Autobiography refers to the information about one’s own life written by that one person. In an autobiography, the writer uses interesting facts to tell and exclusively explain his or her life. The history of autobiography can be traced many years in the past. In 400 A.D., Saint Augustine, an early Christian leader, wrote his autobiography. Autobiographies are written for various reasons, such as to leave a message to future generations, to process experiences, to share who you are, to pass on your heritage, to put a closure to e period or episode and to preserve family history. Autobiographies exist in many forms including written records, audio records, and movies. Journals, diaries, and letters produced by the person are commonly used or referred to when writing.


How to Write an Autobiography?

Various steps are followed in writing a good autobiography. The first step incorporates mapping and writing out your timeline. In this step, you should research your life and create a timeline, identify the best people who influenced your life, pull out the best stories in your life and write in your own voice. Step two involves crafting the narrative. This step includes building a structure or plot, deciding on the start of the story, staying focused and segregating into different sections by dividing your life into chapters. Step 3 comprises of editing and polishing your autobiography. In this step, you should double-check your facts such as dates and names, edit the draft, share the written autobiography with people and choose a title. Step four encompass publishing the autobiography. This section involves self-publishing the book, researching for a literary agent and publishing the autobiography book online (Joseph).

Autobiography Format

Though each autobiography contains different and unique experiences, a basic structured format is utilized for uniformity and to ensure all vital details are included. The format contains six key topics that are; birth, heritage, education, career, community and leisure, and life lessons. The birth topic involves information such as your full name, date of birth, place of birth, parents names, parents birth date, siblings name and siblings birth date. Heritage section encompasses the culture, nationality, religious and spiritual beliefs of your ancestors such as paternal grandparents names, paternal grandparents nationalities, paternal grandparents date and location of birth.

Education section incorporates information about your school days such as name of your schools, location of your schools, area of interest, accomplishments, honors, and awards. The career topic reflects the workplace information and experiences such as company name, your position at your first job, jobs you would like to try and other jobs you had. Community and leisure reflect contain information on how you spend your free time and your participation in the community. It contains information on your hobbies, the sports you play, names of clubs you are a member and trips you have taken. The last section, life lessons, reflect on what you have learned and your experiences. It has information such as most memorable times, list of tragic times, times when you felt proud and list of times when you made a mistake (Rajotte).

Famous Autobiographies

Famous bibliographies include those written notable, iconic and famous personalities such as politicians, novelists, and celebrities. This also includes the books categorized as autobiographical. The Diary of a Young Girl, which was written by Anne Frank is one of the most famous autobiographies. The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi is also widely known and read by many. Night, a bibliography by Elie Wiesel also falls under the famous autobiographies.

Nelson Mandela also wrote the autobiography known as Long Walk to Freedom which is famous all around the world. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, written by Benjamin Franklin and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings written by Maya Angelou is also popular and among the most famous autobiographies. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Alex Haley by Malcolm X is also widely known as well as Open: An Autobiography written by Andre Agassi. Also among the famous autobiographies are Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, The Story of My Life by Helen Keller, and A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer(McDermott).



  • Joseph, Laran. “How To Write An Autobiography And Make The Best-Seller List”. Udemy Blog. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
  • Rajotte, Mary. “Autobiographies Format: Capture Your Life History In Detail With An Easy To Use Format”. Bright Hub Education. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
  • McDermott, Buster. “The Best Autobiographies Ever Written”. Ranker. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.
  • “What Is An Autobiography?”. Reference. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Aug. 2016.
  • “Autobiography”. N.p., 2016. Web. 9 Aug. 2016.