How to write an autobiography

An autobiography essay is simply writing about your personal experiences or a specific event, but not a story of your whole life. 

Although the writing process may take a lot of time, it’s easy to overcome with a good preparation and planning. Let’s first look at how to structure an autobiography essay.

essay outline structure

Autobiography introduction

When starting an autobiography essay, follow the usual essay format; introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction is one of the most important parts as you need to engage the reader and keep them reading more at this part.

Follow these steps to write a good introduction.

Autobiography introduction example


My story begins in the rural countryside of Africa where I was raised. Hook sentence From a young age, I was always fascinated by the world and driven by a desire to understand how things work. Background on your life This essay will recount my journey, academic achievements, and future aspirations, demonstrating how determination and hard work have helped me overcome obstacles and lay the foundation for a successful future. Signposting Through a combination of determination, hard work, and a passion for learning, I have overcome numerous challenges and achieved my academic goals, paving the way for a bright future. Thesis statement: The core message of your autobiography

Writing the body paragraphs

The body is where you build your story and share your experiences. There are a few things to consider when writing your paragraphs.

Autobiography body paragraphs example

Growing up in poverty presented many challenges in my pursuit of knowledge, but I was not discouraged. Topic sentence I taught myself and studied on my own, driven by a passion for learning and a belief in my own abilities. Personal information My hard work and determination paid off when I was awarded a scholarship to attend college and pursue my dreams. Closing sentence

During my time in college, I have excelled academically and become involved in several research projects. Topic sentence These experiences have allowed me to gain valuable knowledge and skills in my field of study, preparing me for a successful career. Personal information/Progress I have also taken additional courses and certifications to expand my understanding and knowledge even further. Closing sentence

In addition to my academic pursuits, I have also been active in my community, volunteering my time and resources to help those in need. Topic sentence I believe that it is important to give back and make a positive impact in the world. Personal reflection/Progress My volunteer work has taught me the value of service and the importance of helping others. Closing sentence

Autobiography conclusion

The conclusion part is just as important as the introduction as you summarize your story and discuss the conclusions from your experiences. You can also leave a meaningful impression on the reader by sharing what your experiences have taught you so far.

Look at the conclusion example below: 

Autobiography conclusion example

Looking back on my life, I am proud of what I have accomplished and grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me. Summarize and connect your stories Through determination, hard work, and a passion for learning, I have overcome numerous obstacles and achieved my academic goals. Keep connecting the events in your autobiography NI am confident that with these qualities, I will continue to succeed in the future and make a positive impact in the world A memorable concluding sentence

Steps to writing an autobiography

Step 1: Brainstorm and choose a main idea

Start writing by brainstorming your memories and experiences. 

You may write about an important event that has made an impact in your life, an achievement or your life philosophy. But don’t forget to focus on only a single event, person, memory, and place..

Step 2: Research and create an outline

Research to recall the memories you have chosen. You can get help from family members and friends to remember details, as well as, if possible, look at old photos, archives, or letters. 

Now you’ll see the outline of the example essay above.

Autobiography outline example

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook and background on the subject's life
    2. Thesis statement (Main idea)

  2. Body paragraph 1
    1. Growing up in poverty presented challenges
    2. Determined to achieve goals through hard work and self-study
    3. Earned scholarship to attend college

  3. Body paragraph 2
    1. Excelled academically in college
    2. Involved in research projects
    3. Pursued additional courses and certifications to expand knowledge

  4. Body paragraph 3
    1. Active in community through volunteer work
    2. Believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact
    3. Volunteering has taught the value of service and helping others

  5. Conclusion
    1. Reflects on life and accomplishments
    2. Confident in future success with determination, hard work, and passion for learning
    3. Will continue to make a positive impact in the world.

If you create an outline before writing, you’ll make the writing process easier. By following your outline, you won’t forget the main ideas that you’ll cover. 

Step 3: Write your first draft

After you have all your plans organized, you can now start trying out your first draft. In case you want to improve your sentences, use a rewording tool. It uses AI to enhance your content while following its context.

Step 4: Proofread and refine

Once you’ve completed your autobiography essay, start editing. Check carefully to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. errors and make improvements. 

Make use of known software such as Editpad, Grammarly, Scribbr, etc. before submitting your autobiography. 


Key takeaways