How to Write a Biography Essay

Biography essay writing guide.

A biography essay is an essay where you tell the story of a person's life. It's a chance for you to do research and learn interesting facts and opinions about someone. That person could be a historical figure, a famous actor, politician, artist, writer or inventor. The point of the biographical essay is to reveal who that person was and what contribution they have made to the world.

In order to write a great biography essay, you'll need to develop a thesis statement about them and write supporting paragraphs with information about their life and work. Finally, a conclusion will help show the lasting impact they've had.

Let's take it step by step:

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how do i write a biographical essay

How To Write A Biography Essay And Get An A+

how to write a biography essay

As a high school or college student, you have probably written dozens, if not hundreds, of essays of all types. However, a biographical essay is nothing like you have written before. In fact, despite seeming relatively easy, the task of writing a biography essay can get very confusing to inexperienced students.

Instead of your ideas, a biography essay utilizes facts, but it takes a lot of research and writing skills to write a biography essay that will impress both your peers and your professor. Our   essay writing service has prepared a detailed guide on how to write a good biography essay, and here is everything you need to know.

What Is a Biographical Essay?

Before you can find out how to write a biography essay, you need to learn the answer to the essential question: what is a biography essay? A biographical essay is a type of academic paper where the author tells the story of someone’s life.

In some ways, biographical essays are similar to other types of essays, especially narrative papers. They both tell a story that should captivate and inform the readers. However, a biographical essay focuses solely on the story of one person and often includes an analysis of the person’s personality, not just a list of significant events from the subject’s life story.

Typically, the biography essay format deals with the life story of another person. In some cases, you may be tasked with writing a biography about yourself. In that case, your paper will be called an autobiography essay, and it’s a common assignment in high school and during the college application process.

At first glance, a biography essay may seem like just another type of written assignments that you simply have to do for a good grade. However, a bibliography essay is actually a very important piece of writing that allows you to tell a story of another person’s greatness, significance, or vulnerability through his life events.

Biography Essay Outline

Even though a biographical essay is a unique form of writing, it still requires you to follow a specific format and structure. The biography essay outline helps you keep your thoughts in order and never miss a single significant fact or quote.

So, how to write a biography essay outline? Unless otherwise specified by your professor, you should follow the standard five-paragraph essay structure. It means that your biography essay outline will include the following chapters:


Now that you know what is biography essay and how to create a good biography essay outline, it is time to finally find out how to write a biography essay. In this part of our guide, we will focus on a personal biography essay, or autobiography.

Students are often wondering: how to start off a biography essay to make a good impression on the readers? The introduction is the first part of your paper the readers will encounter, and you should pay extra attention to what you write in this chapter.

How to write an introduction for a biography essay? Start with a hook — an attention-grabbing sentence that sets the tone for the paper. It can be a personal anecdote, a fact, or a quote from someone else describing you.

In the rest of the introduction, write a little about yourself without giving up any important facts —  save those for the upcoming chapters of the essay. Finish the introduction with a thesis statement, where you should describe the essence of your biography essay.

Body paragraphs

If you went for the classic five-paragraph structure with your biography, you will have three body paragraphs. There is no standard way to distribute your biography between those three paragraphs, but since you are writing about yourself — a young person whose later years are still ahead of them — you can use the following structure:

Since it’s a personal essay, you probably won’t use too much research to support your claims, which will be based on your own life. However, you should carefully choose the wording, not to exaggerate your achievements. Be as close to your own life events as possible.

A conclusion is an essential part of any essay, and it’s equally true for a biography essay. Since you are retelling your own life story, and it’s difficult to assess your contribution to the society simply because you are only at the beginning of your own career, you should write about the way your life until this point impacted your development as a person.

How to Write a Biography Essay About Someone Else?

Our essay service has already covered how to write a personal biography essay, but in most cases, you will be tasked with writing a biography essay about a different person — usually, someone famous and significant in their own field. This person can be dead or alive, but they will likely have a rich biography that is relatively easy to write about.

The key to writing a strong biography essay is to rely strictly on facts, not on fiction. It doesn’t mean that you should simply list the facts from the person’s life story without any opinions of your own, but those opinions and assumptions must always be based on the official statements from the person’s biography.

Additional Tips on Writing a Biography

Wondering how to write a biography essay to make it absolutely flawless? Check out these extra writing tips from our expert team of authors that specialize in essay writing in the United States:

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How to write a biography essay

The complete guide on biographical storytelling

Anyone can learn how to write a perfect biography essay about someone else’s life by making sure to focus on true, objective facts about a specific person. First, determine the scope of the person’s life (years), pick a central theme, and write out the biography using the classic narrative arc.

Many college courses include an essay writing component, and a biography essay is one of the types of essays that you may encounter, especially if you are taking courses in liberal arts disciplines such as history or cultural studies. This guide from Ultius will provide you with a thorough overview of how to write an effective biography essay. The guide will include the following sections:

After reading this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to write a strong biography essay, or at least in your ability to find the right kind of help to write such an essay.

