Describe your accomplishments. Your short bio is for detailing why you’re the ideal candidate to be trusted with handling an employer or consumer’s business. By describing your prior accomplishments, you let them know what you could offer as an employee and how you’ve succeeded in the past.

While you should avoid sounding braggy, the reader is looking for information about what your qualifications are , and your accomplishments generally measure these qualities.

Even though you could probably go on for ages about the details of your accomplishments, save that for an interview . In a short bio, only include the most impressive of your achievements to outline.

Accomplishments relevant to a short bio could include:

Impressive results on a project

Former promotions

Awards received in your field

Certifications received

Include contact information. The purpose of a short bio as either a business or a job seeker is to inspire the reader to reach out. Without contact information, this pursuit becomes futile. Make sure your short bio has some way to contact you at the end.

Relevant contact information may include:

Phone number

Professional networking profile

A short professional bio includes:

Your full name. You can choose to write your bio in the first person (I, me, my) or third person (he, she, they), but either way, you need to include your full name at some point. Branding doesn’t work so well without a brand name (i.e., you!)

Your brand. Of course, if you have an actual brand that you’re trying to market, you should include the brand name as well.

What you do. Summarize what you want the reader to know about what you do in one sentence — tricky, we know.

Your accomplishments. For a short bio, you can stick with just one major accomplishment from your professional life. Or, if you have a string of impressive achievements, try condensing all of them down to one sentence.

Your goals and values. Let the reader know what makes you tick — why do you do what you do and what do you hope to achieve with your work? People are compelled by a story more than anything else, so it’s important to get this part right.

Something personal (optional). If you have a quirky tidbit about yourself you’d like to include, go for it. Just make sure it doesn’t throw off te the tone of the rest of your bio.

Contact info (optional). If your bio is serving as a call-to-action to drum up business or get leads on job opportunities, it makes sense to include your contact information at the end of your bio. It’s not necessary if that information is available elsewhere on the page , though.

Entry-Level Job-Seeker Bio Example

Mitchell Morrison is an upcoming video producer and editor who believes in the art of visual organization. He is a recent graduate from the University of Washington and focused on post-production during his time studying there. He was introduced to the magical world of visual art production by watching his father work on editing commercials growing up and has been working towards his dream of becoming a video editor ever since. During his last year of college, Mitchell participated in a competitive internship with Digital Space Films. He was chosen out of 2,000 applicants based on his academic portfolio and personal statement essay. This internship was an incredible learning experience and resulted in three professional accreditations for music video editing. Mitchell currently lives in Seattle, Washington pursuing freelance opportunities and spending time with his Dog, Pikachu. To get into contact with Mitchell:

Working Professional Website Bio Example

Lisa Kennedy is an experienced real estate professional. She knows how important a home is for long-term happiness and has invested her career in putting people in the house they’ve always dreamed of. Lisa was driven to pursue real estate from her passion for helping people during life-altering times, and a keen interest in high-end, luxury homes. She’s been working in the real estate industry for ten years and in that time has assisted over 3,500 people in finding homes. She was educated at the University of Los Angeles with a bachelor’s in business management. She’s worked for some of the most respectable Real Estate companies in Los Angeles and individually under her agency “Kennedy Homes.” Lisa has also been published in Real Estate Quarterly Magazine as the 2017 winner of the “Top Luxury Home Seller” award. Lisa loves the culture of Los Angeles and has been living there with her family of five since she graduated from college. She enjoys spending her free time exploring towns along the West Coast and swimming. If you’d like to get in touch with Lisa: Email: [email protected]

Professional Networking Profile Bio Example

Bianca Jones Marketing Manager Miami, FL The first step towards customer satisfaction is being reached by stellar product marketing, and that’s what I aim to provide. My professional experience as a product marketing manager has allowed me to assist many organizations in improving their sales margins and audience response to emerging products. I’ve brought dedication and positive results to the companies I’ve worked for because I am passionate about product perception, marketing, and business statistics. What drives a product to success interests and inspires me. I specialize in long-term growth strategies and audience outreach. In addition to eight years of experience in professional product marketing, I have also published two books on creating a career as a marketer called “What to Do After Your Bachelor’s” and “A Marketer’s How-To.” If you’re interested in learning more about how to market your business better, or just discuss more, feel free to contact me by email at [email protected].

