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A Complete guide for students and teachers


How to Write an Autobiography

A quick scan of the bestseller lists will quickly reveal that we are obsessed with the lives of other people.

Books by and about actors, politicians, and sports stars regularly top the charts, as we seek to catch a glimpse into the lives of remarkable people.

While many of these books are written by professional writers after meticulous research (biographies), just as many are written by the person themselves (autobiographies) – albeit often with the ‘help’ of a ghostwriter.



Autobiography is a subcategory of the biography genre and, strictly speaking, it’s a life story written by the subject themselves.

Autobiographies are sometimes confused with memoirs and it’s no surprise as the two share many features in common. For example, both are written in the first person and contain details of the subject’s life.

However, some clear distinctions can be made between the two.

For example, a memoir usually explores a specific period of a person’s life, whereas an autobiography tends to make an account of the person’s life from their earliest years right up to the time of writing.

Autobiographies aren’t just the preserve of the celebrities among us though, each of our lives is a story in and of itself. Whether or not it’s a good story will depend largely on the telling, which is what this article is all about.


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Once students have a good grasp of what an autobiography is, we need to ensure they are familiar with the main features of the genre before they begin writing.

Let’s take a look at some of the main technical elements of an autobiography:

Purpose of an Autobiography:

To give an account of the person’s life so far

Tense: Mostly written in the past tense, but usually ends in the present tense and sometimes shifts into the future tense at the very end.

Structure of an Autobiography:

●     Usually written in chronological order

●     Uses time connectives such as before, then, after that, finally, etc

●     Uses the names of real people and events

●     Is specific about times, dates, places, etc

●     Includes personal memories and specific details and descriptions

●     Reflects on how positive and negative experiences shaped the author

●     Gives an insight into the thoughts, feelings, and hopes of the author

●     May include some relevant photographs

●     Usually ends with a commentary on life, reflections on significant large events, and hopes and plans for the future.

When teaching these specific features, you may wish to compile a checklist with the students that they can subsequently use to assist them when writing their autobiography.


One great way to help your students to internalize the main features of the genre is to encourage them to read lots of autobiographies. Instruct the students to be conscious of the different features discussed above and to identify them in the autobiography as they read.

If you have compiled a checklist together, students can check off the features they come across as they read.

When they have finished reading, students should consider which features were well done in the book and which were missing or had room for improvement.



As we know, there is more to a genre of writing than just ticking off the main features from a checklist.

To write well takes time and practice, as well as familiarity with the features of the genre. Each genre of writing makes different demands on our skills as a writer and autobiography are no different.

Below, we will look at a step-by-step process for how students can best approach the task of writing their autobiography, along with some helpful hints and tips to polish things up.

Let’s get started!



The structure of an autobiography is somewhat obvious; it starts at the beginning of the subject’s life, works its way through the middle, and ends at the present day.

However, there’s a lot in a life. Some of it will be fascinating from a reader’s point of view and some of it not so much. Students will need to select which events, anecdotes, and incidents to include and which to leave out.

Before they begin this selection process in earnest, they need to dump out the possibilities onto the page through the process of brainstorming. Students should write down any ideas and sketches of memories that might be suitable onto the page.

While they needn’t write trivial memories that they know definitely won’t make the cut, they should not set the bar so high that they induce writer’s block.

They can remove the least interesting episodes when making the final selection later in the writing process. The main thing at this stage is the generation and accumulation of ideas.



After students have selected the most compelling episodes from their brainstorming session, they’ll need to organize them into the form of an outline.

One good way to do this is to lay them out chronologically on a simple timeline. Looking at the episodes in such a visual way can help the students to construct a narrative that leads from the student’s earliest childhood right through to the present day.

Students need to note that an autobiography isn’t just the relating of a series of life events in chronological order. They’ll need to identify themes that link the events in their autobiography together.

Themes are the threads that we weave between the cause and effect of events to bring shape and meaning to a life. They touch on the motivation behind the actions the author takes and fuel the development growth of the person.

Some themes that might be identified in an outline for an autobiography might include:

●     Overcoming adversity

●     Adjusting to a new life

●     Dealing with loss

●     The importance of friendship

●     The futility of revenge

●     The redemptive power of forgiveness.

These themes are the big ideas of a person’s life story. They represent how the events shape the person who is now sitting writing their story. For students to gain these insights will require the necessary time and space for some reflection.

For this reason, autobiography writing works well as a project undertaken over a longer period such as several weeks.


Even though no one knows more about the topic of an autobiography than the author, research is still a necessary part of the writing process for autobiographies.

Using the outline they have created, students will need to flesh out some of the details of key events by speaking to others, especially when writing about their earliest experiences.

The most obvious resources will be parents and other family members who were privy to the joys of babyhood and their earliest childhood.

However, friends and ex-teachers make excellent sources of information too. They will enable the student to get a different perspective on something they remember, helping to create a more rounded view of past events.

For older and more advanced students, they may even wish to do some research regarding historical and cultural happenings in the wider society during the period they’re writing about. This will help to give depth and poignancy to their writing as they move up and down the ladder of abstraction from the personal to the universal and back again.

When students make the effort to draw parallels between their personal experiences and the world around them, they help to bridge the gap between author and reader creating a more intimate connection that enhances the experience for the reader.


Students need to be clear that autobiography is not mere personal history written dispassionately and subjectively.

For their autobiography to work, they’ll need to inject something of themselves into their writing. Readers of autobiography especially are interested in getting to know the inner workings of the writer.

There is a danger, however. Given that autobiographers are so close to their material, they must be careful not to allow their writing to denigrate into a sentimental vomit. To counter this danger, the student author needs to find a little perspective on their experiences, and following the previous tip regarding research will help greatly here.

A more daunting obstacle for the student can lie in the difficulties they face when trying to find their voice in their writing. This isn’t easy. It takes time and it takes lots of writing practice.

However, there are some simple, helpful strategies students can use to help them discover their authentic voice in their writing quickly.

1. Write to a close friend or family member

All writing is written to be read – with the possible exception of journals and diaries. The problem is that if the student is too conscious of the reader, they can find themselves playing to the audience and getting away from what it is they’re trying to express. Showboating can replace the honesty that is such a necessary part of good writing.

A useful trick to help students overcome this hurdle is to tell them to imagine they are writing their autobiography to an intimate friend or family member. Someone who makes them feel comfortable in their skin when they are around. Students should write like they’re writing to that person to who they can confide their deepest secrets. This will give their writing an honest and intimate tone that is very engaging for the reader.

2. Read the writing out loud

It’s no accident that we talk about the writer’s ‘voice’. We recognize the actual voice of people we know from its many qualities, from its timbre, tone, pacing, accent, word choice, etc. Writing is much the same in this regard.

One great way to help students detect whether their writing captures their authentic voice is to have them read it out loud, or listen to a recording of their work read out loud.

While we don’t necessarily write exactly as we speak – we have more time to craft what we say – we will still be able to recognize whether or not the writing sounds like us, or whether it’s filled with affectation.

As the student listens to their own words, encourage them to ask the following questions:

●     Does this sound like me?

●     Do the words sound natural in my voice?

●     Do I believe in the events related and how they were related?

Finding their real voice in their writing will help students imbue their writing with honesty and personality that readers love.


In the first draft, the brushstrokes will be large and broad, sweeping through the key events. The main notes of the tune will be there but with sometimes too much ornamentation and, at other times, not enough. This is why redrafting is an essential part of the writing process.

Students should understand that every piece of writing needs redrafting, editing, and proofreading to be at its best. There are no masterpieces full-borne into the world in a single draft.

For many, the tightening-up of a piece will involve the merciless cutting out of dead words. But, for some, the redrafting and refining process will demand the adding of more description and detail.

For most, however, it’ll be a little from column A and a little from column B.

Often, it’s difficult for students to get the necessary perspective on their work to be able to spot structural, grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. In these instances, it can be best to enrol the eyes of a friend or family member in the role of editor or critic.

One effective way of doing this in class is to organize the students into pairs of editing buddies who edit each other’s work in a reciprocal arrangement.

These ‘edit swaps’ can be continued through to the proofreading stage and the final, polished piece.


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A Final Thought

Employing the 5 tips above will go a long way to ensuring a well-written and engaging autobiography.

While autobiography is a nonfiction genre, it is clear that with its emphasis on narrative, it has much in common with other fictional genres. So, it’s important when teaching autobiography that students learn to recognize the important role of storytelling in this genre too.

As with all good story-telling, there are some necessary elements to include, including a plot of sorts, a cast of characters, and an exploration of some central themes. For this reason, teaching autobiography often works well after the students have completed a unit on fictional story writing.

When all is said and done, the best way a student can ensure their autobiography is worth a read is to ensure they find the story within their own life.

After all, we’re obsessed with the lives of other people.


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,…

WHAT IS A RECOUNT TEXT? A recount text retells an experience or an event that happened in the past.  The purpose of a recount is to inform, entertain, and/or evaluate. Recounts are not restricted to one specific writing genre. A recount can focus on a specific section of an event or retell the entire story. …

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Learn the essential skills to writing an insightful personal narrative in our complete guide for students and teachers.

Content for this page has been written by Shane Mac Donnchaidh.  A former principal of an international school and university English 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.

How to Write an Autobiography in 3 Steps: Practical Tips and Examples

Writing autobiographies is not an easy task.

Not only do authors need to recall all memories and decide on milestones to include, but they also spend time and energy organizing and structuring all the material into a narrative.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the nature of this type of writing, the process of how to write an autobiography, and practical tips on how to write an autobiography essay if assigned this paper type in college.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is an autobiography?
  2. Autobiography vs. biography and memoir
  3. Key elements to include in your autobiography
  4. How to write an autobiography essay in 3 steps
  5. Practical tips on writing autobiography
  6. Mistakes to avoid when writing autobiography
  7. Further reading

What Is an Autobiography?

Autobiography is a literary genre, a subtype of biography, telling the life story of its author. In other words, it’s a self-written account of somebody’s life.

Authors write autobiographies in tales, novels, diaries, or stories closely mirroring events of their real lives. This genre is about describing personal experience or self-discovery.


  • Long Walk to Freedom, by Nelson Mandela
  • A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
  • Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin

When writing autobiography, authors share their wins, losses, and lessons they learned for readers to relate to and get motivated by the story. They want to leave a legacy for descendants, bridging the gap between people of different ages, backgrounds, and generations.

