Jun 23, 2023

Biographical Essay Examples: Learn How to Tell a Compelling Life Story in Writing

Explore the art of storytelling through captivating biographical essays. Join us on a journey of discovery as we unveil inspiring examples that teach you how to craft compelling life stories. Step into the world of biography writing and learn how to engage readers with fascinating narratives. Get ready to bring extraordinary lives to life on the page!

The art of storytelling has been an integral part of human culture since the dawn of civilization. It is through stories that we learn about the lives of others, understand different perspectives, and gain insight into the human experience. Biographical essays, in particular, provide a unique opportunity to delve into the life story of an individual and share their journey with readers. In this article, we will explore biographical essay examples and learn how to tell a compelling life story in writing.

What Is a Biographical Essay?

A biographical essay is a piece of writing in which you narrate the life story of an individual. It provides an opportunity for you to conduct research and discover fascinating details and perspectives concerning someone. A biographical essay is also a written account of an individual's life, highlighting their achievements, experiences, and personal characteristics. It can be about historical figures, famous personalities, or even ordinary people who have made a significant impact on the world or those around them. Biographical essays are often used in academic settings to provide insight into a person's life and contributions, but they can also be written for personal, professional, or entertainment purposes.

One of the key elements of a compelling biographical essay is a well-crafted narrative. The narrative structure helps to engage readers and keeps them interested in the story being told. A 

A good biographical essay should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, just like any other story. It should have a strong opening that hooks the reader, a well-paced middle that provides details about the person's life, and a satisfying conclusion that ties everything together.

Biographical Essay Writing Tips

Writing a biographical essay requires careful planning, research, and storytelling skills to create a compelling narrative that captures the essence of a person's life. Here are some tips to help you craft an engaging biographical essay:

Choose a Fascinating Subject:

The first step in writing a biographical essay is to choose a subject whose life story is intriguing and resonates with your audience. Whether it's a historical figure, a famous personality, or an ordinary person who has made a difference, ensure that your subject has a compelling life story that is worth exploring and sharing.

Conduct Thorough Research:

Research is the foundation of any biographical essay. Conduct in-depth research on your subject, including their background, achievements, challenges, and contributions. Utilize primary and secondary sources, such as biographies, memoirs, interviews, and historical records, to gather accurate and reliable information. This research will provide the basis for your essay and ensure that your writing is well-informed and credible.

Develop a Clear Outline:

Before you start writing, develop a clear outline that organizes your ideas and provides a structure for your essay. Outline the main sections of your essay , such as the introduction, background information, key events or milestones, challenges faced, achievements, and conclusion. This will help you maintain a coherent and organized flow throughout your essay.

Tell a Story:

A biographical essay is not just a collection of facts, but a compelling story that engages the reader. Use storytelling techniques, such as vivid descriptions, dialogues, and anecdotes, to bring your subject's life to life on the page. Focus on key events or moments that shaped your subject's life and highlight their emotions, motivations, and experiences. This will create a personal connection between the reader and your subject, making your essay more engaging and memorable.

Be Objective and Balanced:

While it's important to be inspired by your subject, strive to maintain objectivity and balance in your writing. Present a well-rounded and nuanced view of your subject, including their strengths, weaknesses, successes, and failures. Avoid bias or exaggeration, and ensure that your essay is based on factual information and credible sources.

Provide Context:

Provide context for your subject's life story by incorporating relevant historical, social, or cultural information. This will help readers understand the background and circumstances in which your subject lived and provide a deeper understanding of their life and achievements. However, be mindful of not overwhelming your essay with excessive background information, and focus on what is relevant to your subject's story.

Edit and Revise:

Like any other form of writing, editing, and revising are crucial in crafting a compelling biographical essay. After completing your first draft, take the time to review and revise your essay for clarity, coherence, and flow. Check for any factual inaccuracies, grammar, or spelling errors, and ensure that your essay follows a logical structure. Consider seeking feedback from peers or mentors to gain different perspectives and improve your essay.

Show Respect and Empathy:

When writing about someone's life, it's important to show respect and empathy towards your subject. Avoid sensationalism or exploitation of their life story and strive to depict them in a dignified and compassionate manner. Acknowledge their achievements, challenges, and contributions with sincerity and respect, and be mindful of their privacy and personal boundaries.

Be Authentic:

Finally, be authentic in your writing. Share your voice and perspective while staying true to the facts and nuances of your subject's life. Bring your unique perspective and insights to the essay, and strive to make it a genuine reflection of your writing style and personal connection with your subject.

In conclusion, writing a biographical essay requires careful research, storytelling skills, and a respectful

Personal Essay

My Journey: Embracing Life's Adventures

Life is an unpredictable adventure, full of twists and turns that shape who we become. Throughout my journey, I have encountered challenges, triumphs, and everything in between. I have learned that

Resilience and perseverance are crucial in overcoming obstacles, and every experience, whether positive or negative, has valuable lessons to offer. I have also realized the importance of cherishing the present moment and embracing new opportunities with an open heart and mind. Life may be uncertain, but I am determined to make the most of it, explore new horizons, and continually grow and evolve along the way.

Essay Examples

"The Untold Story of Nelson Mandela: From Prisoner to President"

This biographical essay tells the life story of Nelson Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. The essay starts with an attention-grabbing opening that introduces the reader to Mandela's imprisonment on Robben Island and the hardships he faced during his time in captivity. It then delves into his early life, education, and activism against apartheid, painting a vivid picture of his journey from prisoner to president. The essay includes anecdotes, quotes, and historical context that provide a well-rounded portrayal of Mandela's life and legacy.

"The Power of Perseverance: The Life of Helen Keller"

This biographical essay tells the remarkable story of Helen Keller, an American author, political activist, and lecturer who was both blind and deaf. The essay begins with an engaging introduction that highlights Keller's disabilities and the challenges she faced from a young age. It then delves into her childhood, her relationship with her teacher Anne Sullivan, and her accomplishments as a writer and social activist. The essay uses vivid descriptions and sensory details to transport the reader into Keller's world and conveys the incredible strength of her character.

"Rising Above Adversity: The Journey of Malala Yousafzai"

This biographical essay tells the inspiring story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and women's rights who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban. The essay begins with a gripping prologue that describes the attack on Malala and sets the stage for her remarkable journey. It then traces her early life, her advocacy for girls' education, and the challenges she faced under the Taliban's rule. The essay includes anecdotes, quotes, and personal reflections that provide a compelling portrayal of Malala's courage and resilience in the face of adversity.

Writing Inspiration

Writing a biographical essay can be an inspiring and fulfilling endeavor. As a writer, you have the unique opportunity to delve into the life story of an individual and share their experiences, achievements, and personal characteristics with readers. Here are some sources of inspiration that can help you find compelling stories for your biographical essay.

Historical Figures:

Throughout history, there have been countless individuals who have made significant contributions to society, shaped the course of events, or left a lasting legacy. From political leaders and innovators to artists and activists, the lives of historical figures are often rich with intriguing stories that can make for compelling biographical essays. You can choose to write about well-known figures like Martin Luther King Jr. , Marie Curie , or Leonardo da Vinci , or explore lesser-known figures whose stories deserve to be told.

Famous Personalities:

Celebrities, athletes, musicians, and other famous personalities often have fascinating life stories that can make for compelling biographical essays. These individuals often face unique challenges, overcome obstacles, and achieve remarkable success in their respective fields. Writing about their journey, struggles, and achievements can provide insights into their lives beyond the public persona, and offer readers a glimpse into the realities of fame and fortune.

Ordinary People:

While historical figures and famous personalities may be popular choices for biographical essays, the lives of ordinary people can also be a rich source of inspiration. Everyday individual who have faced adversity, achieved personal milestones, or made a difference in their communities can have compelling life stories that resonate with readers. It could be a family member, a neighbor, a teacher, or someone you have come across in your community whose story has profoundly touched you. Writing about their life can shed light on the power of resilience, determination, and the human spirit.

Personal Experiences:

Another source of inspiration for a biographical essay can be your own experiences. Reflecting on your own life story or the lives of those close to you can provide unique insights and perspectives that can make for a compelling narrative. It could be a story of overcoming challenges, pursuing a passion, or learning from failures and successes. Sharing your personal experiences in a biographical essay can be deeply introspective and provide a genuine connection with your readers.

Researching various topics , events, or historical periods can also lead you to interesting life stories that can inspire your biographical essay. Exploring different eras, cultures, or social movements can uncover fascinating individuals whose stories are worth telling.

Essay Structure

The structure of a biographical essay typically follows a basic essay structure consisting of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, there may be slight variations depending on the purpose of the essay and the specific requirements of the assignment.

Here is a breakdown of the typical structure of a biographical essay:


The introduction sets the tone for the essay and should grab the reader's attention. It should provide some background information about the subject of the essay and include a thesis statement that summarizes the main point of the essay.

Body paragraphs

The body of the essay contains the main content and should be organized into several paragraphs. Each paragraph should focus on a different aspect of the subject's life or accomplishments, such as childhood, education , career, or personal relationships. It should provide specific details, anecdotes, and examples to support the thesis statement and provide a clear understanding of the subject's life.

The conclusion ties everything together and should restate the thesis statement differently. It should summarize the key points made in the body paragraphs and leave the reader with a lasting impression. The conclusion may also provide some final thoughts or reflections on the subject's life and legacy.

Famous Personality

Allama Iqbal: A Visionary Poet and Philosopher

Allama Iqbal, also known as Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, was a prominent poet, philosopher, and politician who is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers in the history of modern South Asia. Born on November 9, 1877, in Sialkot, a city in present-day Pakistan, Iqbal grew up in a devout Muslim family and was deeply influenced by the teachings of Islam from a young age.

Iqbal's early education took place in Sialkot, and he later went to Lahore, where he completed his Bachelor's degree from Government College. He then traveled to England to pursue higher education, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Cambridge University and later completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Munich University in Germany. During his time in Europe, Iqbal was exposed to various intellectual and philosophical ideas, which would later shape his worldview and contribute to his renowned poetry and philosophical writings.

One of Iqbal's most significant contributions was his poetry, which is known for its rich imagery, deep philosophical insights, and powerful messages of spiritual awakening and social reform. Iqbal's poetry was deeply rooted in his love for Islam and his longing for the revival of Islamic values and principles in the face of colonialism, social injustices, and moral decay.

In his poetry, Iqbal emphasized the importance of self-realization, self-respect, and self-reliance, and called for Muslims to rise above their individual and societal challenges and strive for excellence. He actively participated in the struggle for the rights of Muslims in British India and advocated for the establishment of an independent Muslim state. Iqbal's famous Allahabad Address in 1930, where he proposed the idea of a separate Muslim state in the Indian subcontinent, laid the foundation for the creation of Pakistan as an independent nation for Muslims in 1947.

Despite his remarkable contributions, Iqbal's life was not without challenges. He faced criticism, opposition, and personal setbacks during his lifetime, but his unwavering commitment to his beliefs and his passion for serving humanity remained unshakable

Life Stories

Throughout history, countless individuals have left indelible marks on the world through their remarkable lives. From visionaries and leaders to artists and activists, their stories inspire and captivate us, showcasing the boundless potential of the human spirit. Here are three compelling biographical stories of individuals whose lives have had a lasting impact on society.

Nelson Mandela: The Courageous Anti-Apartheid Activist

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, born on July 18, 1918, in a small village in South Africa, grew up witnessing the oppressive system of apartheid, which enforced racial segregation and discrimination. As a young man, Mandela became a vocal advocate for the rights of Black South Africans and joined the African National Congress (ANC) to fight against apartheid.

Mandela's activism and resistance against the apartheid regime led to his imprisonment for 27 years, during which he became an international symbol of the anti-apartheid movement. Despite the harsh conditions of imprisonment, Mandela remained steadfast in his beliefs and never wavered in his pursuit of justice and equality.

After his release from prison in 1990, Mandela continued his fight against apartheid and worked toward reconciliation and unity among all racial groups in South Africa. In 1994, he became the country's first Black president through the first fully democratic elections, and he served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Mandela's leadership and unwavering commitment to justice and equality continue to inspire people around the world, making him an iconic figure in the fight against oppression.

Frida Kahlo: The Resilient Mexican Artist

Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon, known as Frida Kahlo, was born on July 6, 1907, in Mexico City, Mexico. She is widely regarded as one of the most prominent and influential artists of the 20th century, known for her surrealist and vibrant self-portraits that conveyed her physical and emotional pain.

Kahlo's life was marked by immense physical and emotional challenges. At the age of 18, she was involved in a devastating bus accident that left her with severe injuries, including a broken spine and pelvis. She endured numerous surgeries and spent months in bed recovering, during which she turned to painting as a means of expressing her emotions and experiences.

Kahlo's art was deeply personal and often depicted her physical and emotional pain, her Mexican heritage, and her feminist ideologies. Her paintings often featured vivid colors, surreal elements, and symbolic imagery, which earned her international recognition and acclaim.

Despite her physical challenges, Kahlo's resilience and determination to pursue her passion for art never wavered. She continued to paint and create despite her chronic pain and multiple health issues, and her art continues to captivate and inspire audiences around the world to this day.

Malala Yousafzai: The Fearless Education Activist

Malala Yousafzai was born on July 12, 1997, in Mingora, Swat District, Pakistan. From a young age, Malala was a passionate advocate for education and girls' rights in her native Swat Valley, where the Taliban had enforced a ban on girls' education.

At the age of 11, Malala began writing a blog for BBC Urdu under a pseudonym, where she documented her life under Taliban rule and her determination to fight for education. Her activism gained international attention, and she became a prominent voice for girls' education worldwide.

Embarking on the journey of life, we encounter a tapestry of experiences that shape who we are and add depth to our existence. From overcoming obstacles and celebrating growth to embracing new opportunities, we come to appreciate the captivating unpredictability of life's adventures. Each of us holds a unique journey, filled with invaluable lessons and cherished memories that fuel personal development. 

When it comes to writing biographical essays, tools like Jenni.ai can be a game-changer. With its AI-powered features, Jenni.ai offers invaluable assistance in developing strong thesis statements, and helping you produce high-quality articles. By leveraging this, you can save time and energy while producing exceptional work. 

Embrace the art of writing biographical essays, and unlock new avenues of academic and professional success by following the steps outlined in this article and harnessing the power of Jenni.ai. Seize the opportunity to become a skilled essay writer by signing up for Jenni.ai today , and embark on a transformative journey towards achieving your writing goals!

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How to write a biography essay

Ibrahim Akturk

  • March 29, 2022

A biography essay is a type of academic writing that tells the story of someone’s life, typically focusing on their achievements, struggles, and impact on the world.

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to write a compelling biography essay that engages readers and tells the story of a person’s life in a meaningful way.

Choose a person to write a biography

First you need to choose a person to write about. The person should have made significant contributions to his/her respective field. This person should also be well-known as you will need resources to find information.

For this guide, we will be writing our biography essay on French-Algerian philosopher and author Albert Camus . There’re some reasons why Albert Camus is a suitable topic for a biography essay:

  • He is an influential person in his field.
  • He has many works that we can refer to in our essay .​
  • There are many reliable sources where we can find information about him. ​

Gather information on the person

You need some information about your the person you chose. While getting this information, pay attention to two main factors: the credibility of your source and what information you are putting in your essay.

Credibility of your source

  • Does this source have any authors and/or editors listed?
  • Does this source cite or link to trustworthy sources?​
  • Is this source prepared professionally?​

If your sources check all the boxes, they are most likely reliable sources . However, if a source doesn’t have any authors, has no citation, or is poorly written, consider it risky.

Information included in the essay

  • Is this information useful in the context of my essay?
  • Is this development remarkable in my subject’s life story? ​

You can definitely add the information if they meet these criteria. If not, it’s best to keep them out.

Use of important information on the person

Now, we will be choosing information from Albert Camus’ life story to include in our biography essay. 

  • Albert Camus was born on 7 November 1913 in French Algeria. (We choose to include this information because it is reasonable to start with this line for a biography essay.)
  • He published his essay The Myth of Sisyphus in the year 1942. (This information is essential because this essay explains his notion of “the absurd,” a philosophy he is widely known for.)​
  • He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957. (This event is a significant acknowledgment of his works; therefore, it should be included.)​
  • He died on 4 January 1960 in France. (A reasonable ending point for a biography essay.) ​

Create an outline

essay outline structure

Preparing an outline is essential for biography essays just like any other essay . You can follow our typical outline preparing process in this step because biography essays also adhere to the traditional essay structure.

Biography Essay Outline Example

Albert Camus Biography Essay

  • Open with a curious quote by Albert Camus
  • Explain how Camus contributed to his field
  • Further explore Albert Camus' stance on the field
  • Present your thesis statement
  • Topic sentence of your paragraph
  • Albert's accomplishments and more personal information
  • Closing sentence
  • Restate your thesis statement
  • Mention the importance of Albert Camus
  • Finish your essay with memorable concluding sentences by highlighting Camus' importance

Important reminder

Write an introduction.

The introduction paragraph is crucial. Because you need to grab the reader’s attention at this part. This is where a hook sentence is useful. With a hook sentence , you can start your essay in multiple interesting directions for you reader: 

  • Start your introduction with a quote from your subject, especially one that reveals their personality.
  • Start with an intriguing story or an interesting anecdote about your subject. ​
  • Start by informing the reader about a significant accomplishment of your subject.​

Biography essay introduction example

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” This is a quote by French-Algerian philosopher, writer, and journalist Albert Camus. Camus was born in French Algeria on 7 November 1913. Opening: Intriguing quote that grabs the reader’s attention and summarizes Camus’ philosophy He is one of the most prominent writers of absurdist philosophical thought. Subject: A sentence which explains the subject’s contribution to their field. Through his works, Camus contributed to the rise of the absurdist philosophy, which was essentially a response to nihilism. Stance: Further explanation of the subject’s stance on the field He wrote works that conveyed an abiding faith in the human race’s displaced but still righteous situation. Thesis statement: You highlight your stand and main focus of the essay.

Biography essay body paragraphs

This is the section where the results of your research come in. Like other types of essays, body paragraphs are the central part of your biography essay (see biography essay example ).

Through these paragraphs, you will discuss the milestones in your subject’s life, their accomplishments, and their works.

Biography essay body paragraph example

During his literary career, Camus published his works in three cycles. In each cycle, he published a novel, an essay, and a play. The first cycle of his works was on “the absurd,” and they were published from 1942 to 1944. Topic sentence: Further exploration of the claim presented in the introduction. This cycle’s works were some of his most significant works: The Stranger as the novel, The Myth of Sisyphus as the essay, and Caligula as the play. Camus also explored the concepts “the revolt” and “the love” through the cycle structure. Subject’s accomplishments: Reveal of the subject’s extensive work on the field Through his major works, Camus earned the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he then published his work named Algerian Chronicles. This work revealed his pacifist tendencies. Personal information: Brief introduction into the subject’s personal reflections. After Camus’ death, two more works of his were released. One is his novel titled A Happy Death and an unfinished autobiographical novel named The First Man. Some of the significant themes Camus explores through his literary career are alienation, rebellion, and guilt. Closing sentence: Information on the subject’s identity.