Purpose of a biography essay

"Biography" literally means the story of a life. So, when you write a biography essay, what you are trying to do is to write the story of someone's life. ( Autobiography is a related concept that refers to the story of your own life.) If your biography essay is successful, then by the end of reading it, the reader should have a clear idea of what your subject did in his/her life and why his/her life was interesting and/or important enough to be the subject of a biography essay.

According to the Ultius glossary, a biography is a detailed descriptions of a famous person’s life and accomplishments (as a genre). Biographies typically contain intricate details of the subject’s personal life and sometimes include an analysis of the person’s personality and attributes.

A biography essay is similar to other forms of essays, such as the narrative essay, insofar as it involves telling a story. A biography essay, however, is supposed to be rooted in historical fact, and it should describe your subject using objective tone and language.

Narrative essay how-to guide. Click here is you are interested in learning how to write a narrative essay instead.

There are two important things to remember about a biography essay.

1. It is a true story that describes the life of your subject. You are not allowed to just make things up, and there should be scholarly documentation confirming that what you are writing is valid.

2. It is a story about someone else, generally a famous historical figure . If you were writing about yourself, that would be a memoir, which for present purposes should be considered as different from a biographical essay.

Only use details and facts that can be verified through documents or existing sources. An important hallmark of biography essays is that they are true.

The importance of biography essays

The English writer Samuel Johnson had this to say about biographies:

"No species of writing seems more worthy of cultivation than biography, since none can be more delightful or more useful, none can more certainly enchain the heart by irresistible interest, or more widely diffuse instruction to every diversity of condition.”

The main idea here is that my reading biographies, people can gain insight into the lives of other people who have done amazing things. This can be enchanting in its own right, and it can also provide the reader with inspiration for his own life and help the reader look at his own life with fresh eyes.

Stuck with writing? Essay services from Ultius can help with biography writing.

For example, are you interested in doing philosophy? If so, you may find it inspiring to read biographies such as:

A nice thing about the genre of biography is also that biographies are written about a huge range of different figures in different disciplines, meaning that you can find biographical subject that may specifically interest you or move your heart.

Biography and culture

Biographies play an important role in preserving human cultural memory: it is like history, except focused on the life of one person. People have been telling stories about heroes and other admirable figures since the beginning of the human species.

Alexander the Great mosaic

Modern biography, though, is somewhat different from the old heroic stories, in that modern biography is supposed to be objective and scholarly, and it is generally rooted in a secular view of time and history. In other words, modern biographies are based in reason more than imagination, and they are not supposed to include magical and/or irrational events.

Biography vs. legend

Biography is a modern scholarly discipline that has some similarities to the much older genre of the legend, but it is also different in some important ways.

So, the genre of biography carries on the old tradition of telling stories about the lives of admirable figures. But whereas the old legends were more imaginative and quasi-fictional in their tellings, modern biography is supposed to be based on reason and objective, verifiable facts about the life of the subject.

Elements of a good biography essay

In order to write a compelling biography essay, there are certain elements that you will have to include. Here are some of them.

Linear narrative arc

This may seem somewhat obvious, but a human life naturally resembles a story, starting with birth and ending in death, with various drama and events happening in between. This is the natural arc that you should follow when writing your biography essay. In general, you should begin your essay with the birth of your historical figure and then follow him/her through the events of his/her life until death.

The plot rainbow | Ultius

Some biography essays might be able to get with innovations such as non-linear structure, but unless you really know what you are doing, that can get very confusing, and your biography essay would be difficult to follow. So, for all intent and purpose, we can say that following a linear narrative arc is a best practice for writing a biography essay.

Different types of narrative structures

These are some of the possible types of narrative structure. When writing a biography essay, you are strongly advised to stick to the linear structure.

The linear structure is the standard for most biographies; it starts at a specific point in the protagonist's life and moves forward in chronological order. Nonlinear structure is more complex as this style moves between time periods with time skips and flashbacks. Thematic structure strategically conveys given and new information to frame and insert specific themes.

Choose a compelling biography essay subject

For your biography essay, your subject will be the person whose life story you will be writing. In order for your biography essay to be effective, you will have to pick a subject who is interesting, important, or otherwise qualified to be the subject of a biography essay. You should ask yourself the question: why choose your subject, and what has your subject done that deserves to be recorded and remembered?

Of course, there's a sense in which every single human life is interesting and important. But for the purposes of your biography essay, you will want to dig deeper and consider why your subject is worthy of being remembered in the collective cultural memory.

An effective biography usually focuses on someone who has affected history, or someone who has achieved a high level of excellence within his/her discipline or field.

Søren Kierkegaard: A very important philosopher

Portrait of Søren Kierkegaard

Kierkegaard would be an example a good subject for a biography essay, because his works are generally considered a turning point in modern philosophy.

The subject of your biography essay does not necessarily need to be well-known. In fact, it can be a lot of fun to dig into the life of someone is not well known but should be. The important thing is that your subject must be compelling, and there must be a solid reason why his/her story should be told.

Also, when picking a subject, you may want to make sure that you actually like your subject. That can make writing a biography essay more fun, and your respect for the subject (or lack thereof) will also probably come across in your writing. If you want to convince others that your subject is compelling, then it would help if you find him/her compelling.