The structure of a classic autobiography is complex yet straightforward:

It’s written in chronological order and is specific about dates, times, places, real people, and events. Autobiographies include personal memories and details, reflecting on how those positive or negative experiences shaped the author and giving insights into their thoughts, feelings, and hopes.

Biography vs. Autobiography vs. Memoir

While an autobiography is a story of a person’s life told but themselves, biographies are stories about someone other than the author. In plain English:

An autobiography = you tell about your life; a biography = you tell about somebody else’s life.

Examples of biographies:

  • A Beautiful Mind, by Sylvia Nasar (about mathematician John Nash)
  • Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang
  • The Minds of Billy Milliganby Daniel Keyes
  • Churchill: A Life, by Martin Gilbert
  • Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

A memoir is super close to an autobiography format, but these two aren’t identical. While autobiographies typically describe authors’ entire lives, memoirs document a selected period of their life journeys.

Examples of memoirs:

  • The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank
  • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King
  • Becoming, by Michelle Obama
  • Educated, by Tara Westover
  • Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert

What About an Autobiography Essay?

Here at Bid4Papers, our writers help students with how to write an autobiography essay. It’s a type of academic paper often assigned in college or required as a part of application documents to enter a university, participate in contests, or get a job or a scholarship.

An autobiography essay is not about describing your whole life but focusing on your particular accomplishment or experience, with an illustration of the lessons you’ve learned retrospectively. This paper has a “self-focused” nature, is accurate yet creative and expressive, and intends the usage of the first person (the pronoun “I”) when writing.

An autobiography essay is your chance to stand out and reveal some details about your personality and character that you couldn’t mention in your application form or resume.

In academia, you can also refer to autobiographies as personal essays.

Key Elements to Include in Your Autobiography

Before writing autobiography, it’s essential to know its key elements to understand what to include in your essay.

While people write autobiographies to include all the details of their life, it doesn’t mean yours should contain every step you took during a lifetime. With the focus on particular moments interesting to you, consider including the following elements into your work:

  1. A compelling title. (Try avoiding generic phrases like “the story of my life,” “my autobiography,” etc.
  2. A first-person narrative voice.
  3. A short description of your background. (It can be your family story, your hometown, or some touchstone moments in your school life. )
  4. Significant experiences that shaped your personality, worldview, or your approach to life. (Think of the moments that could inspire readers and make them remember your story.)
  5. A failure followed up with your story of how you responded and what lessons you’ve learned from it.

How to Write an Autobiography Essay in 3 Steps

Whether you write an autobiographical book or an autobiography essay for a college, your work needs to follow three core principles:

It should be logicalnot boring, and easy to read.

To make it logical, you need to combine all your memories into one meaningful whole, choose one core idea, and express it as a thesis statement.

For it to be interesting, you need to reveal something you didn’t ever tell anyone, some personal details no one but you know.

If you want it to be easy to read, you need to format and structure your autobiography accordingly. You can follow the standard essay structure (and introduction, a body, and a conclusion), but do your best to avoid complicated language and grammar constructions.

Easier say than do, right?

No worries:

Below are the details and instructions on every step to take when writing autobiography.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Your writing process begins with exploring your background and brainstorming all the life experiences you believe might be interesting to a reader. Try recalling memories from all periods and areas of your life and decide which to include in your autobiography.

What can help:

1) Talk with parents, grandparents, cousins, and old friends, asking them to help you remember details of significant events.

2) Also, you can ask each family member to tell one favorite story from your life: The big chances are they remember some exciting details you can’t recall.

3) Look through family photos, letters, and emails. Plus, if you keep a diary – fantastic! It can become the best source to recall emotions you experienced back then.

4) Answer these questions:

  • What are your most significant achievements?
  • Can you remember your biggest failures?
  • Any lessons learned from it?
  • Can you name the best and worst moments in your life?
  • What events have changed your life?
  • How have you changed?
  • Are there any people or places that shaped and impacted your life?

To make autobiography brainstorming easier, you can use checklists like these:

Source: Writing Beginner

5) When brainstorming facts and events for your autobiography, think of how you will answer the 5 W’s: who, where, what, when, and why. “How?” is good to consider too.

Once ready, it’s time for the second step:

Step 2: Choose a core idea

When people write autobiographies, they build the whole narration around one central idea. This idea dominates in text, unifying the entire life story throughout the autobiography. So, after you’ve explored your background, it’s time to choose a core idea for your autobiography essay.

In essay writing, we call it a thesis statement.

A few ways to pick a central thesis for your autobiography exist:

  1. You can choose a personality trait that you believe makes you awesome. Maybe you’re great at math or time management, for example. Why not make this fact a basement of your story?
  2. What is your life philosophy? You can show values throughout the autobiography essay, inspiring readers and serving as an example for them.
  3. Think of the most significant concept to you in life: love, family, friendship, wealth, freedom – you choose. Use one as a core idea of your autobiography, referring to it through every event you’ll mention in your essay.

What also matters is the format you choose for representing the core idea in your autobiography. It can help you be more creative and persuade readers to support you or agree with you.

Choose an autobiography format

Often, a question on how to write an autobiography essay appears when students don’t know or don’t understand what writing format to choose for their work.

Unless a teacher or an admission officer noted otherwise, consider formatting it as a standard essay, focusing on a specific moment or theme in your life. Feel free to use dialogues and imagery like in online magazines and blogs.

And yet, if you plan your work to stand out from others, you might want to try some alternative formats:

  • traditional autobiography that covers the events from your birth to the present.
  • memoir that limits the information, focusing on particular moments related to one theme.
  • Vignettes that cover one event at a time, formatting them as short chapters. In essays, you can structure events as subheads.
  • script that represents your story through dialogue, like in theater or film.
  • graphic novel that tells your story via images, like in comics or cartoons. It looks more like a visual essay where you use original pictures instead of words to complete your writing assignment.

Step 3: Write an autobiography essay

  • Create an autobiographical outline

Regardless of the format you choose, an autobiographical outline is a must to craft so you would keep a writing process organized.

Think of it as a standard essay outline:

Order the sections into an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

Now, organize the body into sections, from medium to high interest from your brainstorm template; they can be five or more: events, people, challenges, successes, life lessons, and others.

After that, organize the ideas of each section, also ordering them from medium to high interest. For example, when writing about significant people in your life, decide whom you will tell about first, second, etc.

Your story arc is the most critical component of how to write an autobiography. Do your best to organize a narrative around the core idea from your brainstorm so that your story would engage readers from beginning to end.

Now you have everything to start writing the draft of your autobiography essay. It may seem too long at first, but no worries: you’ll have time to refine it later.

For some students, the most challenging part is to choose a start sentence for their autobiography. Here go a few examples to consider:

  • Of all the experiences in my life, this one was the most…
  • It wasn’t even a…
  • I first…
  • My name is…
  • I’ve been a…
  • It all started when…
  • Growing up in…
  • I was born…

None of them is a copybook maxim for you to follow. Depending on your autobiography format, you can start your story from a different angle.

Once you finish the draft, please take a little break (a few days off) to check it with the freshest possible perspective later.

Proofreading is not about looking for typos and grammar mistakes only. You should also identify weak moments in your story and decide on improvements.

When proofreading and editing, you may want to change the sections’ order, make your writing more dynamic, or add a plot twist for your autobiography to become even more exciting for readers. Don’t hesitate to ask a friend or a family member to read your draft and help you spot mistakes or plot gaps.

Or, you can ask a professional editor to help you. Choose those with experience in editing autobiographies or memoirs, and they’ll assist with polishing your writing as best as possible.

Practical Tips on Writing Autobiography

The below tips will help you write autobiographies that are memorable and stand out from the crowd.

1) Choose a person

As far as autobiographies are personal stories to tell, most authors write them in the first person, using “I,” “my,” and “we” pronouns. Like this:

However, you can choose to write autobiography in the second or the third person:

The second person uses the “you” pronoun, referring to a reader. It’s how you can put the reader in your place, but it’s challenging to maintain throughout the whole story.

The third person users “he” and “she,” referring to your autobiography’s characters, including yourself. Here you act like an outside observer who’s telling your story.

2) Choose your story’s tense

Most autobiographies use past tense as they recall events that already happened. And yet, present tense can also be an option if you want your work to look more stylish and create a sense of immediacy for readers.

But whatever tense you choose, it’s critical to maintain it throughout the whole essay. Remember about the sequence of tenses from grammar lessons? 🙂

3) Hook readers from the very beginning

As you know from the tips on essay hooks, it’s critical to engage readers from the very beginning of your story. You need to convince them that your writing is distinctive and worth their time.

So, play upon their nostalgia or curiosity so they wouldn’t help but continue reading to find out what your story is about. Palmary examples of the best opening lines come from fiction books; why not consider some for inspiration?

4) Keep it simple

This tip is convenient for those writing an autobiography essay in college. Admission officers know about your birth, grades, and academic achievements from other documents; so do your best to give them something new.

In your autobiography, avoid clichés and pompous language as well as trivial information. Keep it simple and use a writing style that goes with your personality. Be honest, and start and finish your work in an engaging, friendly way.

5) Add details and “alive” characters

When authors write autobiographies, they want readers to feel the atmosphere and relate to it. That is why details matter here.

It doesn’t mean that you have to write a super long autobiography to mention everything (literally!). It means that you should try to describe your story so that a reader could “see,” “smell,” and “feel” it.

Sensory words can be your writing instrument here:

Sensory words are descriptive lexical items that trigger corresponding associations in the human brain, making us see, hear, smell, taste, or feel your writing.


Image courtesy: Henneke Duistermaat

Plus, if you’re not the only character in your autobiography and tell about significant people of your life, introduce them to your audience. Describe them and add some dialogues to give them a voice for readers to understand them and their role better.

Speaking about real people, ask for permission to mention them in your work. Or, you can use fake names when writing about them.

Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Autobiography

And now, here go your five don’ts of writing an autobiography essay:

  1. Don’t stuff it with inessential details. Make it sound genuine and exciting to read.
  2. Don’t make it too long. Try to stay within a prescribed word count or stick to an essay average word count range.
  3. Don’t miss important details. Ensure you avoid significant gaps in your narration.
  4. Don’t mention any personal or embarrassing information about the characters of your autobiography essay. When writing about relatives or friends, let them know what you’re going to tell about them.
  5. Don’t forget about word choice, grammar, punctuation, and the overall style of your essay. These details affect the meaning and the impression your work will make on others.

