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BrandYourself Blog | ORM and Personal Branding

11 Tips On How To Write A Personal Biography + Examples

We’ve all been there: agonizing over how to write a bio that doesn’t sound too self-promotional or fall flat with modesty.

“What is a biography?” you may ask. A bio is a piece of work that details a person’s life. In addition to basic facts, like education and employment, it is meant to portray their lived experiences as well. 

Writing a biography that’s professional and actually  sparks interest  can be tricky. And optimizing it for greater visibility in search engines can make your job even harder.

In many cases, your personal biography will define your first impression online when you’re Googled by:

  • A potential employer or client before an interview.
  • Someone at a networking event who wants to learn more about you.
  • A potential client or customer looking to get more info before working with you.

And when someone finds your social media profiles, personal website, or company bio page, your bio will be there to greet them.

It can make or break whether someone wants to take the next step and work with you.

So it’s important to make it count.

1. How to write a bio about yourself that checks all the boxes.

When it comes to writing a personal or professional bio, there are a few items that are standard to include. While a bio may not have all of these things, if any of the following apply to you, then they should be included. Use the following bullet points to write out a list of information about you. From there, you can draw info from each line item to start crafting your bio.

  • Your current role
  • Hometown/Current place of residence
  • Work experience
  • Education history
  • Special skills & attributes
  • Professional accomplishments
  • Personal accomplishments
  • High-level personal goals & aspirations
  • High-level professional accomplishments
  • Hobbies & pastimes
  • Personal passions
  • Awards or Accolades
  • Press Mentions
  • Miscellaneous (What makes you unique!)

Starting with a list ensures you won’t leave anything out.

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. Remember that your most important details should go in the very first sentence.

Keep the first sentence short and sweet, either by describing what you do at a high level or going into more detail about your specific role. Aim to describe yourself in a way that’s professional…but also human.

3. Watch your word count.

When you start writing a bio about yourself, determining the length may seem like an afterthought – something that just happens once you stop typing. However, it is something that you need to think about before you start writing – and your ideal word count may shift depending on your primary focus.

From an SEO perspective, the more words you use in your personal bio, the better. If you are filling in the bio section of a profile, find out the word or character limit – that’s how long your bio should be. If you are writing the bio on your personal website, the longer, the better. Plan to write 500 words – minimum. If you have 1,500 to 2,000 words in you, that’s even better.

From a branding perspective, you may have a different take on the length of your bio. Perhaps you would prefer to keep things short and sweet or don’t feel the immediate need for a 1,500-word count. If so, that’s fine too. Cater your personal bio to your goals. Start small. The length suggestion can change based on your situation and ultimate goals.

4. Write your biography in the third person.

This is one of the most common steps that you may struggle with when learning how to write a bio about yourself. While it can feel strange to talk about yourself in the third person at first, there are some very clear benefits from doing so:

From an SEO perspective, writing a bio in the third person allows you to include your full name throughout the bio. This lets search engines know that this lengthy, original, and well-written piece of content is about  you . While making it clear that this awesome work is about you is important when it comes to search engine optimization, don’t let speaking in the third person become too much of a good thing.

Never overuse your name when writing a bio or include it in a way that seems unnatural. Instead, use your name when it is appropriate. By dropping your name too frequently, search engines may think that the article looks suspicious/spammy – or isn’t written very well.

5. Write a story, not a list.

When writing a personal bio, it can be easy to fall into the trap of rattling off accomplishments, but that’s what your resume is for. Your bio should go above and beyond your awards and get to the core of who you are and what you’re about.

Now, that may seem like a tall order, but with a bit of planning, you can pull it off. You can understand how to write a bio from a technical standpoint, but looking at it through this lens will help be your guideline going forward. Ask yourself questions like, “Who is your audience?” or, “What are the main takeaways for your reader?” and “What events in your life best illustrate those main points?”. Turn your biography into a story that engages the reader.

Those who have mastered the steps of how to write a bio spend a lot of time doing this. If you approach writing a bio like a story, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to differentiate yourself from others and truly connect with the reader.

6. Edit ruthlessly, analyze with free tools, and update constantly.

Your online bio is the authoritative source for you. That means that it needs to reflect you in the best light possible. This also means that it should be kept as up-to-date as possible. The proper action plan for how to write a bio is never truly finished because of this.

A lengthy, well-written, and regularly updated piece of content is like search engine gold. So when you complete your initial version of the longer personal bio that you will use on your website, know that you’re not finished.

As you gain more experience or perhaps shift your professional focus, include these changes in your bios. And keep asking other people that you trust to take a look at your main bios to edit them. Writing a bio is an ongoing process that you should never ignore for too long.

Read your bio aloud to yourself, use free editing tools like the  Hemingway app ,  Slickwrite , or any other number of free resources that will help you write a great bio about yourself that keeps readers interested.

7. Link to your work.

Regardless of your profession, it’s likely that you have samples of your work that are pertinent to the audience reading about you. In addition to being an introduction to who you are and what you do, let your personal bio act as a marketing tool. In case you need some ideas, see this  good real estate marketing teamwork  where you can draw ideas. Many people want to learn how to write a bio effectively, but they don’t spend enough time learning how to use it as a promotion.

You can do this by including links to your product, company, or service. Avoid doing this in a heavy-handed way since nobody wants to read a direct sales pitch when they’re trying to learn about a human being. Mention the product, company, or service in a way that helps you tell your own story in a natural way.

These links should enhance and illustrate what you’re already describing yourself. This shouldn’t be a distraction or take anything away from the main thrust of your personal narrative.

If you have a lot of work and accomplishments to choose from, be selective! Highlight work that’s impressive, relevant, tells your story and makes you proud.

If you don’t currently have much to link to within your personal bio, don’t worry.

Start by learning more about  personal branding . Make a note in your calendar, planner, or journal that this is something to work on outside of creating your personal bio. But don’t let this fall by the wayside. Set some time aside in the next few weeks to actively work on fixing this.

Whether it’s writing an article on your company’s website, submitting a post to a site that’s related to your industry, or finally getting your passion project’s website live… do it! And once that is live, get the most out of it by linking to it in your bios. Look to other professionals in your field who have a well-developed online presence for inspiration.

8. Don’t forget to share your contact information.

Even if you have a contact page on your site, or perhaps widgets on your website that link to your social media sites, make a point to include the most direct mode of connection at the end of your personal bio. This could be your email address, a link to your contact page, or a link to your LinkedIn account. When it comes down to it, understanding how to write a biography aids you in creating new and valuable connections.

By including this type of information at the end of your bio, you’re not only letting your audience know how you prefer that they get in touch with you but directing them to another hub that lets them learn even more information about you (if you so choose). Give some thought about what you want your audience to do after they have just been introduced to you through your personal bio.

