The difference between an autobiography, a memoir and a biography could easily be ignored causing confusion in regards to when and how they are written. It is therefore important to begin by differentiating them.

Autobiography: Definition and Examples |

A bibliography is written about some person that is not the actual writer, a memoir selects a particular selected era of its author’s life whereas an autobiography gives an account of a broader era of its author’s life.

An autobiography is mainly made up of three parts which include an introduction, body and conclusion.


Since this is most likely the first part that the reader will go through, it is important to capture his or her attention by presenting the theme and idea behind this piece of writing. This is meant to convince the reader that the information presented in your autobiography is original and worth their time and effort to read. You don’t have to begin with your birth but could include your age, significant personal qualities and appearance.

Main body

This is whereby the detailed part of the context is written. It should expound on the part of your life you choose to write about. Ensure that you to make use of correct wording to present a logical sequence of the events you plan to write about. Make use of the first person narration throughout your autobiography.

Autobiography, Memoir, Personal History - What's the Diff? And Does It  Matter? — Pictures and Stories

The body could as well include your personal origin story, whereby you mention your hometown, key family members and important moments during your education. Also include a personal failure story which should be followed up by a good story in response to the failure.

As you build your story, make use of suspense to build tension and curiosity, make the characters in your piece of writing feel alive by providing short descriptions so as to paint a vivid picture of each one of them. You could as well make use of dialogs and personal voices to achieve this particular effect. You should also divide your context into manageable paragraphs to make it easy for the reader to follow. Avoid expounding too deep into your resume. Do not forget to seek permission to make use of the real names of characters you wish to include in your story.


Make the conclusion part strong and impressive. Give your autobiography a happy ending since you have lived long enough to experience it. If the ending isn’t necessarily a happy one, make sure to make it hopeful and satisfying to the reader.

Also ensure that you mention changes that have been effected in your life by the described episode of your life, the conclusions it has led you to make and what it has taught you about the world you live in.

The following tips will help you prepare adequately to write the ideal type of autobiography.

How to Write an Autobiography in English - Autobiography Writing


  1. Choose an event you are excited to tell about.
  2. Think of your target audience.
  3. Be sincere, even about negative things from which people could learn from.
  4. Use 1st person narration.
  5. The account is mostly written in past tense but usually ends in present tense and shifts into future tense at the very end
  6. Make use of specific time, dates, and places
  7. Make use of connectives that relate with time for instance after that, before, finally
  8. Understand purpose of writing the autobiography.
  9. Check demands of the given assignment, be sure of all guidelines associated with how to write the text.
  10. Describe setting and vivid details more interestingly.
  11. Proofread the text for the purpose of checking for mistakes and correcting them.


  1. Making it too long
  2. Making it trivial.
  3. Turning it into your personal diary.

How to write

  1. Read a number of well-known Autobiographies.

This helps you get a rough idea of how an ideal autobiography can be written. You could then eventually choose the one that inspires your spirits to write about yourself and make use of it as a template or guide.

  1. Think over your life.

Try to recall events that have taken place in your life and select the most significant ones, some unusual experiences or an important person in your life.

  1. Make a list consisting of some significant memories.

This list should categorize these memories to structure them more logically.

  1. Pick points from the list to write about in the body of the autobiography.

Choose a place, person or event based on a theme interesting not only to you but also to your target readers.

  1. Create a rough draft.

This is whereby you present your ideas at length to create a fully detailed account of the part of your life you decide to write about. It does not have to be perfect nor does it have to be arranged from introduction to body to conclusion. It’s only meant to help you create all your paragraphs and ensure that no ideas are left out when writing.

  1. Choose a title for the autobiography

The title should be attention grabbing, short, memorable and match the tone as well as the style of your book. You could use your name followed by the words “My Autobiography “. Some example titles of famous autobiography include

  • My Confession, By Leo Tolstoy
  • A Long Walk to Freedom, By Nelson Mandela
  1. This is whereby the writer goes through the drafted copy he or she comes up with, checking for errors in grammar, punctuation and cohesion of sentences as well as paragraphs. Also, since the autobiography should reflect your true life, ensure to counter check the dates you have recorded in your written account to ensure you don’t make use of information that is illogical.
  1. Get feedback from friends and family who may correct you or give insights about certain aspects that could help improve the quality of your autobiography.
  2. Write down the final copy

This should now be very easy as it reflects the aspects already presented in the first draft with all mistakes corrected and all necessary new ideas incorporated.

What is an Autobiography? - Answered - Twinkl teaching Wiki


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