Autobiography Example Plus How to Write a Great Autobiography (Ultimate Guide)

Last Updated: 03 November 2019
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Autobiography Writing Tips plus Sample


Ever wondered where you could get the best autobiography example? Well, worry no more because we have the best autobiography writers on standby ready to help you write your autobiography. Undeniably, writing your own biography is the best thing you can do. Probably, it is like foreshadowing what you expect your epitaph to look like once you die. Undeniably, you can only tell your story, in the best way possible, through an autobiography.


Writing an autobiography brings an emotional fulfillment that you can compare to no other type of reading.


You might think nothing is interesting about your life, which makes you wrong all the way from when you started harboring such thoughts.


You are a living inspiration to many, but until you have your life well composed and written, you might not understand.


Autobiographies give you the chance to become a hero of the story, which is yours in the first place.


I am sure you would like to proceed with this beautiful autobiography example. Then, you need to pour yourself some coffee and get on your specs if you use them.


Let us get down to the basics of how to write an autobiography.


write an incomparable autobiography example. In this article, we give you insights on how to write an autobiography.


What is an Autobiography?


To define it simply, an autobiography essay is a narration written by a writer about their own life. Agreeably, everyone has a story- it could be long or short- and that is what makes an autobiography.


There is always something that fascinates you or that which your friends define you as. And when you share that something with the world, you will be writing an autobiography. Unlike a biography that is an account of someone written by someone else, an autobiography is written by a person.


If you are looking to write an outstanding autobiography about yourself, the trick is to treat it as if it is the best story you ever will read. Like most stories, make it have a hook, a narrator, a central idea and themes, and bring in special characters.


Unlike the long-held belief, writing an autobiography is not a praise to one’s self. Instead, it can be writing to store professional or life memories as one lives and impacts the world.


Before Starting an Autobiography


Our Autobiography example has all these tenets factored in. The greatest way to get inspired on how to begin writing autobiographies is by reading the autobiographies of the most famous people.


Such autobiography examples help in developing the essence, flow, and ideas on how to write your own autobiography.


Some of the most inspirational autobiography examples include:



  1. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama

  2. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

  3. Anne Frank ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’

  4. Open by Andre Agassi

  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin

  6. The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X.

  7. Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie

  8. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

  9. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

  10. The Story of My Experiments with Truth (the autobiography of Gandhi)


These are the top ten best autobiographies that everyone has to read before they write their own or before their demise.


Remember, an autobiography is a firsthand experience of the author written by the author. It is intended for the readers to understand the hidden and open side of the author.


Formats of Autobiography


There are various types of autobiography formats you can choose to adopt. 


Autobiographies need to flow in a particular format. There are many formats to follow when writing an autobiography. They include:


1. Traditional Autobiography Format- This is a format where the author begins recording events chronologically from birth to their current situation. Some of the notable traditional autobiography examples include: The autobiography by the late Nelson Mandela titles Long Walk to Freedom.


2. Vignettes- In this autobiography format, the author presents their story in the form of short chapters that describe and focus on particular events in the life of the author. Therefore, to complete a full autobiography, the author combines a collection of Vignettes. A sound autobiography example following the format is the


  “A Well-Lighted Cafe” section written by Ernest Hemingway’“It was very late, and everyone had left the cafe except an old man who sat in the shadow the leaves of the tree made against the electric light. In the daytime, the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust, and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet, and he felt the difference. The two waiters inside the cafe knew that the old man was a little drunk, and while he was a good client, they knew that if he became too drunk, he would leave without paying, so they kept watching on him.


3. Personal Narrative Autobiographies- Unlike the vignettes which focus on the events, the personal narratives or personal essays focus on a single moment. In this autobiography example, the events are described through dialogue or imagery. Essentially, students are usually assigned autobiography essays where they detail their experiences at one moment. It is also a common feature on the part of personal essays and admission essays. Examples of potential autobiography titles include: “How I climbed Mount Everest” or “How I Narrowly Escaped the 911 Incident.”


4. Memoir- Memoirs are autobiography examples where there is a razor-sharp focus on the particular aspects of an individual say their political success, their business success, or their public speaking prowess. Notably, some of the common themes include philosophy, politics, religion, or history. To that effect, a  good memoir autobiography example is Night by Elie Wiesel.


