An autobiography tells the story of your life. For some students, it's difficult to decide which few experiences to include in their autobiography because they have so many to share. Other students say, "Nothing has happened to me." Finding the right experiences to include is just one step in writing your autobiography. Chances are, you'll learn a lot about yourself while writing this essay even though you think you already know who you are.
Make a list of important experiences in your life. The Utah Education Network has a list of suggested topics for brainstorming for an autobiography. For example, think about your hobbies, pets, schools and friendships. Reflect on any major world events you've experienced. List your happiest and saddest moments. Think about family stories that have been told over and over again. Also, think about the places you've lived. These topics will help you generate useful information for your autobiography.
Create a life map or time line of the most important events. The Scholastic website recommends creating a graphic organizer called a life map. You can creatively illustrate and connect the most important events you brainstormed. If you are a linear thinker, make a time line to put the events in chronological order. As you look through the years, you might remember more events to add to your time line.
Decide which events to include in your autobiography. This will partly depend upon how long the essay is supposed to be. You should plan to write a few sentences about each event. Choose the most meaningful events to focus on.
Brainstorm about each event by noting sights, smells, sounds and feelings you associate with each meaningful event. Your autobiography should not merely list events. It should tell stories. Stories are more interesting to your readers when you include descriptive details.
Create an outline for your autobiography. Autobiographies are often told in chronological order, starting with the earliest events and traveling to the present. Instead, you could list the events in order of importance. The Educational Writing Student Resource Center also suggests sorting information by topic. For example, you could have a paragraph about friends, one about family, one about first experiences and another about hobbies.
Begin writing. Start your introduction with a captivating detail about your life or a description of who you are. Some biographies begin with the person's birth or an event from early childhood. Other biographies include the most important event in the introduction.
Include a paragraph about each time period, event or topic. The middle of your essay should have a logical progression from story to story or from topic to topic. Don't just list facts. Include the descriptive details you recalled while brainstorming.
Conclude your essay by reflecting on your life or looking toward the future. Readers appreciate knowing what you've learned from your experiences. How have your life events turned you into the person you are today? You might also discuss your plans for your future. This lets readers imagine the person you might become.
- Ask a family member to help you brainstorm important events. Your parents will remember things you don't.
- Review your teacher's assignment sheet or grading rubric, if these were supplied. Your teacher might have more specific guidelines or expectations.
- Don't use the word "I" too often, even though you are using first-person point of view.
- Don't list too many events. Focus on describing fewer important ones in greater detail.
- boy writes to writing-books image by Stepanov from Fotolia.com