A Complete Guide on How to Write an Autobiographical Essay
One of the most common types of essays that students have to write is an autobiographical essay. Some students don’t find this task that difficult while others struggle with the basic requirements that need to be followed in the writing process.
Many students get confused asking the same question: “How to write an autobiographical essay about myself for a scholarship?” To help you with that, we have compiled several guides that will lead you through every step of the work and will provide you with useful tips. After reading this article, you will know what types of an autobiography essay are and how to complete each of them in properly.
By the way, have you seen our guide for writing a scholarship essay? Open it in the new to tab, so that you won’t forget to read it.
What Is an Autobiographical Essay?
Every assignment that your teacher gives you has its purpose. In the case of an autobiographical essay assignment, it is meant to teach you:
- How to describe events, characters, and atmosphere
- How to put your emotions into your writing
- How to be more genuine in your writing
When you are writing an autobiographical essay, you don’t need to make up a story, analyze literature or historical facts or compile statistics. This is the assignment which can really show your writing skills, as you need to describe one of the stories that happened in your own life.
The choice of the story, as well as the emotions that were put into writing, can tell a lot about your personality. If you struggle with writing this or any other type of essay, you can also check out our useful tips on how to improve your writing skills.
How to Pick the Topic
There are two types of autobiographical essays which high school students have to perform. The first one implies describing a single story from your life or a significant event. The second one requires writing a brief description of your life from your birth.
If you need to choose only one story to describe in your essay — pick the one that:
- You have a vivid memory of
- You have a lot to say about
- Brings a lot of emotions while thinking about it
- Your accomplishments – winning the competition, getting exceptional feedback on your achievements, creating the best piece of something (so far), meeting certain goals in studying, sports or hobby, etc.
- Entertaining or unusual stories of your life – a funny or an interesting situation that has imprinted in your memory.
- Some meaningful and significant event that happened for the first time in your life – meeting your soulmate, riding a bicycle or getting a pet.
You can make up some minor details to make your autobiographical essay sound more exciting, but the topic itself should genuinely and honestly describe some true story from your life.
How to Write an Outline
Every essay requires an outline. Before actually writing your essay, write down the main points of the story that you are about to tell and significant details that should be included.
Organize your ideas in the order in which you want to evolve them and start building your essay around this basis. If you are writing a complete autobiography, it’s necessary to use chronological order. But if you write about a particular event, you are not obligated to do this.
How to Write an Introduction for an Autobiographical Essay
Start an autobiography with a catchy sentence. The way you begin your story always defines the following content, so you need to get the reader’s attention and make your introduction interesting and exciting.
The first sentence of an autobiography might be:
- An anecdote
- A quote
- An intriguing question
- A short introductory sentence
You can also start from the end of the story and tell your readers about its finale first and then about previous events.
For example: “It was the day when I met my best friend and my soulmate.”
Don’t make your introduction part too long. The best option would be to jump in the actual story as soon as possible. This way you can keep your reader interested in the plot of the story.
A tip: Don’t forget that you should use a first-person narrative mode for an autobiographical essay. Use prepositions “I,” “me,” “my” when telling your story.
How to Write Your Story in a Compelling Way
If you struggle with the style of your essay and the number of details that you need to include, don’t worry, we can help you.
- Don’t be afraid of using vivid details as they help to make your story more interesting for the reader.
- Use the description of the setting and environment to help your readers imagine the situation better.
- Use the description of characters or yourself in the story. For example, the description of clothes, hair, mood, etc.
- Add a little humor to the text.
- Describe your emotions when talking about some significant events. For example, “When my father walked into the room holding a golden retriever puppy in his hands, I burst into tears of happiness.”
When writing an autobiography, it’s essential to define the key moments or individuals who had a significant role in your life. You need to make it clear why you choose to describe particular events – write about what you’ve learned from this experience or how your life has changed after that.
If you are going to write an autobiographical essay that covers the story of your life from birth to the current moment, speak about the most significant event or stages of your development. In this case, your essay shouldn’t be as detailed, but the chronological order and the reasons for mentioning particular events should be clear for the audience.
Do you find it challenging to focus on finishing your essay? We have a few pieces of advice for students who want to procrastinate less.
How to Write a Conclusion to Your Autobiographical Essay
When you need to finish your essay, it’s important to give a good impression as a conclusion is the most memorable part. Finish your story with the conclusion you made out of the story. For example, you can end your story about getting your first pet with:
“This puppy grew up fast and became my defender and companion, following me everywhere I go. I’ve never thought that I could get such a loving and devoted friend.”
After finishing your essay, proofread it and make your edits. No matter what type of paper you need to complete, each one has to be thoroughly checked for grammatical and punctuation errors, as well as for plagiarism. So don’t forget to perform these steps or ask a professional writing service to do that for you.