Biography essay conclusion

In your conclusion paragraph , what you need to do is to bring in your final thoughts. Do not make the mistake (see common mistakes ) of only repeating the claims you made throughout the essay.

As an alternative, you can choose to tie your subject’s legacy into the current day . You can ask yourself these questions to figure out what to say in your conclusion paragraph:

  • What was my subject’s contribution to the ideas/events that are relevant today?
  • Are they still remembered? How do people honor their work?​
  • Out of the people that are significant today, who did my subject influence?​

Biography essay conclusion example

Camus died on 4 January 1960, when he was only 46 years old. He died in a car crash, and many scholars point out the “absurdity” of his death. Restatement: Connection with the subject’s main works Since Camus himself had previously stated that the most absurd way of dying he could think of would be a car accident, people regard his death as ironic. Today, Albert Camus is still considered to be one of the most significant thinkers of Western philosophy. Importance of the person: The subject’s relevancy today He is acknowledged as one of the most critical contributors of the absurdist philosophy. He is referred to as one of the best literary writers of his genre and one of the best thinkers of his age. Closing statement: Concluding sentences by highlighting the subject’s influence

Now you know all the separate parts of a biography essay and how to create them.  Remember that these steps can be used in all academic essays.

Before closing this article, let’s have a look at an extensive biography essay example on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , you see below. 

5-Paragraph Biography Essay Example

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: The Modernizer of Turkey


Body paragraphs, key takeaways.

  • A biography essay should tell the story of a person's life, but also focus on their contributions and impact.
  • Start by doing thorough research and organizing your information into a chronological outline.
  • Use vivid details and anecdotes to bring your subject to life and make the essay engaging for the reader.
  • Incorporate analysis and reflection to help the reader understand the significance of the subject's life and work.
  • End with a strong conclusion that summarizes the key points and leaves the reader with a lasting impression.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you start a biography essay.

Start your biography essay by giving a general information about your subject, such as their profession or importance.

What is biography example?

Biography is a literary work in which a person’s life is narrated. They are based on facts, and the main purpose of them is educating people about well-known individuals.

How do you write an outline for a biography?

A proper biography outline should include details about the information that will be presented in the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Ibrahim Akturk

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What Is a Biographical Essay and How to Write It: Features, Structure, and Examples

  • by Anastasiya Yakubovska
  • 01.04.2023 05.08.2023
  • How to write ...

If you are interested in this genre and you would like to write a biographical essay, then first, I suggest you take a closer look at it and find out:

What Methods Can the Writer Use in Writing a Biographical Essay?

The process of writing a biographical essay is quite time-consuming. To write an essay, it is not enough just to choose a topic, to collect and analyze information. The author’s task is to rethink the information received and transform it into a special essay form.

There are two methods used in writing essays:

  • Theoretical.

The theoretical method is used when the main subject of the essay is a problematic situation .

But if a journalist needs to write an essay about an interesting person, then an artistic method is used that allows the writer to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of a person, delve into his or her psychology and understand the character of the hero.

The degree of the artistry of the biographical essay may vary depending on its purpose: one text may be more specific and documentary, while the other may be as creative as possible. Thus, in each essay, there should be both artistic creativity and facts in various proportions (depending on the purpose and subject matter).

Since this article is primarily about a short biographical essay, its average length is about 500 words (standard A4 page).

How to Write a Biographical Essay

As we have already found out, the subject of a portrait or biographical essay is a person – not a fictional hero, but a person from real life. And the author’s task is to create a “portrait” of this person based on the available facts from the biography.

Reading the essay, the audience should understand:

  • Who is the main character?
  • What are his/her values?
  • What influenced his or her formation as a personality?
  • What are the hero’s strengths and weaknesses?
  • The reader needs to understand the hero’s inner world and character.

First, the biographical essay should indicate basic information about the hero: first name, last name, date and place of birth, origin, activities, and main achievements. But it shouldn’t look like listing personal data.

In the essay, in the first place is the hero’s character and inner world. Therefore, the writer needs, through facts taken from the hero’s biography, to reveal, for example, the reasons for his actions, to try to understand how the hero thought when he was in various life situations, how he interacted with other people, etc.

As you can see, essay writing is more of a creative process.

The essay is a mirror of our society and its values.

First, you will need to study all the information about the person you are interested in, and only then choose the most striking and remarkable facts, and events from the hero’s life. In your biographical essay, write how these events affected the character.

After all the information has been collected, you should decide how to structure your essay:

  • Will you talk about the hero of the essay in chronological order , that is, describe phenomena, and events from human life in their time sequence?
  • Or will you first tell about the most interesting facts from his or her biography, and only then describe the general picture of the hero’s life?
  • Or build your narrative on the principle of logical sequence , which is typical for essay analysis and essay research.

Modern biographical essays use a mixed narrative structure.

How to write and structure a biographical essay

Of course, the most valuable source of information for a biographical essay will be its primary source – an interview with the hero of the story. If this is not possible, then use only reliable, confirmed, and accurate information. It can be:

  • personal diaries and letters;
  • autobiography;
  • photo and film documents related to the life of the hero and his environment;
  • personal property;
  • and, of course, information from the Internet (but only trusted, official sources).

The best biographies are obtained when the journalist is personally acquainted with the person whose life he describes when he can observe the behavior of this person, and be a witness to any of his actions. This enriches the material with the author’s impressions, allowing the writer to point out some subtle details in the appearance or character of the hero that other people might not have noticed. Observation is a very effective way of obtaining information, but, unfortunately, it can not always be used. Therefore, the main source of information for modern biographical essays is most often an interview with the hero of a future publication.

The author of the essay, at his discretion, selects facts from the life of the hero, and based on this information creates a holistic image of the hero and then gives the reader the right to draw conclusions, to form a personal opinion about the person.



Henry More was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, in October 1614, the seventh son of Alexander More, a scion of a large and honourable northern landed family. Brought up in a large Calvinist gentry household, More was sent as a child to the local grammar school in Grantham. After revealing something of his intellectual abilities there, at fourteen his education was taken in hand by a learned uncle, Gabriel More, sometime Fellow of Christ’s College in Cambridge, and sent to Eton ‘to perfect his Latin’. In a little autobiography included in the General Preface to his Opera omnia (1679), More describes how his rather thoughtful and studious nature early led him into conflict with his uncle and brother over the doctrine of predestination – he was the chastised for ‘a forwardness in philosophizing’. Entered under Robert Gell at Christ’s in Cambridge in late 1631, More shows himself to have been a gifted poet and an acute and sensitive student, early taking up the difficult subject of metaphysics as the main focus of his energies. However, by the time he graduated, like a number of other intellectual Puritans of his generation, he had become disillusioned with the scholastic masters of his metaphysical studies, and particularly with the apparent incompatibility between their teaching on the nature and origin of the soul and the doctrines of the Church.  Perhaps influenced by Gell, who was clearly interested in the Greek Fathers and their humanist and spiritualist successors, More began to study the ‘Platonists and mystical divines’, and read in them an approach to the problem of the soul much more attuned, he considered, to the doctrines of the Church. On learning what they had to say about the ‘purgative course that is previous to the illuminative’, More was particularly inspired, he tells us, by the Theologia Germanica, with its practical emphasis on ‘extinguishing the human will’ in order to live only by and through the divine. In his General Preface More then recounts how over the next four years (1636-40) he embarked on a period of ‘Holy Discipline and Conflict’, during which time he felt the ‘divine principle’ within him gradually triumph over the ‘animal nature’. This freed him, he declares, from the ‘insatiable Desire and Thirst… after the knowledge of things’ which had possessed him during his first inquisitive but unhappy years of study.

The biographical essay example (expert):

Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking was a scientist known for his work with black holes and relativity, and the author of popular science books like ‘A Brief History of Time.’ Hawking was born on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. His birthday was also the 300th anniversary of the death of Galileo — long a source of pride for the noted physicist. The eldest of Frank and Isobel Hawking’s four children, Hawking was born into a family of thinkers. His Scottish mother earned her way into Oxford University in the 1930s — a time when few women were able to go to college. His father, another Oxford graduate, was a respected medical researcher with a specialty in tropical diseases. Hawking’s birth came at an inopportune time for his parents, who didn’t have much money. The political climate was also tense, as England was dealing with World War II and the onslaught of German bombs in London, where the couple was living as Frank Hawking undertook research in medicine. In an effort to seek a safer place, Isobel returned to Oxford to have the couple’s first child. The Hawkings would go on to have two other children, Mary and Philippa. And their second son, Edward, was adopted in 1956. The Hawkings, as one close family friend described them, were an “eccentric” bunch. Dinner was often eaten in silence, each of the Hawkings intently reading a book. The family car was an old London taxi, and their home in St. Albans was a three-story fixer-upper that never quite got fixed. The Hawkings also housed bees in the basement and produced fireworks in the greenhouse. Source biography.com
Adele Singer Adele is a Grammy Award-winning artist whose throwback, soulful sound has made her an international success with hits like “Rolling in the Deep,” “Someone Like You” and “Hello.” Adele is a British singer-songwriter who has sold millions of albums worldwide and won a total of 15 Grammys as well as an Oscar. Adele’s first two albums, 19 and 21 , earned her critical praise and a level of commercial success unsurpassed among her peers. After becoming a mom in 2012, Adele returned to the charts with the ballad “Hello” in 2015, the lead single from what was dubbed her comeback album 25 . In 2017, she won five Grammys for her work on 25 , including album, record and song of the year. Early Life, Education and Influences Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born on May 5, 1988, in North London, England. Adele was the only child of Penny Adkins, an “arty mom” who was just 18 at the time of her birth, and a Welsh father, Mark Evans, who left the family when Adele was only four years old. Evans remained in contact with his daughter up until her teen years, when his problems with alcohol and increasing estrangement from his daughter caused their relationship to deteriorate. By contrast, Adele grew close to her mom, who encouraged her young daughter “to explore, and not to stick with one thing.” Early on, Adele developed a passion for music. She gravitated toward the songs of Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige and Destiny’s Child. But her true, eye-opening moment came when she was 15 and she happened upon a collection of Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald records at a local shop. “There was no musical heritage in our family,” Adele told The Telegraph in a 2008 interview. “Chart music was all I ever knew. So when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas, it sounds so cheesy, but it was like an awakening. I was like, oh, right, some people have proper longevity and are legends. I was so inspired that as a 15-year-old I was listening to music that had been made in the ’40s.” While clearly bright, Adele wasn’t oriented towards traditional classroom settings. Instead, her mother enrolled her in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which counts Amy Winehouse as an alum. While at school, Adele cut a three-track demo for a class project that was eventually posted on her MySpace page. When executives at XL Recordings heard the tracks, they contacted the singer and, in November 2006, just four months after Adele had graduated school, signed her to a record deal. Source https://www.biography.com/musicians/adele
Naziyah Mahmood, Rocket Scientist, Multi Black Belt, Renaissance Woman Where to start with this amazing woman? Scientist for the European Space Agency? Check. Artist and poet? Check. Martial artist fluent in several forms? Check. Woman of peace and faith? Check. Champion of geeks everywhere: triple check. “If you let them bully you once, they will do it again and again.” Her father told her that, and her path of self-determination, unyielding curiosity, and fierce protectiveness of everybody’s right to fit outside someone else’s box has grown ever since. Nayizah grew up the daughter of an Englishwoman and a Pakistani father in none-too-hospitable Glasgow, Scotland. One of her earliest memories is of her mother coming home bloodied and crying after a vicious hate attack. Her father put Nayizah and her siblings into martial arts classes, the implicit promise being that no one in the Mahmood family would be bloodied again. Did we neglect to mention she is also trained in Ninjitsu? When kids talk about role models and superheroines, they need look If I don’t train, I get really restless. I train in the open ground in any weather. I would come home after training in the rain and get told off by my mum! I’ve trained through storms before. When something like this becomes a part of you, you just can’t let it go.”no further than Naziyah Mahmood. She was born with a visual impairment that makes it difficult for her to distinguish a person’s facial features unless at close range… yet has trained so diligently that she can stop a sword blade an inch from someone’s skin. This devout Muslim counts as her influences Miyamoto Musashi (“He was an eccentric and his methods were odd, but it just made him more likable!”), Hattori Hanzo, Tomore Gozenshe (a female Samurai warrior), and the one and only Bruce Lee. All the things I do link together very beautifully and balance out. So, martial arts master. That’d be enough for tons of people. But Ms. Mahmood decided, Why not get a Masters in Space Mission Analysis and Design, with honors in Physics/Astrophysics? And enter poetry contests, and contend with the prejudices of those who looked down on a woman of Muslim faith embracing the world of science, and educate people (often without even trying to) around the world about the great buffet that is life, creativity, possibility, and joy. I like that feeling of being on the edge of learning.

A biographical essay, in addition to entertaining and informative tasks, performs another important function: it helps readers to form their own moral compass and values.

In an essay about the lives of other people, the writer shows examples of how we can find a way out of a difficult life situation, what is the secret of happiness and success, what is the meaning of life, what is good and evil, and where is the line that cannot be crossed, and more.

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Literacy Ideas

How to Write a Biography

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Biographies are big business. Whether in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the famous and sometimes not-so-famous fascinate us.

While it’s true that most biographies are about people who are in the public eye, sometimes the subject is less well-known. Primarily, though, famous or not, the person who is written about has led an incredible life.

In this article, we will explain biography writing in detail for teachers and students so they can create their own.

While your students will most likely have a basic understanding of a biography, it’s worth taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal-clear definition of one.

Visual Writing Prompts

What Is a Biography?

how to write a biography | how to start an autobiography | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

A biography is an account of someone’s life written by someone else . While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction.

Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject’s life from the earliest days of childhood to the present day or, if the subject is deceased, their death.

The job of a biography is more than just to outline the bare facts of a person’s life.

Rather than just listing the basic details of their upbringing, hobbies, education, work, relationships, and death, a well-written biography should also paint a picture of the subject’s personality and experience of life.

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Full Biographies

Teaching unit.

Teach your students everything they need to know about writing an AUTOBIOGRAPHY and a BIOGRAPHY.

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Features of a Biography

Before students begin writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the main features of a Biography. An excellent way to determine how well they understand these essential elements is to ask them to compile a checklist like the one-blow

Their checklists should contain the items below at a minimum. Be sure to help them fill in any gaps before moving on to the writing process.

The purpose of a biography is to provide an account of someone’s life.

Biography structure.

ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Open your biography with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention

SEQUENCING: In most cases, biographies are written in chronological order unless you are a very competent writer consciously trying to break from this trend.

COVER: childhood, upbringing, education, influences, accomplishments, relationships, etc. – everything that helps the reader to understand the person.

CONCLUSION: Wrap your biography up with some details about what the subject is doing now if they are still alive. If they have passed away, make mention of what impact they have made and what their legacy is or will be.


LANGUAGE Use descriptive and figurative language that will paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read. Use time connectives to link events.

PERSPECTIVE Biographies are written from the third person’s perspective.

DETAILS: Give specific details about people, places, events, times, dates, etc. Reflect on how events shaped the subject. You might want to include some relevant photographs with captions. A timeline may also be of use depending upon your subject and what you are trying to convey to your audience.

TENSE Written in the past tense (though ending may shift to the present/future tense)


Like any form of writing, you will find it simple if you have a plan and follow it through. These steps will ensure you cover the essential bases of writing a biography essay.

Firstly, select a subject that inspires you. Someone whose life story resonates with you and whose contribution to society intrigues you. The next step is to conduct thorough research. Engage in extensive reading, explore various sources, watch documentaries, and glean all available information to provide a comprehensive account of the person’s life.

Creating an outline is essential to organize your thoughts and information. The outline should include the person’s early life, education, career, achievements, and any other significant events or contributions. It serves as a map for the writing process, ensuring that all vital information is included.

Your biography should have an engaging introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and provides background information on the person you’re writing about. It should include a thesis statement summarising the biography’s main points.

Writing a biography in chronological order is crucial . You should begin with the person’s early life and move through their career and achievements. This approach clarifies how the person’s life unfolded and how they accomplished their goals.

A biography should be written in a narrative style , capturing the essence of the person’s life through vivid descriptions, anecdotes, and quotes. Avoid dry, factual writing and focus on creating a compelling narrative that engages the reader.

Adding personal insights and opinions can enhance the biography’s overall impact, providing a unique perspective on the person’s achievements, legacy, and impact on society.

Editing and proofreading are vital elements of the writing process. Thoroughly reviewing your biography ensures that the writing is clear, concise, and error-free. You can even request feedback from someone else to ensure that it is engaging and well-written.

Finally, including a bibliography at the end of your biography is essential. It gives credit to the sources that were used during research, such as books, articles, interviews, and websites.

Tips for Writing a Brilliant Biography

Biography writing tip #1: choose your subject wisely.

There are several points for students to reflect on when deciding on a subject for their biography. Let’s take a look at the most essential points to consider when deciding on the subject for a biography:

Interest: To produce a biography will require sustained writing from the student. That’s why students must choose their subject well. After all, a biography is an account of someone’s entire life to date. Students must ensure they choose a subject that will sustain their interest throughout the research, writing, and editing processes.

Merit: Closely related to the previous point, students must consider whether the subject merits the reader’s interest. Aside from pure labors of love, writing should be undertaken with the reader in mind. While producing a biography demands sustained writing from the author, it also demands sustained reading from the reader.

Therefore, students should ask themselves if their chosen subject has had a life worthy of the reader’s interest and the time they’d need to invest in reading their biography.

Information: Is there enough information available on the subject to fuel the writing of an entire biography? While it might be a tempting idea to write about a great-great-grandfather’s experience in the war. There would be enough interest there to sustain the author’s and the reader’s interest, but do you have enough access to information about their early childhood to do the subject justice in the form of a biography?

Biography Writing Tip #2: R esearch ! Research! Research!

While the chances are good that the student already knows quite a bit about the subject they’ve chosen. Chances are 100% that they’ll still need to undertake considerable research to write their biography.

As with many types of writing , research is an essential part of the planning process that shouldn’t be overlooked. If students wish to give as complete an account of their subject’s life as possible, they’ll need to put in the time at the research stage.

