Want an A on Your Autobiography Try These Tips

Want to get an A on an autobiography assignment at school? Writing about yourself can be a very tricky thing. These tips will help you put together an autobiography that will impress your teacher and earn a good grade.

Why Do I Have to Write This Stupid Paper?
First off, it's good to understand why you have this assignment and to know what an autobiography is and isn't. There are two types of writing you learn in school. The first is creative writing, which is the fun stuff. You let your imagination run wild and try to come up with a good story.

The second type of writing is nonfiction writing, which needs to based in facts. An autobiography is a form of journalism about a subject you know better than anyone else: you. That doesn't mean it has to be dull. Some of those creative writing tricks, like using good descriptions and creating a dramatic narrative, belong in your autobiography. You simply need to find what's interesting in your own life, rather than in the fantasy worlds that you imagine.

Autobiography Writing Tips

  • Keep it simple. Focus on one major event in your life or one interesting aspect of your personality. Trying to fit in all of your achievements in a few words winds up reading like a list, rather than a story. You could talk about how you came to love singing, how you hit the winning home run in a baseball game or why you and your dog have a great friendship.
  • Work backwards. Start with that special event or interest, then explore the things in your life that led up to it. Think about how you felt the first time you played baseball or petted a cat. Ask your parents when you discovered you loved certain things. Ask your parents, too, about any influence they had on your decisions. Maybe your dad always wanted to play professional baseball, so he encouraged you to sign up for Little League. Talk to your friends and ask them how they feel about you and your interests. Write down these small details, because they'll form the backbone of your autobiography.
  • Create an outline. It's always a good idea to outline a writing assignment before you begin putting words on paper. This focuses your thoughts and keeps you from forgetting important details. A good autobiography begins with a paragraph on why you're interesting. It could be a quick description of the day you met your dog, the night you sang a solo or the game-changing home run you hit. Fill in some detail to make this moment exciting. From there, go into the background of who you are and how you got to that moment in your life.
  • Don't brag or boast. Unless you're Mohammed Ali, the words "I'm the greatest" should not appear in your autobiography. You can't ever come out and say that you're awesome, even though you are. Instead, you need to convince your readers that you're important and that your achievements are worthwhile. Skip the superlatives and stick to the facts.
  • Don't invent details. An autobiography is not the place to let your imagination run wild. It may not seem this way to you, but everyday life is very interesting. Understanding the decisions you make, and why you make them, is a big part of writing your autobiography.
  • Build a narrative. Include challenges that you faced and explain how your background and experience enabled you to overcome them. For example, an autobiography about singing might include the teacher who helped you reach a high C. A story about a baseball player could mention problems you've had hitting balls thrown by a particular pitcher. The way you face challenges says a lot about you, making it a perfect detail to include in an autobiography.
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