9. Write a bio for all of your different profiles.

As you build your online presence, you will need different versions of your bio. They’ll vary in length depending on where you place them. So to start, don’t feel like you have to fit your entire life story into one bio.

It’s important to have multiple versions of your bio for two main reasons:

  • From a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective, unique content helps your profiles and websites rank better in search results. Why? Because search engines like Google want to provide a broad range of information, not content that seems plagiarized (even if you just plagiarized yourself).
  • From a branding perspective, it’s helpful to have different versions of your bio at the ready for different platforms. For example, your Twitter bio will be very short due to character limitations, but your LinkedIn bio (called your summary) can be longer.

Both of these reasons fit into the bigger picture of managing your online presence. A lot goes into this process, which is why we put together this comprehensive  online reputation management guide .

10. Use an online tool to ensure the bios on all your profiles are well-branded and optimized to rank high in search engines.

Understanding how to write a bio is a lot easier when you have a little help. At BrandYourself, we’ve built  reputation management software  that walks you through building an impressive online presence.

It includes a useful personal bio analyzer that helps you ensure your bios across all profiles (LinkedIn, Twitter, About.me, your website, etc.) are well-branded and optimized to show up as high as possible on Google. Just submit your profiles and quickly find out which bios need improvement.

If you want to analyze the bios on your own profiles,  create a free account now . Just submit your main profiles, then click “optimize” on each one to see a list of ways you can improve them – including enhancing your personal bio.

11. Get help from an expert. 

Sometimes you just need a second pair of eyes on your personal bio – or you can have a specialist write it for you. That’s part of the larger  reputation management services  we provide at BrandYourself.

If you’re interested in working with one of our in-house reputation specialists, we can help. As part of your kickoff strategy session, we’ll help define the most powerful way to talk about yourself, position yourself effectively against others in your industry, and ensure your bios are working for you across all your online profiles and websites. Our reputation specialists understand the ins and outs of how to write a bio that helps you achieve your goals, and it’s one of the first things they go over with you.

To learn more,  check out our reputation management services here . Otherwise, don’t hesitate to check out our other blog posts as you continue your journey in building your brand. And if you don’t want to miss out on similar tips and tricks in the future, just scroll up and subscribe.

Personal Biography Examples

1. noah kagan.

Read Noah’s full bio .

This is a good biography example that does a lot of the things we’ve mentioned well. Noah links to his work, writes with a friendly style, and even connects the reader with the people he works with.

The reason why we’re highlighting this bio, though, is that Noah makes it easy to get in touch with him via email. So many biography examples that you might find will include links to social media accounts only, which is fine. However, if you want to build up a fast connection with someone who just found you, email is the way to go.

Not only that, but because he wrote this bio in a fun and conversational style (the little mention about taco gift cards), it actually encourages people to reach out. Noah is great at building connections with people, and this biography example is no exception.

2. Katerina Jeng

Read Katerina’s full bio .

The biography example from Katerina Jeng illustrates how to introduce yourself like a real person while demonstrating professionalism at the same time. Katerina covers her background, useful traits, current work, and hobbies – all while keeping things light and conversational.

The balance in this bio example can be tough to replicate, but it’s worth exploring if it fits your writing style.

Going  too  casual or stuffy can leave a bad impression professionally and won’t give you the best possible opportunity to stand out. This is a good example of how to write a bio that does both.

3. Barack & Michelle Obama

Read the full bios . 

On Barack and Michelle Obama’s page, you can find textbook biography examples that show you how to write your bio in the third person without making it awkward to read. So many people struggle with this, so hopefully, these bio examples will make things easier by seeing it in action.

Both of these bios do a great job of not going overboard and varying the kind of third-person mentions you can include. This makes your biography more natural to read while still ensuring that it has the best chance of being seen when someone looks you up.

4. Darren Rowse

Read Darren’s full bio .

Using ProBlogger as a biography example for our tips is a perfect fit. When you check out the page, you’ll see that Darren wrote this bio to be comprehensive but also lead viewers right into his offerings (very smart).

He is mindful of his word count and makes sure to expand a bit more after he’s done talking about his background by continuing into what he’s working on now. This biography is a perfect example of how not being too brief can help the bio you wrote rank well in search engines while also catching the reader up if it’s their first time hearing of you.

5. Tim Ferriss

Read Tim’s full bio .

Tim is a master at promoting his work, and when he wrote his bio, he took full advantage of the opportunity.

Throughout Tim’s bio, he seamlessly links to his work, credentials, social media accounts, and books he’s written. If you had never heard of him before, he makes it quite easy to get up to speed and find out about his work.

One thing we like about this biography example is that he alternates between lists and paragraphs to help break things up. So many times, people write their bio as an extremely dense and text-heavy monster that ultimately never gets read fully. If you give the reader a break (especially in this age of skimming), more will be consumed in the long run.

6. Pete Kistler

Read Pete’s full bio .

Pete’s bio works in both his personal & professional story. Instead of being just a list of facts, it includes the story of how he was mistaken for a drug dealer in Google — and how it became the turning point in his career that led to  BrandYourself .

38 Comments

Thank you for your post. A bio accompanied with a powerful and enticing resume are your two most important sales tools.

When presenting these documents you only have on chance, first impressions count. Your blog goes a long way in creating the correct image with a bio.

Thanks again

This info was very helpful. Is there any info on creating a health bio?

Thanks for the input. One way I was able to create my own personal brand was by using a new website called personavita.com. it was really helpful in bringing all my thoughts ideas and accomplishments together. It builds credibility and others can validate my work. You can also create different Bios based on who you are showing it to. ( Future/existing employers, family, friends etc.) I think it really sets me apart.

Thank you for the tips. Being in the process of publishing my first book I’ve had to generate a bio and despite the fact that I call myself a writer I had a tough time with it. This site has given me a much better feel for the whole thing. Keep an ey on my site for the updated version.

I had the same problem lol I call myself a writer, author but this at first was so freaking difficult to write until I found this web site to break it completly down to like what first grade level for me. lol now it makes so much since. I’m glad we got it. 🙂

I know more much than the bio rules of the kindes of the people

Thank you. These tips are easy to follow and I didn’t know about the 3 bio rule! I really enjoyed the breakdown of the other bio and used that to help me get started writing mine.

Thanks again!

Thanks this was nice and simpe and easy to use.

Thanks! As a novice this was really helpful.

Thanks for posting this tool to the web. Over and over again, I recreate the wheel college course after college course and more recently for my introduction into the civilian arena. I am more confident now that I have this standardized method of writing bios in hand. Army Strong!

@Craig: Thanks, glad you loved it!

@Martin: Absolutely! Your bio is one of the most powerful tools to control first impressions. It’s got to pack a concise and serious punch.