An effective way to approach the research process is to:

1. Compile a chronological timeline of the central facts, dates, and events of the subject’s life

2. Compile detailed descriptions of the following personal traits:

  •      Physical looks
  •      Character traits
  •      Values and beliefs

3. Compile some research questions based on different topics to provide a focus for the research:

  • Childhood : Where and when were they born? Who were their parents? Who were the other family members? What education did they receive?
  • Obstacles: What challenges did they have to overcome? How did these challenges shape them as individuals?
  • Legacy: What impact did this person have on the world and/or the people around them?
  • Dialogue & Quotes: Dialogue and quotations by and about the subject are a great way to bring color and life to a biography. Students should keep an eagle eye out for the gems that hide amid their sources.

As the student gets deeper into their research, new questions will arise that can further fuel the research process and help to shape the direction the biography will ultimately go in.

Likewise, during the research, themes will often begin to suggest themselves. Exploring these themes is essential to bring depth to biography, but we’ll discuss this later in this article.

Research Skills:

Researching for biography writing is an excellent way for students to hone their research skills in general. Developing good research skills is essential for future academic success. Students will have opportunities to learn how to:

  • Gather relevant information
  • Evaluate different information sources
  • Select suitable information
  • Organize information into a text.

Students will have access to print and online information sources, and, in some cases, they may also have access to people who knew or know the subject (e.g. biography of a family member).

These days, much of the research will likely take place online. It’s crucial, therefore, to provide your students with guidance on how to use the internet safely and evaluate online sources for reliability. This is the era of ‘ fake news ’ and misinformation after all!


how to write a biography | research skills 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com


⭐How to correctly ask questions to search engines on all devices.

⭐ How to filter and refine your results to find exactly what you want every time.

⭐ Essential Research and critical thinking skills for students.

⭐ Plagiarism, Citing and acknowledging other people’s work.

⭐ How to query, synthesize and record your findings logically.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip #3: Find Your Themes In Biography Writing

Though predominantly a nonfiction genre, the story still plays a significant role in good biography writing. The skills of characterization and plot structuring are transferable here. And, just like in fiction, exploring themes in a biographical work helps connect the personal to the universal. Of course, these shouldn’t be forced; this will make the work seem contrived, and the reader may lose faith in the truthfulness of the account. A biographer needs to gain and maintain the trust of the reader.

Fortunately, themes shouldn’t need to be forced. A life well-lived is full of meaning, and the themes the student writer is looking for will emerge effortlessly from the actions and events of the subject’s life. It’s just a case of learning how to spot them.

One way to identify the themes in a life is to look for recurring events or situations in a person’s life. These should be apparent from the research completed previously. The students should seek to identify these patterns that emerge in the subject’s life. For example, perhaps they’ve had to overcome various obstacles throughout different periods of their life. In that case, the theme of overcoming adversity is present and has been identified.

Usually, a biography has several themes running throughout, so be sure your students work to identify more than one theme in their subject’s life.

BIOGRAPHY WRITING Tip: #4 Put Something of Yourself into the Writing

While the defining feature of a biography is that it gives an account of a person’s life, students must understand that this is not all a biography does. Relating the facts and details of a subject’s life is not enough. The student biographer should not be afraid to share their thoughts and feelings with the reader throughout their account of their subject’s life.

The student can weave some of their personality into the fabric of the text by providing commentary and opinion as they relate the events of the person’s life and the wider social context at the time. Unlike the detached and objective approach we’d expect to find in a history textbook, in a biography, student-writers should communicate their enthusiasm for their subject in their writing.

This makes for a more intimate experience for the reader, as they get a sense of getting to know the author and the subject they are writing about.

Biography Examples For Students

  • Year 5 Example
  • Year 7 Example
  • Year 9 Example

“The Rock ‘n’ Roll King: Elvis Presley”

Elvis Aaron Presley, born on January 8, 1935, was an amazing singer and actor known as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Even though he’s been dead for nearly 50 years, I can’t help but be fascinated by his incredible life!

Elvis grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, in a tiny house with his parents and twin brother. His family didn’t have much money, but they shared a love for music. Little did they know Elvis would become a music legend!

When he was only 11 years old, Elvis got his first guitar. He taught himself to play and loved singing gospel songs. As he got older, he started combining different music styles like country, blues, and gospel to create a whole new sound – that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll!

In 1954, at the age of 19, Elvis recorded his first song, “That’s All Right.” People couldn’t believe how unique and exciting his music was. His famous hip-swinging dance moves also made him a sensation!

Elvis didn’t just rock the music scene; he also starred in movies like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.” But fame came with challenges. Despite facing ups and downs, Elvis kept spreading happiness through his music.

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Tragically, Elvis passed away in 1977, but his music and charisma live on. Even today, people worldwide still enjoy his songs like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Elvis Presley’s legacy as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll will live forever.

Long Live the King: I wish I’d seen him.

Elvis Presley, the Rock ‘n’ Roll legend born on January 8, 1935, is a captivating figure that even a modern-day teen like me can’t help but admire. As I delve into his life, I wish I could have experienced the magic of his live performances.

Growing up in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis faced challenges but found solace in music. At 11, he got his first guitar, a symbol of his journey into the world of sound. His fusion of gospel, country, and blues into Rock ‘n’ Roll became a cultural phenomenon.

The thought of being in the audience during his early performances, especially when he recorded “That’s All Right” at 19, sends shivers down my spine. Imagining the crowd’s uproar and feeling the revolutionary energy of that moment is a dream I wish I could have lived.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical prodigy; he was a dynamic performer. His dance moves, the embodiment of rebellion, and his roles in films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock” made him a true icon.

After watching him on YouTube, I can’t help but feel a little sad that I’ll never witness the King’s live performances. The idea of swaying to “Hound Dog” or being enchanted by “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in person is a missed opportunity. Elvis may have left us in 1977, but he was the king of rock n’ roll. Long live the King!

Elvis Presley: A Teen’s Take on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Icon”

Elvis Presley, born January 8, 1935, was a revolutionary force in the music world, earning his title as the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Exploring his life, even as a 16-year-old today, I’m captivated by the impact he made.

Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis grew up in humble beginnings, surrounded by the love of his parents and twin brother. It’s inspiring to think that, despite financial challenges, this young man would redefine the music scene.

At 11, Elvis got his first guitar, sparking a self-taught journey into music. His early gospel influences evolved into a unique fusion of country, blues, and gospel, creating the electrifying genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1954, at only 19, he recorded “That’s All Right,” marking the birth of a musical legend.

Elvis wasn’t just a musical innovator; he was a cultural phenomenon. His rebellious dance moves and magnetic stage presence challenged the norms. He transitioned seamlessly into acting, starring in iconic films like “Love Me Tender” and “Jailhouse Rock.”

how to write a biography | Elvis Presley promoting Jailhouse Rock | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

However, fame came at a cost, and Elvis faced personal struggles. Despite the challenges, his music continued to resonate. Even now, classics like “Hound Dog” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” transcend generations.

Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is undeniable. He was known for his unique voice, charismatic persona, and electrifying performances. He sold over one billion records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling solo artists in history. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elvis’s influence can still be seen in today’s music. Many contemporary artists, such as Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Justin Timberlake, have cited Elvis as an inspiration. His music continues to be featured in movies, TV shows, and commercials.

Elvis left us in 1977, but his legacy lives on. I appreciate his breaking barriers and fearlessly embracing his artistic vision. Elvis Presley’s impact on music and culture is timeless, a testament to the enduring power of his artistry. His music has inspired generations and will continue to do so for many years to come.

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Teaching Resources

Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.


We have compiled a sequence of biography-related lessons or teaching ideas that you can follow as you please. They are straightforward enough for most students to follow without further instruction.


This session aims to give students a broader understanding of what makes a good biography.

Once your students have compiled a comprehensive checklist of the main features of a biography, allow them to use it to assess some biographies from your school library or on the internet using the feature checklist.

When students have assessed a selection of biographies, take some time as a class to discuss them. You can base the discussion around the following prompts:

  • Which biographies covered all the criteria from their checklist?
  • Which biographies didn’t?
  • Which biography was the most readable in terms of structure?
  • Which biography do you think was the least well-structured? How would you improve this?

Looking at how other writers have interpreted the form will help students internalize the necessary criteria before attempting to produce a biography. Once students have a clear understanding of the main features of the biography, they’re ready to begin work on writing a biography.

When the time does come to put pen to paper, be sure they’re armed with the following top tips to help ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.


This session aims to guide students through the process of selecting the perfect biography subject.

Instruct students to draw up a shortlist of three potential subjects for the biography they’ll write.

Using the three criteria mentioned in the writing guide (Interest, Merit, and Information), students award each potential subject a mark out of 5 for each of the criteria. In this manner, students can select the most suitable subject for their biography.


This session aims to get students into the researching phase, then prioritise and organise events chronologically.

Students begin by making a timeline of their subject’s life, starting with their birth and ending with their death or the present day. If the student has yet to make a final decision on the subject of their biography, a family member will often serve well for this exercise as a practice exercise.

Students should research and gather the key events of the person’s life, covering each period of their life from when they were a baby, through childhood and adolescence, right up to adulthood and old age. They should then organize these onto a timeline. Students can include photographs with captions if they have them.

They can present these to the class when they have finished their timelines.


Instruct students to look over their timeline, notes, and other research. Challenge them to identify three patterns that repeat throughout the subject’s life and sort all the related events and incidents into specific categories.

Students should then label each category with a single word. This is the thematic concept or the broad general underlying idea. After that, students should write a sentence or two expressing what the subject’s life ‘says’ about that concept.

This is known as the thematic statement . With the thematic concepts and thematic statements identified, the student now has some substantial ideas to explore that will help bring more profound meaning and wider resonance to their biography.


Instruct students to write a short objective account of an event in their own life. They can write about anyone from their past. It needn’t be more than a couple of paragraphs, but the writing should be strictly factual, focusing only on the objective details of what happened.

Once they have completed this, it’s time to rewrite the paragraph, but they should include some opinion and personal commentary this time.

The student here aims to inject some color and personality into their writing, to transform a detached, factual account into a warm, engaging story.


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  • Understand the purpose of both forms of biography.
  • Explore the language and perspective of both.
  • Prompts and Challenges to engage students in writing a biography.
  • Dedicated lessons for both forms of biography.
  • Biographical Projects can expand students’ understanding of reading and writing a biography.

Biography Graphic Organizer

FREE Biography Writing Graphic Organizer

Use this valuable tool in the research and writing phases to keep your students on track and engaged.


writing checklists

To Conclude

By this stage, your students should have an excellent technical overview of a biography’s essential elements.

They should be able to choose their subject in light of how interesting and worthy they are, as well as give consideration to the availability of information out there. They should be able to research effectively and identify emerging themes in their research notes. And finally, they should be able to bring some of their personality and uniqueness into their retelling of the life of another.

Remember that writing a biography is not only a great way to develop a student’s writing skills; it can be used in almost all curriculum areas. For example, to find out more about a historical figure in History, to investigate scientific contributions to Science, or to celebrate a hero from everyday life.

Biography is an excellent genre for students to develop their writing skills and to find inspiration in the lives of others in the world around them.


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How to write an Autobiography

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How to Write a Historical Recount Text

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15 Awesome Recount & Personal Narrative Topics

how to write a biography | how to write a personal narrative | Personal Narrative Writing Guide | literacyideas.com

Personal Narrative Writing Guide

How to Write a Biography Essay and Get an A+

03 July, 2020

7 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

Got a chance to write about your idol but need help with realization? Read our article to know the secrets of effective biography essay writing. Whoever you decide to write a biography essay about, don’t try to include random information at once. The person you describe would not like it. Instead, read our article about how to write a biography essay correctly and, more importantly, take pleasure in composing it. We’ll share some smart tips and tricks that you’ll find particularly useful for your writing.

biography essay

What is a biographical essay?

Some tend to mistakenly attribute biographical essay to the process of writing about themselves. But actually, biography definition has nothing to do with you. It’s more about telling the engaging story about a person’s life. This individual can be anyone: a famous historical figure, a well-known actor, politician, dancer, musician, artist, writer, inventor – you get the point. Such task sounds intriguing and interesting, and indeed it is. A biographical essay is a great chance to dilute simple academic tasks with a pinch of new article full of interesting facts and opinions.

what is a biography

Biography essay outline

Before writing a biography essay, it’s important to pay attention to essay structure and build up a biography outline. An outline is generally a schematic plan that helps to organize biography essays in accordance with the writer’s preference. In this, the primary task is to create a list of the most significant facts you’ll want to develop in the essay. The easiest way of arranging an outline is to add a numbered list indicating the main points, and a list of sub-points marked with bullets. Also, don’t forget to include a biography thesis statement that’ll sum up the main idea of your essay in one sentence.

How to start a biography essay?

Biography essay introduction

Before writing, you first need to understand what to include in a biography essay. An eloquent biography essay always starts with the introduction of a chosen person. The initial step of writing it involves the inclusion of such information as the person’s name, date of their birth, and the place they were born in. Of course, it’s not a uniform set of data necessary for this part. You can take the situation in your hands and write about some cultural or historical background surrounding one’s birthplace or the day they were born. Adding such information to the introductory part will help to create some context by connecting you and readers closer to the described character and broadening the common knowledge with more absorbing facts.

How to write a biography essay about someone else?

When people ask how to write a biography paper, the only thing they think of is a random flow of ideas about someone’s life. In fact, writing a biography paper is more complicated. The section following the introduction is devoted to life description. Here, you’ll need to feature early life and childhood of a chosen person. This part should cover general information about their parents, and divert readers’ attention to some facts related to their origin, education, and relationship status. Next, focus more on education and place where the person grew up. In this section, include more detailed information about the critical moments of their childhood life, like the name of the school they studied in or the point of moving to another city or town. Perhaps there are more facts worthy of note, such as family problems or health issues that revolved around one’s childhood. If there are such, include them as well.

The second section of your biographical essay will tell readers about someone’s adulthood. Depending on the person, this piece of story can be outlined differently. For example, you can write about their university or college life, or indicate their first job. The point here is to chronologically depict a period of moving from childhood to adult life. Then, talk about the formation of a person’s career path, starting with the first working experience and ending with the remarkable moment of revealing talents and skills that shaped their life. In the next paragraph, mention the person’s relationship during their adulthood. If applicable, describe how someone special helped them to become successful or motivated them throughout their career. Another significant aspect in this section has to do with the person’s success, in which readers could know about their notable accomplishments and achievements.

What to write in a Biography essay

The final section of a biography essay will touch the person’s current or later life. If they are alive, include the overlook of their place of living and write about their activities. You can also add such information as to their current projects or career plans, along with other meaningful facts about their life.

If the person you’re writing about is no longer living, emphasize on the brightest moments at the sunset of their life. Mention the definitive moments and aspects, and write about the cause of their deaths.

Other tips on writing a biography

If you want your biography essay to leave a great impact on readers, don’t conclude it with a simple explanation of why this or that person died and what their latest works were. This is only factual information which brings no specific value to your essay and, more importantly, doesn’t breathe life into it. To wrap up your essay content with a memorable grabber, include a couple of sentences in which write about the person’s legacy. That is, add the opinion of why this individual’s activity became an exceptional contribution to the world’s history, and why they have changed some aspects of their field.

Biography essay writing is a responsible task that aims at showing a well-acclaimed person from the best light. Therefore, you need to write about one’s life as you would about your mother – with maximum details and showing respect for that person. So follow our advice to compose an A+ biography essay that you and your audience will enjoy reading.

Note that our company provides academic writing help. You can buy a Biography essay written from scratch by our  essay writer .

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What is biographical essay & How to write a biography essay? Tips, Outline & Sample

what is biographical essay example

You might be familiar with the word biography. A biography means a written account of another person’s life. As a high school, college or university student, a biography essay is one of the basic requirements to complete your academic program. Writing a biographical essay becomes hectic when you don’t have time or the required skills. But don’t worry. If you find biography writing to be a time-consuming task or lack the required skills, consider utilizing our biography writing services . Nerdpapers offers professional support in crafting well researched and engaging biographies that meet academic standards. Now let's teach you how to write a biography essay!

What is a biographical essay?

Before you start learning how to write a biography essay, you should first understand what a biographical essay is?

It is unique in that it paints the true picture of a person. A biographical essay is one that describes the life and work of a certain individual. Generally, biographical essays are of two types. The first one is used in the academic context, where students have to write an essay about a historical figure or person that is important to the writer. You have to follow the specific structure (introduction, body, and conclusion) in this type of essay. These types of essays are common in colleges as well as universities. On the other hand, the second type of biographical essay does not follow the academic structure and only presents certain moments and experiences of the subject’s life. 

Biography Essay Outline

Even if they differ from other essays in some ways, biographical essays still follow a specific pattern and structure. With the help of the biographical essay outline, you can better arrange your ideas and ensure that you don't forget any crucial details. This structured approach to will streamline your process and result in a more engaging essay. So, how to write a biography essay outline? Sometimes, professors specify a five paragraph standard structure. This means that your biography essay outline will consist of these components such as:


  • Body Paragraph no 1
  • Body paragraph no 2
  • Body paragraph no 3

Now, you have a clear understanding of the biography writing format. It's time to learn about how to write a biography paper.

How to write a biography essay?

A biography essay is unique in that it paints the true picture of a person. It can also serve as a tool through which you can show different aspects of a well-known person's life about which other people don't know. Moreover, it is an interesting method to learn about famous people. Here are a few steps that will help you to follow the biography writing format. 

Most students are wondering, 'How to write an introduction for a biography essay'? That makes a good impression on the reader. It is the first paragraph of your biography paper. So, you should pay extra attention to what you are writing in this section.  Start with an attention grabbing hook that will set the tone of this entire section. Write basic information about the person, such as their name, DOB, birthplace, parents name, etc. Then, end the introduction with a strong thesis statement. 

Body Paragraph

Body paragraphs are the central parts of your essay. You will discuss the goals and milestones of the subject's life and achievements with the help of these paragraphs.  If you plan to follow five paragraph structures, then this section will have three body paragraphs. There is no standard way to categorize your biography essay, but since you’re writing about a person’s life - you can talk about their life stages such as childhood, adulthood, school, college, and university life. In the first body paragraph, talk about their childhood events, memories, and experiences.  Reserve the second paragraph entirely for academic career discussion. Add information about the subject's school, college, and university years. Which challenges they faced and how they overcame them. In the third paragraph, add their contributions, professional careers, which field they choose, and why. How did they perform in that field? What are other people's opinions about them?

Note: Remember that deep research is required before writing this essay. 

It is an essential part of an essay, and it's true for these types of essays as well. In conclusion, bring your thoughts together and restate your thesis statement. Do not repeat the claims that you have made throughout the essay. The best essay not only explores the person's work and life but also offers well known facts about them. 

Proofread and revise

Proofread your bio essay to check for grammatical, punctuation mistakes. Additionally, ask your friend or any member of family to read your prepared essay and provide you with their feedback. This will help you to make your essay more refined and polished. 

