How to write a biography essay
Essay writing is an inevitable part of a student’s life, not to mention there is a variety of these pieces. One of the writings that a learner will encounter is the biography essay. Students are advised to distinguish between a biography and an autobiography. If you are in a history, cultural studies or literature class you will certainly write some biography essays. Most students in arts faculty are required to write this type of essay. While some essays do not necessarily require any writing style, biography essays mostly follow MLA or Chicago styles. Therefore, you must be familiar with these formats before starting to work on your paper.
What is a biography essay?
A biography essay is a piece of academic writing that tells the story of another person’s life. It is not to be confused with an autobiography that tells your personal story. Hence, you should write a biography essay in third-person language. If you have always looked up to a certain person, this essay is your chance to unveil information about them. Like other essays, you need a compelling introduction, informative body paragraphs, and an appealing conclusion. An effectively written biography will provide insights as to why that person was of interest. The reader will see the person’s achievements and their overall impact. Below are some useful tips and guidelines that help you craft a great biography essay.
How to Write a Biography Essay Step by step
Any essay requires planning before diving into the actual writing process. The pre-writing stage helps the writer to come up with adequate content for the essay.
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Choose the subject
Identify the person whose story you want to tell and seek their permission first, especially if you will publish it. If the person does not agree, you might have to choose another subject. The person you intend to write about should be a popular one. Politicians, musicians, artists, authors, philosophers, and activists are some of the people with readily available information. It is also ideal to choose a subject you are interested in. What do you already know about this person?
Gather information about the subject
Use available resources to collect all the information you can about this person. You can look at books, newspapers, magazines, journals or reliable online sources. A list of research questions will make it easier to come up with the information you want to discuss. Note down the dates, events, facts, quotes or names relating to your subject. Use a wide number of sources to compare the information available about this subject. If they are available people, schedule dates where you can interview them. Alternatively, you can gather information from close persons like spouses, siblings, children, workmates or friends. This approach is crucial if there is some information you cannot find from the other sources.
Visit places that are important to the subject
If this individual made a breakthrough or encountered a life-changing event in a certain place, visit such locations. This way, you will relate more to the occurrence from that place. You can also identify the historical events that were happening during your subject’s life. If it was during a war, financial crisis or such, you will understand this person better. What were the cultural trends during this person’s growth? How did they change them positively or negatively? A person’s surrounding is likely to affect the decisions they make bout their life.
Make your subject’s timeline
Since you have collected much information about this time, organize their life from birth upwards. List down the events and occurrences from the person’s childhood to their death or later years. Be keen on the dates since they will relate to major historical events that may have changed your subject’s life.
2. Drafting your biography essay
Choose how to organize your essay.
You can organize the information gathered about your subject in several ways. Choose the most ideal one for you; the one that will help you tell you about this person exhaustively.
- Linear narrative arc
This approach tells the story of a person in chronological order. It starts from birth, childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, later years or death. Use a timeline to identify the events that occurred in this person’s life. Tell about the turnarounds, breakthroughs or depressions as at the dates they happened.
- Non-linear structure
In this method, you will use flashbacks or tell the story in reverse order. While you can insert new information at any point, this is a more complex approach.
- Thematic structure
Rather than writing the essay in chronological order, the writer chooses themes. This method does not necessarily tell the story but ideas regarding the subject.
The most standard format of writing biographies is the linear arc.
Develop a thesis statement
Since you have information about your subject’s entire life, you are ready to write a thesis statement. It will identify your subject, achievements, and impact on others.
Introduction – How to start a biography essay
Write an introduction that will automatically get the reader interested in reading the entire piece. Start with an interesting quote, anecdote on or by the subject, or a fascinating achievement.
Write your body paragraphs
This section supports your thesis by the use of quotes, milestones, and experiences of your subject. Discuss any themes, patterns or habits that grew your subject to the person they became. Remember to include the dates and historical events that go in line with this person’s life. What activities was this person interested in? Talk about films, sporting activities, political forums, and so on. Also, highlight the kind of lifestyle that your subject led and any changes in the same. If there is any contradictory information about this person, mention it in this section.
Conclude your essay
End your essay with a bang by connecting the person’s life with any legacy they created. In this paragraph, your opinion or reason for interest in this person is welcome. Ensure that your conclusion fully supports your thesis statement and the information provided.
3. Polish your biography essay
Having told the story about your subject, review your work to ensure you did not omit any crucial details. Does your essay flow or are there loopholes that raise eyebrows? Make sure that you have observed the proper formatting and followed the required style.
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How to Outline a Biography
Last Updated: July 4, 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. 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 47,910 times.
Writing a biography can seem daunting, as you are trying to explore the entirety of someone's life on the page. The key to writing a good biography is outlining it before you dive in. A strong, detailed outline will work through key events chronologically. To outline a biography, start by discussing early life and childhood. Then, go into adulthood and current life, or later life and death if the person is no longer alive.
Discussing Early Life and Childhood
- For example, you may write, “RuPaul Andre Charles, born November 17, 1960 in San Diego, California.”
- For example, you may write, “RuPaul's mother, Ernestine Charles, was from Louisiana. RuPaul's father was Irving Charles. They divorced in 1967.”
- For example, you may write, “RuPaul grew up in San Diego, California and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his sister when he was 15.”
- For example, you may write, “At 15 years old, RuPaul attended a performing arts school in Atlanta. After he graduated, he focused on his budding stage career, opting not to attend college.”
- For example, you may write about the person's experience with abuse at the hands of a parent. Or you may mention that the person struggled with a learning disability in middle school that would go undiagnosed until later in their life.
- For example, you may write, “Martha Graham went to Brown University from 1967-1981, majoring in dance. She worked under famous dancers and choreographers in the performance industry at Brown. She graduated with honors.”
- For example, you may write, “Martha Graham met choreographer Dash Nam in a dance class at Brown. They became romantic and professional partners, collaborating on a number of early performances. Nam would later play a major role in Graham's performing company in New York City.”
- For example, you may write, “Martha Graham worked as a bartender while at Brown to support herself. She then created performances for a small stipend until she was able to open her own performing company in 1987 with the help of Dash Nam.”
- For example, you may write, “Martha Graham was rejected from several major dance companies and was unemployed for several years. In frustration, Graham decided to open her own dance company and studio, using funds from friends and colleagues. It later became the premier dance company in America.”
Detailing Current Life and Impact
- For example, you may write, “RuPaul currently resides on a ranch in Wyoming with his partner of twenty years, Australian painter George LeBar. He continues to produce several successful television shows and is a continued advocate for the LGBTQ community.”
- For example, you may write, “In her later life, Graham fell into a depression and battled alcohol addiction. She died in 1991 at the age of 96 from pneumonia. She was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico.”