@EASanders: The principles of bio writing apply to all fields. Think about what you’ve done that is noteworthy, and say it in as few words as possible 🙂

@Tim: Good luck with your book, Tim!

@LaKaye: I’m glad both of my bio articles could help. Sometimes it takes inspiration from other people to compellingly talk about ourselves.

@Rose: Thanks for the kind words!

@Martie: We’ve got a bunch of other excellent articles on resumes, cover letters, interviews, etc. if you’re looking to work on your entire career toolkit.

@Sapp: Great! The beauty of your bio is that once you consciously sit down and write it once, then you have a strong foundation that you can tweak for the rest of your life.

– Pete Kistler CEO, Brand-Yourself.com @pete_kistler and @brandyourself

Go get ’em tiger!

 Thanks for Guding ….. Wonderful tips..Thanks a lot

 Guiding

hi thanks so much for this wonderful guide. am so grateful.

great article – thanks for the tips!  you guys rock!

The tips are so helpful .  Thanks

thank you for the tips

great tips it helps me alot….

Thank you for this amazing and helpful tip.

supper is ready yum, come and get your biscuits!

tips are very useful. thank you so much

The best I’ve see yet

thank you so much this will really help me get in to the film fest from cruisinwithkenny

useful tips for me

thanx helped me alot

helpful tips…thanks!

That’s what I looked for . Thanx for that ♡♥

if you want to make a biography you need to know all about you ,family , and friends so you can write a biography

Really good information…especially the getting feedback part. While we may not want to hear it, we NEED it sometimes. Good friends who know what they’re doing can be very valuable in this situation.

So many things I wouldn’t even consider. Thanks for the tips. They are timely, since I am just going through a total rebrand!

You raise a good point, in fact you are ‘fixing’ something right now. You are adding your unique perspective as an ‘innovator’ in the information age that can assist other unlikely writers to get branded and ranked. Maybe it would be a great idea to answer questions in Quora, Yahoo Answers and the like. That can be your links to your ‘works’.

Nice article. thanks for share.

Surely in your many years of experience there are some good/funny/genius problems/solutions or stories you’ve lived or caused. Share them. 🙂

Thanks! TIps #3, #5, and #6 were especially helpful for me. I also find useful this article on how to write a biography so I recommend reading it as well. I also find really helpful suing samples. At least, it’s really helpful for me!

Thank you so much for this great blog. You wrote lot of valuable information about how to write Personal Biography . I like your post. I agree to all of your points that you have mentioned.

For me, the key to this article is section 6. Anymore, I DON’T think the expectation is a list of your accomplishments. I think the people who make the decisions based on biographies are looking for something different, a way to truly distinguish one person from another. A list says one thing about a person–a STORY says something much different. It SHOWS you are creative. A story gives you a lot of flexibility and opportunity to qualify yourself; a list is often reduced to a quantity. Dylan makes an excellent point about ‘sources’ or achievement; in a technician’s role, resolution can be rote, but my experience is solving problems presents lots of opportunities to get creative. David also makes an outstanding point: even if you truly don’t have anything that qualifies as an accomplishment, in this day and age, there are numerous ways to create demonstrable achievement. I believe that’s what the Gig Economy is all about. Dave mentions two specifics; there are dozens more opportunities. This could be an important consideration if you have been stuck for a while in a job that TRULY sucks. I’ve been in those. Then, the story REALLY comes in handy–’cause you don’t have to dwell exclusively on work related stuff. Never hurts to show people you are compassionate, or generous, or kind.

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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:

Introduction

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

Introduction

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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How to Write a Biography

Last Updated: May 14, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA . Stephanie Wong Ken is a writer based in Canada. Stephanie's writing has appeared in Joyland, Catapult, Pithead Chapel, Cosmonaut's Avenue, and other publications. She holds an MFA in Fiction and Creative Writing from Portland State University. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,841,575 times.

Writing a biography can be a fun challenge, where you are sharing the story of someone’s life with readers. You may need to write a biography for a class or decide to write one as a personal project. Once you have identified the subject of the biography, do your research so you know as much about them as possible. Then, dive into the writing of the biography and revising it until it is at its finest.

Researching Your Subject

Step 1 Ask the subject for permission to write the biography.

  • If the subject does not give you permission to write the biography, you may want to choose a different subject. If you decide to publish the biography without the subject’s permission, you may be susceptible to legal action by the subject.
  • If the subject is no longer alive, you obviously do not need to ask permission to write about them.

Step 2 Look for primary sources about the subject.

  • You may create research questions to help focus your research of the subject, such as, What do I find interesting about the subject? Why is this subject important to readers? What can I say that is new about the subject? What would I like to learn more about?

Step 3 Conduct interviews with the subject and those close to them.

  • For in person interviews, record them with a tape recorder or a voice recorder on your computer or phone.
  • You may need to interview the subject and others several times to get the material you need.

Step 4 Visit locations that are important to the subject.

  • You may also want to visit areas where the subject made a major decision or breakthrough in their life. Being physically in the area can give you a sense of how the subject might have felt and help you write their experiences more effectively.

Step 5 Study the time and place of the subject’s life.

  • When researching the time period ask yourself: What were the social norms of that time? What was going on economically and politically? How did the social and political climate affect the subject?

Step 6 Make a timeline of the person’s life.

  • You may also include historical events or moments that affected the subject on the timeline. For example, maybe there was a conflict or civil war that happened during the person’s life that affected their life.

Writing the Biography

Step 1 Go for a chronological structure.

  • You may end up focusing on particular areas of the person’s life. If you do this, work through a particular period in the person’s life chronologically.

Step 2 Create a thesis for the biography.

  • For example, you may have a thesis statement about focusing on how the person impacted the civil rights movement in America in the 1970s. You can then make sure all your content relates back to this thesis.

Step 3 Use flashbacks.

  • Flashbacks should feel as detailed and real as present day scenes. Use your research notes and interviews with the subject to get a good sense of their past for the flashbacks.
  • For example, you may jump from the person’s death in the present to a flashback to their favorite childhood memory.

Step 4 Focus on major events and milestones.

  • For example, you may focus on the person’s accomplishments in the civil rights movement. You may write a whole section about their contributions and participation in major civil rights marches in their hometown.

Step 5 Identify a major theme or pattern in the person’s life.

  • For example, you may notice that the person’s life is patterned with moments of adversity, where the person worked hard and fought against larger forces. You can then use the theme of overcoming adversity in the biography.

Step 6 Include your own opinions and thoughts about the person.

  • For example, you may note how you see parallels in the person’s life during the civil rights movement with your own interests in social justice. You may also commend the person for their hard work and positive impact on society.

Polishing the Biography

Step 1 Show the biography to others for feedback.

  • Revise the biography based on feedback from others. Do not be afraid to cut or edit down the biography to suit the needs of your readers.

Step 2 Proofread the biography.