Learn about: “ What is an annotated bibliography ” and how to structure it to complement your biography essay.

How to write a biography of a famous person?

Sometimes, you may be asked to write a biography about a famous personality. It doesn't matter if this individual is still alive or not; you may easily obtain information about him. Suppose you’re thinking about what to include in a biography of a famous person. Don’t worry. It is relatively easy to write about someone who has a rich life story.  The key to effective biography writing is to solely depend on facts, not on fiction. You should not simply list facts about the person’s life. You also have to add your own opinions. But those opinions should be based on official statements from a person’s biography. 

Example of a biography essay

Let’s have a look at biographical essay examples that will help you to understand more.

Topic: Biography Essay on Albert Einstein

On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He is among the most well-known and significant physicists of the 20th century. His revolutionary contributions to theoretical physics transformed our view of the universe and cemented his reputation as a brilliant scientist.   Early on, Einstein showed a strong sense of interest as well as a natural aptitude for physics and mathematics. He had difficulties in school since he was a nonconformist and had a speech impediment, but he had a remarkable ability to solve difficult mathematics problems. He chose to pursue a career in physics because of his love for learning about the underlying principles governing the cosmos.   In 1905, Einstein published the "Annus Mirabilis" papers, which formed the groundwork for his theory of special relativity. These studies introduced the well-known formula E=mc² which describes how mass and energy are equivalent. This hypothesis significantly changed our perception of the physical world by challenging traditional beliefs about time and space. Moreover, the general relativity theory, Einstein's most renowned contribution, was released in 1915. In contrast to what was previously believed, it proposed that mass-induced space time curvature is what causes gravity, not a force. British astronomers saw the bending of starlight as a star passed close to the sun during the 1919 solar eclipse, confirming this notion and providing experimental support for Einstein's theories.   Einstein made contributions during his life that went beyond physics. He was an outspoken supporter of pacifism, civil rights, as well as the elimination of nuclear weapons. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, a phenomena that contributed to the development of the quantum mechanics theory.   Beyond his scientific accomplishments, Einstein left a lasting legacy. His devotion to improving humanity as well as his creative mind has inspired future generations of scientists and philosophers. On April 18, 1955, Albert Einstein passed away, yet his concepts and impact are still being used to improve science and solve the universe's riddles.

Check out our detailed guide about the “ Difference between autobiography and biography ”

Tips on Writing a Biographical Essay

Thinking about how to write a biography essay to make it error free? Check out these simple tips written by our expert writers.

  • For listing events in the this essay, use chronological order. Reverse chronological order also works in a few scenarios, but readers easily understand the standard chronological order.
  • There is no need to add details of each event of the subject’s life. Before starting to write an essay, study the person’s biography in detail. Then, mention only those events that influenced their achievements.
  • It is your responsibility as the author of the essay to present a fair analysis of your subject's life and evaluate its impact on society. You can express yourself in other writing genres as well. Therefore, your readers don't want to see any generalizations or your own, particularly unfavorable, opinions.
  • End your essay with a strong conclusion. Then, summarize your primary points and leave the lasting impression on the reader.

FAQs on Biography Essay

Q1: how to start a biography essay.

Start your biography essay with the basic information about the subject's life, such as their name, profession, etc.

Q2: What is the purpose of a biography essay?

The basic purpose of writing a biographical essay is to share the life of another person with people. The author chooses to write a biography because it's an assignment given by the teacher or because the author finds the subject's life interesting.

Q3: What is the format of a biography essay?

The structure is given below:

Q4: What information should be included in the biography?

It is similar to other forms of essays. Biographies include pertinent information regarding the subject's life. In some cases, it also examines the personality and attributes of the subject.

Q5: What components are involved in biography?

The following are the basic elements of a biography:

  • Thorough research
  • Well defined structure
  • Engaging language
  • Captivating themes
  • Harmony of objectivity and humanity

Free Yourself from Stressful Biography Essay Writing Tasks

Bio essay writing is not a simple task, especially if you’re not familiar with its format before. If you are short of time and are stuck with other assignments you can buy your essay online . Don’t let the biography essay writing task stress you out!

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what is biographical essay example

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How to write a biographical essay: tips, outlines & examples.

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Biographical Essay, essay, tips


what is biographical essay example

Writing a biographical essay can be an enlightening and rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to learn about an individual’s life, from their personal experiences to their achievements and struggles. Whether you are writing about a celebrity, a historical figure, or even someone close to you, it is essential to approach the task with thorough research, well-structured organization, and a captivating narrative. In this guide, we will provide you with tips, outlines, and examples that will help you write a compelling biographical essay. So, let’s get started!

Understanding Biographical Essays

Biographical essays serve as intimate narratives that plunge into the depths of an individual’s life and accomplishments. They offer a comprehensive overview of the subject’s background, experiences, and the profound impact they’ve had on society or their respective fields.

Why Biographical Essays Matter

These essays are invaluable for preserving history and venerating human achievement. They serve as invaluable records, offering profound insights into the lives of notable figures and enriching our understanding of the past.

The Purpose Behind Biographical Essays

The primary aim of crafting a biographical essay is to inform, educate, and inspire readers by unraveling the life story of an exceptional individual. It provides writers with a platform to delve into the complexities of human character, motivations, and aspirations.

Selecting Your Subject

Choosing Someone Significant

When selecting a subject for your biographical essay, opt for individuals who have left an indelible impact in their field or possess a compelling life story that resonates deeply.

Having Enough Research Material

Ensure there is an abundance of research material available on your chosen subject, enabling you to delve deep into their life and contributions.

Personal Connection and Interest

Choose a subject that ignites a personal connection within you. Genuine interest in the subject will infuse your writing with authenticity and depth.

Researching Your Subject

Utilizing Various Sources

Embark on thorough research utilizing a diverse array of primary and secondary sources, including biographies, autobiographies, and interviews with experts or individuals close to the subject.

Considering Different Perspectives

Explore diverse viewpoints and interpretations of your subject’s life to present a multifaceted analysis.


Ensure the accuracy of the information you gather, anchoring your essay in factual authenticity.

Crafting the Outline

young man drawing sketch

Organizing Key Events

Devise a structured outline delineating the significant events and milestones in your subject’s life, providing readers with a clear roadmap of your essay.

Ensuring Coherence

Arrange your essay in a logical manner to sustain reader engagement and interest.

Creating a Narrative Arc

Craft a compelling narrative that encapsulates the essence of your subject’s life journey, from their humble beginnings to their enduring legacy.

Writing the Introduction

Engaging the Reader

Commence your essay with a captivating introduction that captivates the reader’s attention and sets the stage for the narrative that unfolds.

Introducing the Subject

Offer readers a succinct overview of your subject’s identity and significance.

Establishing the Essay’s Purpose

Articulate the purpose of your essay and delineate the aspects of your subject’s life that you intend to explore.

Body Paragraphs: Chronological Approach

Early Life and Background

Delve into your subject’s formative years and early experiences that shaped their identity and trajectory.

Key Achievements

Highlight the pivotal accomplishments and contributions that punctuated your subject’s life journey.

Challenges Faced

Examine the obstacles and adversities your subject encountered, illuminating their resilience and fortitude.

Impact on Society

Explore the enduring impact your subject had on society or their respective fields, tracing the ripples of their influence.

Body Paragraphs: Thematic Approach

Identifying Themes

Identify recurring themes or motifs in your subject’s life and expound upon their significance.

Analyzing Character Traits

Probe into your subject’s character traits and their profound influence on their decisions and actions.

Highlighting Significant Events

Shed light on pivotal moments in your subject’s life that offer profound insights into their psyche and motivations.

Incorporating Supporting Evidence

Using Quotes and Anecdotes

Infuse your narrative with pertinent quotes and anecdotes, offering readers intimate glimpses into your subject’s innermost thoughts and emotions.

Providing Context

Furnish historical, societal, and cultural context to enable readers to contextualize your subject’s life within the broader tapestry of human history.

Interpreting Evidence

Leverage the evidence at your disposal to draw astute connections and insights that enrich your portrayal of your subject’s life and legacy.

Maintaining Objectivity

elegant businesswoman summer city

Balancing Admiration and Critique

Strike a delicate balance between celebrating your subject’s achievements and critically evaluating their actions and impact.

Addressing Controversies

Confront controversies or criticisms surrounding your subject with impartiality and objectivity, allowing readers to form their own informed opinions.

Presenting a Well-Rounded Portrayal

Endeavor to present a nuanced and multifaceted portrayal of your subject, acknowledging their complexities and contradictions.

Writing the Conclusion

Summarizing Key Points

Synthesize the salient points and contributions elucidated throughout your essay, underscoring their significance and lasting impact.

Reflecting on Legacy

Contemplate your subject’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint they’ve left on subsequent generations.

Leaving an Impression

Conclude your essay with a poignant reflection or incisive question that resonates with readers, compelling further contemplation.

Types of Biography Essays

1. Chronological Biography Essays

Chronological biography essays follow a linear narrative structure, tracing the life of the subject from birth to death or to the present day. These essays focus on presenting events, achievements, and significant milestones in the order they occurred. The narrative typically begins with the subject’s early life and background, progresses through key events and accomplishments, and concludes with their lasting legacy. This type of biography essay provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the subject’s life journey, allowing them to observe the progression of the subject’s experiences and contributions over time.

2. Thematic Biography Essays

Thematic biography essays organize the narrative around specific themes or topics relevant to the subject’s life and achievements. Instead of following a strict chronological order, these essays explore various themes, such as personal growth, overcoming adversity, or professional accomplishments, that define the subject’s identity and impact. By examining recurring motifs or significant aspects of the subject’s life, thematic biography essays offer a deeper understanding of their character, motivations, and enduring legacy. This type of biography essay allows for a more nuanced analysis of the subject’s life, focusing on the interconnectedness of different events and experiences rather than their chronological sequence.

Editing and Proofreading

Ensuring Clarity

Meticulously review your essay to ensure clarity, coherence, and a seamless flow of ideas that enhance reader comprehension.

Checking Grammar and Spelling

Polish your prose by meticulously proofreading for grammatical errors and typographical mistakes.

Seeking Feedback

Solicit feedback from peers or mentors to refine your essay and elevate it to its fullest potential.

Example of Biographical Essays

Maya Johnson: A Tale of Grit and Grace

In the heart of our bustling city, amidst the hustle and bustle, there’s a story that sings of strength, courage, and the power of never giving up. It’s the story of Maya Johnson, a woman whose journey through life is as remarkable as it is inspiring.

Born and raised in a cozy neighborhood, Maya’s childhood was anything but easy. Growing up with little, she faced challenges that could have easily dimmed her spirit. But Maya was different. She had a spark in her eyes and a fire in her heart that refused to be extinguished by hardship.

From the very beginning, Maya was drawn to learning like a magnet to steel. Despite the lack of fancy resources or shiny opportunities, Maya devoured books like they were candy, soaking up knowledge like a sponge. She was determined to make something of herself, no matter what.

As Maya danced through her teenage years, life threw plenty of curveballs her way. But Maya was no stranger to adversity. With a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, she tackled each challenge head-on, never once losing sight of her dreams.

College brought its own set of hurdles, but Maya was undaunted. Balancing multiple jobs to pay her way through school, Maya showed the world what true grit looked like. She refused to let anything stand in the way of her education, determined to carve out a better future for herself.

But Maya’s story isn’t just about hitting the books and chasing grades. It’s about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in. Along the way, Maya discovered a passion for making a difference, using her voice to speak out against injustice and inequality.

Through her advocacy work, Maya became a beacon of hope for those who felt lost in the shadows. Her tireless efforts to shine a light on the issues that mattered most earned her respect and admiration from all who knew her.

Today, Maya’s journey continues to inspire us all. Her unwavering determination and boundless optimism serve as a reminder that, no matter where you come from or what challenges you face, there’s always a way forward.

In Maya’s story, we find echoes of our own struggles and triumphs. Her journey is a testament to the power of resilience, the beauty of perseverance, and the magic of never giving up on your dreams.

As Maya continues to write the next chapter of her story, one thing is clear: her light will continue to shine brightly, guiding us all towards a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow.

Tips for Effective Writing

Being authentic.

In order to produce a compelling biography, it is essential to unearth the recurring themes and motifs that permeate the subject’s life. After delving into the subject’s character traits and the pivotal moments that shaped their life, it is crucial to incorporate supporting evidence such as quotes, anecdotes, and historical context.

In writing the biography, objectivity should be maintained by evaluating both positive and negative aspects of the subject’s life, addressing controversies openly, and acknowledging the subject’s complexities. In the conclusion, their lasting legacy should be contemplated and addressed, leaving readers with a poignant reflection or thought-provoking question.

It is critical to thoroughly edit and proofread the biography for clarity, grammatical correctness, and coherence. Seeking feedback from peers and mentors can further enhance the final product.

By studying example biographies and learning from the successes of others, aspiring biographers can hone their skills and produce authentic, engaging narratives about the lives of extraordinary individuals.

Finding Your Voice

Develop your unique narrative voice by experimenting with language, tone, and style, while maintaining the essence of the subject’s story. Incorporate your own personality and personal connection with the subject when crafting the narrative, fostering an intimate and relatable bond with the reader.

Practice Makes Perfect

To master the art of writing biographies, it is essential to hone your skills through consistent practice. Explore different genres, such as memoirs, autobiographies, and historical non-fiction, to broaden your understanding of various writing techniques. Additionally, consider participating in writing workshops or engaging with writing communities to receive feedback and support in developing your craft. By doing so, you will gain confidence in your ability to create comprehensive and compelling biographies.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Writing a cover letter

Staying Focused

As a biographer, it is essential to maintain a clear focus on the subject’s life throughout your writing. Narrative gaps or unnecessary tangents can disrupt the flow of the story and make it difficult for readers to connect with your subject. To prevent this, establish a clear outline for your biography, dividing their life into distinct chapters or sections. This will help you stay organized and maintain a consistent narrative style throughout the book.

Remaining Objective

While it’s crucial to honor your subject’s unique characteristics and complexities, it’s equally important to remain objective in your writing. Biographies should showcase both the triumphs and the flaws of the individual, presenting a well-rounded and nuanced representation of their life. To ensure objectivity, consider seeking feedback from peers or mentors, and be open to incorporating their constructive criticism into your revisions.

Citing Sources

In addition to avoiding common pitfalls, aspiring biographers should adhere to strict standards of citation when compiling their research. By accurately referencing the sources that they use to support their narrative, writers can establish credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of their readers. To compile a comprehensive list of sources , it is essential to keep meticulous records of every book, article, interview, or document consulted throughout the research process. This not only ensures accuracy but also allows other researchers and biographers to follow a similar path of inquiry and build upon the foundation you’ve established.

Leveraging AI Writing Tools like Blainy for Essay Excellence

In the modern era, harnessing the power of AI writing tools can elevate your essay-writing experience. Platforms like Blainy offer a range of features designed to streamline the process and enhance the quality of your work.

The Power of Auto-Suggestion

AI writing tools often come equipped with auto-suggestion features. This means as you type, the tool can provide real-time suggestions for words, phrases, or even entire sentences. It’s like having a writing companion offering instant input, making your essay more fluid and engaging.

what is biographical essay example

Effortless Citations with AI

One of the challenges in essay writing is handling citations. AI writing tools simplify this task by automatically generating citations based on the specified citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago). This ensures your essay maintains academic integrity without the hassle of manually formatting references.

what is biographical essay example

Image Integration for Visual Appeal

Enhance the visual appeal of your essay by seamlessly integrating relevant images. AI tools like Blainy allow you to insert images directly into your document, providing a visual dimension to support your arguments or illustrate key points.

what is biographical essay example

Mastering the Art of Paraphrasing

AI tools excel in paraphrasing, offering an efficient way to rephrase sentences while maintaining the original meaning. This capability adds a layer of sophistication to your writing, reducing redundancy and increasing the overall quality of your essay.

Real-Time Grammar and Style Corrections

Say goodbye to grammatical errors and inconsistent writing styles. AI writing tools continuously analyze your text, providing real-time suggestions for improving grammar, punctuation, and overall writing style. This ensures a polished and professional final product.

what is biographical essay example

By incorporating AI writing tools like  Blainy  into your essay-writing process, you not only simplify the task but also elevate the quality of your work. Embrace the future of writing assistance and witness the transformation in your essay-writing experience.

In conclusion, writing a biographical essay requires a deep understanding of the subject, an eye for detail, and the ability to present a well-rounded portrayal that neither excessively adulates nor harshly critiques the individual. Throughout the process, it is essential to maintain objectivity, addressing controversies and complexities with impartiality. To ensure a compelling conclusion, summarize key points, reflect on the subject’s legacy, and leave a lasting impression on readers. By following these guidelines and continuously honing your writing skills, you can craft a powerful and engaging biographical essay that resonates with audiences and pays tribute to the extraordinary lives of the individuals who have made a significant impact on our world.

How do I choose a subject for my biographical essay?

Look for individuals with significant impact or compelling life stories that resonate with you personally. Ensure there’s enough research material available to support your writing.

What sources should I use for researching my subject?

Utilize a mix of primary and secondary sources, including biographies, autobiographies, and interviews. Seek out diverse perspectives to provide a well-rounded analysis.

How can I maintain objectivity in my biographical essay?

Present multiple viewpoints and avoid bias by critically evaluating your subject’s actions and impact. Strive for fairness and balance in your portrayal.

Why are biographical essays important?

Biographical essays preserve history and celebrate human achievement, offering insights into the lives of noteworthy individuals and fostering understanding and reflection.

How can I improve my biographical writing skills?

Practice regularly, experiment with different styles, and seek feedback from others. Study well-written biographical essays for inspiration and aim for authenticity, clarity, and originality in your writing. You can use   Blainy.com  to quickly compose an Biography essay, or any other topic, of your choosing. It’s a fantastic choice that promises convenience and relief. Create an essay on any topic in a matter of minutes with the help of our AI-powered program. Membership is immediately available upon your free registration here.  Sign up on Blainy.com  and get a free trial.

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How to write a biography essay

The complete guide on biographical storytelling

Anyone can learn how to write a perfect biography essay about someone else’s life by making sure to focus on true, objective facts about a specific person. First, determine the scope of the person’s life (years), pick a central theme, and write out the biography using the classic narrative arc.

Many college courses include an essay writing component, and a biography essay is one of the types of essays that you may encounter, especially if you are taking courses in liberal arts disciplines such as history or cultural studies. This guide from Ultius will provide you with a thorough overview of how to write an effective biography essay. The guide will include the following sections:

  • purpose of a biography essay
  • biography and culture
  • elements of a good biography essay
  • how to write a great biography essay
  • samples/examples
  • additional information

After reading this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to write a strong biography essay, or at least in your ability to find the right kind of help to write such an essay.