Choose biographical (life) events wisely

A lot can happen in a life, and it would probably be impossible for you to include everything there is to know about your subject within a single biography essay. So, you should choose the high point, or the most important points, and then focus on those.

Events in the life of Kierkegaard

These are key events that could be the focus of a biography essay on Kierkegaard.

Garff, Joakim. Søren Kierkegaard: A Biography. Princeton: Princeton U P, 2007.

How to write a great biography essay

Now that you know about the elements of a biography essay, you can follow these steps in order to ensure that your biography essay turns out to be a success.

Writing a Biography Essay | Ultius

Next, integrate the specific biography related aspects listed below.

Determine the scope of your biographical essay

Again, your biography essay won't be able to include everything there is to know about your subject. So, you will want to map out the scope of your biography essay before you get started. The birth and death of your subject are the logical starting and ending points for your essay. Then, you will want to select a few events or accomplishments in the life of your subject that are worthy of remembrance.

You can develop a full-fledged outline, or you can use a table like the one developed above. Either way, though, you will have to have a clear idea of where you will begin, where you will end, and the path that you will take from the beginning to the end.

Compile credible sources

Your biography essay has to be rooted in verifiable facts about the life of your subject. This means that it is important that you identify and document the sources of your information. The essay sources should generally be scholarly in nature, and you should avoid using websites to the greatest extent possible. This is because it is often difficult to tell whether the content on websites have been drawn from credible sources.

Questions to ask when compiling sources

Questions to ask when finding sources

If there are references listed on a website about your subject, then you should trace those references back to the original academic sources. Those are the sources you should use for your biography essay.

The differences between primary and secondary sources | Ultius

Write in a clear and compelling style

Remember: with your biography essay, you are at least partly trying to show your reader why your subject is interesting and why he/she deserves to have an essay written about him/her.

Your interest in your subject should come across in your writing style. After all, if you feel bored with your subject, then why should anyone else pay attention?

The language you use should be scholarly (but still filled with imagery ), but you should also focus on varying sentence structure, using excellent word choice, and other writing techniques that tell the life story of your subject in a compelling way that does justice to the importance of your subject.


See the example biographical essay below for a clear example of how it needs to be written.

As the sample shows, it’s very important to be focused on true details. Please see the list of blog posts below for more examples of biography essays:

If you need more help or would like something written for your own needs, consider buying custom essays from Ultius . Our talented writes can help you get something done in as fast as three hours.

Additional information

That brings us to the close of this guide on the biography essay. Here is a recapitulation of some of the best practices that have been covered here.

Develop a focused arc

You should use a linear narrative structure, starting with the birth of your subject, ending with their death, and focusing on selected key events and accomplishments in the subject's life.

Write in the scholarly mode

Although a biography essay is a kind of "story," it should still be written in a rational, scholarly way, and referencing in MLA or Chicago style is usually required for this kind of essay.

Love your subject

If you get to choose your subject, then you should pick a subject that you personally admire. This will make the writing process more fun, and your interest will also show in your writing and make the biography essay more enjoyable for the reader.

Find help if you need it

Finally, Ultius has plenty of resources that can help you write a successful biography essay and hone your skills as a writer. Please feel free to lean on us.

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How to Write a Biography Essay | Steps and Format of a Biograpphy Essay

September 17, 2020 by Prasanna

How to Write a Biography Essay: What Is A Biography Essay? A biography essay is a type of essay where you tell the story of a person’s life through your words. A biography essay gives us the chance to dwell in someone else’s life. The essence of a biography essay is to sketch the person’s life as accurately as possible such that the person can be easily visualized and their essence truly graspable.

The meaning of the word ‘biography’ is the story of a person’s life written by someone else. A biography essay is one of the oldest types of literature and non-fiction. A biography includes much more than the person’s basic facts like education, work, relationships, death, etc.; it portrays that person’s experiences through the events in their lives.

You can also find more  Essay Writing  articles on events, persons, sports, technology and many more

Through a biography essay, you have to reveal who the person truly was and what they were all about- their beliefs, their ideology, all of their small traits and any little detail that will help the readers to connect with the person.

Since all biography essays are generally about famous people, it is easy to gather information about them from books and articles. A good biography essay should have little nooks of private information about which everyone is not aware of. These pieces of information must be chosen so that it supports your thesis.

All biography essays have a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a one-liner which captures the essential aspect of that person’s life. A thesis statement is a statement about the person’s life, which covers the big picture, or the most crucial aspect or experience of that person’s life which justifies most of their doings.

A biography essay can be said to be an insight into a famous person’s life which not only covers the information about their expertise but also throws light on what type of person they were.

Steps Of Writing A Biography Essay

Writing a Biography essay is diametrically different from writing a regular essay about a person. A biography essay is all about capturing the true essence of a person. It can be used as a tool by which you can show a side of a very well known person about which very little is known to the common public.

A standard biography essay should mention much more than the works of the person. You have to create an ambiance through the recreation of the personality of the person in interest.

