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How To Write An Autobiography?

18 Jan 2018

Although autobiography can’t be called the most difficult academic assignment, students of all levels often feel anxious about this task simply because they do not understand how to fulfill it in a proper manner. Apart from the fact that any academic written assignment requires good knowledge, a certain level of writing skills, creative set of mind, and even a bit of a talent, writing an autobiography also requires self-analysis. This is what makes it difficult for many people. Often, we just find it difficult to talk about ourselves and our life from a different point of view, analyzing our experiences, thoughts or identities.

What Is The Autobiography Definition?

An autobiography is an account of a person's life written or otherwise recorded by that person.

We bet that you are already aware of its meaning. However, here is a quick reminder of what an autobiography is – it is a literary genre that assumes that a text is based on the real-life facts about its author, his life, feelings, thoughts, experiences, etc. This is a common assignment at many educational institutions. Often, this paper is assigned to students with a purpose to help their self-identification and learn more about their personalities, and, at the same time, test their ability to write a high-quality text, organize their thoughts properly, meet the set deadlines, follow the teacher’s guidelines, etc.

Autobiography Outline

Writing an autobiography without a plan is almost impossible. During the writing process, you will have to recall too many details, events, and people that it will be easy to get lost in these memories and forget about the proper organization of the facts. To avoid this you need to make a short outline. This will help you to follow the right structure of the text and not forget important aspects that you wanted to include in your paper.

Follow these steps to create an outline:

  • Formulate and write down the title of your paper;
  • Start your text with a short intro, explaining why you are writing an autobiography and specifying the goals and focus of the paper;
  • Note down several subheadings in a chronological order (for example, infancy, childhood, school years, adulthood, and other or you can make different subheadings depending on your goals and focus);
  • Add 1-3 most significant points under each subheading (to make the further process easier, mark them with dates right away);
  • Write a brief explanation for every point you have made (add names, places, and other important notes).

The Right Autobiography Structure Template

The structure can vary. Depending on the given guidelines and goals of the work, you may have a different structure. However, just to help you find some inspiration and find out what you should talk about in the text, here is a short template:

My childhood

  1. Tell where you were born;
  2. Talk about your family;
  3. Highlight the most memorable moments (people) from your childhood;

Who I am today

  1. Say a few words about the “present” you;
  2. Tell about what you like;

Goals

  1. Specify your life goals and values;

Positive and negative experiences

  1. Provide a few examples of your experiences and analyze them;

Conclusion.

How To Choose The Right Format?

Your main goal is to write down the story of your life. The purpose of the text can be any, in any case, you are sharing your experiences with the reader; however, choosing a wrong format can make your task quite challenging. Here are the standard formats that can be used:

  • Memoir;
  • Vignette;
  • Personal narrative/Essay;
  • Drama/Script;
  • Graphic novel;
  • Traditional autobiography.

These are the main types of autobiographies. Some of them, like a traditional autobiography, cover the whole life (from birth to the present moment), while others, for example, an essay, cover only one period of life or a specific event. As a rule, your teacher should clarify what format has to be used.

What To Write About?

This is the most difficult question, as students often do not understand where to start from and what facts to include or avoid in their text. Here is a list of top best autobiography questions to answer in your paper:

  1. My life goals;
  2. What the meaning of the life is to me;
  3. How I see myself in five years;
  4. My family;
  5. My favorite subjects at school;
  6. My childhood role-models;
  7. The most life-defining moment in my life;
  8. My first job and how it affected me;
  9. My favorite teachers and how they influenced my personality;
  10. My passions (hobbies);
  11. The worst job experience I had;
  12. The event from my past that has affected me the most;
  13. My future job;
  14. The most nostalgic memories from my childhood;
  15. What is my purpose in the society;
  16. The legacy I strive to leave;
  17. My ancestral roots;
  18. People who have changed my life;
  19. The most positive and negative experiences in my life and the lessons I’ve learned from them;
  20. How my parents helped me in my personal development and self-identification.

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