Purpose of a biography essay

"Biography" literally means the story of a life. So, when you write a biography essay, what you are trying to do is to write the story of someone's life. ( Autobiography is a related concept that refers to the story of your own life.) If your biography essay is successful, then by the end of reading it, the reader should have a clear idea of what your subject did in his/her life and why his/her life was interesting and/or important enough to be the subject of a biography essay.

According to the Ultius glossary, a biography is a detailed descriptions of a famous person’s life and accomplishments (as a genre). Biographies typically contain intricate details of the subject’s personal life and sometimes include an analysis of the person’s personality and attributes.

A biography essay is similar to other forms of essays, such as the narrative essay, insofar as it involves telling a story. A biography essay, however, is supposed to be rooted in historical fact, and it should describe your subject using objective tone and language.

Narrative essay how-to guide. Click here is you are interested in learning how to write a narrative essay instead.

There are two important things to remember about a biography essay.

1. It is a true story that describes the life of your subject. You are not allowed to just make things up, and there should be scholarly documentation confirming that what you are writing is valid.

2. It is a story about someone else, generally a famous historical figure . If you were writing about yourself, that would be a memoir, which for present purposes should be considered as different from a biographical essay.

Only use details and facts that can be verified through documents or existing sources. An important hallmark of biography essays is that they are true.

The importance of biography essays

The English writer Samuel Johnson had this to say about biographies:

"No species of writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography, since none can be more delightful or more useful, none can more certainly enchain the heart by irresistible interest, or more widely diffuse instruction to every diversity of condition.”

The main idea here is that my reading biographies, people can gain insight into the lives of other people who have done amazing things. This can be enchanting in its own right, and it can also provide the reader with inspiration for his own life and help the reader look at his own life with fresh eyes.

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For example, are you interested in doing philosophy? If so, you may find it inspiring to read biographies such as:

  • Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius , by Ray Monk
  • Albert Camus: A Life , by Olivier Todd
  • Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography , by Joakim Garff

A nice thing about the genre of biography is also that biographies are written about a huge range of different figures in different disciplines, meaning that you can find biographical subject that may specifically interest you or move your heart.

Biography and culture

Biographies play an important role in preserving human cultural memory: it is like history, except focused on the life of one person. People have been telling stories about heroes and other admirable figures since the beginning of the human species.

Alexander the Great mosaic

Modern biography, though, is somewhat different from the old heroic stories, in that modern biography is supposed to be objective and scholarly, and it is generally rooted in a secular view of time and history. In other words, modern biographies are based in reason more than imagination, and they are not supposed to include magical and/or irrational events.

Biography vs. legend

Biography is a modern scholarly discipline that has some similarities to the much older genre of the legend, but it is also different in some important ways.

So, the genre of biography carries on the old tradition of telling stories about the lives of admirable figures. But whereas the old legends were more imaginative and quasi-fictional in their tellings, modern biography is supposed to be based on reason and objective, verifiable facts about the life of the subject.

Elements of a good biography essay

In order to write a compelling biography essay, there are certain elements that you will have to include. Here are some of them.

Linear narrative arc

This may seem somewhat obvious, but a human life naturally resembles a story, starting with birth and ending in death, with various drama and events happening in between. This is the natural arc that you should follow when writing your biography essay. In general, you should begin your essay with the birth of your historical figure and then follow him/her through the events of his/her life until death.

The plot rainbow | Ultius

Some biography essays might be able to get with innovations such as non-linear structure, but unless you really know what you are doing, that can get very confusing, and your biography essay would be difficult to follow. So, for all intent and purpose, we can say that following a linear narrative arc is a best practice for writing a biography essay.

Different types of narrative structures

These are some of the possible types of narrative structure. When writing a biography essay, you are strongly advised to stick to the linear structure.

The linear structure is the standard for most biographies; it starts at a specific point in the protagonist's life and moves forward in chronological order. Nonlinear structure is more complex as this style moves between time periods with time skips and flashbacks. Thematic structure strategically conveys given and new information to frame and insert specific themes.

Choose a compelling biography essay subject

For your biography essay, your subject will be the person whose life story you will be writing. In order for your biography essay to be effective, you will have to pick a subject who is interesting, important, or otherwise qualified to be the subject of a biography essay. You should ask yourself the question: why choose your subject, and what has your subject done that deserves to be recorded and remembered?

Of course, there's a sense in which every single human life is interesting and important. But for the purposes of your biography essay, you will want to dig deeper and consider why your subject is worthy of being remembered in the collective cultural memory.

An effective biography usually focuses on someone who has affected history, or someone who has achieved a high level of excellence within his/her discipline or field.

Søren Kierkegaard: A very important philosopher

Portrait of Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard would be an example a good subject for a biography essay, because his works are generally considered a turning point in modern philosophy.

The subject of your biography essay does not necessarily need to be well-known. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to dig into the life of someone is not well known but should be. The important thing is that your subject must be compelling, and there must be a solid reason why his/her story should be told.

Also, when picking a subject, you may want to make sure that you actually like your subject. That can make writing a biography essay more fun, and your respect for the subject (or lack thereof) will also probably come across in your writing. If you want to convince others that your subject is compelling, then it would help if you find him/her compelling.

Choose biographical (life) events wisely

A lot can happen in a life, and it would probably be impossible for you to include everything there is to know about your subject within a single biography essay. So, you should choose the high point, or the most important points, and then focus on those.

Events in the life of Kierkegaard

These are key events that could be the focus of a biography essay on Kierkegaard.

Garff, Joakim. Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton U P, 2007.

How to write a great biography essay

Now that you know about the elements of a biography essay, you can follow these steps in order to ensure that your biography essay turns out to be a success.

Writing a Biography Essay | Ultius

Next, integrate the specific biography related aspects listed below.

Determine the scope of your biographical essay

Again, your biography essay won't be able to include everything there is to know about your subject. So, you will want to map out the scope of your biography essay before you get started. The birth and death of your subject are the logical starting and ending points for your essay. Then, you will want to select a few events or accomplishments in the life of your subject that are worthy of remembrance.

You can develop a full-fledged outline, or you can use a table like the one developed above. Either way, though, you will have to have a clear idea of where you will begin, where you will end, and the path that you will take from the beginning to the end.

Compile credible sources

Your biography essay has to be rooted in verifiable facts about the life of your subject. This means that it is important that you identify and document the sources of your information. The essay sources should generally be scholarly in nature, and you should avoid using websites to the greatest extent possible. This is because it is often difficult to tell whether the content on websites have been drawn from credible sources.

Questions to ask when compiling sources

Questions to ask when finding sources

If there are references listed on a website about your subject, then you should trace those references back to the original academic sources. Those are the sources you should use for your biography essay.

The differences between primary and secondary sources | Ultius

Write in a clear and compelling style

Remember: with your biography essay, you are at least partly trying to show your reader why your subject is interesting and why he/she deserves to have an essay written about him/her.

Your interest in your subject should come across in your writing style. After all, if you feel bored with your subject, then why should anyone else pay attention?

The language you use should be scholarly (but still filled with imagery ), but you should also focus on varying sentence structure, using excellent word choice, and other writing techniques that tell the life story of your subject in a compelling way that does justice to the importance of your subject.


See the example biographical essay below for a clear example of how it needs to be written.

As the sample shows, it’s very important to be focused on true details. Please see the list of blog posts below for more examples of biography essays:

  • Biography essay on Hillary Clinton
  • Biography essay on Frank Rosolino
  • Short essay on Edgar Allan Poe

If you need more help or would like something written for your own needs, consider buying custom essays from Ultius . Our talented writes can help you get something done in as fast as three hours.

Additional information

That brings us to the close of this guide on the biography essay. Here is a recapitulation of some of the best practices that have been covered here.

Develop a focused arc

You should use a linear narrative structure, starting with the birth of your subject, ending with their death, and focusing on selected key events and accomplishments in the subject's life.

Write in the scholarly mode

Although a biography essay is a kind of "story," it should still be written in a rational, scholarly way, and referencing in MLA or Chicago style is usually required for this kind of essay.

Love your subject

If you get to choose your subject, then you should pick a subject that you personally admire. This will make the writing process more fun, and your interest will also show in your writing and make the biography essay more enjoyable for the reader.

Find help if you need it

Finally, Ultius has plenty of resources that can help you write a successful biography essay and hone your skills as a writer. Please feel free to lean on us.

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How to Write a Biographical Essay

How write a biography

What Does Biography Mean?

What is a biography essay, what should a biographical essay include.

  • Introduction – This should include a brief overview of the person’s life, what they are known for, and why they are required in a biographical essay. It should have; Background Information and Thesis statement.
  •  Body – This is the meat of the essay, where you provide details about the person’s life, including their accomplishments, struggles, and successes. It includes Early Life, Education, Career, and Achievements.
  • Conclusion – This is where you wrap up the essay and summarize the person and their legacy. This part determines if your readers get hooked, and it includes a Summary of Important Points, Reflection on Life and Work, and Final Thoughts.
  • Sources – All biographical essays should include references used to research the person. This helps to ensure accuracy and adds credibility to the article.

How Do You Write a Biological Essay?  

  • Choose a subject. Pick a subject you find exciting and have access to information about. The subject could be a person, a place, or an event.
  • Research your subject. Gather information about your topic from multiple sources such as books, academic journals, websites, newspapers, and interviews.
  • Create an outline. Outline the main points of your essay and organize your research into sections.
  • Write a thesis statement. Make sure it is specific and states the main point of your essay.
  • Write the body of the essay. Start with an introduction that provides context and background information, followed by the body, which should include evidence and examples that support your thesis statement.
  • Write a conclusion. Summarize your points and reiterate your thesis statement.
  • Proofread and edit. Check your essay for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.
” John is a remarkable example of how hard work and dedication can help an individual to achieve their goals, no matter the obstacles they may face.”

How to Write an Autobiography

Autobiography on yourself

  • Start by introducing yourself. Include your name, age, and a brief overview of who you are and what you do.
  • Give a brief overview of your family background. Explain where you grew up, who your parents and siblings are, and any other significant family members.
  • Describe any positive and negative critical events during your childhood.
  • Discuss any significant accomplishments or events during your teenage years.
  • Talk about any meaningful relationships you’ve had throughout your life.
  • Explain any educational and professional experiences that have significantly impacted your life.
  • If you have any exciting hobbies or stories, feel free to include them.
  • Share any lessons or insights you have learned throughout your life.
  • Reflect on the impact your experiences have had on the person you are today.
  • Finally,end the autobiography with a conclusion that sums up your life and its effect on the world.

What Are Biographical Writing Examples?

  • Autobiography: An account of a person’s life written by that person.
  • Biography: A detailed account of a person’s life written by someone else. i.e., Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
  • Memoir: A written account of a period in a person’s life, typically focusing on memories and experiences. “Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson”.
  • Narrative nonfiction: A factual story told in an engaging, literary style. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • Historical novel: A novel that tells a story set in the past and often includes actual historical figures. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.”

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Hero — Biography

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Autobiography Essay Examples

A well-written biography essay not only informs but also inspires, providing readers with insights into the subject's character, challenges, and achievements. Below, we'll guide you through creating an engaging biography essay, from prompt samples to brainstorming tips, unique topic ideas, and writing inspiration.

Starting Points: Biography Essay Prompt Samples

Prompt 1: Analyze the early life of [Subject] and how it influenced their major accomplishments.

Prompt 2: Discuss the challenges [Subject] faced and how they overcame them, shaping their legacy.

Prompt 3: Examine the impact of [Subject]'s work on their field and beyond during their lifetime and in the present day.

Brainstorming and Selecting a Captivating Biography Essay Topic

To choose a compelling topic for your biography essay, start by considering subjects who have led interesting lives filled with notable achievements, challenges, and impacts. Look for less-explored angles or untold stories within their lives to bring a fresh perspective to your essay.

Unique Biography Essay Topics to Explore

  • The Unsung Heroes of Science: The Life of [Lesser-Known Scientist]
  • Behind the Pen: The Journey of [Influential Writer]
  • From Shadows to Spotlight: The Story of [Pioneering Artist]
  • Breaking Barriers: [Subject]'s Impact on Social Change
  • Innovators in Silence: [Inventor]'s Contributions and Challenges

Inspirational Writing Samples for Your Biography Essay

"[Subject] was not born into greatness, nor did they stumble upon it by chance. From their early years in [Place of Birth], facing [specific challenges], they carved a path that was uniquely theirs. Their contributions to [Field/Industry] were not just advancements but were revolutionary, challenging the status quo and paving the way for future generations."

Phrases for Inspiration:

  • "Amid adversity, [Subject] found their true calling in..."
  • "Despite facing [obstacle], [Subject]'s resilience led to groundbreaking discoveries in..."
  • "[Subject]'s legacy extends beyond their contributions to [Field], inspiring a new wave of [Professionals/Activists/Artists] to follow in their footsteps."
  • "The turning point in [Subject]'s life came when..."
  • "Dedicated to [Cause/Project], [Subject] demonstrated the power of perseverance and vision."

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Posted on Jun 30, 2023

How to Write a Biography: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]

From time to time, nonfiction authors become so captivated by a particular figure from either the present or the past, that they feel compelled to write an entire book about their life. Whether casting them as heroes or villains, there is an interesting quality in their humanity that compels these authors to revisit their life paths and write their story.

However, portraying someone’s life on paper in a comprehensive and engaging way requires solid preparation. If you’re looking to write a biography yourself, in this post we’ll share a step-by-step blueprint that you can follow. 

How to write a biography: 

1. Seek permission when possible 

2. research your subject thoroughly, 3. do interviews and visit locations, 4. organize your findings, 5. identify a central thesis, 6. write it using narrative elements, 7. get feedback and polish the text.



Biography Outline Template

Craft a satisfying story arc for your biography with our free template.

While you technically don’t need permission to write about public figures (or deceased ones), that doesn't guarantee their legal team won't pursue legal action against you. Author Kitty Kelley was sued by Frank Sinatra before she even started to write His Way , a biography that paints Ol Blue Eyes in a controversial light. (Kelley ended up winning the lawsuit, however).  

what is biographical essay example

Whenever feasible, advise the subject’s representatives of your intentions. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get a green light to proceed, or potentially an offer to collaborate. It's a matter of common sense; if someone were to write a book about you, you would likely want to know about it well prior to publication. So, make a sincere effort to reach out to their PR staff to negotiate an agreement or at least a mutual understanding of the scope of your project. 

At the same time, make sure that you still retain editorial control over the project, and not end up writing a puff piece that treats its protagonist like a saint or hero. No biography can ever be entirely objective, but you should always strive for a portrayal that closely aligns with facts and reality.

If you can’t get an answer from your subject, or you’re asked not to proceed forward, you can still accept the potential repercussions and write an unauthorized biography . The “rebellious act” of publishing without consent indeed makes for great marketing, though it’ll likely bring more headaches with it too. 

✋ Please note that, like other nonfiction books, if you intend to release your biography with a publishing house , you can put together a book proposal to send to them before you even write the book. If they like it enough, they might pay you an advance to write it.  


Book Proposal Template

Craft a professional pitch for your nonfiction book with our handy template.

Once you’ve settled (or not) the permission part, it’s time to dive deep into your character’s story.  

Deep and thorough research skills are the cornerstone of every biographer worth their salt. To paint a vivid and accurate portrait of someone's life, you’ll have to gather qualitative information from a wide range of reliable sources. 

Start with the information already available, from books on your subject to archival documents, then collect new ones firsthand by interviewing people or traveling to locations. 

Browse the web and library archives

Illustration of a biographer going into research mode.

Put your researcher hat on and start consuming any piece on your subject you can find, from their Wikipedia page to news articles, interviews, TV and radio appearances, YouTube videos, podcasts, books, magazines, and any other media outlets they may have been featured in. 

Establish a system to orderly collect the information you find 一 even seemingly insignificant details can prove valuable during the writing process, so be sure to save them. 

Depending on their era, you may find most of the information readily available online, or you may need to search through university libraries for older references. 

Photo of Alexander Hamilton

For his landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow spent untold hours at Columbia University’s library , reading through the Hamilton family papers, visiting the New York Historical Society, as well as interviewing the archivist of the New York Stock Exchange, and so on. The research process took years, but it certainly paid off. Chernow discovered that Hamilton created the first five securities originally traded on Wall Street. This finding, among others, revealed his significant contributions to shaping the current American financial and political systems, a legacy previously often overshadowed by other founding fathers. Today Alexander Hamilton is one of the best-selling biographies of all time, and it has become a cultural phenomenon with its own dedicated musical. 

Besides reading documents about your subject, research can help you understand the world that your subject lived in. 

Try to understand their time and social environment

Many biographies show how their protagonists have had a profound impact on society through their philosophical, artistic, or scientific contributions. But at the same time, it’s worth it as a biographer to make an effort to understand how their societal and historical context influenced their life’s path and work.

An interesting example is Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World . Finding himself limited by a lack of verified detail surrounding William Shakespeare's personal life, Greenblatt, instead, employs literary interpretation and imaginative reenactments to transport readers back to the Elizabethan era. The result is a vivid (though speculative) depiction of the playwright's life, enriching our understanding of his world.

Painting of William Shakespeare in colors

Many readers enjoy biographies that transport them to a time and place, so exploring a historical period through the lens of a character can be entertaining in its own right. The Diary of Samuel Pepys became a classic not because people were enthralled by his life as an administrator, but rather from his meticulous and vivid documentation of everyday existence during the Restoration period.

Once you’ve gotten your hands on as many secondary sources as you can find, you’ll want to go hunting for stories first-hand from people who are (or were) close to your subject.

With all the material you’ve been through, by now you should already have a pretty good picture of your protagonist. But you’ll surely have some curiosities and missing dots in their character arc to figure out, which you can only get by interviewing primary sources.

Interview friends and associates

This part is more relevant if your subject is contemporary, and you can actually meet up or call with relatives, friends, colleagues, business partners, neighbors, or any other person related to them. 

In writing the popular biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson interviewed more than one hundred people, including Jobs’s family, colleagues, former college mates, business rivals, and the man himself.

🔍 Read other biographies to get a sense of what makes a great one. Check out our list of the 30 best biographies of all time , or take our 30-second quiz below for tips on which one you should read next. 

Which biography should you read next?

Discover the perfect biography for you. Takes 30 seconds!

When you conduct your interviews, make sure to record them with high quality audio you can revisit later. Then use tools like Otter.ai or Descript to transcribe them 一 it’ll save you countless hours. 

You can approach the interview with a specific set of questions, or follow your curiosity blindly, trying to uncover revealing stories and anecdotes about your subject. Whatever your method, author and biography editor Tom Bromley suggests that every interviewer arrives prepared, "Show that you’ve done your work. This will help to put the interviewee at ease, and get their best answers.” 