You have to recreate the person’s life and their experiences with your essay. It is an interesting and engaging way of learning about a famous person. There are a few steps that will help you to follow the format of a biography essay.

The chronological arrangement of the information will help the readers to understand and truly feel who the person was. It is crucial to pay attention and maintain the essay structure also. The outline of the Biography essay is a schematic plan which will help you to sort the information according to the most significant facts.

The easiest way of arranging an outline is by adding numbers to the points according to their significance. Outline with sub-points and with bullets. You can then easily arrange the essay with this outline.

Biography Essay Writing Format

As mentioned earlier, the format of the Biography essay should be according to the standard essay writing format with one introduction, which should have a thesis, a minimum of two body paragraphs and one conclusion. The format is further described below.

Introduction of a Biography Essay

Body Paragraphs of a Biography Essay

Conclusion on How to Write a Biography Essay

In the conclusion of a biography essay, briefly describe the experiences and events about the person of which are of utmost importance.

FAQ’s On How to Write a Biography Essay

Question 1. What is the outline or format of a biography essay?

Answer: The skeleton of a biography essay is given below-

Question 2. What are the significant pieces of information that should be included in a biography essay?

Answer: A biography should be based on interesting and compelling facts that are not well known about a famous person. The information that is required in a biography essay is- origin, education, relationships, career path, their first job and their accomplishments. These will provide the basic information in a biography essay.

how do i write a biographical essay

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how do i write a biographical essay

Step By Step Guide on How to Write a Biography Essay

How to Write biography essay

As a student, writing a biography essay is one of the requirements you have to fulfill to complete your academic program. However, some students, especially those who lack adequate time and writing skills, find it hard to craft papers that meet the expectations of their schools.

In this guide, you will get in-depth information regarding how to craft a biography essay. Let us proceed!

What is a Biography Essay?

A biography essay refers to an article where you narrate a story about someone’s life. The person you write about could be a politician, an artist, a musician, or an inventor. If you want to compose a great biography, you must select an interesting topic that has some impact on society.

Biography Essay Writing

How to Start A biography Essay?

Crafting a biography can be difficult if you don’t know where to start. If you are facing such a challenge, don’t worry; the following steps will help you a lot.

Examples of Biography Essay

If you want to become an excellent writer, you must first acquire the right writing skills. Also, you have to review various online essay samples to familiarize yourself with different personalities. To acquaint yourself with these samples, you may visit professional writing websites , such as Peachy Essay.

The following is an example of a biography essay.

A Biography of Gabriela Emma – a Personal Trainer

Gabriela Emma has been a personal trainer in New York City for the past ten years, and her exercise routines have yielded excellent results. Her clients include people from different walks of life, such as lawyers, bankers, business people, musicians, politicians, teachers, and many more.

Because she deals with a diverse clientele, she has adopted unique workout programs that are tailored for specific customers. For instance, she mostly applies aerobic exercises for those customers who are either overweight or obese. However, she uses body toning, stretches, and strength exercises for those clients who either want to build muscles or maintain their fitness status.

Gabriela is a famous gym instructor, and because of her experience, she has managed to appear in prominent fitness publications in the US and around the world. Her unique fitness approach has been an inspiration to many upcoming trainers, who have been learning her styles through various channels, such as YouTube.

Gabriela was born in Florida in 1985 and earned her BS in sports science from New York State University in 2010. After her graduation, she developed an interest and embraced modeling as a career. Due to that, she worked for top designers and appeared in magazines and billboards in the US, Europe, and Africa.

In order to maintain her modeling and fitness status, Gabriela embraced fitness and started working out in the nearby gyms. Later on, she got married, and she is currently a mother of two sons. Like anyone else, sometimes, she finds it challenging to balance between career and family issues, but she has to do it anyway.

With her 10+ years of experience, she has made a positive impact on many people’s fitness lives. Outside the gym environment, she is a writer and a consultant for fitness products and marketing videos. Besides working at the gym, she acts as a fitness lifestyle model, and she hosts many fitness shows on many TVs.

Biography Essay Format

If you want to craft a great biography essay, you must follow the right format, as explained below.

The introduction

The introduction is intended to give detailed information regarding your subject’s background. Also, the opening is meant to hook your audience to make them develop an interest in reading the rest of the paper. If you want to compose a great introduction, you must adopt the following approaches: begin with a quote regarding your subject, write an interesting story about them, or describe their accomplishment.

Thesis statement

A thesis statement is an idea/argument upon which the rest of the paper is anchored. Note that the statement appears in the introduction to show the readers the position you have taken regarding the subject matter. Furthermore, a thesis statement is put in a conclusion to emphasize to your audience about the essay’s main idea.’

The Thesis Statement Generator may also help you gather more information.

Below is an example of a thesis statement:

‘Although Dennis James was a wealthy man, he was a troubled person whose terrible living styles may have led to his early death.’

Body Paragraphs

The body paragraph is where you put the information you collected during your research. Sections can be three, or more depending on the paper’s word count.

In case you are writing about a renowned musician or any other prominent personality, the following may be included in sections 1-3.