  • Having a biography riddled with spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors can turn off your readers and result in a poor grade if you are handing in the text for a class.

Step 3 Cite all sources...

  • If the biography is for a class, use MLA, APA, or Chicago Style citations based on the preferences of your instructor.

Biography Help

biography personal essay

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Be careful when publishing private or embarrassing information, especially if the person is not a celebrity. You may violate their "Right of Privacy" or equivalent. Thanks Helpful 30 Not Helpful 5
  • Have the sources to back up your statements about the subject's life. Untruthful written statements can lead to litigation. If it is your opinion, be clear that it is such and not fact (although you can support your opinion with facts). Thanks Helpful 15 Not Helpful 15

biography personal essay

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Write an Autobiography

  • ↑ http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/how-to-write-a-biography.html
  • ↑ https://au.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-bio
  • ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/how-to-write-a-biography.html
  • ↑ https://www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/3-tips-for-writing-successful-flashbacks
  • ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-bio/
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/editing-and-proofreading/
  • ↑ https://www.plagiarism.org/article/how-do-i-cite-sources

About This Article

Stephanie Wong Ken, MFA

Before you write a biography, gather as much information about the subject that you can from sources like newspaper articles, interviews, photos, existing biographies, and anything else you can find. Write the story of that person’s life, including as much supporting detail as you can, including information about the place and time where the person lived. Focus on major events and milestones in their life, including historical events, marriage, children, and events which would shape their path later in life. For tips from our reviewer on proofreading the biography and citing your sources, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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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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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.

Stuck with writing? Essay services from Ultius can help with biography writing.

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.

Samples/examples

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 Biography Essay And Get An A+

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Biography Essay writing

As a high school or college student, you have probably written dozens, if not hundreds, of essays of all types. However, a biographical essay is nothing like you have written before. In fact, despite seeming relatively easy, the task of writing a biography essay can get very confusing to inexperienced students.

Instead of your ideas, a biography essay utilizes facts, but it takes a lot of research and writing skills to write a biography essay that will impress both your peers and your professor. Our   essay writing service has prepared a detailed guide on how to write a good biography essay, and here is everything you need to know.

What Is a Biographical Essay?

Before you can find out how to write a biography essay, you need to learn the answer to the essential question: what is a biography essay? A biographical essay is a type of academic paper where the author tells the story of someone’s life.

In some ways, biographical essays are similar to other types of essays, especially narrative papers. They both tell a story that should captivate and inform the readers. However, a biographical essay focuses solely on the story of one person and often includes an analysis of the person’s personality, not just a list of significant events from the subject’s life story.

Typically, the biography essay format deals with the life story of another person. In some cases, you may be tasked with writing a biography about yourself. In that case, your paper will be called an autobiography essay, and it’s a common assignment in high school and during the college application process.

At first glance, a biography essay may seem like just another type of written assignments that you simply have to do for a good grade. However, a bibliography essay is actually a very important piece of writing that allows you to tell a story of another person’s greatness, significance, or vulnerability through his life events.

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Biography Essay Outline

Even though a biographical essay is a unique form of writing, it still requires you to follow a specific format and structure. The biography essay outline helps you keep your thoughts in order and never miss a single significant fact or quote.

So, how to write a biography essay outline? Unless otherwise specified by your professor, you should follow the standard five-paragraph essay structure. It means that your biography essay outline will include the following chapters:

Introduction

  • Body paragraph #1
  • Body paragraph #2
  • Body paragraph #3

Now that you know what is biography essay and how to create a good biography essay outline, it is time to finally find out how to write a biography essay. In this part of our guide, we will focus on a personal biography essay, or autobiography.

Students are often wondering: how to start off a biography essay to make a good impression on the readers? The introduction is the first part of your paper the readers will encounter, and you should pay extra attention to what you write in this chapter.

How to write an introduction for a biography essay? Start with a hook — an attention-grabbing sentence that sets the tone for the paper. It can be a personal anecdote, a fact, or a quote from someone else describing you.

In the rest of the introduction, write a little about yourself without giving up any important facts —  save those for the upcoming chapters of the essay. Finish the introduction with a thesis statement, where you should describe the essence of your biography essay.

Body paragraphs

If you went for the classic five-paragraph structure with your biography, you will have three body paragraphs. There is no standard way to distribute your biography between those three paragraphs, but since you are writing about yourself — a young person whose later years are still ahead of them — you can use the following structure:

  • Body paragraph #1: Childhood
  • Body paragraph #2: School years
  • Body paragraph #3: Current situation

Since it’s a personal essay, you probably won’t use too much research to support your claims, which will be based on your own life. However, you should carefully choose the wording, not to exaggerate your achievements. Be as close to your own life events as possible.

Are you ready to get things finally done?

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A conclusion is an essential part of any essay, and it’s equally true for a biography essay. Since you are retelling your own life story, and it’s difficult to assess your contribution to the society simply because you are only at the beginning of your own career, you should write about the way your life until this point impacted your development as a person.

How to Write a Biography Essay About Someone Else?

Our essay service has already covered how to write a personal biography essay, but in most cases, you will be tasked with writing a biography essay about a different person — usually, someone famous and significant in their own field. This person can be dead or alive, but they will likely have a rich biography that is relatively easy to write about.

The key to writing a strong biography essay is to rely strictly on facts, not on fiction. It doesn’t mean that you should simply list the facts from the person’s life story without any opinions of your own, but those opinions and assumptions must always be based on the official statements from the person’s biography.

Additional Tips on Writing a Biography

Wondering how to write a biography essay to make it absolutely flawless? Check out these extra writing tips from our expert team of authors that specialize in essay writing in the United States:

  • Even though that might seem obvious, you should always use a chronological order when listing the events in a biography essay. There are a few situations where a reverse chronological order also works, but a standard chronological order is easier for the readers to comprehend.
  • Not every event from the person’s life is worth mentioning in a biography essay. Before beginning to writing your essay, you need to study the person’s biography in detail. Then, write down the events and experiences that influenced their life and achievements, leaving behind the more insignificant facts.
  • When you are writing a biography essay, your job is to give an impartial insight into the life of your subject and assess their contribution to the world. Your readers don’t want to see any generalizations or your own opinions, especially if they are negative — there are other genres of writing where you can do that.
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How to Write a Personal Essay for Your College Application

biography personal essay

What does it take to land in the “accept” (instead of “reject”) pile?