- You can also include your own opinions about the person's overall life. You may include a short section on the impact the person had, or continues to have, on you.
- For example, you may write about how the person influenced a generation of artists or how the person impacted the way we view technology in the 21st century.
You might also like.
- ↑ https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/writing/how-to-write-a-biography.html
- ↑ https://www.apsu.edu/writingcenter/writing-resources/Biography-Outline.pdf
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-bio/
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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
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Write in a clear and compelling style
Remember: with your biography essay, you are at least partly trying to show your reader why your subject is interesting and why he/she deserves to have an essay written about him/her.
Your interest in your subject should come across in your writing style. After all, if you feel bored with your subject, then why should anyone else pay attention?
The language you use should be scholarly (but still filled with imagery ), but you should also focus on varying sentence structure, using excellent word choice, and other writing techniques that tell the life story of your subject in a compelling way that does justice to the importance of your subject.
See the example biographical essay below for a clear example of how it needs to be written.
As the sample shows, it’s very important to be focused on true details. Please see the list of blog posts below for more examples of biography essays:
- Biography essay on Hillary Clinton
- Biography essay on Frank Rosolino
- Short essay on Edgar Allan Poe
If you need more help or would like something written for your own needs, consider buying custom essays from Ultius . Our talented writes can help you get something done in as fast as three hours.
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+
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.
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.
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?
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.
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: A 7-Step Guide [+Template]
From time to time, nonfiction authors become so captivated by a particular figure from either the present or the past, that they feel compelled to write an entire book about their life. Whether casting them as heroes or villains, there is an interesting quality in their humanity that compels these authors to revisit their life paths and write their story.
However, portraying someone’s life on paper in a comprehensive and engaging way requires solid preparation. If you’re looking to write a biography yourself, in this post we’ll share a step-by-step blueprint that you can follow.
How to write a biography:
1. Seek permission when possible
2. research your subject thoroughly, 3. do interviews and visit locations, 4. organize your findings, 5. identify a central thesis, 6. write it using narrative elements, 7. get feedback and polish the text.
Biography Outline Template
Craft a satisfying story arc for your biography with our free template.
While you technically don’t need permission to write about public figures (or deceased ones), that doesn't guarantee their legal team won't pursue legal action against you. Author Kitty Kelley was sued by Frank Sinatra before she even started to write His Way , a biography that paints Ol Blue Eyes in a controversial light. (Kelley ended up winning the lawsuit, however).
Whenever feasible, advise the subject’s representatives of your intentions. If all goes according to plan, you’ll get a green light to proceed, or potentially an offer to collaborate. It's a matter of common sense; if someone were to write a book about you, you would likely want to know about it well prior to publication. So, make a sincere effort to reach out to their PR staff to negotiate an agreement or at least a mutual understanding of the scope of your project.
At the same time, make sure that you still retain editorial control over the project, and not end up writing a puff piece that treats its protagonist like a saint or hero. No biography can ever be entirely objective, but you should always strive for a portrayal that closely aligns with facts and reality.
If you can’t get an answer from your subject, or you’re asked not to proceed forward, you can still accept the potential repercussions and write an unauthorized biography . The “rebellious act” of publishing without consent indeed makes for great marketing, though it’ll likely bring more headaches with it too.
✋ Please note that, like other nonfiction books, if you intend to release your biography with a publishing house , you can put together a book proposal to send to them before you even write the book. If they like it enough, they might pay you an advance to write it.
Book Proposal Template
Craft a professional pitch for your nonfiction book with our handy template.
Once you’ve settled (or not) the permission part, it’s time to dive deep into your character’s story.
Deep and thorough research skills are the cornerstone of every biographer worth their salt. To paint a vivid and accurate portrait of someone's life, you’ll have to gather qualitative information from a wide range of reliable sources.
Start with the information already available, from books on your subject to archival documents, then collect new ones firsthand by interviewing people or traveling to locations.
Browse the web and library archives
Put your researcher hat on and start consuming any piece on your subject you can find, from their Wikipedia page to news articles, interviews, TV and radio appearances, YouTube videos, podcasts, books, magazines, and any other media outlets they may have been featured in.
Establish a system to orderly collect the information you find 一 even seemingly insignificant details can prove valuable during the writing process, so be sure to save them.
Depending on their era, you may find most of the information readily available online, or you may need to search through university libraries for older references.
For his landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow spent untold hours at Columbia University’s library , reading through the Hamilton family papers, visiting the New York Historical Society, as well as interviewing the archivist of the New York Stock Exchange, and so on. The research process took years, but it certainly paid off. Chernow discovered that Hamilton created the first five securities originally traded on Wall Street. This finding, among others, revealed his significant contributions to shaping the current American financial and political systems, a legacy previously often overshadowed by other founding fathers. Today Alexander Hamilton is one of the best-selling biographies of all time, and it has become a cultural phenomenon with its own dedicated musical.
Besides reading documents about your subject, research can help you understand the world that your subject lived in.
Try to understand their time and social environment
Many biographies show how their protagonists have had a profound impact on society through their philosophical, artistic, or scientific contributions. But at the same time, it’s worth it as a biographer to make an effort to understand how their societal and historical context influenced their life’s path and work.
An interesting example is Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World . Finding himself limited by a lack of verified detail surrounding William Shakespeare's personal life, Greenblatt, instead, employs literary interpretation and imaginative reenactments to transport readers back to the Elizabethan era. The result is a vivid (though speculative) depiction of the playwright's life, enriching our understanding of his world.
Many readers enjoy biographies that transport them to a time and place, so exploring a historical period through the lens of a character can be entertaining in its own right. The Diary of Samuel Pepys became a classic not because people were enthralled by his life as an administrator, but rather from his meticulous and vivid documentation of everyday existence during the Restoration period.
Once you’ve gotten your hands on as many secondary sources as you can find, you’ll want to go hunting for stories first-hand from people who are (or were) close to your subject.
With all the material you’ve been through, by now you should already have a pretty good picture of your protagonist. But you’ll surely have some curiosities and missing dots in their character arc to figure out, which you can only get by interviewing primary sources.
Interview friends and associates
This part is more relevant if your subject is contemporary, and you can actually meet up or call with relatives, friends, colleagues, business partners, neighbors, or any other person related to them.
In writing the popular biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson interviewed more than one hundred people, including Jobs’s family, colleagues, former college mates, business rivals, and the man himself.
🔍 Read other biographies to get a sense of what makes a great one. Check out our list of the 30 best biographies of all time , or take our 30-second quiz below for tips on which one you should read next.
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When you conduct your interviews, make sure to record them with high quality audio you can revisit later. Then use tools like Otter.ai or Descript to transcribe them 一 it’ll save you countless hours.