Principles to stick to When Writing an Autobiography


When writing your autobiography/memoir, you are writing a story about yourself by yourself. It is entirely different from a biography, where someone else writes a story about you. Now, to craft an award-winning autobiography, there are certain principles that you must observe.



  1. Keep it logical – Ensure that your autobiography has some great flow right off the bat. Have a clear theme, thesis statement, plot, and climax.

  2. Make it interesting and brief – Always avoid writing superfluous words to fill pages in the name of an autobiography. Instead, when revealing personal details, your selection of words should prove that you are a writing nerd.

  3. Keep it easy – Never use vocabulary. Instead, stick to being simple and have a good flow by introducing relevant transition words. Do not water the weight of the autobiography essay by bogging down your main points by unnecessary details.

  4. Write from the first-person perspective – It is all about you and you have to make frequent references to yourself, so this is even self-explanatory.

  5. Have a central theme – your autobiography has a purpose, and that must be very clear.

  6. Understand the audience – Since you are writing a personal profile essay, you should be wary of the audience and what makes them entertained. Essentially, the audience guides the theme, word choice, and length.

  7. Avoid triviality – avoid things that sound like cliché. Yes, those that are common with biographies. Even though autobiographies are formal essays or papers about yourself, put slang and colloquial expressions at bay.

  8. It is not a personal diary – even though you are getting candid and revealing to capture the attention of the audience, be mindful of what you share. Do not go to the minute details. Have some set boundary of what goes in your autobiography.

  9. It should never be so long – If it is an autobiography essay, it can be between 500 words and 3000 words, depending on the context and purpose. If it is for admission to college, your autobiography should be around 3000 characters, but they always specify. Like long admission essays, long autobiographies get repetitive and boring.

  10. The Theme of the Autobiography - Most of the exceptional autobiographies have central themes that guide the tone of the author.  Some of the common themes include success, determination, endurance, patience, resilience, and bravery, just to mention a few. Having the central theme can make it easy to keep the readers glued and in suspense after every sentence.


Writing an Autobiography Outline


Have an Autobiography Outline- An outline for your autobiography helps you understand what falls where and organize its flow. Remember, an autobiography has to have the introduction, body, and conclusion.



Get instant help with writing essays.


Here is a great sample autobiography in PDF format.


Three things to consider when writing an Autobiography



  1. Simplicity: Above all, the simpler your autobiography is, the higher the likelihood that it will entertain and stick in the memories of the readers. Ordinarily, a simple language also makes it accessible by a large audience.

  2. Rationality: Only write what is humanly possible. Avoid irrational bluff like supernatural powers. In this, you must develop a clear thesis statement that gives an overview of the autobiography and its central theme.

  3. Keep it interesting- Nobody wants something boring in the form of an autobiography. All ten autobiography examples are succinct, simple, and have an interesting language and approach. Writing personal details unknown to anyone is also interesting in its own At whatever cost, make your autobiography exciting.


Primarily, there are different autobiography templates online, which can give you a picture of how to approach an autobiography.


However, once you are equipped with the autobiography outline, remember the three factors to consider, and curate the best piece there ever is.


After writing the autobiography, always proofread to ensure it meets the highest standards, is error-free, and is grammatically sound.


Writing an autobiography is a humbling experience. It gives you the chance to delve into your past and uncover some things about you that might have been washed away down memory lane.


Ordinarily, with these tips, you can become an award-winning autobiography writer sought by the great people to ghostwrite their autobiographies. Autobiographies are treasured and the moment your family has one, rest assured they will cherish you vividly.


How to Write an Autobiography


When asked to write their autobiography essay, most college students get confused. Apart from just giving you an example, we felt it is wise to cover some tested methods to write the best autobiography essay.


If you are wondering how to write an autobiography about yourself or how to write an autobiography for school, we have your back. The good thing, you can scroll through this article as you sip some espresso, cold beverages, or as you chat with friends over dinner. Now, let’s get the ball rolling.


Here are some tips for writing a killer autobiography that would leave people yearning for more.