Bromley also places emphasis on the order in which you conduct interviews. “You may want to interview different members of the family or friends first, to get their perspective on something, and then go directly to the main interviewee. You'll be able to use that knowledge to ask sharper, more specific questions.” 

Finally, consider how much time you have with each interviewee. If you only have a 30-minute phone call with an important person, make it count by asking directly the most pressing questions you have. And, if you find a reliable source who is also particularly willing to help, conduct several interviews and ask them, if appropriate, to write a foreword as part of the book’s front matter .

Sometimes an important part of the process is packing your bags, getting on a plane, and personally visiting significant places in your character’s journey.

Visit significant places in their life

A place, whether that’s a city, a rural house, or a bodhi tree, can carry a particular energy that you can only truly experience by being there. In putting the pieces together about someone’s life, it may be useful to go visit where they grew up, or where other significant events of their lives happened. It will be easier to imagine what they experienced, and better tell their story. 

In researching The Lost City of Z , author David Grann embarked on a trek through the Amazon, retracing the steps of British explorer Percy Fawcett. This led Grann to develop new theories about the circumstances surrounding the explorer's disappearance.

Still from the movie The Lost City of Z in which the explorer is surrounded by an Amazon native tribe

Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with jaguars and anacondas to better understand your subject’s environment, but try to walk into their shoes as much as possible. 

Once you’ve researched your character enough, it’s time to put together all the puzzle pieces you collected so far. 

Take the bulk of notes, media, and other documents you’ve collected, and start to give them some order and structure. A simple way to do this is by creating a timeline. 

Create a chronological timeline

It helps to organize your notes chronologically 一 from childhood to the senior years, line up the most significant events of your subject’s life, including dates, places, names and other relevant bits. 

Timeline of Steve Jobs' career

You should be able to divide their life into distinct periods, each with their unique events and significance. Based on that, you can start drafting an outline of the narrative you want to create.  

Draft a story outline 

Since a biography entails writing about a person’s entire life, it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can pick where you want to end the story, depending on how consequential the last years of your subject were. But the nature of the work will give you a starting character arc to work with. 

To outline the story then, you could turn to the popular Three-Act Structure , which divides the narrative in three main parts. In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure to have the following:

  • Act 1. Setup : Introduce the protagonist's background and the turning points that set them on a path to achieve a goal. 
  • Act 2. Confrontation : Describe the challenges they encounter, both internal and external, and how they rise to them. Then..
  • Act 3. Resolution : Reach a climactic point in their story in which they succeed (or fail), showing how they (and the world around them) have changed as a result. 

Only one question remains before you begin writing: what will be the main focus of your biography?

Think about why you’re so drawn to your subject to dedicate years of your life to recounting their own. What aspect of their life do you want to highlight? Is it their evil nature, artistic genius, or visionary mindset? And what evidence have you got to back that up? Find a central thesis or focus to weave as the main thread throughout your narrative. 

Cover of Hitler and Stalin by Alan Bullock

Or find a unique angle

If you don’t have a particular theme to explore, finding a distinct angle on your subject’s story can also help you distinguish your work from other biographies or existing works on the same subject.

Plenty of biographies have been published about The Beatles 一 many of which have different focuses and approaches: 

  • Philip Norman's Shout is sometimes regarded as leaning more towards a pro-Lennon and anti-McCartney stance, offering insights into the band's inner dynamics. 
  • Ian McDonald's Revolution in the Head closely examines their music track by track, shifting the focus back to McCartney as a primary creative force. 
  • Craig Brown's One Two Three Four aims to capture their story through anecdotes, fan letters, diary entries, and interviews. 
  • Mark Lewisohn's monumental three-volume biography, Tune In , stands as a testament to over a decade of meticulous research, chronicling every intricate detail of the Beatles' journey.

Group picture of The Beatles

Finally, consider that biographies are often more than recounting the life of a person. Similar to how Dickens’ Great Expectations is not solely about a boy named Pip (but an examination and critique of Britain’s fickle, unforgiving class system), a biography should strive to illuminate a broader truth — be it social, political, or human — beyond the immediate subject of the book. 

Once you’ve identified your main focus or angle, it’s time to write a great story. 

Illustration of a writer mixing storytelling ingredients

While biographies are often highly informative, they do not have to be dry and purely expository in nature . You can play with storytelling elements to make it an engaging read. 

You could do that by thoroughly detailing the setting of the story , depicting the people involved in the story as fully-fledged characters , or using rising action and building to a climax when describing a particularly significant milestone of the subject’s life. 

One common way to make a biography interesting to read is starting on a strong foot…

Hook the reader from the start

Just because you're honoring your character's whole life doesn't mean you have to begin when they said their first word. Starting from the middle or end of their life can be more captivating as it introduces conflicts and stakes that shaped their journey.

When he wrote about Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild , author Jon Krakauer didn’t open his subject’s childhood and abusive family environment. Instead, the book begins with McCandless hitchhiking his way into the wilderness, and subsequently being discovered dead in an abandoned bus. By starting in medias res , Krakauer hooks the reader’s interest, before tracing back the causes and motivations that led McCandless to die alone in that bus in the first place.

Chris McCandless self-portrait in front of the now iconic bus

You can bend the timeline to improve the reader’s reading experience throughout the rest of the story too…

Play with flashback 

While biographies tend to follow a chronological narrative, you can use flashbacks to tell brief stories or anecdotes when appropriate. For example, if you were telling the story of footballer Lionel Messi, before the climax of winning the World Cup with Argentina, you could recall when he was just 13 years old, giving an interview to a local newspaper, expressing his lifelong dream of playing for the national team. 

Used sparsely and intentionally, flashbacks can add more context to the story and keep the narrative interesting. Just like including dialogue does…

Reimagine conversations

Recreating conversations that your subject had with people around them is another effective way to color the story. Dialogue helps the reader imagine the story like a movie, providing a deeper sensory experience. 

what is biographical essay example

One thing is trying to articulate the root of Steve Jobs’ obsession with product design, another would be to quote his father , teaching him how to build a fence when he was young: “You've got to make the back of the fence just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know. And that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect.”

Unlike memoirs and autobiographies, in which the author tells the story from their personal viewpoint and enjoys greater freedom to recall conversations, biographies require a commitment to facts. So, when recreating dialogue, try to quote directly from reliable sources like personal diaries, emails, and text messages. You could also use your interview scripts as an alternative to dialogue. As Tom Bromley suggests, “If you talk with a good amount of people, you can try to tell the story from their perspective, interweaving different segments and quoting the interviewees directly.”



How to Write Believable Dialogue

Master the art of dialogue in 10 five-minute lessons.

These are just some of the story elements you can use to make your biography more compelling. Once you’ve finished your manuscript, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. 

If you’re going to self-publish your biography, you’ll have to polish it to professional standards. After leaving your work to rest for a while, look at it with fresh eyes and self-edit your manuscript eliminating passive voice, filler words, and redundant adverbs. 

Illustration of an editor reviewing a manuscript

Then, have a professional editor give you a general assessment. They’ll look at the structure and shape of your manuscript and tell you which parts need to be expanded on or cut. As someone who edited and commissioned several biographies, Tom Bromley points out that a professional “will look at the sources used and assess whether they back up the points made, or if more are needed. They would also look for context, and whether or not more background information is needed for the reader to understand the story fully. And they might check your facts, too.”  

In addition to structural editing, you may want to have someone copy-edit and proofread your work.



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Importantly, make sure to include a bibliography with a list of all the interviews, documents, and sources used in the writing process. You’ll have to compile it according to a manual of style, but you can easily create one by using tools like EasyBib . Once the text is nicely polished and typeset in your writing software , you can prepare for the publication process.  

In conclusion, by mixing storytelling elements with diligent research, you’ll be able to breathe life into a powerful biography that immerses readers in another individual’s life experience. Whether that’ll spark inspiration or controversy, remember you could have an important role in shaping their legacy 一 and that’s something not to take lightly. 

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What Is a Biographical Essay?

A biographical essay is a written composition describing the life and times of a particular individual. In general there are two primary types. The first is an academic report or essay used to paint a picture of a historical figure or person of some importance to the writer. This sort of paper is usually structured somewhat rigidly, often with fixed introduction, body, and conclusion paragraphs. Colleges, universities, and certain grants associated with higher education also sometimes ask for biographical essays as part of their application materials, and these sorts of compositions are usually a lot different in that schools are usually asking applicants to write about themselves . Furthermore, rather than trying to present a complete composite of their lives to date, most writers in these contexts focus on certain defining moments and experiences. The structure is often looser and less academic.

Core Components

Both types of essay have a few things in common. They’re both focused on a specific person, for instance, and can and often do weave in details that define that person’s context. This can include things like family relationships and geographical settings. Additionally, both usually have a singular point they’re trying to make. Even though the structure varies, organization is important. In academic papers, the writer’s main point is usually captured in what’s known as a “ thesis statement .” This statement makes a specific claim that the rest of the paper will be used to support. Self-portraits and personal statements don’t necessarily need a defined thesis statement, but writers who organize their thoughts around a central argument usually find that their compositions are more coherent and successful as a result.

Analyzing Figures from the Past

In an academic essay , the thesis might link certain key events in a subject's life to his subsequent actions, and by so doing offer an explanation of his or her motives. It might also simply describe how the subject lived his or her life, and the effects that he or she had on the world. Generally speaking, the thesis of this sort of essay ties the various stories and facts together and places them in a single, meaningful context.

This type of essay is generally no more than a few pages long and cannot, therefore, adequately cover all of the events in a person’s life. By selecting the events to include in an essay, writers usually emphasizes certain aspects of the subject’s life.

The Importance of Context

In nearly all cases, biographical-style essays in academic settings can be seen as written histories of the times in which the subject lived, and this history needs to provide some context for the essay. An essay on the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that failed to at least briefly discuss the history of the Depression, for instance, would be difficult to understand. In the same way, a personal essay should include key historical events or relationships that were important in the author’s life, but this should be done in an objective and balanced way.

Accuracy can be impacted by words as much as implications. For example, a biographical essay of Lenin that focuses on the execution of his brother by the government might read like a tale of revenge, while an essay discussing the life of Winston Churchill that ends before he was replaced as prime minister will read very differently from one that covers his entire life and career.

Goals of a Self-Portrait

One of the most common objectives of an autobiographical essay is to secure admission to a university or to obtain a scholarship. The essay should include elements that speak to an applicant’s character and personality. Personal hardships that have been overcome, admirable life goals, or a discussion of the role played by an inspiring mentor are common subjects for this type of writing. Interests and academics will generally be covered in other parts of the application and as such will not usually be the focus of this type of biographical essay, though this does vary from place to place. It’s important for writers to pay close attention to the instructions provided in order to submit a successful piece.

An autobiographical essay follows many of the same rules as an essay written about another person’s life. This type of essay should still contain a central thesis or theme, an appropriate level of personal detail, and a discussion of any other topics relevant to the specific position or posting. Writers should also be careful to stay on topic. An essay asking for admission to a religious institution, for example, should probably address issues of faith, but one included in an application for a physics grant probably should not.



Related Articles

  • Are All Academic Papers Difficult to Read?
  • What Is an Autobiographical Essay?
  • What Is an Academic Essay?
  • How Do I Write a Funny Essay?
  • How do I Become a Biographer?
  • What does a Biography Writer do?
  • Does my Personal Essay Have to be Truthful?

Discussion Comments

Post your comments.

  • By: AlexOakenman An autobiographical essay follows many of the same rules as an essay written about another person’s life.
  • A biographical essay should include important historical events, for example, an essay about FDR must include discussion of the Depression.
  • By: serkucher Brainstorming with pen and paper may be helpful for writers preparing to create a biographical essay.

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Biographical Essay Examples: Learn from the Best

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By Essaywriter

Biographical Essay Examples: Learn from the Best

A biographical essay is a style of essay in which you describe a person’s life in your own words. We can ruminate on someone else’s life by reading a biographical essay. The goal of a biographical essay is to portray a person’s life in as much detail as possible so that the reader may understand them and their motivations.

In a biography essay, you must describe the subject’s true character and values, including all of their views and ideologies as well as all of their minor characteristics and any other information that would enable readers to relate to the subject.

A biographical essay is one of the numerous types of essays that you can encounter in college classes, particularly if you are attending courses in liberal arts fields like history or political science. You’ll receive a comprehensive overview of how to create a successful biography essay from this guide.

Kinds Of Biographical Essay Examples

A specialized type of history is a biography. It is a narrative of incidents based on the life of a single individual as an example. Here are some kinds of biographical essays.

1. Historical Figures

The biographical essays about living celebrities, athletes, Scientists, inventors, Business leaders, and politicians most frequently adopt the style of historical figures. A person’s life naturally resembles a story; it begins with birth and ends with death, with excitement and events taking place all along the way. While writing your biography essay, you should stick to this natural progression. Generally, you should start your essay with a historical figure’s birth and accompany them through the important events in their life till passing away.

This style of biography is most prevalent. These narratives incorporate a few facts into an informative story with the intention of leaving a certain impression, regardless of their integrity. This format’s strength is the most informative with specific outcomes.

2. Historical Academic

The academic biographical essay is a historical narrative that is based on a specific life. Academic biographical essays heavily rely on verified details and recognized achievements of an individual’s life.

Any lessons that these people have learned frequently get buried in an examination of the minuscule particulars of their lives. Academic historians will organize pertinent information around a person’s accomplishments.

How To Write a Biographical Essay

A biography essay must be written differently from a typical essay about a person. The goal of a biography essay is to convey the subject’s actual character. It can be used as a tactic to reveal a side of a well-known person that the general public is largely unaware of.

A typical biography essay should cover a lot more ground than only the subject’s creative endeavors. By reenacting the persona of the subject of your interest, you must create an atmosphere. In your essay, you must accurately portray the person’s experiences and life. It is a fascinating and exciting technique to discover more about a renowned individual.

Here are some steps you need to follow when you are writing a biographical essay.

1. Select a Topic

You might need to select a topic. The subject of your article ought to be well known. Authors, philosophers, activists, musicians, & political figures are among those with access to easily available knowledge. You must do these actions after selecting your subject.

  • Visit the places where this person had a breakthrough or experienced something that changed their life. You will be able to relate to the event from that location better this way. You can also pinpoint the historical occurrences that took place during the life of your subject.
  • Utilize all of the resources at your disposal to learn as much as you can about this character. Books, newspapers, journals, magazines, and reputable online media are all options. The data you want to explore will be easier to find if you have a list of questions.

2. Research and Writing

Your understanding of who your topic is, what they achieved, & why they are famous will become clearer as you read more about them. It’s ideal for reading from various sources because different authors will have different perspectives and facts about the individual you’ve chosen. Make notes of intriguing information, dates, events, and names while you conduct your investigation. Additionally, pay attention to strongly held beliefs, especially if they conflict with or are opposed to your topic.

  • To compare the knowledge available on this subject, use a variety of sources. Establish interview dates with them if they are available. As an alternative, you might ask family members, friends, coworkers, siblings, and other close relatives for information. If there is data that you cannot discover from other sources, this strategy is essential.
  • Create a plan for your essay. Unless your teacher specifies differently, your essay should adhere to the traditional five-paragraph format (Intro, Body Paragraphs, Conclusion). While you decide which concepts to include in each paragraph, your outline will assist you in keeping the data you obtained during your study organized, and then write your essay in clear words.

3. Critical Analysis

Writing an engaging biography essay is essential if you want to persuade your audience that the subject you are writing about is deserving of their attention. You must employ verifiable facts in order to provide a credible account of someone. As a result, it is advised to use academic sources for your references, such as books and journal articles.

After you’ve described your subject in detail, proofread your work to make sure you didn’t leave out any important information. Does your writing make sense, or are there any obvious gaps? Verify that you followed the necessary style guidelines and adhered to the correct formatting.

A biographical essay is a fascinating account of a person’s life.

Be aware that these articles mention well-known individuals, including politicians, musicians, artists, and innovators. Remember that you can write a biography of someone who is not well-known as long as you have a good cause to tell their story.

You must adhere to the above guidelines if you want to create a great biographical essay.

Biographical essays can be difficult to write, especially when you’re running out of time.

ThePaperExperts.com has written over 110,000 essays in the past 2 decades writing essays, including biographical essays, thesis, dissertations, and statistical assignments.

Our academic advisors are standing by to help and answer any questions you may have.

Visit our website: ThePaperExperts.com and reach out right now at 1-888-774-9994.

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How To Write Biography: Learn How To Do It Fast And Easy

how to write a biography

Help! What is a biography essay? I don’t know how to write a biography paper! Don’t worry about it; we are here to help. We know that the biography essay can be a bit tricky to write. Most students panic when they realize they don’t have enough time to complete the essay or when they hit a writer’s block. The good news is that we have included all the necessary information about the bibliography in this blog post – as well as a great guide to help you write it.

You’ll learn what this paper is and how it is structured. We’ll also show you how to write biographical essay papers correctly. Finally, the complete sample written by our experts and the list of tips, tricks and advice will help you do an even better job. You’ll probably get some bonus points too. Ready? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

First, what is a biographical essay, what is included in a biography, learn how to start a biography essay quickly, the complete guide to writing a biography paper, a sample biography for your consideration, biography tips, tricks and advice.

Let’s start with the beginning. What is a biographical essay?

A biographical essay is a type of academic paper that tells the story of a person’s life, usually focusing on their achievements, experiences, and impact on the world. The purpose of a biographical essay is to provide an in-depth and accurate portrayal of the subject’s life while highlighting key events and significant moments that shaped their character and legacy.

A biographical essay typically follows a chronological structure, beginning with the person’s early life and progressing through their major accomplishments, challenges and significant events. You may also include some information about the subject’s family, education, career, relationships, and personal values.

To write a great biographical essay, you need to conduct extensive research and gather accurate information about the person’s life. You should be prepared to review historical documents, conduct interviews with people who knew the person and consult several other reliable sources. You must then synthesize the information and create a compelling and engaging narrative that covers the subject’s life and accomplishments in great depth.

The first step is deciding what to put in biography. There is no set list of chapters that need to be included. A biography is not a research paper, thesis or dissertation. However, there are some common elements of a biography that you should consider adding to your paper (some, like the introduction and conclusion, are mandatory):

  • Introduction. The introduction provides an overview of the person’s life, including their name, occupation and significance.
  • Background information. This chapter provides context and background information about the person’s life, including their upbringing, family and education.
  • Major life events. The essay should cover the major life events of the person, such as their accomplishments, challenges and contributions to their field or society.
  • Personal qualities. It is important to include information about the person’s personality traits, values and beliefs. Bring the character to life using a carefully-crafted narrative.
  • Impact and legacy. The bibliography essay should also cover the person’s impact and legacy, both during their lifetime and after their death.
  • Death. If the subject is deceased, you can often write a short paragraph about the circumstances surrounding their death.
  • Conclusion. The conclusion summarizes the person’s life and impact, and provides final thoughts on their significance and legacy.

how to write a biography

Don’t know how to start a biography essay? The introduction of a biography essay is a very important part of the essay as it sets the tone and captures the reader’s attention. Here are some tips that should help you start the biography paper correctly:

The first one or two sentences should be attention-grabbing and captivating. Write a surprising fact, a quote from your subject or an interesting anecdote. After you’ve hooked the reader, provide some background information on your subject. This can include their name, their occupation or profession, and their significance in their field or in history. Now it’s time to briefly outline your subject’s life. You don’t need to go into great detail at this point; just give the reader an overview of who your subject is and what they are known for. Finally, end your introduction with a thesis statement that outlines the main argument of your essay. This will give the reader an idea of what to expect from the rest of the paper.