Further Reading

The best way to learn how to write an autobiography is to read a lot. Reading others’ works will give you an idea of what this genre looks like and how to structure your autobiography essay or book.

Here are a few examples of autobiographical books you might want to read (apart from those already mentioned in this article):

  • My Autobiography, by Charlie Chaplin
  • The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Book by Maya Angelou
  • Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography, by Mark Twain
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

For more tips on how to write an autobiographical essay, these resources are worth checking:

Any questions left? Feel free to ask in the comments or get professional help from our writers.

9 Tips For Writing Your Autobiography

7. Keep it interesting.

After you have written out a particular scene or event, go back and read what you wrote aloud. Check for any awkward phrasing or sentences that are bogged down with too many details. Your story should move the reader smoothly from one scene to the next.

Cutting out unnecessary words and overly long sentences can help your writing flow without being interrupted.

Your writing should be descriptive. The best way to do this is to “paint a mental picture” with your words. For example, simply stating that Uncle Joe smelled bad after being sprayed by a skunk is not as interesting as describing everyone’s reaction to Uncle Joe when he walked into the room.

8. Use writing tools.

If you find that you’re struggling, autobiography templates can help you get started. Available in books and online (including on some genealogy websites), these tools present you with a series of questions about your life. You simply answer them, and the templates arrange your answers into story form.

A good dictionary, thesaurus, and word processing program are also indispensable tools when writing an autobiography. But don’t use big or complicated words in an attempt to impress your readers – instead, choose language that best helps you tell your story.

9. Edit your work.

Editing and improving your work can be a difficult process, even for a professional writer. Consider having friends and family read a draft – their suggestions could help you finish your autobiography more easily. And they may find spelling and grammar mistakes that you’ve missed.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to make their suggested changes – as the author, you have the final say.

Before you consider the work finished, you may want to set it aside for a few weeks, then read it with fresh eyes. Does it say everything you want to say? Is it missing important events, or are there stories you still want to recount?

At the same time, don’t fall under the spell of perfectionism. Your autobiography doesn’t have to be the greatest book ever written for your friends and family to enjoy reading it. They want to know what really happened in your life!

Writing your autobiography can be an enlightening and enjoyable process. By following a structured plan and working to keep your focus and motivation, your life story may soon be a reality that will be treasured by your loved ones for generations to come.

Structure, Tips, and Example Analyzed

What Is an Autobiography?

An autobiography is a form of narration written by a writer about his or her own life. An autobiographical writing serves different purposes, and its main goal depends on the type of writing. There are four major types of autobiographical writing.

1. Autobiography

The autobiography is the longest and the fullest story about yourself. You can write it for your personal use in order to structure and perpetuate your memories. If you are sure that your life will be an interesting theme to read about, you may create an autobiography for the wider public. An autobiography covers the period from the day of your birth until today. If you think that your life journey will be a good example for others, include the information on how you have achieved your goals and success and how you got your autobiography published.

2. Memoir

If you are not sure that your whole life path is worth attention, then a memoir is your best choice. It is focused on one particular event, relationship, place, or period of your life that has influenced your personality a lot. Don’t be afraid to express your personal feelings and ideas in your memoir, as it shouldn’t be simply a brief list of facts, but the reflection of your inner world.

3. Autobiographical essay for college

The aim of such an essay is obvious: you need it to convince admissions officers to accept you into college. As a rule, there is a word limit specified in the instruction for applicants. Don’t confuse an autobiographical essay with your CV or resume! They have totally different structure and formatting. In addition, the essay is aimed at portraying you as a personality, not as a professional.

4. Personal essay

This is an extremely emotional and intimate type of writing. You share a personal experience with your readers in a detailed manner. Your audience should have an opportunity to see the event or person that you’ve written about through your eyes and understand your feelings. Any personal essay has two main aspects: the description of a particular situation and how it has influenced your worldview and life. Generally, the personal essay is the shortest form of autobiographical writing, along with the essay for college.

In our guide on how to write an autobiography, we will talk more about a personal or autobiographical essay. However, we will not miss a chance to share a few awesome tips about other types of autobiographical writing. Plus, you’re always free to use our instructions for any type of autobiography, as they can be helpful for any piece of writing.

How to Structure an Autobiography

The structure of your autobiographical writing depends on the type you’ve chosen to create. In our guide on how to write an autobiography, we’ll focus on the basic principles of structuring the autobiographical essay.


You may wonder how to start an autobiography introduction. The answer is simple: the same way you start other essays’ introductions. The main purpose of the introductory paragraph is to grab the reader’s attention and present the idea and theme of your writing. Don’t make the first paragraph too long: between one and three sentences are enough to compose a regular introduction. Try to provide readers with a general portrait of yourself, so they will know more about the main “hero.” Mention your age, significant personal qualities, and principles of worldview. You can also add some details about your appearance in order to make your story more vivid.

Main body

The main body includes the biggest amount of information. It is 80-90% of the whole text. There are no strict requirements, but you should not forget to use a logical sequence and correct wording. You can use the classic five-paragraph structure for your autobiographical essay if your ideas fit it. Anyway, you have to divide your writing into separated paragraphs to increase the readability of your essay. You should also create a logical connection between paragraphs. In this manner, readers will easily follow your thoughts.


Now, it’s time to think on how to conclude an autobiography. Your conclusion has to be strong and impressive. Mention what lessons you’ve learned and what changes in your life you’ve witnessed thanks to the described episode of your life. Even if this event has had negative consequences, you shouldn’t hide anything. Bad experiences are also useful for personal development. As Theodore Roosevelt once said: “The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.”

We’ve provided you with general information on how to start and how to end an autobiography. Let’s move on to the detailed guide about essay writing steps.

How to Write an Autobiography Step by Step

If you need a simple and brief instruction on how to write an autobiography, you’ve already found it! The next time you get such an assignment in your English class, don’t worry – just check out this step-by-step guideline.

1. Read a well-known autobiography.

You are not the first person who wants to write about his or her life. Many famous writers, artists, politicians, and businessmen create autobiographies to share their wisdom and experience with a wide audience. Find the autobiography that belongs to the author whose personality inspires you and read it in order to get a basic understanding of autobiographical writing.

2. Think over your life.

Remember every significant event, unusual experience, or important person in your life. That might take a considerable amount of time, as we think that your life has been interesting enough, and you have many worthy moments. If you want to write about your childhood, you’d better apply to the “experts” – your parents. Perhaps you did something outstanding and awesome when you were a child.

3. Make a list.

This is the most satisfying part of writing an autobiography if you like making lists. On the other hand, it can be quite boring for those who hate lists. Everything depends on your personal tastes. We highly recommend you to divide all memories into categories. You will be able to structure your thoughts in a more logical manner.

4. Pick one point from your list.

Remember that you should not write your full autobiography. You have to choose one event, one place, or one person you’d like to write about. This can be quite challenging, especially if you are an adult who has an active social life. Try to be objective and choose a theme that will be interesting for readers, not only for you.

5. Brainstorm ideas.

When you have a particular topic, it is the right moment to think over a few amazing ideas for your autobiography. Here is a list of questions that will help you to focus on certain aspects:

  • What was the best (or the worst) thing about an event or person you want to tell about?
  • What details are worth readers’ attention?
  • What mood do you want to share?
  • What feelings do you want to awaken?
  • What has changed after this event or meeting?
  • What lessons have you learned?
  • Why was this moment important for you?
  • What general idea can be related to this particular case?
  • Why have you decided to choose this event to share with your readers?
  • Why have you decided to write your autobiography now, at this moment of your life?

6. Provide an outline (above).

Planning is a crucial part of any writing process. If you need a detailed instruction on how to write an autobiography outline, you should read the section about autobiographical essay structure above if you haven’t yet. There, we explained what you should include in each part of your essay. You can make your outline in the form of a list, scheme, table, or pyramid.

7. Create a draft.

Make your first draft as perfect as possible. There is no reason to correct mistakes later if you can avoid them in the first place. On the other hand, this is just your first attempt, so don’t be too demanding. Good ideas will come sooner or later. Take your time and enjoy the process of writing!

8. Proofread your writing.

You should check your autobiographical essay for mistakes in spelling, grammar, verb tense, style, punctuation, word forms, etc. No matter how emotional or exciting your writing is, your readers will stop reading as soon as they notice the first grammatical mistake. An illiterate author cannot win the trust of the audience, so you should take this step very seriously.

9. Get feedback.

Before you present your writing to the public, ask your parents, siblings, or friends to give you feedback. Maybe, they’ll notice a few mistakes that you missed or give you advice on how to improve the content. A fresh perspective never hurts.

10. Write the final copy.

After you proofread your essay and get feedback, you’ll be able to create the final draft of your writing. Take into account all recommendations that you have received from your proofreaders, and bring your essay to perfection!

You work is accomplished! We are sure that you will succeed on the first try if you use the list of helpful tips for autobiography writing provided by our experienced writers. We’ve gathered tips that will turn your writing into a real masterpiece.

How to Write a Good Autobiography: Helpful Tips

  • Catch attention from the very beginning.

Your readers won’t be interested in reading the whole text of your autobiography if you don’t provide a good impression in the introduction. Convince your audience that your story is unique, original, and is worth their time. If you are going to write about an episode from your childhood, use a feeling of nostalgia to create a tight connection between readers and your own memories. Remember that all people are the same to some extent. We live through similar experiences every day, so you should use these similarities to make your writing attractive for the general public.

  • Don’t expand your resume.

This tip is extremely useful when it comes to writing an autobiographical essay for college. Admission officers know everything about your grades and academic achievements. In your essay, they’ll look for information of another kind. You have to present your personality and to prove that you deserve to become a part of the college community.

If you want your readers to feel the atmosphere of your writing, vivid details should be an indispensable part of your essay. Let your audience see, smell, touch, and feel the world of your story. Create a full picture of your personal universe and let your readers be your guests!

  • Make your characters feel alive.

If you are not the only character in your story, introduce your characters to your audience. Describe them at least in a few words and add some dialogues to give them personal voices. If your characters represent real people, ask for permission or use fake names.

  • Create a connection with a general idea.

The episode of your life described in an autobiographical essay should exemplify a certain general idea. All of us like good stories, but readers should see a deeper meaning behind your narration.

This is a crucial aspect for any kind of storytelling. Decide what verb tense you will use before you start writing, and stay consistent throughout the text. You can use both past tense or present tense to write about past events. However, don’t change the manner of writing in the middle of your essay!
Use first-person narration.

