How to write an autobiography essay and impress readers


At some point of your studies, you will be required to make an interesting presentation about yourself and write a great autobiography as an academic assignment. Whether you like it or feel confused, you need to start with positive thoughts because your personal story is more interesting than you may think. For example, if you think that your life is boring only because you live in a farm, it may sound interesting to others who grew up in a city. How to write an autobiography essay?

In general, you can write about some unusual adventures, achievements, outstanding mistakes, or hardships. Find your own life story valid enough to tell others. There’s no set plan or pattern to writing your autobiography because this story can take different forms. The main rule that should be followed is writing it in an entertaining and informative manner.

The main purpose of writing autobiographical essays

When writing your autobiography, defining its main purpose is one of the first steps that should be taken. For instance, it may serve the following purposes:

  • Being elaborative and adhering to all the necessary assignment instructions;
  • Responding to a particular question or prompt through the story that you want to present;
  • Telling the audience about any impressive or important event.

Consider your audience and generate useful ideas

Once the main purpose of your autobiographical paper is determined, consider its targeted audience. You need to understand the expectations of future readers before getting started and write down all relevant points. If you feel stuck when generating interesting ideas, there are different activities that can help you, such as:

  • Questioning;
  • Clustering;
  • Listing;
  • Free writing.

Create a brief outline of your autobiography

When writing the introduction, provide readers with a short story about you as you engage or hook them. When writing the main body, you can discuss different topics, such as:

  • School days and place of your residence;
  • Aspirations and first memories;
  • Vacations and friends;
  • Holidays and profound events.

In the conclusions, you should include a brief summary of your life story and link it to the main objective of your autobiography. Indicate this paragraph in an optimistic manner and finish it with any important lesson learned because of your life experiences.

What to do before you begin


With enough brainstorming and research, anyone can submit an interesting autobiographical paper. Ensure that your life story contains the basic framework that all academic papers should have, including:

  • Introduction with a thesis;
  • Body with a few paragraphs;
  • Conclusion.

The basic goal that should be achieved is making your autobiography an interesting and engaging narrative with a great theme. Look for something that makes your personal experiences unique and build the entire narration around that. To achieve this goal, you need to take notes and do your research.

The importance of researching your backgrounds

Just like the biographies of famous people, your autobiographical essay should include such basic things as:

  • The place and time of your birth;
  • Your likes and dislikes;
  • A brief overview of your personality;
  • Important events that shaped your views.

The first step that should be taken is gathering more background.

Establish the main theme

After looking at your life story from the point of view of other people, it becomes possible to choose the most engaging elements from notes and establish the main theme of your autobiography. Think about the most interesting thing and use it for the chosen theme. Remember that just a little bit of research can turn your life story a part of history. In the main body, feel free to explain how your family holiday celebrations, favorite meals, and work habits are linked to the history of your region.

Use one day as your essay theme

Take an ordinary day in your life and use it as the main theme of your autobiography essays. Consider the routines followed both as an adult and as a kid because even such mundane activities as household chores can turn into your source of inspiration. For instance, if you grew up in a farm, you’re aware of the main difference between the smells of wheat and hay.

Use one life event as the main theme

It’s quite likely that one event make a big impact on your whole life so that you can use it as the main theme of your autobiographical paper. Besides, the beginning or end of life of other people can affect your actions and thoughts for a very long time.

Basic steps for writing a great autobiography essay

The most popular format for autobiographies is chronological, which means writing your life story in the order in which everything happened. Start with your family backgrounds and proceed from the time of your birth.

Make a short life of all the incidents, events, and things that you want to mention in your essay. Include all the important people involved in your life and add more substance to this list by writing their brief descriptions. Describe all the events, people, lucky strikes, accidents, misfortunes, and occasions that you can remember.

Just like with other academic papers, it’s wise to write an introductory paragraph last. This effective writing method offers a great opportunity to introduce your story in the best way and introduce readers a well-structured and engaging autobiography essay.

Autobiography essay writing do’s and don’ts

First, conduct your research of the important periods of your childhood and youth because there are some interesting events that might have happened that require further checking and clarification. Although the best people to ask are your friends and relatives, village or town people, neighbors, playmates, classmates, and others can be your great sources of information too.

Make certain connections with important events that happened in the most significant periods of your life, including different discoveries and inventions during your childhood.

Things to avoid doing in your autobiography

Don’t pad your autobiography writing with any unimportant details because your life story should sound original, genuine, and interesting to the audience. Don’t use any overly formal language, hackneyed phrases, and clichés.

Don’t include any embarrassing or personal details about others. Your friends and relatives have their right to know if they’re mentioned in your autobiography.

Don’t neglect the statement that grammar, word choice, punctuation, and syntax are as significant for your autobiography as for other essay types.

Common autobiography essay writing mistakes

Not allowing yourself enough time to remember all important life incidents and events is a common mistake when writing an autobiography essay.

Lack of enough focus is another mistake made by students.

Forgetting the significance of this writing task is one of the biggest mistakes that can be made.

Lack of analysis is the error that should be avoided too. Your life story still requires some kind of reflection about how it’s linked to the surrounding environment and world.

Effective writing techniques to avoid common errors

Make a timeline of important life events, including your childhood years, birth, and school experiences. Take into account all key achievements and awards to write down all the life events that shaped your personality and outlook on the world.

Pick the overall focus or theme of your autobiography essay because simply listing different life events won’t make it interesting to read. Consider the theme that you want to write about and keep this overall focus in mind while choosing important life events in your essay. For instance, you may focus on making the community better, volunteering, or overcoming difficult life events.

Finally, feel free to write about your family and focus on something unique about your childhood or upbringing. Such things as a death or a divorce are difficult and emotional to write about, but examining these hard subjects shows readers that you are a mature person who can tackle of hardships.

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