You can approach the interview with a specific set of questions, or follow your curiosity blindly, trying to uncover revealing stories and anecdotes about your subject. Whatever your method, author and biography editor Tom Bromley suggests that every interviewer arrives prepared, "Show that you’ve done your work. This will help to put the interviewee at ease, and get their best answers.”
Bromley also places emphasis on the order in which you conduct interviews. “You may want to interview different members of the family or friends first, to get their perspective on something, and then go directly to the main interviewee. You'll be able to use that knowledge to ask sharper, more specific questions.”
Finally, consider how much time you have with each interviewee. If you only have a 30-minute phone call with an important person, make it count by asking directly the most pressing questions you have. And, if you find a reliable source who is also particularly willing to help, conduct several interviews and ask them, if appropriate, to write a foreword as part of the book’s front matter .
Sometimes an important part of the process is packing your bags, getting on a plane, and personally visiting significant places in your character’s journey.
Visit significant places in their life
A place, whether that’s a city, a rural house, or a bodhi tree, can carry a particular energy that you can only truly experience by being there. In putting the pieces together about someone’s life, it may be useful to go visit where they grew up, or where other significant events of their lives happened. It will be easier to imagine what they experienced, and better tell their story.
In researching The Lost City of Z , author David Grann embarked on a trek through the Amazon, retracing the steps of British explorer Percy Fawcett. This led Grann to develop new theories about the circumstances surrounding the explorer's disappearance.
Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with jaguars and anacondas to better understand your subject’s environment, but try to walk into their shoes as much as possible.
Once you’ve researched your character enough, it’s time to put together all the puzzle pieces you collected so far.
Take the bulk of notes, media, and other documents you’ve collected, and start to give them some order and structure. A simple way to do this is by creating a timeline.
Create a chronological timeline
It helps to organize your notes chronologically 一 from childhood to the senior years, line up the most significant events of your subject’s life, including dates, places, names and other relevant bits.
You should be able to divide their life into distinct periods, each with their unique events and significance. Based on that, you can start drafting an outline of the narrative you want to create.
Draft a story outline
Since a biography entails writing about a person’s entire life, it will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can pick where you want to end the story, depending on how consequential the last years of your subject were. But the nature of the work will give you a starting character arc to work with.
To outline the story then, you could turn to the popular Three-Act Structure , which divides the narrative in three main parts. In a nutshell, you’ll want to make sure to have the following:
- Act 1. Setup : Introduce the protagonist's background and the turning points that set them on a path to achieve a goal.
- Act 2. Confrontation : Describe the challenges they encounter, both internal and external, and how they rise to them. Then..
- Act 3. Resolution : Reach a climactic point in their story in which they succeed (or fail), showing how they (and the world around them) have changed as a result.
Only one question remains before you begin writing: what will be the main focus of your biography?
Think about why you’re so drawn to your subject to dedicate years of your life to recounting their own. What aspect of their life do you want to highlight? Is it their evil nature, artistic genius, or visionary mindset? And what evidence have you got to back that up? Find a central thesis or focus to weave as the main thread throughout your narrative.
Or find a unique angle
If you don’t have a particular theme to explore, finding a distinct angle on your subject’s story can also help you distinguish your work from other biographies or existing works on the same subject.
Plenty of biographies have been published about The Beatles 一 many of which have different focuses and approaches:
- Philip Norman's Shout is sometimes regarded as leaning more towards a pro-Lennon and anti-McCartney stance, offering insights into the band's inner dynamics.
- Ian McDonald's Revolution in the Head closely examines their music track by track, shifting the focus back to McCartney as a primary creative force.
- Craig Brown's One Two Three Four aims to capture their story through anecdotes, fan letters, diary entries, and interviews.
- Mark Lewisohn's monumental three-volume biography, Tune In , stands as a testament to over a decade of meticulous research, chronicling every intricate detail of the Beatles' journey.
Finally, consider that biographies are often more than recounting the life of a person. Similar to how Dickens’ Great Expectations is not solely about a boy named Pip (but an examination and critique of Britain’s fickle, unforgiving class system), a biography should strive to illuminate a broader truth — be it social, political, or human — beyond the immediate subject of the book.
Once you’ve identified your main focus or angle, it’s time to write a great story.
While biographies are often highly informative, they do not have to be dry and purely expository in nature . You can play with storytelling elements to make it an engaging read.
You could do that by thoroughly detailing the setting of the story , depicting the people involved in the story as fully-fledged characters , or using rising action and building to a climax when describing a particularly significant milestone of the subject’s life.
One common way to make a biography interesting to read is starting on a strong foot…
Hook the reader from the start
Just because you're honoring your character's whole life doesn't mean you have to begin when they said their first word. Starting from the middle or end of their life can be more captivating as it introduces conflicts and stakes that shaped their journey.
When he wrote about Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild , author Jon Krakauer didn’t open his subject’s childhood and abusive family environment. Instead, the book begins with McCandless hitchhiking his way into the wilderness, and subsequently being discovered dead in an abandoned bus. By starting in medias res , Krakauer hooks the reader’s interest, before tracing back the causes and motivations that led McCandless to die alone in that bus in the first place.
You can bend the timeline to improve the reader’s reading experience throughout the rest of the story too…
Play with flashback
While biographies tend to follow a chronological narrative, you can use flashbacks to tell brief stories or anecdotes when appropriate. For example, if you were telling the story of footballer Lionel Messi, before the climax of winning the World Cup with Argentina, you could recall when he was just 13 years old, giving an interview to a local newspaper, expressing his lifelong dream of playing for the national team.
Used sparsely and intentionally, flashbacks can add more context to the story and keep the narrative interesting. Just like including dialogue does…
Recreating conversations that your subject had with people around them is another effective way to color the story. Dialogue helps the reader imagine the story like a movie, providing a deeper sensory experience.
One thing is trying to articulate the root of Steve Jobs’ obsession with product design, another would be to quote his father , teaching him how to build a fence when he was young: “You've got to make the back of the fence just as good looking as the front of the fence. Even though nobody will see it, you will know. And that will show that you're dedicated to making something perfect.”
Unlike memoirs and autobiographies, in which the author tells the story from their personal viewpoint and enjoys greater freedom to recall conversations, biographies require a commitment to facts. So, when recreating dialogue, try to quote directly from reliable sources like personal diaries, emails, and text messages. You could also use your interview scripts as an alternative to dialogue. As Tom Bromley suggests, “If you talk with a good amount of people, you can try to tell the story from their perspective, interweaving different segments and quoting the interviewees directly.”
How to Write Believable Dialogue
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These are just some of the story elements you can use to make your biography more compelling. Once you’ve finished your manuscript, it’s a good idea to ask for feedback.