This is your autobiographical essay, and you write about your own life. Use the words “I,” “my,” and “me” without hesitation. An autobiography differs from academic writing, where you will avoid personification. When you write a personal essay, readers should hear your personal voice, as it is your primordial purpose!

How to Write an Autobiography: Example Analyzed

Below, you’ll find an example of an autobiography provided by one of our experienced writers. You are welcome to use it as a template for your own autobiography. Although you can borrow some ideas about proper structure and writing style, you can’t copy our sample without citing it properly. Please, don’t commit plagiarism! We believe that you are able to create an autobiography that will be no worse than our autobiography example for high school students.

Click the images to see their full size.


Mistakes to Avoid While Autobiography Writing

Many people cannot resist the temptation to tell as much as they can, but a longer piece of writing doesn’t always equal a better piece of writing. For whatever reason you are writing the autobiography, think of the person who is going to read it. Imagine you were an admission officer or the judge in the scholarship committee, and you have to choose from hundreds, if not thousands, of autobiographies. At some point you will hate people who prefer to write long admission essays and autobiographies. There’s also a good way to check whether your writing is interesting or not. Give it to one of your most impatient friends, who prefers short articles to books and long stories, and ask for their opinion.

“I was born in 19XX year, I entered school N…” Would you read that if you had a choice? Most likely not, especially if you already have read a dozen biographies which star with the same phrase. Yes, an autobiography is a formal piece of writing. But here, it rather means that you are not allowed to use slang and colloquial language, instead of following a specific pattern of writing.

  • Don’t turn it into your personal diary

Yes, you have to be precisely honest and quite revealing and candid to write a successful autobiography. And obviously, you need to describe some hardships of your life to show how you coped with that or how it influenced you. However, we strongly advise you to describe the thing that you feel rather calm about when writing. For example, you are writing about other students picking and making fun of you at high school. If you still feel like wanting to kill them all, it would be better to avoid this topic or mention it slightly. Why so? Because your feelings will leak into the writing and make your reader feel subconsciously uncomfortable.

How to Choose Autobiography Topics

We hope that you now have a general idea on how to write an autobiography, because now it’s time to choose a topic. But shouldn’t you and your life be the topic of an autobiography? Well, in general, yes. There are, however, also a lot of tiny nuances.

  • Make it focused. The purpose of any autobiography, excluding the one written for your personal diary, is to promote you and advertise your awesome personality. Find out what is appreciated the most in the institution you are applying to and focus on these traits in your character.
  • Choose one or two aspects of your personality. We believe that you are an amazing person and even a book wouldn’t be enough to tell your story, but in an autobiography, it’s better to tell a short and meaningful story than try to describe everything that has ever happened in your life.
  • Drawbacks. Think of an autobiography a great outfit: you need everything to match. For example, if you were saying that you are persistent and purposeful, pick a matching drawback and show how you overcame it due to your good character traits.
  • Find out what is in trend. Yes, this may sound a little bit weird, but try to keep up with massive worldwide trends. Is it popular now to be creative and daring? Show how creative and daring you are.

Many people who have something to tell, have an experience, or have the knowledge and vision “as it should be. ” What if you decided to write your own book and it’s not a novel about love and adventures? To become a good writer or to write an interesting book is not an easy task. Unfortunately, this won’t totally depend on hard work, diligence and regular training: you can sit with a laptop, paper, pen or voice recorder at least eight hours every day – and still, you will get something dull and colorless that nobody wants to read. Not always does the desire to write a book match the capabilities and talent. But making effort and progress is still necessary. Anyone who wants to write their first book, should read and write, try different styles and genres, and listen to the world around. The main thing is to throw into trash away all “must” and “deserving / not deserving of attention,” ideas which aspiring authors often suffer from. Here are an autobiography topics list and autobiography examples which can help you.

If you have thoughts about writing an autobiography, you should start your way reading autobiographies of different people all over the world and get inspired. In our humble opinion, the following list consists of autobiographies that are worth reading.

Books for Inspiration

  • “Childhood, Boyhood, Youth” by Leo Tolstoy (1852-1857)
  • “A Moveable Feast” by Ernest Hemingway (1964)
  • “My Autobiography” by Charlie Chaplin (1964)
  • “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
  • “A Street Cat Named Bob” by James Bowen (2010)
  • “Gretzky: From the Backyard Rink to the Stanley Cup” by Walter Gretzky (1985)
  • “My Game” by Booby Orr (1974)
  • “I Can Jump Puddles” by Alan Marshall (1955)
  • “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell (1956)
  • “De Profundis” by Oscar Wild (1897)
  • “An Autobiography” by Agatha Christie (1965)
  • “The Summing Up” by W. Somerset Maugham (1938)
  • “Three Singles to Adventure (Three Tickets to Adventure)” by Gerald Durrell (1954)
  • “Walden; or, Life in the Woods” by Henry D. Thoreau (1854)
  • “The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge” by Carlos Castaneda (1968)
  • “Orlando: A Biography” by Virginia Wolf (1928)
  • “The Hero” by Rhonda Byrne (2006)
  • “The Beatles (the Authorized Biography)” by Hunter Davies (1968)
  • “My Life in France” by Julia Child (2006)
  • “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values” by Robert M. Pirsig (1974)
  • “The Tender Bar” by J.R. Moehringer (2005)
  • “Ham On Rye” by Charles Bukovwski (1982
  • “Girl, Interrupted” by Susanna Kaysen (1993)
  • “The Long Hard Road Out of Hell” by Marilyn Manson (1998)
  • “Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy” by Frances Mayes (1996)
  • “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
  • “The Man Without Qualities” by Robert Musil (1930-1943)

When you are done with reading and have reached an inspiring mood, you can try to write. Then comes the question on how to organize time wisely and your text, in order to present it in the best way possible. Such questions you may face while writing and after the first draft is finished. We have worked hard and found for you some sources that will be helpful while writing an autobiography.

Sources to Use in Autobiography

Useful information about autobiography writing, tips and steps. “How to Write an Autobiography and Make the Best-seller List.” Published February 16, 2014, in https://blog.udemy.com/how-to-write-an-autobiography-2/

David Douglas Ford is an author of great books that share his experience and knowledge about writing on this blog: http://daviddouglasford.com

How do you write an autobiography? How do you start? You will find the answers in “Lifetime Memories and Stories.” Published 2009, in http://www.lifetimememoriesandstories.com/ebooks/WritingAnAutobiography.pdf

Lots of information about writing an autobiography, a list of topics for inspiration and advice on how to choose more appropriate. http://www.scanyourentirelife.com/how-write-a-autobiography-vs-memoir-difference-life-story-secret-tips/

You can buy a workbook “Memorygrabber” that will help you to write your own life story without problems, as it asks all important questions that you or your relative can answer. http://www.familyhistoryproducts.com/memorygrabber-cb.html?hop=tomgilbert

It’s not only a how-to manual, but also an inspiring book for newbie writers. “Zen in the Art of Writing: Releasing the Creative Genius Within You” by Ray Bradbury (1987)

Read about the experiences of the famous writer and take into account his advice for aspiring writers. “On Writing” by Stephen King (2000)

Here you can find important information for any kind of creative work and avoid problems that it may cause. “The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle” by Steven Pressfield (2002)

Detailed tips that will help you turn facts into fiction by Helena Halme. http://selfpublishingadvice. org/writing-how-to-turn-your-life-into-a-novel/

The article tells about different types of bios and gives advice on every kind of autobiography. http://bettymingliu.com/2014/08/how-to-write-a-bio/

If you have already written your autobiography and want to publish it and sell it, read this article with practical advice. http://goodinaroom.com/blog/autobiography-sell-a-movie-or-book-based-on-your-life-story/

Read the tips from Stanley Fish on how to write sentences and organize writing in a right way. He presents the language as cultural organism and gives a manual to the art of language. “How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One” by Stanley Fish.

This book may be called a treasure in your home library, as it’s a collection of wisdom from famous writers. “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life” by Anne Lamott.

Discover the peculiarities of grammar while writing a book and the importance of style in your writing. “The Elements of Style. Illustrated.” by Maira Kalman.

The success of a good autobiography and any book – comes from the ability of the author to show readers the story from the “outside”, and make the reader feel in your place, “in your shoes.” Everyone does not care about your difficult childhood, or your parents’ divorce, or the fact that in school you were a fat and ugly kid with glasses. But if the difficulties experienced by you will be displayed so that the reader learns some lessons for himself – this would qualify as a good book.

How you can see that, writing an autobiography is not a piece of cake. You should plan your time, read and get inspired from books, and search for information about writing styles and grammar. Don’t forget to figure out your final destination and why you need to write an autobiography. All of thus titanic-sized work will end with a great treasure – your own autobiography. Hopefully, our information will help you on this interesting but hard path. So, pick a pen or open your laptop and start your masterpiece. We wish you lots of inspiration and easy writing!

We hope that our guide on how to write an autobiography has clarified all nuances of the writing process for you. Being a character of your own narration may seem confusing at first sight. However, thinking about your past may help you to deal with your current problems and look at your future from a different angle.

We are always ready to help you with any kind of writing! Don’t hesitate to check out other guides and improve your writing skills with AnswerShark.com!

Maybe you have a better idea on how to write a good autobiography? Share your insights at the comment section below.

Write an Autobiography – LEARN

Write an Autobiography – LEARN

LEARN How-Tos Write an Autobiography

Write an Autobiography

What is an autobiography?

An autobiography is a story that you can tell about your own life. It is written to retell interesting or important events from your life, from your point of view. An autobiography is meant to provide insights into your feelings and reactions. It can include interactions between you and the people who are significant in your life. An autobiography can inform or entertain or both. You can write your autobiography as a narrative or you can use various multimedia tools to tell your story, such as a website, a video, or even a collage.

A memoir is another term for autobiography.

Watch this:


An autobiography is usually written to hold memories, to keep the past alive, to work through personal problems or to better understand one’s life. Autobiographies use a narrative structure to tell what happened.


Choose a part of your life you want to highlight. To make your choice, ask yourself:

  • What event from your past stands out most in your mind?
  • Is there anything important in your life that is recurring and that you love (ex. : playing a sport, making art, dancing)?
  • Are there any people who have had an impact on your life?
  • What makes you who you are?
  • Is there a special photograph that captures a part of your life?


Make a list of as many important events or people you can think of! It will make it easier to see a pattern

Brainstorm all the details of your chosen event. Use a brainstorming tool to write down all the pieces of your autobiography in point form or as short notes. This is not the time to expand on your ideas, just get them on paper.