Paragraph one

In paragraph one, you may talk about the subject’s birth history and how they were brought up. Also, highlight their school life, from primary school to college level.

Paragraph two

In paragraph two, you should capture the subject’s work history and any other achievements.

Paragraph three

Use paragraph three to highlight the person’s contributions to society and show how their role has impacted the community. Also, if they are not alive, you may highlight the story on their death here.

The conclusion is where you give a summary of the main ideas in your paper. If you want to end your article well, ensure that you show how the subject’s role has affected people’s ways of life.

An excellent conclusion must address the following aspects.

Knowing what to include in a biography can be helpful to you, especially when crafting papers. It is crucial to note that an excellent essay must comprise of an introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

You can also read our excellent guideline on how to Structure an Essay .

Before you start crafting articles about influential personalities, you must know a biography essay definition . Understanding what an essay means is the best way of having a great start.

Biography Essay Infographic

Purpose of a Biography Essay

A biography essay is about the story of someone’s life. The essence of a biography paper is to enable the reader to understand what your subject did and how their contribution was crucial.

Through biography essays, many people can get information about famous people who have done wonderful things. These insights can be an inspiration to the readers and can even help them change the ways they do things.

Unlike other essays, a biography essay is crafted based on historical facts, and it is meant to give an overview of a subject using objective language. The following are important aspects that you need to bear in mind as you compose a biography essay.

It is a true story

A biography essay is a real story about someone’s life. Therefore, when crafting it, ensure that you give factual and supported information.

A story about a prominent/famous personality

Usually, a biography essay is about giving a narrative about a famous person and showing how their ways of life are significant to society.

Biography and Culture

Just like history, biography essays play a critical role in highlighting the lives of famous people in society. Note that narrating the stories of prominent people is one of the best ways of keeping cultural memory. For instance, significant heroes, such as Martin Luther, were written about because of their essential contributions to the community.

For you to write an effective cultural biography, you have to narrate someone’s story based on their cultural experiences. Therefore, you have to research the person’s traditional background, and if possible, you may interview the individual to collect in-depth information from them.

It is vital to note that modern biography essays are written in a scholarly and objective way. Moreover, these articles are crafted based on reason rather than imagination.

Elements of a Good Biography Essay

If you want to craft an excellent biography essay, there are some components that you have to include, as described below.

Linear narrative arc

A linear narrative arc refers to narrating someone’s story from the time of birth, schooling, work, and death.

Essay subject

With a biography essay, the subject refers to the prominent person you are writing about. Ensure that you select an appropriate subject that is critical to be your topic. Do research to find out why the subject is worth being written about. Usually, a biography essay is about someone who has excelled in a particular aspect within their discipline.

It is crucial to note that the subject of your biography essay doesn’t have to be a famous person, but any person can suffice as long as their story is compelling.

Life events

Note that so many things can happen during one’s lifetime. Therefore, when writing a biography essay, select important events about someone, and focus on them. For instance, you may concentrate on things, such as birth, marriage, work, and death.

How to Write a Great Biography Essay

The following steps can help you craft an awesome biography essay.

Identify the scope of your biography essay

A biography essay doesn’t have to include everything regarding someone’s life. Therefore, mark the scope of your essay; for instance, you may decide to narrate events between the person’s birth and death. After that, you may then choose other crucial occurrences in a person’s life time.

Outline the details

Once you have chosen the topic and determined the scope of your story, you can go ahead and create an outline for your article. This plan is essential because it gives you a road map regarding where to begin and end.

Research and compile reliable sources

The information you use to narrate about your subject must be factual and verifiable. It is essential to select and record the sources of the information you use in the paper. Moreover, avoid using the information on websites because it is hard to trace its sources. The recommended sources to use are scholarly ones, such as journal articles and books.

Write in a Clear Style

Note that a biography essay is intended to inform and convince your audience why a particular subject deserves to be written about. For you to write a clear and compelling story, you must select a subject where you have a great interest.

Also, to craft an interesting story, you must adopt an appropriate scholarly language. Lastly, ensure that you use the right sentence structure and proper word choice to tell the story of your subject compellingly.

Additional Information on the Best Practices of Writing Biography Essays

The following is a lick up of some of the best practices you ought to follow when crafting a biography essay.

Adopt an appropriate arc

A great biography essay should be crafted based on a linear narrative structure, beginning with the birth of a person and finishing with their death. Besides, you also need to focus on their important events and accomplishments in their lifetime.

Use a scholarly approach in your writing

A biography essay is a story about someone’s life history, and it has to be crafted in a compelling manner to convince your readers that the person you are narrating about is worthy. For you to give a credible account about someone, you must use verifiable facts. Therefore, it is advisable to use scholarly sources, such as journal articles and books as your references. Moreover, you may use an appropriate referencing style, such as MLA, and Chicago.

Adore your subject

If you want to produce an excellent essay, then choose the subject you like most. An interesting subject will make your writing enjoyable, and you will be able to craft articles in a style that can make your piece more enjoyable to your audience.