How can you write an essay that helps advance you in the eyes of the admissions officers and makes a real impression? Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Start early.  Do not leave it until the last minute. Give yourself time when you don’t have other homework or extracurriculars hanging over your head to work on the essay.
  • Keep the focus narrow.  Your essay does not have to cover a massive, earth-shattering event. Some people in their teens haven’t experienced a major life event. Some people have. Either way, it’s okay.
  • Be yourself.  Whether writing about a painful experience or a more simple experience, use the narrative to be vulnerable and honest about who you are. Use words you would normally use. Trust your voice and the fact that your story is interesting enough in that no one else has lived it.
  • Be creative.  “Show, don’t tell,” and that applies here — to an extent. The best essays typically do both. You can help your reader see and feel what you are describing by using some figurative language throughout your piece.
  • Make a point. As you finish your final body paragraphs ask yourself “So what?” This will help you hone in on how to end your essay in a way that elevates it into a story about an insight or discovery you made about yourself, rather than just being about an experience you had.

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We’ve all heard about the dreaded “college essay,” the bane of every high school senior’s existence. This daunting element of the college application is something that can create angst for even the most accomplished students.

  • AA Amy Allen is a writer, educator, and lifelong learner. Her freelance writing business,  All of the Write Words , focuses on providing high school students with one-on-one feedback to guide them through the college application process and with crafting a thoughtful personal essay. A dedicated poet, Amy’s work has also been published in several journals including  Pine Row Press ,  Months to Years,  and  Atlanta Review .

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How to Write a Biography

biography personal essay

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. Mostly though, famous or not, the person who is written about has led a life that is in some way incredible.

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 a biography.

Visual Writing Prompts

What Is a Biography?

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

Simply put, 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 their childhood right up to the present day or their death if the subject is deceased.

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 as well as their experience of life.

A COMPLETE UNIT ON TEACHING BIOGRAPHIES

how to write a biography | biography and autobiography writing unit 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teach your students to write AMAZING BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES using proven RESEARCH SKILLS and WRITING STRATEGIES .

  • 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.
  • A COMPLETE 82-PAGE UNIT – NO PREPARATION REQUIRED.

What Are the Main Features of a Biography?

Before students begin writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the main features of the genre. A good way to determine how well they understand these essential elements of the genre is by asking them to compile a checklist.

At a minimum, their checklists should contain the items below. 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.

BIOGRAPHY FEATURES

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)

THE PROCESS OF WRITING A BIOGRAPHY

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 that summarizes the main points of the biography.

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 provides clarity on 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 a student wishes 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!

COMPLETE TEACHING UNIT ON INTERNET RESEARCH SKILLS USING GOOGLE SEARCH

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

Teach your students ESSENTIAL SKILLS OF THE INFORMATION ERA to become expert DIGITAL RESEARCHERS.

⭐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.

Student Examples of Biography Writing

  • 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.

how to write a biography | A4H32CWFYQ72GPUNCIRTS5Y7P4 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

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.

how to write a biography | LITERACY IDEAS FRONT PAGE 1 | How to Write a Biography | literacyideas.com

Teaching Resources

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

BIOGRAPHY WRITING TEACHING IDEAS AND LESSONS

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.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 1:

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.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 2:

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.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 3:

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

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 4:

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.

BIOGRAPHY LESSON IDEA # 5:

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.

Biography Graphic Organizer

Get our FREE Biography Writing Graphic Organizer

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

WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE

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.

HOW TO WRITE A BIOGRAPHY TUTORIAL VIDEO

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Personal Narrative Writing Guide

The content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and English university lecturer with 15 years of teaching and administration experience. Shane’s latest Book, The Complete Guide to Nonfiction Writing , can be found here.  Editing and support for this article have been provided by the literacyideas team.

Examples logo

10+ Biography Narrative Essay Examples [ Fiction, Cultural, Autobiographical ]

Biography Narrative Essay Examples

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

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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.

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How To Write A Biography Essay

Table of Contents

How to Write a Biography Essay (Writing Guide)

How to start a biography essay.

  • How to write body for a biography essay
  • How to conclude a biography essay
  • Outline example

A biography is a short but elaborate description of a selected person’s life. It details and follows one’s journey from birth to the present time. An effective biography will be brief but it will also capture the most important aspects and experiences of one’s entire life. It is necessary for the biography writer to acknowledge whose life the biography is about, in the introductory part of the paper. The thesis statement will usually be in the introduction, and will summarize the individual’s ‘big picture’ and most important aspects of his or her life.

A biography is often not always about oneself. It can be about someone else. In the latter case, one needs to gather enough data about the person whose biography is to be written. Such data can come from newspapers, internet articles, existing biographies, autobiographies, and government documents other sources. Interviewing the person’s family members, friends, and can also be critical sources of information. Once one has already established sources, he can now settle down and summarize the information in an interesting manner, in an essay form.

How to write body paragraphs for a biography essay

The body paragraphs of the essay must capture four key elements relating to the individual. First, the chronological experiences of events in his or her life are arranged in a timeline. Each significant event in the person’s life will be highlighted in an interesting manner. Not all events will be highlighted but the key aspects must be pointed out including the date and place of birth, the names of parents, siblings and close friends. Additionally, the Alma Mata will also be noted, among many other critical elements touching on early life.

One of the other important parts that must be included in a biography is the subject’s work or career progress. If the subject’s life is closely connected to their career, the writer can break up the biography into sections such that the various job positions are clearly identified. An individual who has worked in many senior positions will imply a long and detailed description of such positions and the periods for which each of such positions were occupied.

It is of utmost importance, when writing a biography, to indicate one or two features that make the person to stand out, or interesting. A comedian for instance, will be noted for his or her comic skills. A politician, a law enforcer, a teacher, a polite individual, gambler, dictator, an activist, artist, irresponsible person, entrepreneur, a daredevil among others will be identified as such. An individual can be identified as being special by their profession, character, or contribution to society in various ways.

The accomplishments must also be outlined. The biographical events touching on major accomplishments such as academic, sports, career accomplishments, among others have to be arranged in such a way that they follow and mirror each other. For instance, the writer can recognize the subject’s accomplishments by age 15, then by 30, by age 40 and so on. This has to be arranged systematically and the accomplishments must be linked to how the person’s current life is. If the person is already dead, the roles that his or her accomplishments played in the person’s later life have to be identified.

It is often a good practice when writing a biography to include flashbacks in the subject’s life. If one has noted, in the timeline that the subject excelled at college games or became a prominent professor, it is important to link this to the person’s earlier sporting or academic performance at high school or elementary level. For example, if he became a professional footballer, one must connect this with the fact that the subject previously took active part in games at high school level, as a games captain or such other notable achievements.

Furthermore, any event that changed the person’s life in one way or the other must be noted. In some instances, the subject overcame obstacles such as coming from a poor family but ending up being wealthy, such as Oprah Winfrey, or being born with major disability such as Nick Vujicic but overcoming such disability to become an influential motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Other individuals took big risks or gambles which transformed their lives. This, too, has to be noted in the biography.