  • What happened?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • Who was there with you?
  • How did you feel about what happened?
  • What was your reaction to what happened – what did you do or say?
  • Why is this event important to understand who you are?


Planning tools to help you

Use your brainstorm or planning document to write your autobiography. You can write your autobiography as a text, or you can use other formats, such as a comic book to tell your story.

Remember to:

  • Write in the first person
  • Introduce yourself in the first paragraph
  • Give details as to time and place
  • Use descriptive language
  • Express your thoughts and feelings
  • Choose an image or series of images for your autobiography – the image should have something to do with what you wrote about, or can be a portrait of you in any medium (photo, drawing, caricature, etc). Insert your image into your autobiography, paying special attention to placement and caption.


Sample autobiographies to inspire you

Review your autobiography, or have someone else review it (peer-review). Make sure they use a review tool to track their comments and suggestions.

When you review your own work, look for the following:

  • Is the autobiography written using first person narration? (ex. : “I was walking home from the bus when I saw…”)
  • Does the first paragraph introduce the author of the autobiography (you)?
  • Is there enough background information to set the time and place of the autobiography?
  • Did you use descriptive language to express your thoughts,feelings or opinions?
  • Are there enough details to make the autobiography interesting?


Review tools to help you

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Questions, Principles, & What to Include

3 min

When you are assigned an autobiography to write, tens, and even hundreds of questions buzzing in your head. How to start your life story? What to include? How to make your memoir flow? Don’t worry about all this and use the following three simple principles and 15 easy questions for writing a life story that truly deserves a high grade.

And don’t forget to bookmark Custom-writing.org, here you’ll find tons of study advice and superior writing help.

❗ 3 Main Principles of Writing an Autobiography

First and foremost, you should remember that an autobiography (also called a memoir) is a story about your own life. If you write the life story of another person, that is called a biography.

You will quickly write a winning autobiography if you follow these three simple principles:

❓ 15 Questions for Writing an Autobiography

Even when you use the 3 above-discussed principles, you might still stumble in the middle of your autobiography. Your inspiration can betray you after you start writing a memoir. But the following 15 questions won’t let you down. This list will help you generate brilliant ideas for your autobiographies whenever you need them:

  1. What famous quote can describe your life?

  2. Which 3 adjectives can be used to describe you as a person?

  3. Who influenced your personal development?

  4. What are your best and worst childhood memories?

  5. What is your family social and ethnic background?

  6. What are your relations with parents and other relatives?

  7. What are your main achievements in life?

  8. What are the weaknesses that you would like to get rid of?

  9. What are your goals for the future?

  10. What places would you like to visit and why?

  11. What skills would you like to develop and why?

  12. What was the most memorable day in your life?

  13. What was the most important lesson you have ever learned in your life?

  14. What are the most important values in life, in your opinion?

  15. Which fault would you never forgive others or yourself?

If you are a student, your life story might not be that long. However, these 15 questions will guide you in writing an autobiography that you can be proud of and the 3 simple principles discussed above will help you make your memoir flawless.

🤗 What to Include in an Autobiography?

  1. Explore your background. Try to recall how a biography of a prominent person usually starts. It always opens with their parents’ or even grandparents’ achievements or vices. Rather than beginning the autobiography with your date of birth, dedicate a paragraph to your ancestors. Providing background information will put your life into a complete picture. The following questions will help you decide which events prior to your birth are worth attention.

  1. Pick out your childhood memories. This is the most touching paragraph of your piece of writing. Even though your childhood may seem ordinary, the following template questions will guide you in the right direction. Something in your life will always be unique for everybody else.

  1. Research your culture. Your family traditions are unique. In the modern world, every family is free to observe or ignore some customs. Special moments are what we recall many years later. Sometimes they are formed spontaneously, but most of them are created by our family, friends, and relatives.

🔗 References

  1. Autobiography | Definition, History, Types, Examples, & Facts. Britannica
  2. What Is an Autobiography? (And How to Write Yours) – ThoughtCo
  3. The Autobiography of a Student – jstor
  4. THE STUDENT AUTOBIOGRAPHY: structured or unstructured? Wiley Online Library
  5. 5 Ways to Write an Autobiography – wikiHow

How to Write an Autobiography

“Autobiography” is a word that might confuse some people. Biography means the story of someone’s life. “Auto” means about oneself: so the word means the life story of the person writing the life story. Only one person can write an autobiography: the person whose story is being told.

Writing your own life story is a difficult task, and is usually left for the latter part of one’s life, when a substantial term of living has been completed, and there is a long story to tell.

There must always be a reason to write an autobiography: these are stories not usually attempted by people who live ordinary, mundane lives. In general, people who have suffered some unusual misadventure or trauma, people who have achieved greatness, or people who have committed outstanding mistakes or endured extreme hardships have stories valid enough for an autobiography.

There is no set pattern or plan to writing an autobiography: the story can take any form, as long as it is written expressively and in an informative or entertaining way.

Steps for Writing an Autobiography

The most accepted format for an autobiography is chronological. This means writing the life story in the order in which it happened. One starts with a bit of background of parents and family, and proceeds from the time of one’s birth.

  1. Consider your whole life. Think about how you have lived it. Try to remember the important times, and the achievements and adventures or mishaps that shaped it.
  2. Make a list of all the events, incidents, and accidents that you would like to mention. Make a list of people who were—or still are—involved in your life. Add substance to the list by writing a brief description of each person, event, accident, misfortune, lucky strike, and occasion you can remember. A plan must be created from the result of this summary.
  3. Hold meetings with relatives and friends, who can remind you of events and people you might have forgotten.
  4. Gather as much information as you can in the way of photographs, letters, paintings, mementos, souvenirs, personal belongings, recordings, and other audio, visual, or personal material. These make for useful memory triggers, and will elicit stories.
  5. Reserve a long time to cover all the talking, listening, and reading you might have to do to put together an account of your whole life. Although you know it well yourself, the aim is to make your knowledge and interpretation sound fresh and interesting to those who will read it.
  6. Take plenty of notes and start to draft the story using a fresh perspective for the anecdotes and narratives you have gathered.
  7. As with other writing, it is always wise to draft the introduction and first chapter last. This method provides the opportunity to introduce your work in an appropriate way, and devise an absorbing and well-written autobiography.

Key Points to Consider

  • An autobiography is a personal document to write. The motivation behind it might be to leave your story to your descendants, to entertain your family, or to put on record some unusual achievement or escapade.
  • It takes months, if not years, to put a whole life into words. It also takes a lot of careful thought and cautious deliberation. Telling the story as it happened might be the easiest way, but it is also possible to work in flashbacks or vignettes.
  • Places, people, and time are all important to get right in an autobiography. There are also opinions, attitudes, feelings, decisions, and resolutions that might be difficult to write about without becoming overly emotional. Taking an occasional break might relieve stress.
  • An autobiography cannot avoid the mention of family members and friends. No one lives a life of complete isolation. It is vital to ask permission to mention incidents, events, cases, and procedures that involve others.
  • It is inevitable that someone is hurt, insulted, or offended by the content you write. Try to lessen the impact of what you write in two ways: by making the person aware of what you are writing and how you are framing the context and connections; and the second way is by using the most diplomatic and tactful explanatory language you can.
  • Use your genealogical information to depict your life accurately in the context of who your family and antecedents were, the locations in which they originated, and information about their lives—since without them, you would not have a story to write.

Do and Don’t


  • Do research the periods of your youth and childhood. Some interesting events might have occurred that need clarification and checking. The best people to ask are relatives and friends, but neighbors, town and village people, classmates, playmates, and teammates all make for sound sources as well.
  • Do make connections with well-known events that took place around the significant stages of your life: for example, mentions of inventions or discoveries made during your childhood.
  • Do use a style that goes with your personality. If you are a casual, down-to-earth person, avoid a stilted pompous style. If you are precise and studious individual, avoid a boisterous or overly jovial style.
  • Do summon all your thoughtfulness, enthusiasm, watchful concern, and recollection for this reminiscent but significant task.
  • Do save your work and back up your data.
  • Do start and finish in an engaging, friendly way, without being too self-absorbed or narcissistic.

  • Don’t pad your writing with insubstantial details. Your life story must sound genuine, original, and interesting to the reader.
  • Don’t include personal or embarrassing details about other people. Relatives and friends have the right to know when they are mentioned; and the context of their inclusion. The life story is yours, but some shared experiences might make for a touchy subject.
  • Don’t use overly formal language, but don’t use clichés or hackneyed phrases either.
  • Don’t leave out significant details.
  • Don’t leave out big gaps in the narrative.
  • Don’t neglect the fact that punctuation, grammar, syntax, and word choice are just as important as when you are writing a true story in other styles of writing. These technical aspects affect meaning, and you must impress readers with narrative style and descriptive skills.

Common Mistakes

  • Not allowing enough time to remember all your childhood and incidents that happened in your youth. It might be too late to make additions. Talking to relatives is vital.
  • Repetition—if others in your family have written autobiographies, it is inevitable that you will relate similar stories about the same events. Try to make yours as original as possible.
  • Lack of focus. This story is all about you. People rarely live totally isolated lives—but the focus is your life and how you lived it.
  • Forgetting the importance of the task. This piece of work might live on much longer than you will. Your family might regard it with suspicion, or with great delight. To make sure it is a story everyone enjoys, you must work hard to get it right and make it pleasant.
  • Lack of analysis. Even the story of someone’s life needs some sort of reflection about how it relates to the world and environment in which it is lived. Try to make the context unusual, thought provoking, and unforgettable.

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Samples for Writing an Autobiography

Trevor Higgins: Book Illustrator (excerpt)

My name is Trevor Higgins. Though Higgins may now sound like an English surname, its origins go back to 6th century Ireland, and a half-mythical figure of Uiginn, or Niall of Tara, who is believed to have been a Viking.

I was born 30 years ago, on May …

Helen Keller’s Autobiography-Chapter 11 (excerpt)

I cannot recall what happened during the first months after my illness—I only know that I sat in my mother’s lap or clung to her dress as she went about her household duties. My hands felt every object and observed every motion, and in this way, I learne…

Everything is Within: The Search for What is Already There (excerpt)

Chapter 1: This Life, or the Past One?