If you’re going to self-publish your biography, you’ll have to polish it to professional standards. After leaving your work to rest for a while, look at it with fresh eyes and self-edit your manuscript eliminating passive voice, filler words, and redundant adverbs.
Then, have a professional editor give you a general assessment. They’ll look at the structure and shape of your manuscript and tell you which parts need to be expanded on or cut. As someone who edited and commissioned several biographies, Tom Bromley points out that a professional “will look at the sources used and assess whether they back up the points made, or if more are needed. They would also look for context, and whether or not more background information is needed for the reader to understand the story fully. And they might check your facts, too.”
In addition to structural editing, you may want to have someone copy-edit and proofread your work.
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Importantly, make sure to include a bibliography with a list of all the interviews, documents, and sources used in the writing process. You’ll have to compile it according to a manual of style, but you can easily create one by using tools like EasyBib . Once the text is nicely polished and typeset in your writing software , you can prepare for the publication process.
In conclusion, by mixing storytelling elements with diligent research, you’ll be able to breathe life into a powerful biography that immerses readers in another individual’s life experience. Whether that’ll spark inspiration or controversy, remember you could have an important role in shaping their legacy 一 and that’s something not to take lightly.
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- How to write an essay outline | Guidelines & examples
How to Write an Essay Outline | Guidelines & Examples
Published on August 14, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
An essay outline is a way of planning the structure of your essay before you start writing. It involves writing quick summary sentences or phrases for every point you will cover in each paragraph , giving you a picture of how your argument will unfold.
Table of contents
Organizing your material, presentation of the outline, examples of essay outlines, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about essay outlines.
At the stage where you’re writing an essay outline, your ideas are probably still not fully formed. You should know your topic and have already done some preliminary research to find relevant sources , but now you need to shape your ideas into a structured argument.
Look over any information, quotes and ideas you’ve noted down from your research and consider the central point you want to make in the essay—this will be the basis of your thesis statement . Once you have an idea of your overall argument, you can begin to organize your material in a way that serves that argument.
Try to arrange your material into categories related to different aspects of your argument. If you’re writing about a literary text, you might group your ideas into themes; in a history essay, it might be several key trends or turning points from the period you’re discussing.
Three main themes or subjects is a common structure for essays. Depending on the length of the essay, you could split the themes into three body paragraphs, or three longer sections with several paragraphs covering each theme.
As you create the outline, look critically at your categories and points: Are any of them irrelevant or redundant? Make sure every topic you cover is clearly related to your thesis statement.
Order of information
When you have your material organized into several categories, consider what order they should appear in.
Your essay will always begin and end with an introduction and conclusion , but the organization of the body is up to you.
Consider these questions to order your material:
- Is there an obvious starting point for your argument?
- Is there one subject that provides an easy transition into another?
- Do some points need to be set up by discussing other points first?
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Within each paragraph, you’ll discuss a single idea related to your overall topic or argument, using several points of evidence or analysis to do so.
In your outline, you present these points as a few short numbered sentences or phrases.They can be split into sub-points when more detail is needed.
The template below shows how you might structure an outline for a five-paragraph essay.
- Thesis statement
- First piece of evidence
- Second piece of evidence
- Importance of topic
- Strong closing statement
You can choose whether to write your outline in full sentences or short phrases. Be consistent in your choice; don’t randomly write some points as full sentences and others as short phrases.
Examples of outlines for different types of essays are presented below: an argumentative, expository, and literary analysis essay.
Argumentative essay outline
This outline is for a short argumentative essay evaluating the internet’s impact on education. It uses short phrases to summarize each point.
Its body is split into three paragraphs, each presenting arguments about a different aspect of the internet’s effects on education.
- Importance of the internet
- Concerns about internet use
- Thesis statement: Internet use a net positive
- Data exploring this effect
- Analysis indicating it is overstated
- Students’ reading levels over time
- Why this data is questionable
- Video media
- Interactive media
- Speed and simplicity of online research
- Questions about reliability (transitioning into next topic)
- Evidence indicating its ubiquity
- Claims that it discourages engagement with academic writing
- Evidence that Wikipedia warns students not to cite it
- Argument that it introduces students to citation
- Summary of key points
- Value of digital education for students
- Need for optimism to embrace advantages of the internet
Expository essay outline
This is the outline for an expository essay describing how the invention of the printing press affected life and politics in Europe.
The paragraphs are still summarized in short phrases here, but individual points are described with full sentences.
- Claim that the printing press marks the end of the Middle Ages.
- Provide background on the low levels of literacy before the printing press.
- Present the thesis statement: The invention of the printing press increased circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
- Discuss the very high levels of illiteracy in medieval Europe.
- Describe how literacy and thus knowledge and education were mainly the domain of religious and political elites.
- Indicate how this discouraged political and religious change.
- Describe the invention of the printing press in 1440 by Johannes Gutenberg.
- Show the implications of the new technology for book production.
- Describe the rapid spread of the technology and the printing of the Gutenberg Bible.
- Link to the Reformation.
- Discuss the trend for translating the Bible into vernacular languages during the years following the printing press’s invention.
- Describe Luther’s own translation of the Bible during the Reformation.
- Sketch out the large-scale effects the Reformation would have on religion and politics.
- Summarize the history described.
- Stress the significance of the printing press to the events of this period.
Literary analysis essay outline
The literary analysis essay outlined below discusses the role of theater in Jane Austen’s novel Mansfield Park .
The body of the essay is divided into three different themes, each of which is explored through examples from the book.
- Describe the theatricality of Austen’s works
- Outline the role theater plays in Mansfield Park
- Introduce the research question : How does Austen use theater to express the characters’ morality in Mansfield Park ?
- Discuss Austen’s depiction of the performance at the end of the first volume
- Discuss how Sir Bertram reacts to the acting scheme
- Introduce Austen’s use of stage direction–like details during dialogue
- Explore how these are deployed to show the characters’ self-absorption
- Discuss Austen’s description of Maria and Julia’s relationship as polite but affectionless
- Compare Mrs. Norris’s self-conceit as charitable despite her idleness
- Summarize the three themes: The acting scheme, stage directions, and the performance of morals
- Answer the research question
- Indicate areas for further study
If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.
Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.
If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.
When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
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How to Write Biographical Essay: About Yourself or Other Person
Writing an essay is a usual task students are assigned on a daily basis. Since there are multiple types of essays, they differ in their structure, purpose, and requirements. A biographical essay is not a very common type of academic writing. Hence, not every student is aware of how to write it. Should I write about facts from a person’s life? How do I write an autobiography essay? If these and more questions bother you when you think about composing a bio essay, then you should definitely read our guide below on how to write a biography essay.
What Is a Biographical Essay?