Your first choice is whether you want your bio to be written in the third person or first person. These short bio templates show both options, and also include different ideas for what to include, and how. Feel free to pick and choose your favorite parts of each of the two.

[Full Name] is a [job title] who [believes/knows] in the power of [what you do]. [He/She/They] began their journey in [field] by [how you got started in the field], and now dreams of [what you hope to accomplish]. [His/Her/Their] biggest accomplishment to date has been [your biggest accomplishment]. [Full Name] lives in [where you live] and participates in [a hobby/interest]. To get in touch with [Full Name], call/email/message me on [how you’d like to be contacted].
I am a [job title] who helps [who you help] [what you help them do]. It’s my belief that [your unique perspective on the field]. In the past [# of years] years, I’ve [major accomplishment #1] through [how you accomplished it]. I have a passion for [your professional passion], but on the side, I also enjoy [personal passion]. Get in touch with me today at [contact info] — I look forward to talking with you about [what you want to talk to your readers about].

You have a firm grasp of the structure of a short bio and what to include. Now, you may need some tips for how to polish your short professional bio and make it stand out from the competition.

Be mindful of length. While you’re probably getting sick of hearing that your bio should be short, it’s good to keep in mind throughout the writing process. It’s easy to go off on a tangent while trying to include everything relevant or rationalize, making your bio too long.

Avoid this impulse. The point of a bio is that it’s limited. You want to intrigue the reader enough to inspire them to seek more information about you or your services.

Tailor your bio to your intended audience. Whether you’re using a short bio to attract a particular customer base or potential employer, tailoring it to fit their wants and needs is crucial. Consider your intended audience base and what they’re looking for in a candidate or service.

Be genuine. Your short bio should be an authentic representation of your traits, experience, and personality. People are repelled by what they interpret as stretching the truth. If you’re being received as disingenuous by the reader, they’ll probably move on.

Proofread. The only way to steer clear of errors in your short bio is by proofreading it. Imagine a hiring manager being completely interested in your bio.

They love what you have to say about yourself and find your prior experience enticing. That is, until they come across a mistake that clearly shows you didn’t do proofread or edit.

Include links to your portfolio, website, or networking profile. One way to circumvent the confining factor of keeping your bio short is by including links to more detailed sources.

This can be in the form of linking your portfolio or website to allow the reader to go deeper into your discussed skills if they please, without taking up more space in your bio.

Implement these links seamlessly into your bio by attaching them to anchor words that describe what clicking will lead them to.

Add some personality. You aren’t the only person who has an impressive list of accomplishments to put on a bio, so you’re going to need to find some additional ways to make an impression.

What should a short bio include?

A short bio should include your name, what you do, and your achievements. You should also include your company or product’s brand, if you have one, and your goals and motivations for doing what you do. This humanizes you and helps you stand out from the rest of the pack.

How long is a short bio?

A short bio is typically one to three paragraphs long. These should be short paragraphs though, as other experts say that between four and eight sentences is the ideal length for a short bio.

What makes a good bio?

A good bio is succinct and memorable. Readers don’t want to spend long reading about your professional and personal life, so go back and cut it down to the important parts multiple times after you draft it. You might be surprised at how little you actually need to include.

What should you avoid putting in a short bio?

You should avoid including anything negative or arrogate. It’s never a good idea to write anything negative about previous jobs or employers. Only include positive things in your professional short bio.

It’s important to include your achievements in a short bio, but there is a fine line between mentioning your achievements and bragging about them. Stick to the facts when talking about your accomplishments.