How to conclude a biography essay

In conclusion, a good biography essay will brief detail the events and experiences in a person’s life. Such details need to be detailed as a narration and in prose form. Any quotes used in the biography, such as interviews, must be cited appropriately. From the information contained in the body of the biography, it should be possible to draw conclusion on whether the world would be a better or worse place if the person had not been alive. A candid biography of Adolf Hitler, for instance, will likely conclude that the world would have been a better place without him. On the other hand, a biography on Nelson Mandela, Neil Armstrong, The Wright Brothers, among other notables would point to their great role and positive contribution to society.

Outline example for a biography essay about yourself

Introduction  – identification of the person whose biography is to be written.

  • Chronology of key events
  • Accomplishments
  • Events that changed the person’s life
  • Why the person is special or interesting

Conclusion – how the world benefited from the person.

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The Best Short Professional Bios (Examples + Templates)

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

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

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

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

How to Write a Short Bio

What Is a Short Bio?

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

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

Work history

Achievements

Any other relevant professional information

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Accomplishments relevant to a short bio could include:

Impressive results on a project

Former promotions

Awards received in your field

Certifications received

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

Relevant contact information may include:

Phone number

Professional networking profile

A short professional bio includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Entry-Level Job-Seeker Bio Example

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

Working Professional Website Bio Example

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

Professional Networking Profile Bio Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should a short bio include?

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

How long is a short bio?

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

What makes a good bio?

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

What should you avoid putting in a short bio?

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

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

Fremont University – Building Your Professional Bio

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

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

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How to Write a Personal Statement for a Scholarship + Examples

What’s covered:, what is the purpose of the scholarship personal statement, what to include in your personal statement, personal statement example: breakdown + analysis, how to make sure your writing is effective.

Either before or after you’ve gotten into your dream school, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. For most students, this involves a combination of financial aid, parent contributions, self-contributions, student loans, and scholarships/grants. Because scholarships are money out of someone else’s pocket that you never have to pay back, they are a great place to start!

Scholarships come in two forms: merit-based and need-based. Need-based scholarships are also often called grants. These designations tell you whether an organization looks at your financial situation when deciding about your scholarship.

Additionally, different scholarships fall under different categories based on the mission of the organization or person providing the scholarship’s financing. These missions typically emphasize different things like academic achievement, specific career goals, community service, leadership, family background, skill in the arts, or having overcome hardship. As you select scholarships to apply for and complete your applications, you should keep these missions in mind.

No matter what type of scholarship you are applying for, you will be asked to provide the review committee with standard materials. This includes your transcript, GPA, and resume/extracurriculars, but also, importantly, your personal statement. A scholarship personal statement is a bit different from your normal college essay, so we’ve put together this guide and some examples to help you get started!

The purpose of your personal statement is to help a review committee learn more about your personality, values, goals, and what makes you special. Ultimately, like with your college essays, you are trying to humanize your profile beyond your transcript, GPA, and test scores.

College essays all have one goal in mind (which is why you can apply to multiple schools at once through applications like the Common App or Coalition App): convince admissions officers that you would be a valuable addition to the university environment. The goal of your scholarship personal statement is different and differs more from one scholarship to the next. Rather than convincing various review committees that you are a generally good candidate for extra funding for college, you need to convince each review committee that your values have historically aligned with their organization’s mission and will continue to align with their organization’s mission.

Common missions amongst those who give scholarships include:

  • Providing opportunities for students with career ambitions in a particular field
  • Helping students who have experienced unexpected hardship
  • Supporting students who show outstanding academic achievement
  • Funding the arts through investing in young artists with strong technical skill
  • Supporting the development of civic-minded community service leaders of the future
  • Providing opportunities for historically underrepresented ethnic communities 

If a specific mission like this is outlined on an organization’s website or in the promotional material for its scholarship, the purpose of your personal statement is to show how you exemplify that mission.

Some scholarships ask for your personal statement to be guided by a prompt, while others leave things open for interpretation. When you are provided a prompt, it is obvious what you must do: answer the prompt. When you are not provided a prompt, you want to write a personal statement that is essentially a small-scale autobiography where you position yourself as a good investment. In either case, you should identify a focus or theme for what you are trying to say about yourself so that your application does not get lost in the shuffle.

Prompts include questions like:

  • Why do you deserve this scholarship?
  • How have you shown your commitment to (leadership/community service/diversity) in your community?
  • When did you overcome adversity?
  • Why is attending college important to you?

If you are provided a prompt, develop a theme for your response that showcases both your values and your achievements. This will help your essay feel focused and will subsequently help the review committee to remember which candidate you were as they deliberate.

Themes include things like:

  • I deserve this community service scholarship because my compassion for intergenerational trauma has inspired me to volunteer with a local after-school program. I didn’t just sympathize. I did something about my sympathy because that’s the type of person I am. Within the program, I have identified avenues for improvement and worked alongside full-time staff to develop new strategies for increasing attendance.
  • I overcame adversity when my mother had to have a major surgery two months after giving birth to my younger brother. I was just a kid but was thrown into a situation where I had to raise another kid. It was hard, but I’m the kind of person who tries to grow from hard times and, through my experience taking care of a baby, I learned the importance of listening to body language and nonverbal cues to understand the needs of others (baby and nonbaby, alike).

Without a prompt, clarity can be harder to achieve. That said, it is of the utmost importance that you find a focus. First, think about both your goals and your values.

Types of goals include:

  • Career goals
  • Goals for personal growth
  • The type of friend you want to be
  • The change you want to make in the world

Values could include:

  • Authenticity
  • And many more!

After you write out your goals/values, write out your achievements to see what goals/values you have “proof” of your commitment to. Your essay will ultimately be an exploration of your goal/value, what you have done about your goal/value in the past, and what you aspire to in the future.

You might be tempted to reflect on areas for improvement, but scholarships care about you living out your values. It is not enough to aspire to be exemplary in leadership, community service, or your academic field. For scholarships, you have to already be exemplary.

Finally, keep in mind that the review committee likely already has a copy of your extracurricular activities and involvement. Pick one or two accomplishments, then strive for depth, not breadth as you explore them.

My interest in the field of neuroscience began at a young age.  When I was twelve years old, my sister developed a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri following multiple concussions during a basketball game.  It took the doctors over six months to make a proper diagnosis, followed by three years of treatment before she recovered.  During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions.  Later, my love of neuroscience was amplified when my mother began to suffer from brain-related health issues.  My mother had been a practicing attorney in Dallas for over twenty years.  She was a determined litigator who relentlessly tried difficult cases that changed people’s lives.  Now, she suffers from a cognitive impairment and is no longer able to practice law.  Oftentimes, she has headaches, she gets “cloudy,” her executive functioning slows down, she feels overwhelmed, and she forgets things.  My mother has gone from being the strong, confident, emotional and financial caretaker of our family to needing significant help on a daily basis. Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.