Before you start writing an introduction to the biographical essay, you have to learn what it is. A biography essay is a type of academic writing in which a writer should tell the audience about a certain person’s life.
The main difference between a bio essay and other types of essays is that the author should provide an in-depth overview of someone’s history of life including much more facts than just the date of birth, childhood, and occupation.
When writing this type of essay, it is essential to analyze a person’s life, not just state the events in chronological order. Otherwise, it will be an informative type of academic writing that just states the information.
The Main Purpose of a Bio Essay
The goal of writing a biographical essay is to tell a story about a person’s life and highlight the significant achievements she or he did during the lifespan. Special attention should be given to the things that the subject is popular for. However, the writer should also focus on analyzing the facts, providing personal thoughts on what the person did right or wrong, and how the main character reached the results he is famous for.
Biography Essay About Yourself
It is also very common to be assigned to compose an essay about yourself. This type of academic piece of paper is called an autobiography. And while writing information about someone else sounds pretty easy, analyzing your own life might be more complicated.
An autobiography essay is always required when applying for college, different courses, or competitions. And the procedure of writing it is the same as writing a biographical essay but in this case, you become the main character of the story.
Biography Essay About a Person
The peculiarities of writing about someone else in the first place are hidden in making a choice on whom to tell about. Depending on the topic of your essay, this can be a famous person or someone you know as a friend. So whether you write about a celebrity or your relative, the approach to writing will be different.
In the first case, you will have to gather a lot of information from trusted sources. The more fascinating facts you gain, the better as it will help you to compose a perfect essay. In the second case, your knowledge about a person will be your main source of information.
How to Plan a Biography Essay Writing
Before you get an answer to a question: “How to write biographical essay?”, you should definitely seek information on how to start a biography essay. Since you will have to write about a person’s life in a logical and coherent way, it is crucial to prepare for this creative process. Below you will find the description of the main steps that will help you to get yourself ready for the writing.
Choose Your Biographical Essay Topic
The first and most important step to take is to choose the right topic. Unless you are given a specific person to write about by your teacher, you should make this choice wisely. Always consider picking up a character you are interested in. Then narrow down your selection by the availability of information about the person. Before you consider choosing one topic, look for credible sources that provide truthful information about the subject of your work.
Also, here you can find some examples of topics for a biographical essay:
- Marilyn Monroe: a fashion icon of all times.
- The history of the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Donald Trump: successful businessman and politician.
- Mother Teresa and her mission in life.
- Pope Francis: first American pope.
- Ludwig Beethoven and his eternal music.
- Malcolm X: a racism fighter.
- Elon Musk: the king of space.
- Greta Thunberg: young ecoactivist.
- Pele: a star of football.
- Albert Einstein: a face of science.
- Biography of my friend.
- A person in my life who inspired me.
- A history of the life of a member of my family.
- My autobiography.
Create a Biography Essay Outline
When you have chosen a perfect topic for your essay, it is quite a time to go to the next step and create a biography essay outline. In your structure, you have to cover the following paragraphs:
- An introduction.
- 1st body paragraph.
- 2nd body paragraph.
- 3rd body paragraph.
As you see, a biographical essay outline is the same as any other type of essay. Depending on the amount of information and your arguments, you can add more paragraphs to the body of your essay.
Conduct an Informational Research
An essential step in creating an A+ biographical essay is gathering information. However, you should not trust every link on the Internet since especially about famous people there is numerous fake news.
So in order to gather only real facts, you should look for authoritative publications, magazines, and books about the person you are analyzing in your work. All sources should have a reference list from where the information was taken. You can also get useful pieces of info from interview videos of celebrities if there are ones.
How to Start a Biography Essay?
When the preparation procedure is done, you are ready to start writing your biographical essay. Whether you wonder how to write a biography essay about yourself or another person, the instructions will be the same. The introduction of a paper is where a reader forms the first impression. So it should be very captivating and engaging. Learn what your opening paragraph should include.
Biography Essay Hook
Inserting a hook at the beginning of the essay is the perfect tactic to keep the audience motivated to read your work. This can be a quote from the person you are describing, an anecdote from his life, or a shocking fact.
A hook should be moderately exciting. Don’t try to create something unbelievably fantastic. This opening sentence should be real and catchy.
Biography Thesis Statement
The main purpose of writing a biography essay is in the thesis statement. Whether you write biography essay topics about famous people or yourself, you have to make your personal thoughts of what you think the character is recognizable for. A statement should be placed at the end of the introductory paragraph.
The statement is the main idea of the essay. Whether it is a positive or a negative trait of a person, your next paragraphs should fit it. It is not acceptable just to write general information. The whole text should correspond with the thesis statement written in the introduction.
Biography Essay Body Paragraph
The main scope of information is described in the body paragraphs of the essay. When following a standard instruction on how to write an essay on a person, the main part of the work should consist of three body paragraphs. All the info you will be sharing should go in a chronological way. Include interesting facts, intriguing stories, and clear examples from the person’s life. Here is how you can build your essay body.
1st Body Paragraph About Childhood
Write some info about a person’s early years of living. Guide the audience through the place of birth of the person, his parents, and the moments that shaped him as the person he is or was in maturity.
2nd Body Paragraph About School and College Period
Education is the most essential factor that influences a person’s life. So in your second body paragraph, you should focus on providing the facts about the character’s school and college life. Most likely, the talent of a person was revealed exactly at school times, so you might explain to the audience what the first steps to success were.
3rd Body Paragraph About Maturity
The main discoveries happen in life when you become an adult. So that is where you should focus on providing interesting facts about the person’s achievements, turning points, and growth. If there were major accomplishments made by the character, it is important to analyze their connection and impact on the current state of things.
Biography Essay Conclusion
The wrapping-up paragraph is what gives readers an aftertaste after reading your biography essay. And you definitely want to leave a perfect note at the end of the story. That is why just restating the thesis statement will not be enough. In this part of the work, your main task will be to cover the following.
Relevance of the Person’s Work
Imagine reading several paragraphs about a famous character who made some incredible discoveries in his life. Surely, at the end of the story, you will want to find out how these accomplishments can be applied in today’s society. And that is what every reader would like to see in the concluding part.
If the person was so significant, what did he leave for our generations? If this is a scientist, then we can rely on their discoveries; if this is a singer, we can listen to their music; if this is a fashion model, we can get inspiration from his character. Demonstrate in such a way what can be useful for us to get from the person you described.
The Major Achievements
In conclusion, you can focus again on the major accomplishments of the person. Draw a parallel to how these achievements affect and will affect humanity. Write how it is influenced the most by the character of your story.
