How To Write an Autobiography | Start To End Outline With Example



What is an autobiography?

Before we go into how to write an autobiography essay, it is important to understand its definition and also explain some of the types of autobiographies.

It is writing that documents the true-life events of a person who also happens to have authored the writing. Autobiographies are the most loved genre of writing because people are usually curious about other people’s lives. For this reason, an autobiography by a public figure can easily become a best seller in days after its release.

The following is a list of the most common biographies;

– Autobiography-

It is a true story about the author. People write autobiographies because they want to share their life experiences with the public so that they may feel that they made an impact by documenting useful experiences or use it as a way of speaking out to help them move on from a past that seems difficult to forget.

-Autobiographical essay for college

An autobiographical essay is usually a requirement during admissions into colleges. The purpose of requiring a student to write an autobiographical essay is for the admission board to get to know the student’s personality and try to judge whether the student will blend in with their education goals and objective.


There are many similarities between memoirs and autobiographies, but the main difference is that a memoir does not talk about the person’s whole life. Instead, it only contains a specific event of the person’s life.

-Personal essay

It is the shortest among all autobiographies. It is an essay about one’s self. The difference between a personal essay and other autobiographies is that a personal essay is more emotional because it contains intimate experiences.

The standard autobiography essay outline

The following is a basic outline of an autobiography, although the exact structure depends on the given type of autobiography. The outline consists of three parts mainly;

1. Title page.
2. Introduction
3. Body.
4. Conclusion.

What are the steps for writing your autobiography essay?

Like asking a person to tell you about themselves, most people find it difficult to write about themselves. Therefore, the following tips will help make the process a little simpler.

  1. Take a look at an example.

Someone should find one or two autobiographies written by famous people and try to learn from them. Therefore skim one or two autobiographies to get inspiration and an idea of the tone, format, and structure required.

Below are some autobiographies that you can skim to get a clear picture and inspiration for writing your autobiography essay.

– Long Walk  To Freedom By Nelson Mandela

-The Diary of a Young Girl By Anne Frank

-Dreams from my Father By Barrack Obama

  1. State some of the most significant memories.

Try recalling all the significant things you have experienced in your lifetime. Start by thinking of some of the people you consider special to you, think of some unforgettable memories, emotional events, and things that impacted your life. The goal is to remember the specific details about these people and these events and write them down in a list.

  1. Pick one focus point.

In a normal autobiography, you would be required to write about your entire life. Still, since the instruction requires an autobiography essay, you must focus on one specific event, person, place, or memory.

  1. Ask the relevant questions.

Most people find it difficult to write about themselves because it is hard to think of ideas and stir up inspiration. The following guidelines will help to ensure you don’t lose track and don’t lose inspiration.

– Which three adjectives can you use to describe yourself?

-What are some of the quotes that can describe your life?

-Your ethnicity and social background.

-Who and what inspired you to become who you are.

-What are the highlights of your achievement?

-What are the goals you have in mind?

-What do you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?

-State some of your main values.

-Your best and worst childhood memories.

-The most memorable day in your life.

-Who are your family members, and how are you related to them?

-What can you say is the most significant lesson you have learned in life?

-What wrong do you find it difficult to forget?

  1. Identify the target audience.

The world has different people with different characters and different interests. Not all people read writings based on fiction, and not all read non-fiction writings. Therefore, it is important to identify your target audience, which will inspire your choice of words and make the writing appeal to them.

  1. Another crucial point to keep in mind is that autobiographies are written in a narrative form, the first-person narrative. Unlike many other essays using words like ‘I’ is not against the rule and is very much encouraged.
  2. Come up with a detailed outline.

How to write a title page

The title page should contain the following information.



-Phone number.


-Date of creation.

Which are the most important guidelines to consider when writing an interesting autobiography title?

An autobiography essay for students does not have strict rules of where the writer should begin. Different writers begin with different parts; some begin by writing the title while others prefer to finish other parts first then come back to write the title page last.

While all that may not matter so much, one thing that matters at the start of an autobiography essay is a good or interesting title. The following are some guidelines to come up with an interesting title.

  1. A good title should be precise. In other words, it should be exact in terms of the main message that you want the reader to get out of your autobiography. Then like most titles, it should be short.
  2. A good title is one that immediately engages the reader. It should immediately spark the interest of the reader.
  3. It should not contain many keywords.

The following are some examples of good titles;

-An Experience That Transformed Me

-My Day One Lesson In At Work

-The College Experience

How do you write an engaging introduction?

The introduction is the first part containing details of your autobiography essay. Its main goal is to give the reader an idea of your autobiography’s message and hold their attention and make them read it to the end. Therefore, an introductory paragraph is required to be brief and straightforward. It should be a maximum of three sentences.

How do you write an autobiography body?

The body of an autobiography essay does not have strict rules, but here are some guidelines to consider.

Like many other essays, the body should have each paragraph talking about one main point to avoid the clutter of points and avoid confusing the reader. Many readers love autobiographies because they want to know the details of people’s lives for different reasons. Thus, the autobiography essay should avoid complicated vocabularies and employ clear and easy language that appeals to the target audience.

-An autobiography essay is a true story of your life. Therefore, you should state the information in detail enough for the readers to feel they are getting to know you personally. Therefore, include the necessary background information, the context of your information, and details of how the necessary characters are related to you.

-Writing the paper in the order of events is not a requirement, but the transitioning of paragraphs should be smooth.

Since an autobiography is about documenting a true life event, it is necessary to state the facts and also organize them in a logical order.

-A good autobiography body should have a maximum of three paragraphs containing detailed information and supporting points.

-You should start by talking about the past. For example, some of the memories made during your childhood days. Past experiences will get the reader excited because all the reader is concerned with is getting to know details of your life.

-You should then transition to the present, showing how that past relates to this present and the lessons learned

-You should then explain how the present’s relationship to the future. For example, the importance of the lessons gained from the past and this present. Then, how will that knowledge impact your future?

A perfectly summed up conclusion

A college autobiography should sum up its ideas with a moving conclusion. Like many other conclusion paragraphs, in an autobiography, you are also expected to give a summary of your story. The conclusion should also be brief, just like the introduction.

A more specific description of what a conclusion in an autobiography essay means is this: restating your thesis statement and giving an ultimate comment about your life. In addition, most students usually state some positive lessons gained through the past experiences and the present that they have documented in the autobiography essay.