Due to my experiences with my mother and sister when I was in middle school, I knew that I wanted to make a difference in the field of neuroscience.  I also knew that, to obtain this goal, I needed to maintain superior grades in school while also pursuing opportunities outside of school to further my education.  In school, I was able to maintain superior grades to the point where I am currently valedictorian in a class of 567 students.  In addition, in school, I challenged myself by taking 16 Advanced Placement classes and 19 Honors classes.  Two of the most beneficial classes were AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research.  AP Capstone Seminar and AP Capstone Research are research-oriented classes where students are given the opportunity to pursue whatever track their research takes them down.  As a junior in AP Capstone Seminar, I researched the effects of harmful pesticide use on the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children.  This year, as a senior in AP Capstone Research, I am learning about the effects of medical marijuana on the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).  

Outside of school, I furthered my education through taking advantage of the Duke TiP summer program. Duke TiP is a summer program run by Duke University where students who score extremely well on the SAT as middle schoolers are able to take college classes at different universities throughout the summers of their middle school and high school years.  I took advantage of this opportunity twice.  First, I went to Trinity University in San Antonio to expand my horizons and learn more about debate.  However, once I was done exploring, I decided I wanted to go into neuroscience.  This led me to take an Abnormal Psychology class at Duke University’s West Campus.  This class opened my eyes to the interaction between neuroscience and mental health, mental illness, and personality.  Years later, I am currently continuing my education outside of school as an intern at the University of Texas Dallas Center for Brain Health.  Through this internship, I have been able to see different aspects of neuroscience including brain pattern testing, virtual reality therapy, and longitudinal research studies.  With this background, I have positioned myself to be accepted by top neuroscience programs throughout the nation.  So far, I have been accepted to the neuroscience department of University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, the University of Texas, and Southern Methodist University, as well as the chemistry department at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.  

It is with this passion for neuroscience driven by my family and passion for education driven by internal motivation that I will set out to conquer my career objectives.  My educational aspirations consist of acquiring a bachelor’s degree in a biological or health science that would assist me in pursuing a medical career as a neuroscience researcher.  I decided to attain a career as a researcher since my passion has always been assisting others and trying to improve their quality of life.  After obtaining my Masters and my PhD, I plan to become a professor at a prestigious university and continue performing lab research on cognitive disorders.  I am particularly interested in disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  In the lab, I hope to find different therapies and medications to help treat the 3.5 million people around the world suffering from ASD.  Furthermore, I want to contribute back to underserved populations that struggle because they do not have as much access to medical assistance as other privileged groups.  As such, I hope to do a part of my research in less developed or developing Spanish-speaking countries. This will also allow me to pursue my love of Spanish while pursuing my love of neuroscience.  I think that following such a career path will provide me the opportunity to learn about the medical needs of the autistic community and improve their quality of health.  Furthermore, I hope to train a new generation of students to strive to research and make comparable discoveries.  Whether it be through virtual reality labs or new drug discoveries, I believe that research leads to innovation which leads to a brighter future. 

This student does a great job of making themself appear competent and dedicated to the field of neuroscience. This is primarily because they provided tangible evidence of how they have pursued their dedication in the past—through their AP Capstone courses, their Abnormal Psychology class at Duke TiP, and their internship at UTD. There is no doubt in the mind of a reader that this student is high-achieving. 

This student also engages successfully with a past-future trajectory, where they end with a vision of how they will continue to use neuroscience in the future. This helps the review committee see what they are investing in and the ways that their money will go to good use.

This student has two major areas for improvement. As we have said, the purpose of a personal statement is for a student to humanize themself to a review committee. This student struggles to depict themself separately from their academic achievements. A solution to this would be for the student to establish a theme towards the beginning of their essay that relates to both their values as a human and their achievements.

At the beginning of the essay, the student explores how their interest in neuroscience began. They explain their interest through the following sentences: “During this time, my love for neuroscience was sparked as I began to research her condition and, then, other neurocognitive conditions” and “Once again, with this illness came a lot of research on my part — research that encouraged me to pursue my dreams of exploring neuroscience.” The student made the great decision to tell the backstory of their interest, but they described their research in very mundane and redundant terms. Instead, they could have focused on their value of intellectual curiosity as a magnetic force that encouraged them to research their mother and sister’s ailments. Curiosity, then, could serve as a value-related thematic throughline to taking AP Capstone classes, taking college courses during the summer that weren’t required, and interning before even graduating high school.

A second area for improvement would be avoiding statistics. As the student identifies their valedictorian status and the number of AP classes they have taken, they might turn away certain personalities on a review committee by appearing braggy. Even further, these statistics are a waste of space. The review committee already has access to this information. These words distract from the major theme of the essay and would have been better used to humanize the student.

Throughout my academic career, I have been an avid scholar, constantly pushing myself towards ambitious goals. I held and continue to hold myself to a high standard, enrolling myself in rigorous curriculum, including Honors and Advanced Placement courses to stretch my mental potential. During my junior year of high school, I took four AP tests, two on the same day, and earned the AP Scholar with Honor Award. Additionally, I received the Letter of Commendation for the PSAT/NMSQT, and qualified for Rotary Top 100 Students both my freshman and senior year, a sign of my commitment to my studies. However, school has not been all about having the best GPA for me; beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem. I always give each class my best effort and try my hardest on every assignment. My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result. It is a major goal of mine to continue to aspire towards a high level of achievement regarding future educational and occupational endeavors; I plan on continuing this level of dedication throughout my educational career and implementing the skills I have learned and will learn into my college experience and beyond.

This fall, I will begin attending the University of California Los Angeles as an English major. I chose this major because I am fascinated by written language, especially its ability to convey powerful messages and emotions. I also enjoy delving into the works of other authors to analyze specific components of their writing to discover the meaning behind their words. In particular, I cannot wait to begin in-depth literary criticism and learn new stylistic techniques to add more depth to my writing. Furthermore, I recently went to UCLA’s Bruin Day, an event for incoming freshmen, where I was exposed to many different extracurriculars, some of which really piqued my interest. I plan on joining the Writing Success Program, where I can help students receive free writing help, and Mock Trial, where I can debate issues with peers in front of a real judge. The latter, combined with a strong writing background from my undergraduate English studies will be extremely beneficial because I plan to apply to law school after my undergraduate degree. As of now, my career goal is to become a civil rights lawyer, to stand up for those who are discriminated against and protect minority groups to proliferate equality.

As a lawyer, I wish to utilize legislation to ameliorate the plight of the millions of Americans who feel prejudice and help them receive equity in the workplace, society, and so on. Though this seems a daunting task, I feel that my work ethic and past experience will give me the jumpstart I need to establish myself as a successful lawyer and give a voice to those who are often unheard in today’s legal system. I have been a Girl Scout for over a decade and continually participate in community service for the homeless, elderly, veterans, and more. My most recent project was the Gold Award, which I conducted in the Fullerton School District. I facilitated over ten workshops where junior high students taught elementary pupils STEM principles such as density and aerodynamics via creative activities like building aluminum boats and paper airplanes. I also work at Kumon, a tutoring center, where I teach students to advance their academic success. I love my job, and helping students from local schools reach their potential fills me with much pride.