Fremont University – Building Your Professional Bio

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Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

Don Pippin is an executive and HR leader for Fortune 50 and 500 companies and startups. In 2008, Don launched area|Talent with a focus on helping clients identify their brand. As a Certified Professional Resume Writer, Certified Digital Career Strategist, and Certified Personal Branding Strategist, Don guides clients through career transitions.

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University of Maine unveils 3D-printed home built from wood fiber and bio-resin

by WGME Staff

UMaine researchers say they have come up with a revolutionary new way to address the nation's housing shortage. The world's largest polymer 3D printer can build homes from wood fiber and bio-resin materials. (University of Maine, Advanced Structures and Composites Center)

Researchers at the University of Maine say they have come up with a revolutionary new way to address the nation's housing shortage.

A 600-square-foot single family home was built with what researchers say is the world's largest polymer 3D printer.

They say this is the first 100-percent 3D printed home built from local wood fiber and bio-resin materials.

The printer can currently produce 500 pounds of material per hour.

  • Also read: World's largest 3D printer is at University of Maine. It just unveiled an even bigger one.

Researchers say the goal is to double that to 1,000 pounds per hour.

At that rate, the printer could build a home in as little as 48 hours.

They hope to use the new technology to help address Maine’s housing crisis and revolutionize 3D home printing in the process.

Information for this story was provided via CNN Newsource.

autobiography for university

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What to know about Evansville, Tennessee baseball's super regional opponent

Tennessee baseball knows its opponent standing in the way of a third College World Series trip under coach Tony Vitello.

The No. 1 national seed Vols (53-11) will host Evansville (38-24) starting Friday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2) at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

Evansville is the ninth No. 4 seed to advance to a super regional after emerging Monday from the Greenville Regional, which was hosted by No. 16 national seed East Carolina and included preseason No. 1 Wake Forest.

Evansville is in its first super regional

Evansville reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006 this season by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. The Purples Aces run-ruled three straight games before beating top seed Indiana State 8-6 in the title game to clinch a berth

Evansville beat No. 1 seed East Carolina 4-1 in its opening game of the Greenville Regional. It beat VCU 17-11 to say in the winner's bracket before falling into a Monday final against ECU with a 19-6 loss on Sunday. It topped the Pirates 6-5 to win the regional.

The Purple Aces have an ace

Evansville is in a super regional in large part because of what Kenton Deverman did against ECU in the opener. The freshman left-handed pitcher allowed one run on three hits in eight innings, a tremendous effort that set the Purples Aces on the path to a regional win.

Deverman was named the Missouri Valley Conference freshman of the year. He was 9-1 with a 3.81 ERA. He isn't a high-strikeout pitcher with 81 in 106⅓ innings. He also doesn't walk batters with only 20. He throws a lot of strikes and gives up hits with 106 hits allowed.

Evansville relieves heavily on fifth-year pitcher Shane Harris, who has made 25 appearances, and senior starter Donovan Schultz. Schultz is 6-2 with a 5.84 ERA in 16 starts.

Evansville has a ton of experience in the lineup

Evansville's lineup is laden with veterans. The typical nine starters for the Purple Aces include four graduate students, two seniors and three juniors.

Outfielder Kip Fougerousse tied the Evansville program record for homers with his 21st Monday. The senior who transferred from Indiana hit 20, while batting .350 with 64 RBIs before Monday. Outfielder Mark Shallenberger hit .388 with 16 homers and 60 RBIs entering Monday. He slugged a three-run homer in the sixth inning of the regional-clinching game Monday.

POWER: How Tennessee baseball's vaunted lineup got even better in NCAA regional

Where is Evansville University?

The University of Evansville is a private university in Evansville, Indiana. It was founded Moores Hill College in 1854.

What is the Evansville mascot?

The Evansville mascot is the Purple Aces.