Before I jump into my current life, let’s take a presupposed glance at what my previous life could of bee…

90,000 How to write an autobiography correctly – writing example, sample

Basic rules for writing an autobiography

We have prepared an example of writing an autobiography and placed it below in the text. It should be said right away that there are no serious, and even more so, legislative requirements for writing autobiographies – it must be compiled in accordance with the general requirements for writing business letters, which we will also discuss below.

Here are the main points to pay attention to when writing an autobiography:

  1. Your autobiography should not be too long. Try to be concise. The maximum amount of writing should not be more than 1-2 sheets of text. As practice shows, long “essays” will not help you open up in the eyes of the reader – they are more likely to produce the opposite effect.
  2. Written should not contain errors, the general form of presentation is business style.When reviewing your autobiography, the reader will pay attention not so much to what is written, but to how it is done. For this reason, speaking well will give you “extra points.”
  3. All events described by you should be presented in chronological order, logically and sequentially. That is, you cannot immediately after the story about the school go to work, skipping other educational institutions, or first talk about the place of work, and then mention the education received.
  4. The information about you stated in your autobiography must be genuine. The inclusion of erroneous or inaccurate information can interfere with getting the desired job (or achieve another goal) and create a poor business reputation.

Sample Autobiography Writing

Sample Autobiography

To make it easier for you to compose your autobiography, here is an example of its writing:

“I, Ivan Ivanov, was born on January 01, 1990 in the city of Vladivostok, Primorsky Territory.In 1997 he entered the secondary school №1. In 2007 he graduated from school with a gold medal. In the same year, he began his studies at the Far Eastern Humanitarian University with a degree in journalism. In 2012 he graduated with honors. From August 2012 to the present day I have been working as a journalist for the Vestnik Vladivostoka newspaper.

Not tried.

Married to Ekaterina Pavlovna Ivanova, born on May 05, 1991. Born in the city of Vladivostok, higher education, works as a lawyer.Lives with me at the address: city of Vladivostok, st. Komsomolskaya, 15, apt. 5.

No children.

Additional information:

Mother: Ivanova Olga Semyonovna, was born on February 02, 1970 in the city of Vladivostok, higher education, works as an accountant. Resides at the address: city of Vladivostok, st. Lenin, 1, apt. 1. Not convicted.

Father: Ivanov Ivan Petrovich, was born on March 03, 1970 in the city of Vladivostok, higher education, works as an engineer.Resides at the address: city of Vladivostok, st. Lenin, 1, apt. 1. We are not judged.

Brother: Ivanov Petr Ivanovich, born on April 04, 1995 in the city of Vladivostok, currently studies at the Far Eastern Medical University with a degree in therapist. Resides at the address: city of Vladivostok, st. Lenin, 1, apt. 1. We are not judged. ”

Any other autobiography is written in the same way, with adaptation for a specific case.For example, if it is necessary for a student to write an autobiography, then the text should focus on academic achievement, participation in additional educational events (Olympiads, competitions, exhibitions). You can also reflect sports activities, talk about achievements in sports.

If we talk about a student’s autobiography, it would be useful to include in the text information about conferences, student competitions, scientific papers that were prepared during the training.If a student is engaged in additional work in his specialty, then this experience needs to be reflected in the autobiography. You can talk about the internship passed, including the production one. For a student, the most important thing is to reflect an active life position, easy learning, as well as a good level of theoretical training. If a student, in addition to studying, goes in for sports, represents his university in competitions, then this information should also be included in the biography.

Autobiography for work

We have already considered the general form of the autobiography above.An autobiography for a job is similar, although there are some differences:

  • An autobiography for applying for a job should reflect the qualities that an employer needs as much as possible. It is on this that the emphasis should be placed – this will not only save the employer’s time for studying the document, but will also advertise you as an applicant;
  • Feel free to describe the projects in which you have participated and which have been successful – experience is always valuable. In addition, such examples demonstrate the flexibility of thinking, the ability to make decisions and take responsibility for them, the ability of the applicant to work in a team;
  • Pay enough attention to reflecting the education received, but do not focus the employer’s main attention on this (unless, of course, you are a young specialist with no work experience, who has nothing to tell about professional success so far).List all the places of your training and qualifications obtained, but do not dwell on the specifics of the training, written works, and so on. The employer is unlikely to be interested in this – and if it does, he himself will ask about it at the interview;
  • immediately reflect your wishes for future work. For example, if you prefer to work on your own, then it is better to say about it right away, without wasting time or breaking yourself, building relationships in a team. Remember that not only are you interested in the job, but the employer is interested in you as well.Feel free to indicate the desired salary and other working conditions that you consider to be fundamental for yourself. Think about the possibility of business trips: are they acceptable to you? It is quite possible that you need a calm schedule, without travel, since you have a small child, so do not hide this initially – this will save time for you and the potential employer;
  • Assess your business qualities by indicating your strengths. If you are sociable, creative, responsible, executive, etc.then why not focus the employer’s attention on such characteristics?

Sample CV for work

Now let’s look at an example of writing an autobiography for a job in this way. It can be like this:

“I, Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, was born on January 1, 1980 … (then write everything according to the same pattern that we gave above, until the moment of employment).

From August 2012 to the present day I work in the newspaper “Vestnik Vladivostoka”. I have written a number of articles that caused a great resonance in society, in particular: “Getting ready for school”, published in the 7th issue of the newspaper on 09/01/2014 and “Defend our native land”, published in the 10th issue of 10/01/2014. During the period of labor activity, the creative team under my supervision developed and implemented a new project “The Answer of a Specialist”, organized for the official website of the newspaper’s editorial office.

Monitoring of project page traffic and comparative analysis of sales for 4 months of the current year with the same period last year allowed us to draw certain conclusions.For example, the implementation of the project increased the popularity of the newspaper among the population and increased its sales by 10%. In addition, thanks to the project, the newspaper took 1st place in the annual competition “Best printed edition of 2014″ and was awarded an honorary prize. ”

This example clearly shows how you can talk about your professional achievements and advertise yourself on the labor market without unnecessary pomp.

It should also be noted that in autobiographies for work, it is customary to reflect not only their skills and achievements, but also the reasons for leaving the last job.At the same time, you can limit yourself to the phrase “for family reasons” only if you left work for this very reason. It is better to answer such a question clearly, while trying to remain tactful and delicate.

For example, if the reason for leaving was a conflict with the management, then there is no need to say that an ungrateful and stupid director asked you to vacate a seat – it is better to describe it a little “vaguely”, but so that you cannot be reproached for lying, being rude or bad manners.For example: “The reason for leaving the previous place of work was a change in working conditions, making further work in the organization unsuitable for me.” If at the interview you are asked what exactly has changed, you can say that the new manager changed the internal policy of the enterprise, which entailed a change in the amount of work (responsibility, freedom, benefits, etc.), and the new state of affairs is unacceptable for you.

What else you need to know about your autobiography

An autobiography, which is compiled when looking for a job, is most often called a resume (For details, see.How to write a resume / CV for a job (sample form)?). The difference between a resume can be considered the fact that it does not need to indicate information about your parents, as well as disclose in detail information about spouses and children.

The main task of a resume, in contrast to an autobiography, is not at all about telling about your life in general with a visual demonstration of the most important aspects. Here you need to talk about your professional level, indicate what career stage you are at, allowing the employer to assess your potential as a specialist in your field.

Today it is considered very fashionable and correct to support your autobiography with a photograph. There are no requirements for photography, but, of course, you will have to maintain a business style. That is, in the photo you should be in business attire, with a neat hairdo, the background is neutral.

If we talk about a resume, then in it you can refer to the characteristics from the last place of work and the recommendations given to you, if this is practiced and welcomed in your professional field.For example, the recommendations will be useful for teachers, specialists with a narrow specialization, almost all humanities.

As a rule, recommendations and characteristics are given by the immediate supervisor, but it is also possible to write them by the leader of the entire organization.

In the document, it is appropriate to mention also the passage of military service (for men) and the periods of being on maternity leave (for women).

At the very end, put down the date of writing your autobiography and your personal signature.

How to write an autobiography for the military registration and enlistment office

An autobiography for a military registration and enlistment office is written according to the same scheme, but you need to pay attention to the fact that an autobiography for conscripts and contract soldiers will be compiled in different ways.

For conscripts, that is, those who are conscripted into the army, you need to draw up a regular autobiography. A sample of it can be downloaded in the “Documents and Forms” section at the beginning of the article.

Form of the questionnaire to the military registration and enlistment office for contractors

A questionnaire is provided for contractors. It is approved at the legislative level, so there is no need to invent anything, all the fields are already there.

You just need to fill in these fields and send the signed document to the military registration and enlistment office, everything is very simple.

Video on how to write an autobiography correctly


More useful information on the topic in the heading: “Autobiography”.

Why and how to write an autobiography Work.ua

Are you getting a job? You may be asked to write an autobiography. Who needs it and why, as well as how to draw it up – read in the article Work.ua.

Autobiography – not a duplicate resume and not a questionnaire. A document in which a person freely describes the main stages of his life from the moment of birth to the present moment.It is like a mirror showing how much a person has succeeded, what he has achieved, whether he has climbed the career ladder.

It is your autobiography, along with other documents necessary for applying for a job, that your employer may require from you. Why does he need it, in what cases, what are the most common rules for compiling an autobiography, did Work.ua understand.

Why and to whom

Autobiography is not required everywhere and not from everyone. As a rule, it is necessary to apply for a job in large commercial firms or government agencies.Employees of law enforcement agencies, civil servants, teachers, doctors and even cooks are most often asked to tell about themselves from A to Z.

An autobiography is not just a document that personnel departments of an enterprise use to complete the personal file of a newly minted employee. It enables the employer to get to know the newcomer better.

From this story, the employer learns:

And this, you see, is a valuable material for compiling the psychological characteristics of a person.And since an autobiography is a documentary biography, then you must present yourself from the best side.

How to write an autobiography

There are no clear standards and templates for how to write an autobiography. It is written in any form, by hand, on an A4 sheet of paper, focusing on the requirements of a particular employer. Choose the style of storytelling that you feel works best for the company you intend to work for – formal business, artistic, or a mix of the two.

Nevertheless, a certain tradition has developed in the writing of this document. There are 8 points that must be consistently included in the autobiography.

NB! The following is a list of items that are usually described in an autobiography. But you don’t need to include their name in the main text. Lead the story in the first person, narrate logically, arranging all the facts in chronological order.

1. Title

At the top of the sheet, in the middle with a capital letter, you should write as follows: Autobiography .