Make your introduction concise and organize it in a logical manner, using short paragraphs if necessary. It’s the very first thing your readers see, aside from the title of the paper.

Now that you know the features of a biography and how to start the essay, it’s time to get down to business. We’ll show you how to write biography essay papers quickly by following a simple step-by-step guide. After you read our guide, you’ll realize that biography writing is not as difficult as it sounds:

  • Choose a great topic. Select a person that you find interesting and who has left a significant legacy on humanity. Make sure you have enough primary and secondary sources available to conduct thorough research.
  • Conduct extensive research. Use a variety of primary and secondary sources, including books, articles, interviews, photos, videos, and other archival material to gather information about the person’s life and work. Take careful notes and write down the source of each piece of information.
  • Organize your notes. Organize your notes into categories or themes to make it easier to catch subtle patterns and connections. Create an outline of the paper to organize your thoughts. The outline also ensures that your paper flows logically.
  • Write the introduction. Begin with an opening sentence that captures the reader’s attention (the hook) and introduces the subject. Provide some background information about the person and their significance. At the end of the intro, write your thesis statement.
  • Write the body paragraphs. Write the main body of the paper, focusing on the person’s life and work. Each paragraph should discuss a single important idea or fact. Use primary sources whenever possible to provide a detailed and accurate account of the person’s achievements and experiences. Include both personal and professional information to provide a comprehensive view of the person’s life.
  • Write a short critical analysis. It’s often a good idea to include your own critical analysis of the person’s impact and contributions to society. Discuss their strengths and weaknesses and evaluate their legacy.
  • Write the conclusion. Summarize the key points of the paper and provide some final thoughts on why the subject is important and on why you’ve chosen the topic.
  • Write the References section. It’s very important to use proper citation styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, Turabian, etc.) to give credit where credit is due.
  • Edit and proofread your work. Read the paper carefully to ensure that it is free of errors and flows smoothly. Make any necessary edits and corrections. It’s a good practice to do this twice.

We know you’re probably looking for a biography example that you can use as a template for your next paper. This is why our helpful experts have written a sample biography for you, which you can get in touch with us right now to receive! If you are interested in our services, we are always happy to provide great biography examples that are professional writers can type up and research vigorously.

It’s time for some tips, tricks and advice on how to get the biography written perfectly. Remember that you also need to follow every guideline set forth by your teacher. Here are some that should be a great biography essay assignment help :

Always choose a subject that that you feel passionate about to make the research and writing process more enjoyable. Examine the ways in which significant events served as pivotal moments in both the life and works of the individual. Use a clear and concise writing style that is easy to read and understand. Avoid using overly complex language or technical jargon that might confuse the reader. The simpler the better. Include both personal and professional information about the subject. This will help the reader understand the person on a deeper level and appreciate their accomplishments more. While it’s important to present the subject in a positive light, it’s also important to be objective and avoid bias. Present the facts in an impartial way and let the reader draw his own conclusions. Don’t forget to edit and proofread your essay carefully to ensure that it is free of errors and that it flows smoothly. It’s a good idea to have someone else read your essay to provide feedback and catch any mistakes you might have missed.

Get Help With Your Biography Assignment

Do you need a bit of help with your biography assignment? Maybe you need somebody with more experience than you to make some tweaks to the structure of your paper. Or perhaps you need a great outline to get you started. Our writers, editors and proofreaders can get it done, and offer top notch college homework help . Here, you can get biography help in a matter of minutes, even in the middle of the night. Our customer support department is online 24/7 to help you find an expert to help with your assignment.

Our creative ENL writers can finish a unique biography essay in as little as 3 hours. We are a top tier provider of academic writing services that has been helping students get an A+ on their every assignment for more than 10 years. Our experts can help high school, college and university students with any class, any course and any paper.

Need a bio example you can use in your own project? Need some more tips on how to do a great job on your biography paper? Or perhaps you don’t really know how to conclude a biography. Just reach out to us and get a custom written essay or research paper tonight!

What are the 5 elements of a biography?

As with any piece of writing about a person, a biography should be accurate about the person you are writing about. Five elements of a biography could be: the name of the person, his or her achievements, relationship with family, views and life outlook, and important life events.

What does a good biography include?

A good biography will go in depth about a person’s life. It will include the early life of the subject, their pathway in life and what they have achieved. A good biography will also be interesting to read, and will place the story of the subject in today’s context, giving it the importance needed.

What is an example of a popular biography?

Some examples of popular biographies include: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, Churchill: A Life by Martin Gilbert, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight.

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Biography Narrative Essay

what is biographical essay example

If you were given a chance to write a person’s biography, would you take that opportunity? A lot of people may see this as a good type of job to get into, while others may see this as a hobby. However you want to see it, it really is a good opportunity. Better yet, what if you are given the chance to write your own autobiography? A lot of people would take that as a chance to show their readers or the rest of the world who they are and what they can do. Of course, it is not always for everyone either. When we think of narratives we often think of the length of either an essay , a story or a speech.

But we do not often think that even a biography could be part of that idea. Often than not, we mistake biography and autobiography so much that we think they mean the same thing but with different spelling. Firstly, they are different and they do mean different things. But what does a biography narrative essay mean and what can it do for you? To find out what it can do for you, check out 10+ examples of a biography narrative essay. 

10+ Biography Narrative Essay Examples

1. biography narrative essay.

Biography Narrative Essay

Size: 36 KB

2. Autobiographical Narrative Essay

Autobiographical Narrative Essay

Size: 65 KB

3. Political Biography Narrative Essay

Political Biography Narrative Essays

4. Biography Narrative Essay Template

Biography Narrative Essay Template

Size: 164 KB

5. Basic Biography Narrative Essay

Basic Biography Narrative Essay

Size: 207 KB

6. Biography Narrative Agency Essay

Biography Narrative Agency Essay

Size: 268 KB

7. Fiction Biography Narrative Essay

Fiction Biography Narrative Essay

Size: 124 KB

8. Formal Biography Narrative Essay

Formal Biography Narrative Essay

9. Budding Renaissance of Biography Narrative Essay

Budding Renaissance of Biography Narrative Essay

Size: 56 KB

10. Cultural Autobiography Narrative Essay

Cultural Autobiography Narrative Essay

Size: 71 KB

11. Biography Narrative Essay Sheet

Biography Narrative Essay Sheets

Size: 191 KB

What Is a Biography Narrative Essay?

We know that a biography and an autobiography are two different things, what we do not often hear is that a biography can also be used in a narrative essay . So what is a biography narrative essay ? This is a kind of narrative essay that you write when you are talking or writing about a person’s life story. This kind of essay focuses on you as the writer telling a story about a famous person like an author of a story, a poet or even an athlete. Of course you can also be writing an autobiography narrative essay, and it works just the same. The only difference is that you are writing your own story to let the world know who you are as a person.

In addition to that, you can also be writing about cultural biographies and they would work the same as you may write with a narrative essay. As long as you know what you are writing about and the difference between a biography and an autobiography. The importance of a biography narrative essay is to tell a story. To be able to tell the life story of a person you may or may not have met. As well as to be able to share it in the form of an essay.

How to Write a Biography Narrative Essay?

Having the opportunity to write a biography narrative essay is fun and exciting, but there are also things you should know about it. One of which is how and the other is why. Since we already know the reason, it is time we learned the ways to write it .

1. Do Your Personal Research First

Take some time to do your personal research first. Before you make your biography narrative essay, find time on who you are planning on talking about. Whether this person is alive or deceased also matters. To be able to make a good narrative essay from their lives, you must at least know or understand even a bit of information about them.

2. Permission Is Always Best and Professional

Getting permission from the person you are planning on writing a biography essay is also best and professional. It not only puts you in a good light, but it also shows that you take their word at heart. Asking for permission shows that you understand their need for privacy as well as the fact that you show them respect. It never hurts anyone to ask permission to whom they plan on writing a biography about.

3.  Draft a Short Timeline Before You Write

To make your biography narrative essay a success, draft a short timeline before you write. This timeline could be about the events of the life of the person you are going to be writing or your own if you plan to write an autobiography. Also, drafting your work before finalizing it would make it easier for you to see which should be placed and which should be disregarded.

4. Rewrite Your Essay and Finalize Everything

When you have finished writing the draft and you are sure that it is enough and okay, you can start by rewriting your essay and finalizing everything. Of course this would take time, but it is really worth rewriting if you need to check everything first. As well as finalizing everything means you have to check if the information is correct, your grammar and spelling are fine too.

5. Read Your Biography Narrative Essay Before Passing

To be sure that you got it right, the best way to do so is to read your biography narrative essay. To make sure that the tone is right, the way you are presenting it as well. Ask someone for help to be sure that how you deliver is presentable and professional. As well as using the words in your essay that would be easy to say and explain.

What is a biography narrative essay?

A biography narrative essay is a kind of essay that is based on you writing someone’s story. An essay that focuses on a person’s life story being written down by someone else and to present it to class.

Why should you ask permission to write someone’s story?

Asking for permission is not only polite, but it also gives you a chance to see if the person wants their story known. It is also a good way for you to avoid plagiarism by having the permission from the person, rather than just to write about them and pass it off as if it were nothing.

What is one thing that should be avoided?

Writing a biography narrative, avoid any fabrications and plagiarism. To avoid this kind of mistake, do not fabricate their work and pass it as yours. Avoid fabricating anything they may say and change it to something more interesting.

Having the opportunity to write biographies for famous people is what others can say is a dream come true. A lot of people would even take the opportunity to write their own autobiographies and share it to the world. Whether you plan on writing a biography or an autobiography, there should always be things you should take into consideration. Always remember that when writing these kinds of essays, fabricating it will never get you anywhere.


Biography Narrative Essay Generator

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  • Example of a great essay | Explanations, tips & tricks

Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks

Published on February 9, 2015 by Shane Bryson . Revised on July 23, 2023 by Shona McCombes.

This example guides you through the structure of an essay. It shows how to build an effective introduction , focused paragraphs , clear transitions between ideas, and a strong conclusion .

Each paragraph addresses a single central point, introduced by a topic sentence , and each point is directly related to the thesis statement .

As you read, hover over the highlighted parts to learn what they do and why they work.

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Table of contents

Other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about writing an essay, an appeal to the senses: the development of the braille system in nineteenth-century france.

The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.

Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.

In France, debates about how to deal with disability led to the adoption of different strategies over time. While people with temporary difficulties were able to access public welfare, the most common response to people with long-term disabilities, such as hearing or vision loss, was to group them together in institutions (Tombs, 1996). At first, a joint institute for the blind and deaf was created, and although the partnership was motivated more by financial considerations than by the well-being of the residents, the institute aimed to help people develop skills valuable to society (Weygand, 2009). Eventually blind institutions were separated from deaf institutions, and the focus shifted towards education of the blind, as was the case for the Royal Institute for Blind Youth, which Louis Braille attended (Jimenez et al, 2009). The growing acknowledgement of the uniqueness of different disabilities led to more targeted education strategies, fostering an environment in which the benefits of a specifically blind education could be more widely recognized.

Several different systems of tactile reading can be seen as forerunners to the method Louis Braille developed, but these systems were all developed based on the sighted system. The Royal Institute for Blind Youth in Paris taught the students to read embossed roman letters, a method created by the school’s founder, Valentin Hauy (Jimenez et al., 2009). Reading this way proved to be a rather arduous task, as the letters were difficult to distinguish by touch. The embossed letter method was based on the reading system of sighted people, with minimal adaptation for those with vision loss. As a result, this method did not gain significant success among blind students.

Louis Braille was bound to be influenced by his school’s founder, but the most influential pre-Braille tactile reading system was Charles Barbier’s night writing. A soldier in Napoleon’s army, Barbier developed a system in 1819 that used 12 dots with a five line musical staff (Kersten, 1997). His intention was to develop a system that would allow the military to communicate at night without the need for light (Herron, 2009). The code developed by Barbier was phonetic (Jimenez et al., 2009); in other words, the code was designed for sighted people and was based on the sounds of words, not on an actual alphabet. Barbier discovered that variants of raised dots within a square were the easiest method of reading by touch (Jimenez et al., 2009). This system proved effective for the transmission of short messages between military personnel, but the symbols were too large for the fingertip, greatly reducing the speed at which a message could be read (Herron, 2009). For this reason, it was unsuitable for daily use and was not widely adopted in the blind community.

Nevertheless, Barbier’s military dot system was more efficient than Hauy’s embossed letters, and it provided the framework within which Louis Braille developed his method. Barbier’s system, with its dashes and dots, could form over 4000 combinations (Jimenez et al., 2009). Compared to the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet, this was an absurdly high number. Braille kept the raised dot form, but developed a more manageable system that would reflect the sighted alphabet. He replaced Barbier’s dashes and dots with just six dots in a rectangular configuration (Jimenez et al., 2009). The result was that the blind population in France had a tactile reading system using dots (like Barbier’s) that was based on the structure of the sighted alphabet (like Hauy’s); crucially, this system was the first developed specifically for the purposes of the blind.

While the Braille system gained immediate popularity with the blind students at the Institute in Paris, it had to gain acceptance among the sighted before its adoption throughout France. This support was necessary because sighted teachers and leaders had ultimate control over the propagation of Braille resources. Many of the teachers at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth resisted learning Braille’s system because they found the tactile method of reading difficult to learn (Bullock & Galst, 2009). This resistance was symptomatic of the prevalent attitude that the blind population had to adapt to the sighted world rather than develop their own tools and methods. Over time, however, with the increasing impetus to make social contribution possible for all, teachers began to appreciate the usefulness of Braille’s system (Bullock & Galst, 2009), realizing that access to reading could help improve the productivity and integration of people with vision loss. It took approximately 30 years, but the French government eventually approved the Braille system, and it was established throughout the country (Bullock & Galst, 2009).

Although Blind people remained marginalized throughout the nineteenth century, the Braille system granted them growing opportunities for social participation. Most obviously, Braille allowed people with vision loss to read the same alphabet used by sighted people (Bullock & Galst, 2009), allowing them to participate in certain cultural experiences previously unavailable to them. Written works, such as books and poetry, had previously been inaccessible to the blind population without the aid of a reader, limiting their autonomy. As books began to be distributed in Braille, this barrier was reduced, enabling people with vision loss to access information autonomously. The closing of the gap between the abilities of blind and the sighted contributed to a gradual shift in blind people’s status, lessening the cultural perception of the blind as essentially different and facilitating greater social integration.

The Braille system also had important cultural effects beyond the sphere of written culture. Its invention later led to the development of a music notation system for the blind, although Louis Braille did not develop this system himself (Jimenez, et al., 2009). This development helped remove a cultural obstacle that had been introduced by the popularization of written musical notation in the early 1500s. While music had previously been an arena in which the blind could participate on equal footing, the transition from memory-based performance to notation-based performance meant that blind musicians were no longer able to compete with sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997). As a result, a tactile musical notation system became necessary for professional equality between blind and sighted musicians (Kersten, 1997).

Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.

Bullock, J. D., & Galst, J. M. (2009). The Story of Louis Braille. Archives of Ophthalmology , 127(11), 1532. https://​doi.org/10.1001/​archophthalmol.2009.286.

Herron, M. (2009, May 6). Blind visionary. Retrieved from https://​eandt.theiet.org/​content/​articles/2009/05/​blind-visionary/.

Jiménez, J., Olea, J., Torres, J., Alonso, I., Harder, D., & Fischer, K. (2009). Biography of Louis Braille and Invention of the Braille Alphabet. Survey of Ophthalmology , 54(1), 142–149. https://​doi.org/10.1016/​j.survophthal.2008.10.006.

Kersten, F.G. (1997). The history and development of Braille music methodology. The Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education , 18(2). Retrieved from https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/40214926.

Mellor, C.M. (2006). Louis Braille: A touch of genius . Boston: National Braille Press.

Tombs, R. (1996). France: 1814-1914 . London: Pearson Education Ltd.

Weygand, Z. (2009). The blind in French society from the Middle Ages to the century of Louis Braille . Stanford: Stanford University Press.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

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Bryson, S. (2023, July 23). Example of a Great Essay | Explanations, Tips & Tricks. Scribbr. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/example-essay-structure/

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2 What Is Biographical Criticism?

what is biographical essay example

This chapter will demonstrate how subsequent chapters will be organized throughout the book. 

At some point in your educational journey, you’ve probably been asked to write a book report. As part of that report, you probably did some brief research about the author’s life to better understand what factors influenced his/her/their work.

Critical Lens: Biographical Criticism

When we look at biographical or historical information to help us interpret the author’s intent in a text, we are practicing historical or biographical criticism . With this type of criticism, popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the author—and the author’s intent—are the targets of our analysis. We read the text in tandem with the author’s life, searching for clues about what the author meant within the words of the text and life events. Throughout most of literary history, this is what we meant when we talked about literary criticism or literary analysis.

Learning Objectives

  • Using a literary theory, choose appropriate elements of literature (formal, content, or context) to focus on in support of an interpretation (CLO 2.3)
  • Emphasize what the work does and how it does it with respect to form, content, and context (CLO 2.4)
  • Provide a thoughtful, thorough, and convincing interpretation of a text in support of a well-crafted thesis statement (CLO 5.1)

Applying Biographical Criticism to a Text

As a refresher on how this type of criticism works, let’s look at a poem by African American poet Phyllis Wheatley written in 1772 and published in 1773.

To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth

Hail, happy day, when, smiling like the morn, Fair Freedom rose New-England to adorn: The northern clime beneath her genial ray, Dartmouth, congratulates thy blissful sway: Elate with hope her race no longer mourns, Each soul expands, each grateful bosom burns, While in thine hand with pleasure we behold The silken reins, and Freedom’s charms unfold. Long lost to realms beneath the northern skies

She shines supreme, while hated faction dies: Soon as appear’d the Goddess long desir’d, Sick at the view, she languish’d and expir’d; Thus from the splendors of the morning light The owl in sadness seeks the caves of night. No more, America, in mournful strain Of wrongs, and grievance unredress’d complain, No longer shalt thou dread the iron chain, Which wanton Tyranny with lawless hand Had made, and with it meant t’ enslave the land.