NCAA Baseball tournament: Knoxville Super Regional schedule, bracket, TV info for Tennessee vs. Evansville

At Lindsey Nelson Stadium; best-of-three format

Friday, June 7

Game 1: 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Saturday, June 8

Game 2: 11 a.m. ET on ESPN2

Sunday, June 9

Game 3 (if necessary): 6 p.m. ET on ESPNU

Mike Wilson  covers University of Tennessee athletics. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ ByMikeWilson . If you enjoy Mike’s coverage,  consider a digital subscription  that will allow you access to all of it.

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28.2  Phylum Cnidaria

Learning outcomes.

  • Compare structural and organization characteristics  Cnidaria
  • Describe the progressive development of tissues and their relevance to animal complexity
  • Identify the two general body forms found in the Cnidaria
  • State the major cnidarian classes

Phylum Cnidaria  includes animals that exhibit  radial or biradial symmetry  and are  diploblastic , meaning that they  develop from two embryonic layers, ectoderm  and  endoderm . Nearly all (about 99 percent) cnidarians are  marine  species.

The defining cell type for the cnidarians is the  cnidocyte , or  stinging cell.  These cells are located around the mouth and on the tentacles, and serve to  capture prey or repel predators . Cnidocytes have large stinging organelles called  nematocysts , which usually contain barbs at the base of a long coiled thread.

The illustration shows a nematocyst before, shown as a; and after, shown as b, firing. The nematocyst is a large, oval organelle inside a rectangular cnidocyte cell. The nematocyst is flush with the plasma membrane, and a touch-sensitive hairlike projection extends from the nematocyst to the cell's exterior. Inside the nematocyst, a thread is coiled around an inverted barb. Upon firing, a lid on the nematocyst opens. The barb pops out of the cell and the thread uncoils.

Link to Learning

View this  video  animation showing two anemones engaged in a battle.

Download Transcript

Morphology of Cnidarians

Two distinct body plan s are found in Cnidarians: the  polyp  or tuliplike “stalk” form and the  medusa  or “bell” form. ( Figure 28.6 ). An example of the polyp form is found in the genus  Hydra , whereas the most typical form of medusa is found in the group called the “sea jellies” ( jellyfish ).   Polyp forms are sessile as adults , with a single opening (the mouth/anus) to the digestive cavity facing up with tentacles surrounding it.  Medusa forms are motile , with the mouth and tentacles hanging down from an umbrella-shaped bell.

The illustration compares the medusa (a) and polyp (b) body plans. The medusa is dome-shaped, with tentacle-like appendages hanging down from the edges of the dome. The polyp looks like a tree, with a trunk at the bottom and branches at the top. Both the medusa and polyp have two tissue layers, with mesoglea in between. The mesoglea is thicker in the dome of the medusa than in the polyp. Both also have a central body cavity.

All cnidarians are diploblastic and thus have two “epithelial” layers in the body that are derived from the endoderm and ectoderm of the embryo. The outer layer (from ectoderm) is called the  epidermis  and lines the  outside of the animal , whereas the inner layer (from endoderm) is called the  gastrodermis  and  lines the digestive cavity . In the planula larva, a layer of ectoderm surrounds a solid mass of endoderm, but as the polyp develops, the digestive or gastrovascular cavity opens within the endoderm. A non-living, jelly-like  mesoglea  lies between these two epithelial layers. In terms of cellular complexity, cnidarians show the presence of  differentiated cell types in each tissue layer,  such as nerve cells, contractile epithelial cells, enzyme-secreting cells, and nutrient-absorbing cells, as well as the presence of intercellular connections. However, the  development of organs or organ systems is not advanced in this phylum.

Physiological Processes of Cnidarians

The  nervous system  is rudimentary, with  nerve cells organized in a network  scattered across the body.