Seek assistance from professional writers

Writing a biography is not a straightforward thing, especially if you are not conversant with its format. In case you want to craft such a paper and you are stuck, contact any professional writing company for help.

Biography Essay Vs Narrative Essay

Biography and narrative essays are some of the vital academic tasks you ought to familiarize yourself with. The following description of their differences can help you get a better perspective about them.

Read our guideline on How to Write a Great Narrative Essay

How Finish Writing Your Biography Essay

The following is a highlight of what you are supposed to do in order to end your paper in an excellent way.

Proofreading and editing

Once you finish crafting your draft, check for grammar mistakes, and edit errors regarding punctuation or wordy sentences. To ensure that everything is okay, read the text loudly, and confirm whether the structure is easy to follow.

Request for feedback

The best way of asking for other people’s views is to let them read your paper and identify any mistakes. After that, it is crucial to accept and implement all their suggestions to make your paper a better document.

Cite your sources and generate a bibliography

When writing a biography essay, it is crucial to cite and reference all the sources you use. Citing your sources is the best way of acknowledging the sources of the information you are using.

Final Thoughts on a Biography Essay

A biography essay refers to a compelling story about someone’s life. Note that these articles touch on famous personalities, such as musicians, politicians, artists, or inventors. It is vital to bear in mind that you may write a biography on someone who is not prominent as long as you have a justifiable reason to narrate their story. Just like other essays, a biography has an introduction, a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

If you want to write an excellent biography, you must observe the following: use a linear narrative arc, adopt scholarly sources, love your subject, and seek assistance from professional writers where necessary. In case you need help crafting your biography essay, contact Peach Essay writers for assistance.

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The Full Guide on How to Write a Biography Essay

You are probably familiar with a handful of biography examples. You’ve seen biopics like Invictus about Nelson Mandela, or documentaries like King in the Wilderness about Martin Luther King or Marley about Bob Marley. Maybe when you had a free minute to spend, you browsed through the Biographies section in the bookstore with novelized lives of politicians and pop stars. However, can you write a good biography in a 5 paragraph essay? After all, aren’t biographies supposed to be long and detailed? The answer is: it depends on what you are trying to say with this biography.

You’ve seen short biographies in your textbooks, for example, William Shakespeare biography put in a couple of sentences in your English Literature course book or a few words about the life of Isaac Newton when you studied Newton's law of universal gravitation in your Science class. These short bylines were biographies too! Therefore, an essay format is quite suitable. Let’s look at it in detail.

Before You Start Writing a Biography Essay

Writing a Biography Essay Outline

When you’ve done your research and have all the facts, it’s time to lay them out to make them into a coherent story. The simplest way to do it is to follow a chronological order, looking in each rubric at the key points in your subject’s life:

However, you can get creative with the composition:

If that sounds too daunting and you think that maybe writing is not your thing, you can always outsource your essay to best paper writing who thrive on challenges like that! Our writers will come up with the best structure to make your essay compelling!

How to Start a Biography Essay

If it’s a biography, it doesn’t mean it must start with “He was born in…” or “Her parents were…” That’s the most common mistake students make and it bodes lackluster experience for the audience. It’s an essay, not an encyclopedia entry – you can start off with a great hook sentence! Use a quote by the person you write about or an interesting fact about them that the audience will find relatable. This is particularly important when you write about great personalities of the past, whom we tend to idealize. A fun fact or an intimate detail that humanizes them can go a long way in winning the attention of your readers.

After that, you can carry on with your usual introduction where you present your topic and make a thesis statement. For a biography, a thesis statement might include a claim about the person’s impact or character trait that wasn’t explored before.

Keep in mind that the outline you’ve put together before should work towards proving this claim: present facts and events of your subject’s life, or testimonies of other people about the subject as arguments in favor of your vision. Be careful not to twist or cherry-pick the facts! It’s still a biography and it must be complete and factual.

In the conclusion, instead of restating your thesis, reflect on the person’s impact or legacy. Think of the impression you want to leave in your reader’s mind. Should they be inspired, enlightened, moved, humbled, outraged?

What if I Have to Write a Biography Essay About Myself?

Autobiography is an account of a person’s life where the author writes about self. Autobiographies present a unique insight into the personal lives of people and are treated as valuable historical documents.

Writing about yourself can feel awkward but don’t let it put you off. You will be required to write a personal biography many times in your life for job applications, research grants, or who knows – you might become famous so people would want to read your memoirs! Who else but you has the experience and understanding of your life to tell about it? Anyway, looking at your own life from a third-person perspective and analyzing it critically is a useful skill.

To write your autobiography you will have to go through all the steps involved in writing a usual essay. Conduct research: look through your old diaries, documents, mementos. You may also want to interview your friends and family – they will remember some interesting things that you forgot or never noticed.

How to Write a Biography Essay about Someone Else

If you are writing about someone who lived long ago, like Clara Barton or Edgar Allan Poe, for example, the whole thing is relatively straightforward – you just stick to the facts you can find in literature, compare opposing opinions, etc. Basically, you do what you would do with any subject of research, only this time your subject is a story of a human’s life.