How to Write a Good Biography Essay: Advanced Tips
You already know the main steps on how to write an essay about a person. But there is always room for improvement especially if you don’t write everyday biography essays. Besides following the instructions on how to start biography essay and write body paragraphs, there are more tips that will help you in this process. Here they are.
- Rely only on facts. Even though in the biography essay you should state your personal opinion about the character you are describing, everything that is related to the person’s life should be 100% true. So never write any information without double-checking it in the sources.
- Don’t spare time for conducting research. A bio essay is a piece of academic writing, so you need to provide exclusive information about another person. Thus, you have to conduct thorough research on that person’s life and dig deeper.
- Create a strong personal statement. In fact, everyone can go to the Internet and read about a famous person’s life and major events. But if you want to make an authentic and outstanding paper, you should make a solid thesis statement and shape the rest of the essay to it.
- Provide evidence. Nothing can make a better impression on a reader than supporting facts with real examples. So if you want the audience to remember your essay, try methods of visualization.
- Make smooth transitions. When you are jumping from different time periods, it is important to make it as smooth as possible. Thus, you have to insert transition words and phrases that will make the overall text sound coherent.
Need Help Writing a Biography Essay?
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How many paragraphs are in a biography essay?
If following a standard biography essay format, you will have to write five paragraphs: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
What is a biography essay structure?
A biography essay structure relates to the parts your work should consist of. This is the number of paragraphs you should build your bio essay on.
How to write an introduction for a biography essay?
If you wonder how to start a biographical essay, make these steps of preparation: begin with the topic selection, then create the outline for your essay, and conduct research on the person you are to describe.
How do you write a biography essay?
If you want to know how to write a biography paper, make sure to follow these instructions: get ready for writing by doing research on the topic you have chosen; start your essay with a hook and thesis statement; provide information in chronological order; and then conclude what you have written.
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How to Write a Biography Essay
Table of Contents
Writing a biography essay is a challenging assignment for many students. At first sight, it seems that it’s easy to tell a story of a famous person’s life as there are many sources on the Internet. However, when it comes to writing the paper, students struggle with its structure, format, thesis statement, and determining what facts to include in the essay.
There are lots of professional writing services to buy research papers . But knowing how to write biography essays is a must for your academic success. Move on and find tips for creating high-quality text about someone’s life.
What Is a Biography Essay?
A biography essay is an essay type where a writer tells about someone’s life. It should be accurate and truly depict the story of a person’s life. Biography essays are mostly about prominent figures, writers, politicians, artists, scientists etc. An author tries to portray a person not only by giving facts about their education, career, dates of birth and death. It’s crucial to tell a story through live events and connect them to the formation of personality. An essay should reveal a person’s values, beliefs, challenges, and achievements. A reader has to connect with the essay’s character through small but valuable details about a private life that is not present in books and articles. A biography essay includes a thesis statement highlighting a milestone event in a person’s life. Further paragraphs support the statement, and the conclusion shows the contribution this person made to the world.
Step 1 – Choose Your Subject
When preparing for writing the essay, you should choose the audience, think about ideas, and, most importantly, contemplate a good subject. You may think that this essay writing stage is the easiest one, but you can not even imagine how crucial it’s to choose the right topic. When you buy research papers, writers help you with selecting the biography essay subject.
So what to consider when deciding which topic will be the most appropriate for you? It should be a famous person connected to the subject you study. If you are assigned to write a biography essay on chemistry, choose a prominent scholar from the field. Write about an outstanding personality who changed our lives with their inventions, works, ideas, etc.
Choose a person to write about in your essay that you are interested in. Thus, it’ll be engaging for you to work on the paper, and you will explore more unknown facts as researching brings you pleasure.
Make sure there are enough literature and internet sources for writing a research paper. When you use research paper writing help , experts prepare a list of works cited and use only reliable sources.
Step 2 – Do Research
When setting up the stage for writing the essay, you should spend a sufficient amount of time on research. The more sources you research, the more professional your essay will be. Try to find as many books and articles telling about the person as possible to have a clear picture of their life.
You can ask for help from a research paper writer service, and its specialists will help you with searching for appropriate sources. On these platforms, you can buy research papers and benefit from a rich database of literature on different subjects.
For research materials for your essay, try to select not only well-known facts about the person but, most importantly, write down interesting details. You should also explore what other people said about the prominent figure to whom you devote your essay. It’ll be great to include controversial opinions and analyze them to prove the rightfulness of your thesis statement.
There are several tips for successful research for your essay:
- Allow enough time for your research and do not leave it until the last minute.
- Understand the essay subject to know what aspect you are asked to investigate.
- Brainstorm what you already know, identify the gaps in your knowledge, and set a plan for what to read and learn.
- Create a reading list and allocate time for studying literature for the essay.
- In order to find relevant sources, ask your professor or librarian, and use the index not to read the whole book.
- Be prudent with online resources as they may not be reliable and academically rigorous.
- Write down everything that is interesting to you about the person.
- Organize your notes and formulate your opinion.
Step 3 – Write an Outline
The next thing to do is to write an essay outline. Every essay should have an outline and standard paragraphing. It helps you to structure the paper and organize the main points. You will better understand the flow of information and not miss any details.
Students struggling with biography essays can resort to research paper writing help and learn how professionals plan the paper. But you can easily do it yourself following these simple tips. There is a common five-paragraph structure for all essay types:
- Introduction: mention your topic and establish the thesis statement that you will support in the main paragraphs.
- Body paragraph I: write a topic sentence with an argument for the thesis, support it using facts and examples and explain their relation to the thesis.
- Body paragraph II: here, you should add another argument, support it, and prove the relation.
- Body paragraph III: this paragraph has the same structure but should contain a different argument.
- Conclusion: here, you summarize the main essay points, restate the thesis statement, and include a call to action at will.
Step 4 – Write Your Introduction Paragraph
Writing an essay introduction is your opportunity to engage the reader and make the first good impression. It is a starting point, and you should make it catchy and meaningful. There are a few tips to make it right. You can attract the audience’s attention using a hook. Although several types of opening statements exist, they aim to encourage the reader to move on.
Let’s see what the examples of powerful hooks are:
- Start your essay with someone’s quote about the person to whom your paper is devoted.
- Ask an engaging question that is related to your subject.
- Include an interesting story or fact from a person’s life.
- Use figures of speech like metaphors or similes.
The final sentence of your intro is a thesis statement. It should be your view of the person that you will justify in the essay. Students can buy research papers if they find it challenging to create a captivating intro.
Step 5 – Develop Your Thesis Statement
When writing a research paper and an essay type, an author should create a strong thesis statement. It’s the main component of your biography essay introducing arguments to readers. It directs the essay structure and reveals the purpose of the paper. Let’s find out how to write a thesis statement for your biography essay that will represent a specific argument:
- A writer should show their stand on the subject and make their conclusions. Make it specific and avoid vague formulations.