2. Name

Next, introduce yourself, indicate your last name, first name, patronymic, as well as the date and place of birth. Your story will begin with the words: I, surname, name, patronymic, was born …

3. Education

Indicate when and what school you graduated from. It’ll be enough. But dwell on education after school in more detail – the period of study, the name of the university, faculty, specialty, and so on.

4. Labor activity

When talking about your career, indicate the years of work in the previous place, the name of the company or structure, the position that you held there.Describe your responsibilities, business accomplishments, reasons for leaving. Feel free to enter data on promotions, promotions, awards. Information about patents, inventions, scientific works and publications in periodicals will also characterize you on the positive side.

5. Marital status

Tell us briefly about your family, husband or wife, children, if any.

6. Military service

Men must provide information about where and when their military service took place, rank.

7. Relatives

Often employers ask to enter information about parents, brothers and sisters, their year of birth, professional activity, place of study in the autobiography. These data are given at the end of the autobiography after the main text.

8. Signature and date

The autobiography is signed and dated by the author, that is, you. The date is put on the left, the signature is on the right below the text.

Helpful hints

There are a few more subtle points related to the compilation of an autobiography:

  • It is possible that you may be offered to write an autobiography in the presence of HR staff.Therefore, if you are looking for a job, make it up in advance. In addition, a prepared story about yourself will be good helpers during the interview.
  • Also, some employers ask you to fill out an application for employment. It already has columns with questions, the answers to them just need to be entered in the blank space. In modern companies, instead of an autobiography, you may be offered to write a story about yourself, which is later posted on a corporate blog, accessible only to team members.
  • Focus more on personal achievements that you have achieved in your life than on events. Collect all the information that characterizes you positively, and do not include negative information at all.
  • Don’t write too much, try to fit your autobiography on one sheet.
  • In order for the employer not to doubt that you are really the best, it is very important to write your autobiography without spelling mistakes, without allowing a confused presentation of thoughts.
  • The information in the autobiography must be truthful and must not contradict the data indicated in the resume.

To present yourself worthy of a future employer, think over how you will describe your biography, and in what form. Work.ua is sure that a skillfully composed autobiography is an additional plus to all your merits and an excellent help to successfully fit into the team, get used to a new job. Good luck!

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90,000 Autobiography for work. Example and sample writing autobiography

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An autobiography is a personal, legible document detailing the milestones in your life.This document will subsequently become part of the employee’s personal file. It is written in any form, by hand, or a text typed on a computer and printed is provided.

Autobiography is drawn up in a certain sequence and generally complements the psychological characteristics of the employee. It presents the life path by dates, as well as the personal qualities of a person applying for any vacancy.

It is by the information reflected here regarding education, origin, previous employment that the employer can judge whether this applicant is suitable for him or not.In addition, it is desirable to reflect the facts of a person’s social activities and hobbies in this document.
The size of the autobiography text should not be voluminous, no more than two pages of printed text. If you have already written this document correctly, please make several copies in advance for the future as a sample.

How to write an autobiography for a job correctly

The correct spelling of an autobiography begins with the specific data of a person:

1. Surname, name, patronymic;
3. Exact date and place of birth;
4. The present place of residence is written, and in addition it is desirable to indicate the previous ones.
5. Education, with a list of educational institutions, indicating information where and when it was completed. The periods and results of studies are indicated. You should list the completed levels of education: secondary, higher, as well as postgraduate studies, residency. If there is an incomplete higher education, then you should indicate the reason why the learning process has not been completed.Academic degrees must also be indicated in this paragraph.
6. State awards are indicated without fail, if any.
7. Current place of work and position held, and in addition to all previous places of work. In this paragraph, specific information is written about the enterprise or institution where the labor activity began. Subdivision, position or profession is indicated. Further, it is necessary to reflect the dates of work in other organizations and enterprises, indicate the reasons for the transitions, dismissals or change of professions.If work experience was interrupted, it is necessary to reflect information about registration at the labor exchange, about professional retraining. At this point in your autobiography, you can list all the available incentives and awards.
8. Current marital status. Here information is written about the wife or husband (if the person is family), namely information about the date of marriage, information about divorce, the birth of children. Information about parents (optional) – the last name, first name, patronymic, as well as the year of birth are indicated.
9. Men must indicate the period of military service and rank.
10. Women indicate by dates the period of maternity leave and parental leave.
11. At this point, you can focus on your public works and participation in trade union organizations.
12. At the very end, write your passport details, detailed address and telephone number. This is followed by the signature and date of writing, the date on the left, and the signature under the text on the right.
An autobiography is a personal document that is not certified by anyone and is not stamped. Its main function for the employer is to make an impression of you, and your task is to be able to make this impression.

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90,000 Personnel recruiting agency in Moscow and the Russian Federation.Recruiting.

How to write an autobiography correctly

Autobiography, translated from Greek, is a handwritten description of a person’s life path. This document is used less frequently than it used to be. But nevertheless, this document may be useful to you if you apply for vacancies in various state institutions or in large, with a large authorized capital, commercial organizations. Therefore, this article describes how to write an autobiography correctly with examples.

How to write an autobiography: the structure of

The structure of the description of any autobiography is dictated by the very essence of this word: since this is a biography, it is logical to use the chronological order of presentation for writing an autobiography, from birth to the present day.
In how to write an autobiography correctly, you can use any of the following three methods of keeping chronology when compiling an autobiography:

  • You can put two specific dates at the very beginning, thus denoting a period of time.For example: “2001-2004. – work in the warehouse of JSC “Heat exchanger” as a process engineer;
  • Time spans can be linked using different prepositions. For example: “From 2008 to 2012, I worked at the Mayak garment factory as a cutter.

You can put dates in brackets after describing certain events in your life. For example, like this: “I started my postgraduate studies at the Nizhny Novgorod University. N.I. Lobachevsky (2004). When she finished her postgraduate studies (2006) she taught psychology at the Arzamas Pedagogical Institute (until the beginning of 2012). “

If you are interested in how to correctly write an autobiography for employment, then it is necessary to highlight the following information blocks in detail.

First, passport information is recorded, that is, the surname, full name and patronymic, then information about the date, as well as the place of birth, is submitted. You can do it like this: “I, Smirnova Alexandra Petrovna, was born on October 29, 1987 in the district center of Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod region.” Information can also be submitted in the form in which they are usually prescribed in questionnaires: “Smirnova Alexandra Petrovna.Date of birth: October 29, 1987. Place of birth: the city of Dzerzhinsk, Nizhny Novgorod region “.
The next step is to submit a summary of the parents – father and mother names, dates of birth and occupation. If you have brothers or sisters in your autobiography, they are also worth mentioning, give brief information about their date of birth, studies, work.

The next item in the autobiography may be a story about marital status, with an emphasis on its changes over time (got married, had children, got divorced, etc.)etc.).

Further information about education is submitted. You need to indicate where you studied, what school, technical school, institute you graduated from, when it happened and what the learning outcomes were. You can write this: “I graduated from secondary school № 53 in Nizhny Novgorod in 2002”. If you consider it very important for yourself to have a gold medal, be sure to indicate this, be proud of your successes, then others will appreciate them.

After the data on the school, you should describe the path of education with all its levels, from special to higher.If the study was interrupted, then it is necessary to indicate the reason for such an event.

Autobiography when applying for a job: describing work activities

Since the article deals with how to correctly write an autobiography for a future job, special attention should be paid to seniority. It is important to write down all the companies or organizations in which you have worked throughout your life, including the present moment. It is imperative to indicate what specialty you worked in, in which department or division, what functions you performed and what position you held.
If you have worked for a long time at the same enterprise, and during this period there was a career growth or displacement, then it is worth writing about all this in your autobiography. You can also tell in detail about the most significant achievements, perhaps describe the reasons for which the place of work changed, if, of course, they characterize you as a professional.

It is quite possible, without false modesty, to describe the achievements and awards that you consider significant, mention contacts with colleagues and participation in various social or professional events.

Autobiography for hiring: the final part

Completing the recommendations on how to write an autobiography correctly, you should indicate what you need to write at the end. It must contain the address where you live and, preferably, a contact phone number. On the left side you need to put the year, day and month of the compilation of your autobiography, and on the right side you need to sign. There is no need to certify your personal autobiography with someone else’s signature, yours is enough. Of course, there can be no spelling errors in it, it is logical and, if possible, interesting so that the employer reading your autobiography could distinguish you from the number of applicants for the vacancy.

90,000 How to write an autobiography for admission to a military school: sample

In some institutions, upon admission, they require an autobiography, which allows you to get acquainted with the graduate in absentia, find out his personality and potential. The first impression is formed on the basis of the document, so it is important to fill it in correctly.

What is an autobiography

An autobiography is a freeform story of an applicant about himself, written by himself.It is required for admission to a number of secondary and higher educational institutions, to a military school, to a military registration and enlistment office when conscripted for military service.

Autobiography for admission to a military school

Source: pixabay.com

Why do you need

Autobiography allows the selection committee to get acquainted with the applicant in absentia, learn about the level of his training and education, about his interests and hobbies.

How to write

Autobiography refers to documents that are written in free form, i.e.That is, the law does not establish a uniform pattern or strict form. However, there is a list of writing requirements that it is desirable to comply with.

General rules

  • It is necessary to follow the rules of the Russian language, avoid spelling and other errors.
  • The document must contain all important facts from the biography, along the way revealing the identity of the applicant and his individual traits.
  • The data are presented in chronological order: from the moment of birth to admission to the school.
  • Write briefly, without unnecessary details, strictly to the point.
  • Do not abbreviate the official names and avoid the use of abbreviations.
  • It is important to indicate existing skills and achievements, and you cannot use false or inaccurate information.
  • You can tell about family members, their place of work and address of residence.
  • The size of your writing should not exceed two A4 sheets.
  • Use exclusively official business style of speech, the use of vernacular is unacceptable.
  • The structure of the text should be respected.

Autobiography structure

  • At the beginning of the sheet, indicate your full name, date and place of birth, place of current residence.
  • Then there should be information about the next of kin.
  • Information on education received: indicate which educational institutions graduated with their full name without abbreviations and in what year. Check if there is a medal or any distinction.
  • Place of work: Tell us where, by whom and for how long you worked before, why you quit.
  • Indicate if you have a driver’s license.
  • Express your attitude to military service.
  • Indicate, if any, cases of violation of the law and prosecution.
  • Do not forget to talk about physical and sports training, as well as about the presence of injuries, medical diseases, contraindications.
  • List the achievements: certificates and diplomas for participation in competitions, olympiads.
  • Tell us about your hobbies and interests.

