Ultimate Guide To Writing A Biography In 2021

The biography is a genre of literature that tells the story of a person’s life. Since every life is unique, there are basically no general instructions for writing a biography.

Do you want to write a biography? Are you asked to complete a biographical essay assignment? If yes, then, right now, a lot of questions would have popped up in your mind about how to write an impressive biography essay. Cool! To clarify all your doubts, this guide will help you. You can also take professional help from essay writing services available throughout the web.

You might have read the biographies of famous personalities, but writing your own biographies is a really challenging task. Like every other person in this world, you will also have a story to tell, but the thing is you have to present the content or narrate your life story in an interesting way to make your biographies stand out in the crowd.

There are some basic rules and tips on how the author can proceed if he wants to write his own biography.

What Is A Biography?

A biography tells the story of a particular person’s life. These are mostly public figures, politicians, authors and artists, scientists, or people who have made an important contribution to society.

The term biography comes from Greek and means something like “to write life”. It is made up of “bíos” for “life” and “gráphō” for “scratch”, “paint”, “write”. Biography can also be rewritten as a résumé or life story.

A biography includes the origin of the person, how they grew up, what education they received, and important life events that shaped them. In doing so, individual phases of life are usually worked out that was of high value for personal development or that reflect the main topic.

Biographies can show family genealogies as well as describe the subjective perception of the world. Her topics include war or childhood experiences, illnesses, strokes of fate, migration experiences, special professions, careers, travel, artistic achievements, and more.

They are either written by the person concerned (autobiography) or by someone else. Literary sub-genres of biography are, for example, the autobiographical novel, national biographies, and short biographies.

Types Of Biography

Not all biographies are the same. It differs in who writes it, how it is written, and what it is used for. For example, an autobiography is written by the person himself, a short biography or a role biography is more often needed in school and written by the students about someone else.

  • Autobiography

An autobiography is a literary representation of one’s own life or of one’s entire life up to the point in time when it is written down. In contrast to the biography, it is always written by the person concerned. A biography, on the other hand, is written by someone else.

In the case of the autobiography, a retrospective is created for the reader from the author’s point of view. This perspective creates a special relationship between the identity of the author, the narrator, and the selected protagonists. The perspective is subjective, but still pursues a certain claim to objectivity. Strictly speaking, an autobiography is one of the factual texts.

It is different from an autobiographical novel, in which fiction and reality are sometimes blurred. In addition, the historical context, the zeitgeist, personal convictions, and the contemporary writing style can influence the type of presentation and can therefore be traced back to biographical information.

  • Short Biography

The short biography in school is mostly written to give an overview of the life of a famous person or a writer. It is used, for example, for presentations or text analysis.

Here the most important parts of the life of the person are recorded. This includes the date of birth and death as well as the place, childhood, education and career, special achievements, and experiences that have shaped the person.

Depending on the purpose for which the biography is written, a focus is set. For example, if the text analysis is focused on a particular literary epoch, the time and country in which the person lived are important.

In presentations, it is usually customary to write a short biography in bullet points. In a household or for example, a novel analysis needs to be formulated, however. For this purpose, the most important things are summarized in the introduction in a few sentences, in the main part the life dates are mentioned and at the end, an outlook is given of what the person is doing today or what significance he still has.

  • Role Biography

The role biography is also used in academics. In contrast to the short biography, it is not the life of real personalities but of fictional characters that are worked out with their help. This includes general facts and characteristics, the external appearance, inner values, particular characteristics, the language, the history of the figure, and its social relationships.

Character traits are recorded, but the role biography differs from the characterization. Characterization is more likely to be written from the outside perspective. The role biography, on the other hand, is written in the first person.

How Do You Write A Biography?

Athletes, stars, young entrepreneurs, activists, but also refugees, sect dropouts, or people who had to overcome severe personal crises – they can all tell something that interests, inspires, or encourages other people. However, it is not possible to include every detail of life in a biography. That’s why writing a biography is also about the art of omission. Therefore, you should first determine what is particularly important to you before you start writing your biography.

Writing A Biography: Structure and Concept

Before you start writing your bio, you should decide whether you want to publish your book or whether it should remain private. In the latter case, you need to take into account that readers are unfamiliar with your story. It may be helpful to add a timeline or a chronological overview to your biography.

Writing a biography is also easier for you if you work with a timeline. You can use it to visualize the main characters and main lines. It is also suitable for planning time leaps or flashbacks.

Usually, the structure of biography is quite straightforward: the book begins at birth and ends at the time of writing the biography. However, there are attractive alternatives. Your first memories could just as well be at the beginning. Because who remembers when they were born? Or you start with an event that changed your life and moved you to write your biography.

A foreword and an epilogue round off your biography.

Life Path In Chapters

Of course, when writing a biography, it is advisable to structure it according to the normal stages of life, i.e. birth, childhood, youth and school time, career. However, it is much more exciting for the reader if you orientate yourself on your most intense experiences when writing your biography. As a result, you should above all work out defining sections, i.e. friendships, crises, professional or private turning points, possibly also social events.

In addition, the book is more pleasant to read if you divide it into subsections. Therefore, when you talk about your profession, you can, for example, start with a section about career choice. After all, it’s interesting to read how you got into the job in the first place. Did you have any other career aspirations? Who were your role models? Next, you can add a separate section about your education and a section about your first years of employment. Perhaps you have changed company, retrained, and started all over again?

The modern paths of life are no longer as straightforward as the paths of previous generations. Aside from structuring your biography writing, dividing the chapters into subsections will also make it easier for your reader to follow you.

Checklist: Which Stations Are Important?

Although a biography usually spans the life path from birth to the time of writing the biography, in the end, you decide how much you want to share. Therefore, instead of sticking to a strictly chronological sequence, you can start your biography with a decisive experience. Of course, what you find interesting yourself can differ from what the reader finds exciting. That is why we have put together a checklist for you, which stations you should consider in your biography:

  • Formative experiences
  • The crisis
  • Professional and personal turning points
  • Important people in your life
  • External circumstances such as the zeitgeist or important political events
  • Recurring questions

Guide To Writing A Good Biography

We have a guide for you with which you can write a biography or autobiography in nine steps. In the following we assume an autobiography to make it more understandable and easy. However, the instructions can also be applied to writing someone else’s bio. Do the same, just relate each step to that person’s life.

  • Organize Your Life into Broad Chapters

If you want to write your own bio, the first step is to organize your life into broad chapters. Depending on how old you are and how much you have already experienced, you will find more or fewer events there that have significantly shaped your life.

  • Take Notes On Each Chapter

The second step is to take notes on each of your life chapters. Write down in note form what you associate with this phase of life, which people appeared in it, and try to define rough periods of time based on data.

  • Ask Yourself A Questionnaire

After you’ve made rough notes of how your life has been structured, you can ask yourself a questionnaire for the details. We have noted a few questions for you that you can ask yourself little by little. Think carefully about each and every question and include marginal characters who may have had more meaning in your life than you would initially assume.

  • Get Help From Relatives And Friends

In the next step, you get friends and relatives to help you who have already experienced a lot with you. Conduct interviews about specific situations and ask them in general which moments they remembered with you.

  • Correcting And Editing

After you’ve made some changes and tweaked the content, it’s time to fix it. First, go over all of your text yourself and fix grammatical and spelling mistakes. You can take biographical essay writing help from the UK from the experts of the industry to proofread and edit your assignment.