  1. Chart your Timeline to Date




The very first step is always to research more about who you are, how you have lived, and what your contributions to life have been. It is important to have a timeline of your life, which entails some important/major milestones. Ensure that you have included all the important dates, events, and occurrences. Here are some questions to help:



This initial stage is meant to brainstorm many ideas and build facts that you will use to support points in your autobiography. When you eventually have a list of what you are to write, you have achieved writing the autobiography already.  




  1. Define the major influencers in your life




We began by stating that well-written autobiographies sound like great stories. When someone is reading your autobiography, they want to understand how it feels like to be you.


Therefore, authenticity and honesty win the hearts of the readers. In this case, your autobiography should not stick to the college essay canonicals. Instead, it should expose your life the way it was and is currently.


The best way is always to write as though you are narrating to a close friend, without holding back. Also, ensure that your intention when writing is to reveal your personality. And when writing it from your perspective, choose those that matter, who have in one way or another impacted your life.




  1. Maintain Authenticity All-Across




The way through a great autobiography is to reveal everything about oneself. Sometimes, these autobiographies come out as critical motivation to those facing similar life situations.


So, it would help if you always reflected the truths about yourself and identity in your autobiography. Never should it be limited to achievements, while masking some negative occurrences.


Instead, it would be best if you offered your story in full-length comprising of both accolades and scorns, mistakes and wins, successes and failure, and everything in white and black.  


Sometimes, try to reveal your philosophies, including how your life has become hard or good based on them. If you have opinions and ideas, do not hold them back.




  1. Take Keen Note of Events and Occurrences




Human life is measured in terms of events, both good and bad. Therefore, while looking back into history, acknowledge past events and how they have shaped your future.


For instance, a tough upbringing could have made you escape the teeth of peer pressure or early pregnancies. Look at cultural events, festivals, celebrations, norms, deaths, and any other event and relate it to your current life.




  1. Have a Creative Outline




An autobiography begins with an outstanding introduction. The introduction can have a hook to steal the attention of the readers and keep them. Your introduction must not be your date of birth, which has become a cliché.


Sometimes, it is also good to construct the body of the autobiography, based on selected worthwhile themes. The themes and the plot form the body. The plot can consist of obstacles, wins, or achievements and must have a climax and a resolution in the end.




  1. Write the Draft




When writing the draft, you can choose to begin your introduction with a chronological narrative of your life. However, to make an autobiography more interesting, weaving chronological data with logic can work the magic. The introduction can be a reflection or reaction from the present related to past events.


Also, you can begin the story by narrating some outstanding moments in your childhood or upbringing and go reverse-forward all through. For instance, if am to write an autobiography on myself, I would begin by noting some touching moment in my life then cover my heritage, flow through to college days, and then bring the climax when am explaining my career life.


When writing the draft, remember to stick to the themes identified in the outline. It does not always have to be a conflict, make it a memorable theme — spirituality, education, defeat, hardship, hard work, etc.


As you write the draft, try to reflect on some of the important life lessons and doctrines that have seen you through. If you are writing a book, use chapters to divide the important aspects you need to cover. Besides, each chapter should end up in either suspense or greatness that leaves the audience yearning for more. If it is an essay, the paragraphs should be well connected. Use transitions to make it flow and keep readers entertained from beginning to end.




  1. Proofread and Edit the Autobiography




An autobiography will only be a plain story written by an armature/rookie if not well-proofread and edited. When proofreading and editing, focus on spelling, tenses, punctuation, word order, clauses, and abbreviations. A paper full of grammatical and spelling mistakes always turns off people, even when the content is great. When editing focuses on the dates, descriptions, events, names, and meanings. You should tweak the paragraphs, replace all the mundane words, insert relevant citations, use the correct spelling and ensure that everything flows.


Therefore, strive to achieve the purpose of your autobiography by being keen. Lucky for you, we have editors and proofreaders for your autobiography ready to help. Copyeditors always help clean up your writing. They have the knack for playing around with words and turn dull stories into amazing ones.


Are you looking for an Autobiography Example?


Are you having trouble writing a compelling and exciting autobiography? Our writers at Gradecrest.com can curate the best autobiography based on your directions.


Our autobiography examples not only offer you the chance to write yours but also inspire you to write one. Gradecrest can offer you an outline and ideas that can be turned into an outstanding autobiography.


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