An autobiography should demonstrate strengths and create a good impression. To prepare a high-quality copy, it is better to study the examples in advance.

Source: pixabay.com

After 9th grade

Indicate the name of the student, the name of the school, the profile of the class, the date of admission and graduation of the 9th grade, the disciplines studied, the marks in the certificate, special achievements. They register the place of residence, the composition of the family, the reasons why they decided to leave school and go to school, areas of interest, hobbies and interests.It is important to note the skill of owning a PC, as well as foreign languages. At the end they put a date and a signature with a decryption.

After 11th grade

They also write the name of the graduate, indicate information about the parents, brothers and sisters, their age, place of residence, work or study. Indicate age, date of birth, their actual address, school number and name. If the graduate previously worked in parallel with his studies, then this fact is reported with an indication of the place of work, position, reasons for leaving, a list of functional duties.You can add here the average grade of the certificate, the profile of training, favorite subjects, grades, medals and victories in olympiads. At the end – signature and date.

How to issue

Use standard A4 paper size.

  • Margins: on the left side – not less than 2 cm, on the right – not less than 1 cm. The title “Autobiography” is placed in the center. There is no period after this word.
  • The last line is filled out and signed.
  • At the bottom right indicate the surname and initials of the applicant
  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial 14 pt.
  • Use one and a half spacing.
  • The indentation between paragraphs is 1.25 cm.
  • Justify the text.

Features of filling for the Ministry of Internal Affairs

  • Be sure to fill out the item on the relation to military service.
  • Indicate criminal records of relatives, if any.
  • Record data on travel abroad and the presence of relatives abroad.


You can download a sample of the graduate’s CV here.

PhoenixHelp – an ambulance for schoolchildren and students will help in writing works of any complexity.

90,000 How to write an autobiography for a job – complete guide

Why do they demand to write an autobiography at an interview, what can spoil the impression of you and, most importantly, what to write

Autobiography is a short story about yourself.More often than not, employers are asked to write an autobiography right at the interview with a black pen.

An autobiography is far from the same as a resume. The impression about you depends on how you describe the events of your life. Everything is taken into account – literacy, consistency of presentation, style and even handwriting.

How to write an autobiography to get a job, what and how to talk about – read the full guide.

Who is asked to write an autobiography

It is obligatory to write an autobiography:

  • For contractors
  • Firefighters
  • For employees of the Prosecutor General’s Office

An autobiography in the form of a questionnaire is required by:

  • When applying for civil service
  • In educational and medical institutions
  • In some commercial organizations (for example, banks)

May ask for a free-form autobiography.They may issue a questionnaire. May be requested in printed or handwritten form.

How to write an autobiography

Volume . Ideally, the autobiography should fit on one A4 sheet, in extreme cases – on two.

Handwriting . According to Anna Samoilenko, a graphologist and psychologist, author of the unique methodology for assessing candidates by handwriting “Graphology for HR” Anna Samoilenko, handwriting can tell a lot about the applicant.

The graphologist will approve your candidacy if the handwriting is well read, the letters are even, the tilt to one side, the pressure is even, there are few or no corrections and cross-strokes.

Style of presentation . Write clearly, clearly, in a formal business style. There is no need for assessments, colorful comparisons and sarcasm. The autobiography sets out the facts and the personal attitude. Follow the sequence of events.

Structure . Each paragraph of the autobiography begins with a new paragraph. Write in the first person. Sign and date at the end.

Standard Autobiography:

  1. Information about myself: I, Ivanov Ivan Ivanovich, was born 00.00.0000 at … My address: …
  2. General education: Finished secondary school with a silver medal in … year
  3. Professional education: In … year I entered … university / college, which I graduated in … year in my specialty … During my studies I took additional courses: …
  4. Work: From … to … worked in … (by whom). Resigned of his own free will. From … to … was (who) in … Resigned in connection with the liquidation of the enterprise. Currently I hold a position … in (where) / I am registered at the Employment Center
  5. Marital status and family: Married.There is a son Ivan Ivanov, … born, lives with me
  6. Additional information about the family: Wife: (name, date of birth, education, where he lives). Mother: … Father: …
  7. Information about my convictions and those of my relatives: Neither I nor my relatives were convicted or under investigation

How to write an autobiography-essay

There is one more type – an autobiography-essay. Such an autobiography may be requested if the vacancy specifies the requirement for “developed speech”, “literate speech” or something similar.

An autobiography-essay begins as a standard biography, but at the end you need to add a short essay – usually on one of the topics:

  • Why did I choose a profession …
  • Why should you choose me
  • Who do I see myself after 5 years of work in the company
  • What goals do I want to achieve

Essays are usually written according to the scheme: statement – arguments – confirmation. Well, if you can give 3 arguments – from the least significant to the most important.

Good arguments – additional education, awards / prizes, work experience, recommendations.

How to do it right – we analyze special cases

The peculiarities of writing an autobiography depend on who writes it and for whom. Let’s analyze in detail.

How to write an autobiography for a man and a woman

Men must indicate whether and when they completed their military service. If not, name the reasons. Otherwise, questions may arise – is the applicant hiding from the military registration and enlistment office.

Women with children must indicate the years of maternity leave. If you are just getting out of the decree, try to prove that you have not lost your qualifications.

How to write an autobiography correctly in the Ministry of Internal Affairs

There are many restrictions for those who want to work in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Therefore, there are special requirements for an autobiography:

  • List only places of official work
  • Be sure to write about service in the Armed Forces
  • Check if the amount of income you indicated is the same in all documents – CV, CV and income statement
  • It is important that you have no criminal record and preferably close relatives
  • Indicate the place of work of relatives – if they are in the civil service, it is important that you do not intersect at work
  • If there are children abroad, for example, an ex-wife with a child moved abroad – be sure to write about it
  • Indicate when you went abroad, in which countries you have been and for what purpose
  • Write about chronic diseases and previous operations, if any
  • Indicate absence of bad habits
  • Write about a hobby if it can be useful at work

What to write in an autobiography without work experience

If you get your first job, write in detail about your academic success.Remember the topic of your thesis, describe your successes during practice. If you were a prize-winner of contests or olympiads – and it will come in handy.

Write about personal qualities and desire to work. If you plan to continue your education – tell me.

Do I need to write about a hobby

Be sure to write about your hobbies that can be useful in your work. The teacher can write that he knits or sews well and can lead a circle. It is useful for a sales manager to know a foreign language, and preferably several.

Think about a hobby that will show you your best and increase your chances of getting a job.

What mistakes in autobiography are made most often


Attempts to hide the truth will not lead to anything good. If there were breaks in work, dismissal under the article, or have a small child – write the truth. Of course, try to explain everything – and why he did not work, and why he was fired, and who will sit with the child.

Too much information

Don’t need too much – what contests did you participate in at school, which clubs did you go to, who does Aunt Olya work for, what is your cat’s name.Do not forget – only the main thing.

Little specifics

Indicate the number of the school, the name of the university and faculty, the names of companies and positions, write your address. This is the information you need.

Many fixes

If you know in advance that you will have to write an autobiography, prepare before the interview. Learn the dates from the labor, clarify the facts. Think before you write.

Many errors

Try writing your autobiography at home and see what errors the built-in checker or the Orfogrammka service fixes.ru. Remember and don’t repeat.

Autobiography – Sample Writing | Office work

Autobiography – a document that you may need for employment, the need to enroll in an educational institution, etc. When applying for a job, it is usually asked to be drawn up in government agencies or in large commercial companies. In the first case, she is required, as a rule, only to complete the package of documents of the personal file and in fact she does not have special attention.In a commercial structure, how competently this document is drawn up can have an impact on whether you will be offered to fill a vacancy or, alas, not.

Autobiography (a sample of writing will be given below) is a self-written document describing the main events in a person’s life. Naturally, you should try to present yourself in a favorable light.

From the autobiography at the new place of work, they get another opportunity to learn something new and interesting about your personality, about the environment from which you came out.A word about your advantages, disadvantages and preferences. It is important not just to state the facts of your life. It is especially valuable how you can do it. A bad impression even with a brilliantly written resume will be produced by the presence of spelling errors in the autobiography, confused presentation of thoughts, etc.

Be prepared if you are asked to write an autobiography in the presence of a staff member of the company. Therefore, if you are looking for a new job, compose your example of an autobiography in advance.

How to write an autobiography correctly

Autobiography is compiled in any form, because there is no standard single sample of writing. Human Resources have different requirements for the composition of the information they need, so you will need to adjust the CV template for your specific situation. Therefore, it will be very useful for you to know about the established traditions in the writing of this document.

  • An autobiography is usually compiled on A4 sheets.The organization may also offer you special forms that may contain questions to be answered.
  • Present the text in a narrative form, with all facts presented in chronological order as they appear in life. All names of places of work or study are written at the time of the described event. Try to fit your creation on one sheet.
  • What is your name, date and place of birth.
  • It is often required to provide information about the parents in the autobiography – what is the name, year of birth and what they do, about the presence of a brother or sister – what is their name, age, study or work.
  • About education – usually in your autobiography for a job, it is enough to indicate which school you graduated from, further “adult” education is already indicated in detail (periods of study, specialty, reasons for incomplete education).
  • On labor activity – the periods of work at each place, the position held, it is allowed to write about the work performed (job responsibilities), business achievements, you can indicate the reasons for changing the place of work.
  • About family – your marital status, information about your spouse and children (what is their name, their age and what they do).
  • Men are required to include information about their military service – where, when, rank.
  • It will be appropriate for women to talk about the periods of being on maternity leave, parental leave.

  • Write about personal achievements, awards and incentives – perhaps you did any social work, were a member of a trade union organization, were successful in sports, etc. (about everything that sets you apart from others and is really significant). And also you can write about everything that you think will be of interest.
  • Signing your autobiography (right) and date (left) is mandatory.
  • Please note that it may be appropriate to keep silent about something. Think, perhaps you need to shift the emphasis, to present events from a slightly different angle. After all, you need your autobiography (more precisely, this example of it) to be suitable for the current situation, for example, obtaining a specific vacancy. In any case, give up rigging and false facts – these days, a lot of information can be verified.

Now you have enriched yourself with theoretical knowledge in writing a biography. To see a ready-made example of an autobiography, follow the link and you can look at a real sample document compiled for a job. If necessary, you can easily adapt it for other purposes.

Evgeniya Polos

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