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How To Write An Autobiography Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

Mar 29, 2022

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Mar 29, 2022 | Blog

What Is An Autobiography Essay?

An autobiographical essay describes or gives a documented account of the life of an individual from the writer’s perspective. It is written based on the writer’s knowledge of himself or herself as well as his or her own personal experience. As opposed to the memoir essay, which describes one pivotal moment or set of moments in the writer’s life, a biography essay describes the entire life of the person from the point of view of the writer.

A biography essay should include interesting and essential facts about the subject’s life story. A biography is not just a list of facts about a person. Instead, an autobiography essay showcases details of your life in chronological order. The reader will learn about events that shaped who this person became during his or her lifetime.

This type of essay also carries a tone, either positive or negative, with regard to the subject matter that is being discussed in it.

An autobiography essay is supposed to focus on yourself only and it should not mention too many other people. The basic purpose of writing this essay type is to tell the reader about you and your life in general. Autobiography essays are not based on any famous personalities like James Baldwin or Jack London.  But when they write it themselves, it becomes a biography of a famous person.

Steps to writing an autobiographical essay

The following are the steps to follow to produce a good autobiographical essay:

Step 1: Read other autobiographies

The first thing you need to do is gain a basic understanding of autobiographical paper writing. One of the best ways of doing that is by reading other people’s autobiographies. There are thousands of published autobiographies to choose from, but the best ones to read first are those of people you find inspiring.

Researching biographies can help you decide what kind of information is appropriate for your own autobiography. The parts of a biography that interest you may not be the most interesting points of your life. Think about what is important to reveal about you that will not be clear from the rest of the application.

Step 2. Review your life

List all of the important people, places, and events in your life. Include family members, friends, teachers, coaches, and employers. Consider where you lived and what you did as a child, a teen, a young adult, and into middle age.

Your biography should contain information that is unique to you so that readers can get to know you better than they would by reading other applications or interviews with you. Once you have made a list of key events in your life that make up who you are today, go back through each one and write down specific details about them.

Step 3. List the experiences and events to include

As you review your life make a list of the events and experiences you are considering including. This list will help you categorize your experiences and organize them in a logical manner.

Choose events that are interesting and memorable, or that helped shape or change you in some way. It is also important to consider how you want your good story to come across to readers.

Step 4. Pick a topic

You cannot write everything about your life in one essay. That is why you need to narrow down and focus on one topic. The categories you divided your life experiences into will help you do that. You need to be objective enough to pick a topic that will be interesting to your target audience.

A good topic for your autobiographical essays is something that does one of the following:

  • Gets attention
  • Makes people interested in knowing more about you
  • Shows that you have learned from a significant event or experience in your life

Step 5. Brainstorm ideas

After finding a topic to focus on. Think through your experiences for the key concepts of what to write.

Ask yourself the following questions before including a specific experience:

  • Why is the experience important to you?
  • Why this specific experience and not others?
  • Which details about this experience are worth sharing with your reader?
  • What lessons did you learn from this experience?
  • How did the experience change you?
  • Which feelings do you want to evoke in your reader?

Step 6. Create an outline

An outline assists in planning. Your outline should have the sections covered under the subheading, the structure of autobiographical essays, above. Roughly write down what you intend to include under each section.

The outline is what you will follow when writing to avoid omitting some details. Also, it will help you to avoid digressing and enable you to easily track your progress as you write.

Step 7. Write the essay

At this point, you have everything you need to start writing.

If you observed the previous steps, writing the essay will be relatively easy.

Step 8. Proofread your work

After finishing your essay, keenly go over it to correct grammar errors such as spelling, bad tense, and wrong punctuation.

Consider having someone else go over your work – they might see mistakes you missed and even offer valuable advice on how to improve the essay.

How to Structure an Autobiography Essay?

In this section, we are going to look at the general principles of the structure of autobiographical essays. The following autobiography format and basic framework include: introduction, body and conclusion


The introduction section is essentially the face of your autobiography essay example. A good introduction serves to capture the attention of your readers and helps them in understanding what your story is going to be about. It should contain a thesis statement that gives a summary of yourself and short background information about you.

Like in any other essay and research paper, the introduction of an autobiographical essay should:

  • Capture the attention of the reader and stir interest in reading the rest of the paper
  • Introduce the main idea and theme of the paper

An autobiographical essay introduction should mention your:

  • Age (birth date)
  • High school days or your days as a first year
  • Personal qualities
  • View of the world

You could make the introductory paragraph more interesting by including a few details about your experiences.

However, the paragraph should not be very long, just 2 or 3 sentences.


The body section contains all the information that supports your introduction. It basically tells the readers more about you and takes them into your life journey. It is basically divided into paragraphs where you can discuss important events in your life as they happened chronologically (in order) or categorically (traditionally in five paragraphs). You can use other methods based on how you want to organize your story like by place where most events took place or by the time when most events happened (morning, afternoon, evening or night).


The conclusion section wraps up everything that you have written so far. It talks about what life lessons you learned from those experiences and how they have helped shape the person that you are today.

Good Examples of Professional Autobiographies

We have numerous sample essays including a short autobiography example below to inspire you. It is an example of an autobiography to inspire you. Here are many other autobiography essay examples that you can read and use as an outline for inspiration.

My Autobiography Essay Example

Autobiography Essay Example



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