Should you, my lord, while you peruse my song, Wonder from whence my love of Freedom sprung, Whence flow these wishes for the common good, By feeling hearts alone best understood, I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate Was snatch’d from Afric’s fancy’d happy seat: What pangs excruciating must molest, What sorrows labour in my parent’s breast? Steel’d was that soul and by no misery mov’d That from a father seiz’d his babe belov’d: Such, such my case. And can I then but pray Others may never feel tyrannic sway?

For favours past, great Sir, our thanks are due, And thee we ask thy favours to renew, Since in thy pow’r, as in thy will before, To sooth the griefs, which thou did’st once deplore. May heav’nly grace the sacred sanction give To all thy works, and thou for ever live Not only on the wings of fleeting Fame, Though praise immortal crowns the patriot’s name, But to conduct to heav’ns refulgent fane, May fiery coursers sweep th’ ethereal plain, And bear thee upwards to that blest abode, Where, like the prophet, thou shalt find thy God.

Wheatley’s literary talent was recognized and celebrated by her contemporaries. Here’s a brief biographical sketch written nearly 60 years after her death from Biographical Sketches and Interesting Anecdotes of Persons of Color   by A. Mott (1839):

A Short Account of Phillis Wheatley

what is biographical essay example

1. Although the state of Massachusetts never was so deeply involved in the African slave trade as most of the other states, yet before the war which separated the United States of America from Great Britain, and gave us the title of a free and independent nation, there were many of the poor Africans brought into their ports and sold for slaves.

2. In the year 1761, a little girl about 7 or 8 years old was stolen from her parents in Africa, and being put on board a ship was brought to Boston, where she was sold for a slave to John Wheatley, a respectable inhabitant of that town. Her master giving her the name of Phillis, and she assuming that of her master, she was of course called Phillis Wheatley.

3. Being of an active disposition, and very attentive and industrious, she soon learned the English language, and in about sixteen months so perfectly, that she could read any of the most difficult parts of the Scriptures, to the great astonishment of those who heard her. And this she learned without any school instruction except what was taught her in the family.

4. The art of writing she obtained by her own industry and curiosity, and in so short a time that in the year 1765, when she was not more than twelve years of  age,she was capable of writing letters to her friends on various subjects. She also wrote to several persons in high stations. In one of her communications to the Earl of Dartmouth, on the subject of Freedom,  she has the following lines:

“Should you, my lord, while you pursue my song, Wonder from whence my love of  Freedom  sprung, Whence flow these wishes for the common good, By feeling hearts alone best understood— I, young in life, by seeming cruel fate, Was snatch’d from Afric’s fancy’d happy seat: What pangs excruciating must molest, What sorrows labour in my parent’s breast? Steel’d was that soul, and by no misery mov’d, That from a father seized the babe belov’d. Such, such my case—and can I then but pray, Others may never feel tyrannic sway?”

5. In her leisure moments she often indulged herself in writing poetry, and a small volume of her composition was published in 1773, when she was about nineteen years of age, attested by the Governor of Massachusetts, and a number of the most respectable inhabitants of Boston, in the following language:

6. “We, whose names are under-written, do assure the world that the Poems specified in the following pages were, (as we verily believe,) written by Phillis, a young negro girl, who was but a few years since, brought an uncultivated barbarian from Africa; and has ever since been, and now is, under the disadvantage of serving as a slave in a family in this town. She has been examined by some of the best judges, and is thought qualified to write them.”*

7. Her master says—”Having a great inclination to learn the Latin language, she has made some progress in it.”

8. After the publication of the little volume mentioned, and about the 21st year of her age, she was liberated; but she continued in her master’s family, where she was much respected for her good conduct. Many of the most respectable inhabitants of Boston and its vicinity, visiting at the house, were pleased with an opportunity of conversing with Phillis, and observing her modest deportment, and the cultivation of her mind.

9. When about 23, she was married to a person of her own colour, who having also obtained considerable learning, kept a grocery, and officiated as a lawyer, under the title of Doctor Peters, pleading the cause of his brethren the Africans, before the tribunals of the state.

10. The reputation he enjoyed, with his industry, procured him a fortune; but Phillis being much indulged, had not acquired sufficient knowledge of domestic concerns; and her friends continuing their particular attention to her, gave him uneasiness, which operating on a disposition that was not willing to have her more respected than himself—which first manifested itself by reproaches; which were followed by harsh treatment. The continuance thereof affecting her susceptible mind, and delicate constitution, she soon went into a decline, and died in 1780, about the 26th year of her age, much lamented by those who knew her worth. She had one child, which died very young; and her husband survived her only three years.

*Most of her poetical productions have a religious or moral cast; all breathe a soft and sentimental feeling. Twelve related to the death of friends. Others on the works of Providence; on virtue, humanity and freedom; with one to a young painter of her own colour. On seeing his works, she vented her grief for the sorrows of her country men, in a pathetic strain.

Biographical Criticism Applied

You read the poem by Phyllis Wheatley before you learned more about the poet’s life. Now that we have both the text and the biographical information about Wheatley, consider the following questions:

  • What literary elements of the poem stand out to you?
  • How would you describe the author’s intent?
  • How does reading the poet’s biography change or impact your understanding of the poem?

When writing an analysis using this lens, you’ll want to start by sharing a brief biography of the text’s author, including anything relevant to your understanding of the poem. A thesis statement might look something like this:

In her poem “To the Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth,” Phyllis Wheatley’s childhood experiences with slavery impact the choice of imagery and metaphor, focusing on ideas of freedom and democracy that were denied to many contempory eighteenth century African Americans.

This thesis statement would then be supported from the text. Some examples of things you might use for support include the following:

  • The description of freedom (capitalized) in the first stanza.
  • The imagery of the goddess Athena, associated with the birthplace of democracy, in the second stanza.
  • The description of slavery and the author’s appreciation for freedom in the third stanza.

Using this evidence along with biographical information about Phyllis Wheatley, including her education and her experiences, you could write an essay showing how the author’s intent, to celebrate freedom, is supported by her life history.

What Are the Limitations of Biographical Criticism?

While it can be interesting and fun to speculate about how the Bronte sisters’ real lives influenced their sometimes uncanny plots, there are several limitations and drawbacks to this kind of criticism.

  • History is unreliable . With the Phyllis Wheatley poem and biography above, I provided you with one of the earliest known examples of a biography about this influential African American poet. Because she was enslaved, the lens through which her contemporaries and subsequent biographers viewed her was shaped by prejudice and bias. When we do biographical criticism, we have to assume that there are stable facts about history—and as we will learn later in this book, that’s a pretty big assumption.
Does this guessing game mostly evidence: A     the literacy mastery of the student? B     the competency of the student’s teacher? C     the absurdity of the questions? D     the fact that the poet, although she has never put her head in an oven, definitely has issues. Let’s go with  D since I definitely have issues, including issues with these ridiculous test questions (Holbrook).

Ascribing authorial intent where it does not exist is sometimes referred to in later forms of literary criticism as the “ intentional fallacy. ”

3. Literature has universal meaning. Focusing on the author’s history or biography detracts from the idea that a text can mean something to anyone from any time or place.

Consider this English translation of a poem from the Tang Dynesty (701-762 CE) Chinese poet Li Bai (also known as Li Po):

Your grasses up north are as blue as jade, Our mulberries here curve green-threaded branches; And at last you think of returning home, Now when my heart is almost broken…. O breeze of the spring, since I dare not know you, Why part the silk curtains by my bed?

We don’t have to know anything about the author or his cultural context to understand that this poem is about loss of a loved one. The poem speaks to us at a universal level about an emotion we can all recognize, using powerful imagery to convey a sense of loss.

Practicing Biographical Criticism

You’ll have the opportunity to practice biographical criticism with your first week writing assessment. I recommend that you review the Model AI Essay in the next chapter and also review MLA style requirements prior to submitting your response. This will be the only time we use biographical criticism in the course.

Biographical Criticism: Natasha Tretheway’s “Theories of Time and Space”

Further Reading

  • Aristotle,  Poetics, translated by S.H. Butcher. https://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/poetics.1.1.html
  • Arnold, Matthew , Ricks, Christopher  (ed.),  Selected Criticism of Matthew Arnold, New York: New American Library, 1972. OCLC 6338231
  • Benson, Jackson J. “Steinbeck: A Defense of Biographical Criticism”. College Literature . Vol. 16, No. 2: 107–116, 1989. JSTOR   25111810 .
  • Frye, Herman Northrop (1947)  Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, OCLC   560970612
  • Johnson, Samuel.  Lives of the Poets Volume 1  at  Project Gutenberg
  • Lynn, Stephen. Texts and Contexts.  2007.
  • Stuart, Duane Reed. “Biographical Criticism of Vergil since the Renaissance.” Studies in Philology. Vol. 19, No. 1: 1–30, 1922. JSTOR 4171815 .

Critical Worlds Copyright © 2024 by Liza Long is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Biography of Henry Ford

This essay about Henry Ford’s childhood explores the early influences that shaped the future industrialist known for revolutionizing factory production with his assembly-line methods. Born on a farm in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1863, Ford’s aversion to farm work and fascination with machinery became evident when he successfully disassembled and reassembled a pocket watch at age 12. Leaving home at 16 to work as an apprentice machinist, Ford’s curiosity and self-education led him to experiment with gasoline engines, culminating in the creation of his first vehicle, the Quadricycle. Ford’s formative years were marked by a blend of rural life, mechanical innovation, and a belief in improving efficiency through technology. This background laid the foundation for his future achievements in making automobiles accessible to the masses and transforming American industry and labor. The essay highlights how Ford’s early life experiences fostered his development into one of the most influential figures in American history.

How it works

Henry Ford, the pioneering American industrialist renowned for transforming factory production through innovative assembly-line methods, experienced a childhood that presaged his future advancements and entrepreneurial zeal. Born on July 30, 1863, on a rural farm in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford’s early years unfolded amidst the rustic tranquility of post-Civil War America. This era witnessed notable technological advancements, yet life on the farm was steeped in manual labor and conventional practices—a stark antithesis to the industrial efficiency Ford later championed.

Even in his youth, Ford displayed a profound fascination with machinery and a palpable discontent with agricultural toil.

His aversion to farm labor stemmed not from idleness but from a conviction that mechanical processes could markedly enhance efficiency and productivity. At the tender age of 12, Ford’s passion for mechanics was ignited when he received a pocket watch as a gift. Swiftly disassembling and reassembling it, he swiftly earned renown as a watch repairman among neighbors and kin. This early foray into machinery underscored Ford’s mechanical acumen and his adeptness at comprehending and manipulating intricate systems.

While Ford’s formal schooling was limited, his insatiable curiosity and proclivity for self-education more than compensated for this deficiency. Departing from school at 16, in 1879, he embarked on an apprenticeship as a machinist in Detroit, thus commencing his odyssey into engineering and design. Balancing his time between machine shops and the family farm over subsequent years, Ford incessantly sought to apply his mechanical expertise to enhance farm equipment.

The pivotal juncture in Ford’s nascent years arrived with his encounter with the internal combustion engine—an innovation that captivated his imagination and spurred his automotive ambitions. Through early experimentation with gasoline engines, he birthed his inaugural functional vehicle, the Quadricycle, in 1896. Beyond a mere technical triumph, this invention embodied Ford’s conviction that machinery could amplify human productivity and engender transformative change.

Ford’s upbringing and early adulthood were a fusion of rural upbringing, mechanical ingenuity, and autodidactic pursuit. These formative experiences laid the foundation for his subsequent triumphs as an industrialist and innovator. Ford’s narrative stands as a testament to the potency of curiosity, resilience, and the audacity to challenge prevailing orthodoxies. Rooted in his youthful encounters, his legacy exemplifies how a humble farm boy, impassioned by mechanics, could ascend to become a titan of American history.

While Ford’s indelible imprint on industry and manufacturing reverberated through the annals of American labor and commerce, its genesis can be traced back to a youthful denizen of a Michigan farmstead—one who beheld not just the present reality, but the latent potentialities therein. Henry Ford’s childhood serves as a poignant reminder that the seeds of innovation often germinate early, nurtured by a blend of curiosity, adversity, and the pursuit of optimal efficiency.


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    Whether you want to start writing a biography about a famous person, historical figure, or an influential family member, it's important to know all the elements that make a biography worth both writing and reading. Biographies are how we learn information about another human being's life. Whether you want to start writing a biography about ...

  5. How to Write a Biography

    A biography is an account of someone's life written by someone else.While there is a genre known as a fictional biography, for the most part, biographies are, by definition, nonfiction. Generally speaking, biographies provide an account of the subject's life from the earliest days of childhood to the present day or, if the subject is deceased, their death.

  6. How to Write a Biography Essay and Get an A+

    A biographical essay is a great chance to dilute simple academic tasks with a pinch of new article full of interesting facts and opinions. Biography essay outline Before writing a biography essay, it's important to pay attention to essay structure and build up a biography outline.

  7. Want an A+ Biography Essay? Check Out Our Tips and Sample!

    But those opinions should be based on official statements from a person's biography. Example of a biography essay. Let's have a look at biographical essay examples that will help you to understand more. Topic: Biography Essay on Albert Einstein. On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany. He is among the most well-known and ...

  8. How to Write a Biographical Essay: Tips, Outlines & Examples

    The Purpose Behind Biographical Essays. The primary aim of crafting a biographical essay is to inform, educate, and inspire readers by unraveling the life story of an exceptional individual. It provides writers with a platform to delve into the complexities of human character, motivations, and aspirations. Selecting Your Subject. Choosing ...

  9. How to Write A Biography Essay

    scholarly citations are generally not required. There are two important things to remember about a biography essay. 1. It is a true story that describes the life of your subject. You are not allowed to just make things up, and there should be scholarly documentation confirming that what you are writing is valid. 2.

  10. How to Write a Biographical Essay

    Write the body of the essay. Start with an introduction that provides context and background information, followed by the body, which should include evidence and examples that support your thesis statement. Write a conclusion. Summarize your points and reiterate your thesis statement. Proofread and edit.

  11. Biography Essays

    The Biography of John Quincy Adams. 1 page / 465 words. John Quincy Adams was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, which is now known as Quincy, on July 11, 1767. He is the son of John and Abigail Adams. His father was the second president of the United States, and he served in office from 1797-1801.

  12. How to Write a Biography: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]

    Facebook. These are just some of the story elements you can use to make your biography more compelling. Once you've finished your manuscript, it's a good idea to ask for feedback. 7. Get feedback and polish the text. If you're going to self-publish your biography, you'll have to polish it to professional standards.

  13. How to Write a Biography in 8 Steps (The Non-Boring Way!)

    Conduct relevant interviews. Whenever possible, seek firsthand accounts from those who knew or interacted with the subject. Conduct interviews with family members, friends, colleagues, or experts in the field. Their insights and anecdotes can provide a deeper understanding of the person's character and experiences.

  14. Biographical Essay Examples

    Biographical Essay Example. Mahatma Gandhi, a well-known person known for peacefully doing the most difficult of tasks, came into the world on October 2nd, 1869. This happened in Porbandar, which is in India. From a normal kid in India to a significant person known worldwide, his life influences many people.

  15. What Is a Biographical Essay?

    A biographical essay is a written composition describing the life and times of a particular individual. In general there are two primary types. The first is an academic report or essay used to paint a picture of a historical figure or person of some importance to the writer. This sort of paper is usually structured somewhat rigidly, often with ...

  16. 11 Tips On How To Write A Personal Biography + Examples

    2. Introduce yourself… like a real person. This is one of the most important pieces of understanding how to write a personal biography. Always start with your name. When many people start learning how to write a bio, they skip this important part. People need to know who you are before they learn what you do.

  17. Biographical Essay Examples: Learn from the Best

    Kinds Of Biographical Essay Examples. A specialized type of history is a biography. It is a narrative of incidents based on the life of a single individual as an example. Here are some kinds of biographical essays. 1. Historical Figures. The biographical essays about living celebrities, athletes, Scientists, inventors, Business leaders, and ...

  18. How to Write a Biography Essay

    Divide your essay into the standard five-paragraph format, which includes an introduction, a minimum of two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Remember to remain within the word limit as given to you. The purpose of the outline of the biography essay is to ease your way through the essay. The outline will help you to organize and frame your essay.

  19. How To Write A Biography: Practical Tips And Best Information

    A biographical essay is a type of academic paper that tells the story of a person's life, usually focusing on their achievements, experiences, and impact on the world. The purpose of a biographical essay is to provide an in-depth and accurate portrayal of the subject's life while highlighting key events and significant moments that shaped ...

  20. Biographical Essay

    Biographical Essay. I grew up in the Boston area in the 1970s. My mother was a pre-school teacher and my father a playwright. I remember visiting my mother's classroom and reading to the children there; even more vividly, I remember sitting in the back row of theater after theater, watching rehearsals - seeing stories come to life.

  21. Biography Narrative Essay

    3. Draft a Short Timeline Before You Write. To make your biography narrative essay a success, draft a short timeline before you write. This timeline could be about the events of the life of the person you are going to be writing or your own if you plan to write an autobiography. Also, drafting your work before finalizing it would make it easier ...

  22. Example of a Great Essay

    This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people's social and cultural lives.

  23. What Is Biographical Criticism?

    Critical Lens: Biographical Criticism. When we look at biographical or historical information to help us interpret the author's intent in a text, we are practicing historical or biographical criticism. With this type of criticism, popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the author—and the author's intent—are the ...

  24. Bessie Coleman Biography

    Bessie Coleman Biography. Bessie Coleman's formative years were entrenched in the early 20th-century milieu of the American South, a period and milieu marked by profound racial and gender strictures. Hailing from Atlanta, Texas, where she was born on January 26, 1892, Coleman emerged as the tenth progeny among thirteen offspring in a family ...

  25. Biography of Cesar Chavez

    Biography of Cesar Chavez. Cesar Chavez's story begins not on the picket lines or in the midst of labor rights negotiations, but in the dusty fields of Yuma, Arizona, where he was born into a world far removed from the fame and influence he would later wield. The year was 1927, a time when the American landscape was as harsh and unforgiving ...

  26. Biography of Henry Ford

    Biography of Henry Ford. Henry Ford, the pioneering American industrialist renowned for transforming factory production through innovative assembly-line methods, experienced a childhood that presaged his future advancements and entrepreneurial zeal. Born on July 30, 1863, on a rural farm in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford's early years unfolded ...

  27. How Israel and allied defenses intercepted more than 300 Iranian ...

    Almost all the ballistic missiles and drones Iran launched at Israel in an unprecedented attack late Saturday were intercepted and failed to meet their mark, according to Israel and the United ...