- A good thesis statement justifies a point for discussion. Include some controversial viewpoints on a person’s life, achievements, or career that would spark interest.
- Answer in your thesis why and how questions concerning the essay subject. Use specific nouns, action verbs, and assertive predicates.
Step 6 – Body Paragraphs
Now we move on to writing the body paragraphs of the essay. Here you should structurally present all the information you’ve gathered about the person. It is recommended to stick to chronological information presentation.
Do not focus on tedious facts with dates and names of institutions and companies. Rather pay more attention to interesting stories and funny, sad, and controversial life events. Showcase what influenced the personality development, including quotes and flashbacks.
Every paragraph should focus on an idea. Remember that sentences must be logically connected. You should include supporting arguments for your points, referencing primary sources.
Step 7 – Conclusion
The last but not the least part of the essay is the conclusion. A writer needs to make the final paper part engaging and memorizable. The conclusion consists of the thesis statement, your general conclusions, and the final comment.
A reader should be encouraged to explore more about the person you write about. You can include a quote or an interesting life event. Include what their influence was on the state of science or society. Use a professional research paper writer service for academic assistance in creating high-quality biography essays.
Write a biography essay following this guide, and you will benefit from incredible results. We hope you have a clear picture of the essay structure and content. We wish you good luck and excellent grades. If you need support, our writing service is always ready to help with any academic work type!
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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.
A biographical essay is 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.
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 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.
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
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.
"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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The structure of a biographical essay typically follows a basic essay structure consisting of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. However, there may be slight variations depending on the purpose of the essay and the specific requirements of the assignment.
Here is a breakdown of the typical structure of a biographical essay:
The introduction sets the tone for the essay and should grab the reader's attention. It should provide some background information about the subject of the essay and include a thesis statement that summarizes the main point of the essay.
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.
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
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
- 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
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
Write an introduction.
The introduction paragraph is crucial. Because you need to grab the reader’s attention at this part. This is where a hook sentence is useful. With a hook sentence , you can start your essay in multiple interesting directions for you reader:
- Start your introduction with a quote from your subject, especially one that reveals their personality.
- Start with an intriguing story or an interesting anecdote about your subject.
- Start by informing the reader about a significant accomplishment of your subject.
Biography essay introduction example
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” This is a quote by French-Algerian philosopher, writer, and journalist Albert Camus. Camus was born in French Algeria on 7 November 1913. Opening: Intriguing quote that grabs the reader’s attention and summarizes Camus’ philosophy He is one of the most prominent writers of absurdist philosophical thought. Subject: A sentence which explains the subject’s contribution to their field. Through his works, Camus contributed to the rise of the absurdist philosophy, which was essentially a response to nihilism. Stance: Further explanation of the subject’s stance on the field He wrote works that conveyed an abiding faith in the human race’s displaced but still righteous situation. Thesis statement: You highlight your stand and main focus of the essay.
Biography essay body paragraphs
This is the section where the results of your research come in. Like other types of essays, body paragraphs are the central part of your biography essay (see biography essay example ).
Through these paragraphs, you will discuss the milestones in your subject’s life, their accomplishments, and their works.
Biography essay body paragraph example
During his literary career, Camus published his works in three cycles. In each cycle, he published a novel, an essay, and a play. The first cycle of his works was on “the absurd,” and they were published from 1942 to 1944. Topic sentence: Further exploration of the claim presented in the introduction. This cycle’s works were some of his most significant works: The Stranger as the novel, The Myth of Sisyphus as the essay, and Caligula as the play. Camus also explored the concepts “the revolt” and “the love” through the cycle structure. Subject’s accomplishments: Reveal of the subject’s extensive work on the field Through his major works, Camus earned the Nobel Prize for Literature, and he then published his work named Algerian Chronicles. This work revealed his pacifist tendencies. Personal information: Brief introduction into the subject’s personal reflections. After Camus’ death, two more works of his were released. One is his novel titled A Happy Death and an unfinished autobiographical novel named The First Man. Some of the significant themes Camus explores through his literary career are alienation, rebellion, and guilt. Closing sentence: Information on the subject’s identity.
Biography essay conclusion
In your conclusion paragraph , what you need to do is to bring in your final thoughts. Do not make the mistake (see common mistakes ) of only repeating the claims you made throughout the essay.
As an alternative, you can choose to tie your subject’s legacy into the current day . You can ask yourself these questions to figure out what to say in your conclusion paragraph:
- What was my subject’s contribution to the ideas/events that are relevant today?
- Are they still remembered? How do people honor their work?
- Out of the people that are significant today, who did my subject influence?
Biography essay conclusion example
Camus died on 4 January 1960, when he was only 46 years old. He died in a car crash, and many scholars point out the “absurdity” of his death. Restatement: Connection with the subject’s main works Since Camus himself had previously stated that the most absurd way of dying he could think of would be a car accident, people regard his death as ironic. Today, Albert Camus is still considered to be one of the most significant thinkers of Western philosophy. Importance of the person: The subject’s relevancy today He is acknowledged as one of the most critical contributors of the absurdist philosophy. He is referred to as one of the best literary writers of his genre and one of the best thinkers of his age. Closing statement: Concluding sentences by highlighting the subject’s influence
Now you know all the separate parts of a biography essay and how to create them. Remember that these steps can be used in all academic essays.
Before closing this article, let’s have a look at an extensive biography essay example on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , you see below.
5-Paragraph Biography Essay Example
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: The Modernizer of Turkey
Body paragraphs, key takeaways.
- A biography essay should tell the story of a person's life, but also focus on their contributions and impact.
- Start by doing thorough research and organizing your information into a chronological outline.
- Use vivid details and anecdotes to bring your subject to life and make the essay engaging for the reader.
- Incorporate analysis and reflection to help the reader understand the significance of the subject's life and work.
- End with a strong conclusion that summarizes the key points and leaves the reader with a lasting impression.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you start a biography essay.
Start your biography essay by giving a general information about your subject, such as their profession or importance.
What is biography example?
Biography is a literary work in which a person’s life is narrated. They are based on facts, and the main purpose of them is educating people about well-known individuals.
How do you write an outline for a biography?
A proper biography outline should include details about the information that will be presented in the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
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5+ Biography Outline Examples [ Definition, Tips ]
Biography Outline Examples
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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
- Events that changed the person’s life
- Why the person is special or interesting
Conclusion – how the world benefited from the person.
How To Write A Biography Essay And Get An A+
- Essay Writing Guides
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:
- 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.
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?
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 Biography
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.
What Is a Biography?
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 BIOGRAPHY WRITING IN 2022
Teach your students to write AMAZING BIOGRAPHIES & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES using proven RESEARCH SKILLS and WRITING STRATEGIES covering.