However, in Social Studies, they often ask students to write about a contemporary. For example, a political figure like Abdul Kalam or Barack Obama biography essay, a famous athlete like LeBron James or Michael Jordan, or a celebrity, like Michael Jackson.

If you are writing about someone who lives or is recently deceased, try to be sensitive not to offend friends and relatives of this person. Write as if you knew that someone close to your subject would be among your readers.

When it comes to writing about someone you know personally, for example, your topic is “My mother: biography”, you might want to interview her and ask for permission to write about her life. Letting her see the text of your essay for approval is another good practice.

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Elissa Smart

Elissa Smart

Elissa Smart is an omnipotent demiurge behind PaperHelp's blog. Driven by seething creativity, not only she helps students with particular research and writing requests, but also finds the energy to share her extensive expertise via blog posts. A Barclay College graduate, Elissa puts her BA in Psychology & Family Studies and MA in Transformational Leadership degrees to good use, being of benefit to readers who are willing to learn from accomplished experts. She can also talk about boating on the Lake Superior by the hour, roots for Atlanta Falcons, and loves to sing in thick woods.

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How to write a biography essay

how do i write a biographical essay

Essay writing is an inevitable part of a student’s life, not to mention there is a variety of these pieces. One of the writings that a learner will encounter is the biography essay. Students are advised to distinguish between a biography and an autobiography. If you are in a history, cultural studies or literature class you will certainly write some biography essays. Most students in arts faculty are required to write this type of essay. While some essays do not necessarily require any writing style, biography essays mostly follow MLA or Chicago styles. Therefore, you must be familiar with these formats before starting to work on your paper.

What is a biography essay?

A biography essay is a piece of academic writing that tells the story of another person’s life. It is not to be confused with an autobiography that tells your personal story. Hence, you should write a biography essay in third-person language. If you have always looked up to a certain person, this essay is your chance to unveil information about them. Like other essays, you need a compelling introduction, informative body paragraphs, and an appealing conclusion. An effectively written biography will provide insights as to why that person was of interest. The reader will see the person’s achievements and their overall impact. Below are some useful tips and guidelines that help you craft a great biography essay.

How to Write a Biography Essay Step by step

1. pre-writing.

Any essay requires planning before diving into the actual writing process. The pre-writing stage helps the writer to come up with adequate content for the essay.

How to Write an Informal Essay

Culture essay.

How to write a scientific paper

Choose the subject

Identify the person whose story you want to tell and seek their permission first, especially if you will publish it. If the person does not agree, you might have to choose another subject. The person you intend to write about should be a popular one. Politicians, musicians, artists, authors, philosophers, and activists are some of the people with readily available information. It is also ideal to choose a subject you are interested in. What do you already know about this person?

Gather information about the subject

Use available resources to collect all the information you can about this person. You can look at books, newspapers, magazines, journals or reliable online sources. A list of research questions will make it easier to come up with the information you want to discuss. Note down the dates, events, facts, quotes or names relating to your subject. Use a wide number of sources to compare the information available about this subject. If they are available people, schedule dates where you can interview them. Alternatively, you can gather information from close persons like spouses, siblings, children, workmates or friends. This approach is crucial if there is some information you cannot find from the other sources.

Visit places that are important to the subject

If this individual made a breakthrough or encountered a life-changing event in a certain place, visit such locations. This way, you will relate more to the occurrence from that place. You can also identify the historical events that were happening during your subject’s life. If it was during a war, financial crisis or such, you will understand this person better. What were the cultural trends during this person’s growth? How did they change them positively or negatively? A person’s surrounding is likely to affect the decisions they make bout their life.

Make your subject’s timeline

Since you have collected much information about this time, organize their life from birth upwards. List down the events and occurrences from the person’s childhood to their death or later years. Be keen on the dates since they will relate to major historical events that may have changed your subject’s life.

2. Drafting your biography essay

Choose how to organize your essay.

You can organize the information gathered about your subject in several ways. Choose the most ideal one for you; the one that will help you tell you about this person exhaustively.

This approach tells the story of a person in chronological order. It starts from birth, childhood, young adulthood, adulthood, later years or death. Use a timeline to identify the events that occurred in this person’s life. Tell about the turnarounds, breakthroughs or depressions as at the dates they happened.

In this method, you will use flashbacks or tell the story in reverse order. While you can insert new information at any point, this is a more complex approach.

Rather than writing the essay in chronological order, the writer chooses themes. This method does not necessarily tell the story but ideas regarding the subject.

The most standard format of writing biographies is the linear arc.

Develop a thesis statement

Since you have information about your subject’s entire life, you are ready to write a thesis statement . It will identify your subject, achievements, and impact on others.

Introduction – How to start a biography essay

Write an introduction that will automatically get the reader interested in reading the entire piece. Start with an interesting quote, anecdote on or by the subject, or a fascinating achievement.

Write your body paragraphs

This section supports your thesis by the use of quotes, milestones, and experiences of your subject. Discuss any themes, patterns or habits that grew your subject to the person they became. Remember to include the dates and historical events that go in line with this person’s life. What activities was this person interested in? Talk about films, sporting activities, political forums, and so on. Also, highlight the kind of lifestyle that your subject led and any changes in the same. If there is any contradictory information about this person, mention it in this section.