The  gastrovascular cavity has only one opening  that serves as both a mouth and an anus; this arrangement is called an i ncomplete digestive system . In the gastrovascular cavity,  extracellular   digestion  occurs as food is taken into the gastrovascular cavity, enzymes are secreted into the cavity, and the cells lining the cavity absorb nutrients. However, some intracellular digestion also occurs. The gastrovascular cavity distributes nutrients throughout the body of the animal, with nutrients passing from the digestive cavity across the mesoglea to the epidermal cells. Thus, this cavity serves both digestive and circulatory functions.

Cnidarian cells  exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide by diffusion  between cells in the epidermis and water in the environment, and between cells in the gastrodermis and water in the gastrovascular cavity. The  lack of a circulatory system to move dissolved gases limits the thickness of the body wall  and necessitates a non-living mesoglea between the layers. In the cnidarians with a thicker mesoglea, a number of canals help to distribute both nutrients and gases. There is  neither an excretory system  nor organs, and nitrogenous wastes simply diffuse from the cells into the water outside the animal or into the gastrovascular cavity.

The phylum Cnidaria contains about 10,000 described species divided into two monophyletic clades: the  Anthozoa  and the  Medusozoa . The Anthozoa include the corals, sea fans, sea whips, and the sea anemones. The Medusozoa include several classes of Cnidaria in two clades: The  Hydrozoa  include sessile forms, some medusoid forms, and swimming colonial forms like the Portuguese man-of-war. The other clade contains various types of  jellies  including both  Scyphozoa  ( jellyfish ) and  Cubozoa (box jellies)  The Anthozoa contain only sessile polyp forms, while the Medusozoa include species with both polyp and medusa forms in their life cycle.

Class Anthozoa:  Corals, sea fans, sea whips, sea anemones

Part a shows a photo of a sea anemone with a pink, oval body surrounded by thick, waving tentacles. Part b shows a cross-section of a sea anemone, which has a tube-shaped body with an opening called a gastrovascular cavity at its center. Ribbon-like septa divide this cavity into segments. A mesogleal layer separates the inner surface of the anemone from the outer surface. A mouth is located at the top of the gastrovascular cavity. Tentacles that contain stinging cnidocytes surround the mouth.

Class Scyphozoa:  Jellyfish

Part a shows a photo of a bright red jellyfish with a dome-shaped body. Long tentacles drift from the bottom edge of the dome, and ribbon-like appendages trail from the middle of the body. Part b shows a cross-section of a jellyfish, which has nematocyst-bearing tentacles hanging from the bottom of the dome. Underneath the middle of the dome is an opening that serves as both a mouth and an anus. The opening leads to a gastrovascular cavity that is lined with a gastrodermis. The outer surface of the body is covered with an epidermis. Between the epidermis and gastrodermis is the mesoglea.

Class Cubozoa: Box Jellies

Photo A shows a person holding a small vial with a white jelly inside. The jelly is no bigger than a human fingernail. Illustration B shows a thimble-shaped jelly with two thick protrusions visible on either side. Tentacles radiate from the protrusions, and more tentacles radiate from the back. Photo C shows a sign posted on a beach beside the ocean that reads,danger, no swimming; with a picture of a jelly.

Class Hydrozoa:  Hydras, Siphophores (Portuguese Man o’ War)

Photo a shows Obelia, which has a body composed of branching polyps. Photo b shows a Portuguese Man O War, which has ribbon-like tentacles dangling from a clear, bulbous structure, resembling an inflated plastic bag. Photo c shows Velella bae, which resembles a flying saucer with a blue bottom and a clear, dome-shaped top. Photo d shows a hydra with long tentacles, extending from a tube-shaped body.

General Biology Copyright © by Mary Ann Clark; Matthew Douglas; and Jung Choi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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  30. 28.2 Phylum Cnidaria

    Figure 28.5 Cnidocytes. Animals from the phylum Cnidaria have stinging cells called cnidocytes. Cnidocytes contain large organelles called (a) nematocysts that store a coiled thread and barb, the nematocyst. When the hairlike cnidocil on the cell surface is touched, even lightly, (b) the thread, barb, and a toxin are fired from the organelle.