- Understanding the purpose of both forms of biography.
- Exploring 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.
ORIENTATION (BEGINNING) Open your biography with a strong hook to grab the reader’s attention
SEQUENCING: In most cases, biographies are written in chronological order unless you are a very competent writer consciously trying to break from this trend.
COVER: childhood, upbringing, education, influences, accomplishments, relationships, etc. – everything that helps the reader to understand the person.
CONCLUSION: Wrap your biography up with some details about what the subject is doing now if they are still alive. If they have passed away, make mention of what impact they have made and what their legacy is or will be.
LANGUAGE Use descriptive and figurative language that will paint images inside your audience’s minds as they read. Use time connectives to link events.
PERSPECTIVE Biographies are written from the third person’s perspective.
DETAILS: Give specific details about people, places, events, times, dates, etc. Reflect on how events shaped the subject. You might want to include some relevant photographs with captions. A timeline may also be of use depending upon your subject and what you are trying to convey to your audience.
TENSE Written in the past tense (though ending may shift to the present/future tense)
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 free of errors. 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.
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
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.
Use our resources and tools to improve your student’s writing skills through proven teaching strategies.
BIOGRAPHY WRITING TEACHING IDEAS AND LESSONS
We have put together 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.
WRITING CHECKLIST & RUBRIC BUNDLE
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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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.
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17+ Biography Outline Templates – PDF, DOC
Taking up the task to pen an individual’s biography is a huge responsibility. As is trend, biographies are written for the rich and famous. There is a particular format which must be meticulously followed. To begin with, every biography template has an outline. It shares partial resemblance to an autobiography outline. The point of difference is the narrative style. A biography of a celebrated individual is obviously going to make a thick book. Having an outline ensures that story-telling is aligned with points mentioned in the outline.
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How to Write a Biography Essay Introduction
Table of Contents
It’s challenging to write a biography essay introduction . You’ll need a lot of time, a little knowledge, and a passion for the subject.
If you are writing a biography essay, you may be wondering how to start the essay. An excellent opening includes a brief outline of the issue and how it ties to your key characters.
It’s also essential to give your audience a little bit of an explanation behind the subject, to make it clear why you’re writing it.
In this essay, we will break down everything you need to know to write good introductions. However, before we begin, let’s simply define what a biography is.
What is a Biography?
A biography is a third-party account of a person’s life. Essays on notable people’s lives are among the earliest forms of writing (fictional and otherwise).
A biography is more than a list of essential statistics (birth, marriage, divorce, death). It’s a narrative of the person’s evolution via the events that molded their life.
Biography essays demand a deep dive into the subject’s worldview, beliefs, and personal traits.
Since most biographies are on well-known figures, research materials are readily available. A well-written biography essay will include tidbits of information that aren’t publicly known. Selecting these pieces of evidence such that they strengthen your theory is essential.
There must be an overarching argument or thesis in every biography essay. Thesis statements are one-liners that sum up the central idea of a person’s life. Thesis statements are broad statements about a person’s life that explain most of their behaviors.
An essay on a famous person’s life, or biography, reveals their professional and personal accomplishments.
Tips to Consider Before Writing a Biographical Essay
Differentiating between a formal essay about a person and a Biography essay is like night and day. You must convey the true character of your subject in a biography essay. It can be utilized to shed light on an underexplored aspect of a public figure’s personality.
The works of the subject of your biography are only one part of a well-written paper on that person. You need to set the mood by channeling the person of interest’s true nature.
Your essay should read like a recreation of the person’s life and times. It’s a fun and informative method to gain insight into the life of a well-known figure. Standard procedures for writing a biography will allow you to maintain the correct structure throughout your paper. These procedures are as follows:
1. Choose your subject carefully
Choosing a well-known figure to write a biography essay about goes without saying as the initial stage in the process. Since you are expected to write extensively, picking a prominent individual is a good idea.
Books, journals, periodicals, newspapers, etc., are all excellent resources to glean knowledge. Choose someone in whom you have some genuine interest. Doing so will inspire you to learn more about that individual.
2. Conduct thorough research
If you’re writing a biography essay, it’s easy to tell a good one apart from a mediocre one. The quality of a biography essay depends on how thoroughly the author has researched the subject.
The more you look into the person, the more of a complete picture you’ll have of who they were. Well-known details about the person should be scanty.
The best biographies provide information about the subject that most people don’t know. All pieces of evidence should back up your claim. Note the controversial views held by that person, the dates that had significant meaning in their life, etc.
3. Create a Plan
Make a plan for the biography essay. Separate your essay into an introduction, at least two body paragraphs, and a conclusion, as in the conventional five-paragraph structure.
Keep in mind that you need to stick to the specified word count. The biography essay outline is there to help guide you through the writing process.
The outline will serve as a guide for structuring and organizing your essay. You should write your biography chronologically to effectively express the substance of the person’s life.
Presenting the information chronologically will give readers a better sense of the profiled individual. It is equally important to focus on the essay structure and stick to it.
An outline is a schematic strategy that will help you organize the information in your biography essay according to the essential details. To keep the essay organized, use bullet points in the outline by assigning numbers to them.
Step-by-Step Guide to Biography Essay Introduction
The Biography essay should follow the typical essay writing pattern. A typical essay writing pattern should include an introduction, a thesis, at least two body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Now, let’s discuss the steps to take to write a brilliant introduction. In a biography essay, the introduction must hook the reader immediately . You can achieve instant reader interest in several ways such as using:
1. Famous Phrase or Quote
You can kick things off with a famous phrase or quote that the subject of your study is credited with saying. Insight into their character and character quirks can be gained from this quote.
2. Personal Anecdote or Story
You can provide a personal anecdote or story. This anecdote or narrative should be concise while conveying an essential point about the discussed individual. The attention of the essay’s readers is thus maintained.
3. Subject’s Background
Once you’ve made an impression with your opening remarks, you should go on to describe the person’s background. Outline their name, date of birth, place of birth, education, marriage/relationship status, etc.
A summary of the person’s background and qualifications should do as an introduction. It’ll facilitate a deeper emotional connection between the essay’s readers and the author.
4. The Use of Thesis Statement
Finally, a thesis statement should be placed at the end of the introduction. A person’s genuine character can be summed up in a single sentence that serves as a thesis statement.
A thesis statement is an original observation you’ve made about the person. It might be a criticism of them or an account of an experience that profoundly affected who they are today. It functions as a model for the rest of the essay.
The rest of your essay’s content should be molded around supporting your thesis statement.
A biography essay opening conveys a reader’s curiosity about a subject’s life and the writer’s opinions on their history, personal achievements, and life thoughts.
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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