Both being a Girl Scout and working at Kumon have inspired me to help those in need, contributing significantly to my desire to become a lawyer and aid others. My extracurriculars have allowed me to gain a new perspective on both learning and teaching, and have solidified my will to help the less fortunate. In college, I hope to continue to gain knowledge and further develop my leadership skills, amassing qualities that will help me assist others. I plan to join multiple community service clubs, such as UCLA’s local outreach programs that directly aid residents of Los Angeles. I want to help my fellow pupils as well, and plan on volunteering at peer tutoring and peer editing programs on campus. After college, during my career, I want to use legal tactics to assist the underdog and take a chance on those who are often overlooked for opportunities. I wish to represent those that are scared to seek out help or cannot afford it. Rather than battling conflict with additional conflict, I want to implement peaceful but strong, efficient tactics that will help make my state, country, and eventually the world more welcoming to people of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. These goals are close to my heart and therefore I will be as diligent as I am passionate about them. My perseverance and love for learning and community service drive my ambition in both education and life as a whole, and the drive to make the world a better place is one that I will carry with me for my entire life.

This student emphasizes two values in this essay: hard work and community service. These are values that go together nicely, and definitely make sense with this student’s end goal of becoming a civil rights lawyer! That said, some changes could be made to the way the student presents their values that would make their personal statement more convincing and engaging.

Structurally, instead of using a past-future trajectory, this student starts by explaining their academic achievements, then explains their career goals, then explains their history of community service, then explains their future desires for community service. This structure loses the reader. Instead, the student should have started with either the past or the future. 

This could look like 1) identifying their career goals, 2) explaining that hard work and a commitment to community service are necessary to get there, and 3) explaining that they aren’t worried because of their past commitment to hard work and community service. Or it could look like 1) providing examples of their hard work and community service in the past, then 2) explaining how those values will help them achieve their career goals.

Additionally, like with our other example, this student shows a heavy investment in statistics and spouting off accomplishments. This can be unappealing. Unfortunately, even when the student recognizes that they are doing this, writing “beyond the numbers, I have a deep drive to learn which motivates me to do well academically. I truly enjoy learning new things, whether it be a new essay style or a math theorem,” they continue on to cite their achievements, writing “My teachers have noticed this as well, and I have received school Lancer Awards and Student of the Month recognitions as a result.” They say they are going beyond the numbers, but they don’t go beyond the awards. They don’t look inward. One way to fix this would be to make community service the theme around which the essay operates, supplementing with statistics in ways that advance the image of the student as dedicated to community service.

Finally, this student would be more successful if they varied their sentence structure. While a small-scale autobiography can be good, if organized, every sentence should not begin with ‘I.’ The essay still needs to be engaging or the review committee might stop reading.

Feedback is ultimately any writer’s best source of improvement! To get your personal statement edited for free, use our Peer Review Essay Tool . With this tool, other students can tell you if your scholarship essay is effective and help you improve your essay so that you can have the best chances of gaining those extra funds!

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How to Write a Good Academic Biography (Part 1)

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

What You Should Do

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

What You Should Avoid

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

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

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

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

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

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

Longer Bios

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

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

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

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Appreciating the dedication you put into your blog and detailed information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

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Greeting from Enago Academy! Thank you for your positive comment. We are glad to know that you found our resources useful. Your feedback is very valuable to us. Happy reading!

Super helpful! Thank you for writing about this.

wow great article. I got lots of new ideas from this post. Thanks a lot.

Thank you! Really a short and precise description of how to write short biographic sentence.

Excellent! Just what I needed; thank you.

Thanks for sharing this post, It is a very helpful article.

Excellent information…

Comparing to my introduction and yours, there is a huge difference and mine is like grade R?. Thank you so much for developing such content and helping disadvantaged students like me, hence holding Honours. Once again thank you

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Home / Essay Samples / Life / Myself / Biography

Biography Essay Examples

Biography of strong woman: hellen keller.

Many people have heard of Helen Keller. She is well-known because she was unable to peer or pay attention, but discovered to speak and examine and went onto attend college and earn a degree. Her existence is a totally interesting tale, one which she advanced...

Ashley Judd – an American Actress and Political Activist

Elegant, graceful, talented, beauty and brains are words that can describe Hollywood actress Ashley Judd. The Califonia-born star spent the 1990s carving her name in the hearts and minds of fans, gaining raves of reviews and respect in the industry. Her leading roles in ‘Ruby...

The Bioghraphy of the Brave: Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr is the person that inspires me a lot. That is the reason why I chose to write about Martin Luther King Jr biography essay. This man was born on January 15, 1929 In Atlanta, which is in Georgia. King lived a...

Malcolm X: Learning to Read and the Importance of Literacy

As times have allowed for improvement in technology and society, also has the demand for literacy. Being literate may require some to overcome certain obstacles, but will certainly bring many benefits to the individual. For example, numeracy skills can prepare an individual to be functional...

Nikola Tesla - a Man Who Created Nowaday World

Have you ever heard about Nikola Tesla? In the essay about Nikola Tesla we will briefly look at his life and what achievements he had done. Nikola Tesla, born on July 10, 1856, in Smiljan, Croatia, is one of the most outstanding yet underappreciated inventors...

Stephen Hawking as a Role Model: a Symbol of Hope and Intelligence

Stephen Hawking is a hero in the disabled community because of his efforts to show that even with a diagnosis of something like ALS you can still achieve your dreams. Achievements in science and technology as well as life-story of Stephen Hawking make him a...

My Role Model: Albert Einstein

My role model that I chose was the genius Albert Einstein, so this is Albert Einstein essay where I will share why hi is my role model. To start off, Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879. He died about 76 years later. He...

Elvis Presley: a Composer

Elvis Aaron Presley was a famous singer and movie actor in the 1960s and 1970s, who would become known as the “King of Rock and Roll.” In one of the Elvis Presley essays will be shortly discussed what live this man had and what actions...

Exploring Alexander Pope's Biography and His 'Essay on Man'

The English poet and satirist Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was the greatest poet and verse satirist of the Augustan period. No distinctive poet in the records of English literature has handled the heroic couplet with equal flexibility and brilliance. In this paper we will explore Alexander...

Helen Keller: Who She Was

Science is like a game and writing is a binder, so tie your game with a sturdy rope, scratch your ink, so he carves the story, because every stroke has a lot of meaning. Lets start this Helen Keller essay. Maybe you’ve heard the name...

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