Conclude your essay

End your essay with a bang by connecting the person’s life with any legacy they created. In this paragraph, your opinion or reason for interest in this person is welcome. Ensure that your conclusion fully supports your thesis statement and the information provided.

3. Polish your biography essay

Having told the story about your subject, review your work to ensure you did not omit any crucial details. Does your essay flow or are there loopholes that raise eyebrows? Make sure that you have observed the proper formatting and followed the required style.

How to write a 5 paragraph biography essay: Examples

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How to Write a Biography Essay and Get an A+

03 July, 2020

7 minutes read

Author:  Elizabeth Brown

Got a chance to write about your idol but need help with realization? Read our article to know the secrets of effective biography essay writing. Whoever you decide to write a biography essay about, don’t try to include random information at once. The person you describe would not like it. Instead, read our article about how to write a biography essay correctly and, more importantly, take pleasure in composing it. We’ll share some smart tips and tricks that you’ll find particularly useful for your writing.

biography essay

What is a biographical essay?

Some tend to mistakenly attribute biographical essay to the process of writing about themselves. But actually, biography definition has nothing to do with you. It’s more about telling the engaging story about a person’s life. This individual can be anyone: a famous historical figure, a well-known actor, politician, dancer, musician, artist, writer, inventor – you get the point. Such task sounds intriguing and interesting, and indeed it is. A biographical essay is a great chance to dilute simple academic tasks with a pinch of new article full of interesting facts and opinions.

what is a biography

Biography essay outline

Before writing a biography essay, it’s important to pay attention to essay structure and build up a biography outline. An outline is generally a schematic plan that helps to organize biography essays in accordance with the writer’s preference. In this, the primary task is to create a list of the most significant facts you’ll want to develop in the essay. The easiest way of arranging an outline is to add a numbered list indicating the main points, and a list of sub-points marked with bullets. Also, don’t forget to include a biography thesis statement that’ll sum up the main idea of your essay in one sentence.

How to start a biography essay?

Biography essay introduction

Before writing, you first need to understand what to include in a biography essay. An eloquent biography essay always starts with the introduction of a chosen person. The initial step of writing it involves the inclusion of such information as the person’s name, date of their birth, and the place they were born in. Of course, it’s not a uniform set of data necessary for this part. You can take the situation in your hands and write about some cultural or historical background surrounding one’s birthplace or the day they were born. Adding such information to the introductory part will help to create some context by connecting you and readers closer to the described character and broadening the common knowledge with more absorbing facts.

How to write a biography essay about someone else?

When people ask how to write a biography paper, the only thing they think of is a random flow of ideas about someone’s life. In fact, writing a biography paper is more complicated. The section following the introduction is devoted to life description. Here, you’ll need to feature early life and childhood of a chosen person. This part should cover general information about their parents, and divert readers’ attention to some facts related to their origin, education, and relationship status. Next, focus more on education and place where the person grew up. In this section, include more detailed information about the critical moments of their childhood life, like the name of the school they studied in or the point of moving to another city or town. Perhaps there are more facts worthy of note, such as family problems or health issues that revolved around one’s childhood. If there are such, include them as well.

The second section of your biographical essay will tell readers about someone’s adulthood. Depending on the person, this piece of story can be outlined differently. For example, you can write about their university or college life, or indicate their first job. The point here is to chronologically depict a period of moving from childhood to adult life. Then, talk about the formation of a person’s career path, starting with the first working experience and ending with the remarkable moment of revealing talents and skills that shaped their life. In the next paragraph, mention the person’s relationship during their adulthood. If applicable, describe how someone special helped them to become successful or motivated them throughout their career. Another significant aspect in this section has to do with the person’s success, in which readers could know about their notable accomplishments and achievements.

What to write in a Biography essay

The final section of a biography essay will touch the person’s current or later life. If they are alive, include the overlook of their place of living and write about their activities. You can also add such information as to their current projects or career plans, along with other meaningful facts about their life.

If the person you’re writing about is no longer living, emphasize on the brightest moments at the sunset of their life. Mention the definitive moments and aspects, and write about the cause of their deaths.

Other tips on writing a biography

If you want your biography essay to leave a great impact on readers, don’t conclude it with a simple explanation of why this or that person died and what their latest works were. This is only factual information which brings no specific value to your essay and, more importantly, doesn’t breathe life into it. To wrap up your essay content with a memorable grabber, include a couple of sentences in which write about the person’s legacy. That is, add the opinion of why this individual’s activity became an exceptional contribution to the world’s history, and why they have changed some aspects of their field.

Biography essay writing is a responsible task that aims at showing a well-acclaimed person from the best light. Therefore, you need to write about one’s life as you would about your mother – with maximum details and showing respect for that person. So follow our advice to compose an A+ biography essay that you and your audience will enjoy reading.

Note that our company provides academic writing help. You can buy a Biography essay written from scratch by our  essay writer .

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