Biographical Essay Examples

As a high school or college student, you have written dozens, if not hundreds, of essays of all types. However, a biographical essay is different from what you have written before. In fact, despite seeming relatively straightforward, writing a biography essay can confuse inexperienced students.

Instead of your ideas, a biography essay utilizes facts, but it takes a lot of research and writing skills to write a biography essay that will impress both your peers and your professor. Our essay writing service has prepared a detailed guide on writing a good biography essay, and here is everything you need to know.

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Keep these in Mind Before You Start Writing a Biography Essay

Basic Biography Example

  • Biography comes from Greek words meaning “life description.” However, it’s more than a simple statement of facts about someone in chronological order. A biography should tell a story of its subject, focusing on significant events and experiences and analyzing the personality of a topic or its contribution to history and culture. 
  • Your subject can be a historical figure, a modern-day celebrity, or just a person you know – however, they must be accurate, not fictional. A biography has a place for sentiment and interpretation but doesn’t tolerate fantasies and speculation—only facts about a natural person. When choosing your subject, keep in mind the availability of information. 
  • Choose someone you find fascinating, whose character or impact you believe to be significant. This way, you will enjoy looking for additional information about your subject. You will be genuinely enthusiastic while writing, which is always suitable for the tone and flow of your essay. 
  • When you have all the facts about your subject, try to find the focus of your essay. Will you concentrate on how childhood experiences shaped their character? Will you show which character trait was essential for their success? Select facts that are most relevant to your narrative.

What is a Biographical Essay

A biography essay is an essay where you tell the story of a person’s life. It’s a chance for you to research and learn interesting facts and opinions about someone. That person could be a historical figure, a famous actor, politician, artist, writer, or inventor. The point of the biographical essay is to reveal who that person was and what contribution they have made to the world.

To write a great biography essay, you must develop a thesis statement about them and write supporting paragraphs with information about their life and work. Finally, a conclusion will help show the lasting impact they’ve had.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an A+ Biographical Essay

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an A+ Biographical Essay
A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing an A+ Biographical Essay

Step 1 – Choose Your Subject

The person you choose to write about should be someone famous. Since you’ll need to research them, they need to be someone you can find articles and books about. It would be best if the person is someone you’re interested in. That will make it easier for you to get excited about doing the research. 

Step 2 – Do Research

The more you read about your subject, the clearer a picture you’ll have of who they are, what they accomplished, and why they’re famous. Different writers will have varying opinions and information about your chosen person, so it’s best to read various sources. As you do your research, take notes of interesting facts, dates, events, and names. Take note of extreme opinions, especially if they are opposing or contradictory to your subject. 

Step 3 – Write an Outline

Outline your essay. Your essay should follow the standard five-paragraph format (Introduction, Body Paragraphs, Conclusion) unless otherwise instructed by your teacher. Your outline will help you organize the information you gathered during your research while considering which ideas to include in each paragraph. 

Step 4 – Write Your Introduction Paragraph

Your introduction is your chance to engage the reader and get them excited about checking out your essay. To get your reader hooked, try these introduction styles:

  • Start with a quote either by or about your subject. Something that reveals the essence of what difference that person made in this world.
  • Include a fascinating story or anecdote about them.
  • Describe an incredible accomplishment they achieved.

Step 5 – Develop Your Thesis Statement

Finally, you’ll need to write a thesis statement. Your thesis statement will be the crux on which the rest of your essay hangs, so pay careful attention to crafting it.

Some example thesis statements:

Though Marilyn Monroe had fame and fortune, she was a troubled woman whose self-destructive habits may have ultimately led to her tragic early death.

Step 6 – Body Paragraphs

This is where you’ll get to include the information you gathered in your research. Make sure you stick close to the theme you introduced in your thesis. 

For example, if you’re writing about Marilyn Monroe, you may want to include facts about her troubled childhood and marriages as well as her substance and prescription pill abuse. You’ll also want to tell readers about her films, interests, and lifestyle. 

Who were the people that were close to her? What did they have to say? What kind of different opinions did authors have about her? Include contradictory information to provide a more complete and complex picture of your subject. 

Step 7 – Conclusion

This is where you wrap up the essay and draw conclusions about your subject. You want to end your essay with a bang, not a fizzle. Refrain from restating your thesis or the points you made in your body paragraphs. Instead, they reach beyond that by tying their work or legacy into modern life. Consider addressing the following questions:

  • What kind of contribution did they make to their chosen field?
  • How is their work relevant today?
  • What is their legacy? How are they remembered?
  • What or who did they have a significant influence on?

The best biography essays explore the person’s life and work and offer little-known facts about them. Refrain from settling for superficial accounts – dig deeper to discover more about them.

Biographical Essay Outline

Even though a biographical essay is a unique form of writing, it still requires you to follow a specific format and structure. The biography essay outline helps you keep your thoughts in order and always take advantage of every significant fact or quote.

So, how do you write a biography essay outline? Unless otherwise specified by your professor, you should follow the standard five-paragraph essay structure. It means that your biography essay outline will include the following chapters:

  • Introduction
  • Body paragraph #1
  • Body paragraph #2
  • Body paragraph #3
  • Conclusion

Now that you know what a biography essay is and how to create a good biography essay outline, it is finally time to find out how to write a biography essay. In this part of our guide, we will focus on a personal biography essay or autobiography.

Expert Tips for Writing a Biography Essay

How do I write a biography essay to make it flawless? Check out these extra writing tips from our expert team of authors who specialize in essay writing in the United States:

  • Even though that might seem obvious, you should always use chronological order when listing the events in a biography essay. 
  • Not every event from the person’s life is worth mentioning in a biography essay. Before beginning to write your essay, you must study the person’s biography in detail. 
  • Your readers don’t want to see any generalizations or your own opinions— there are other genres of writing where you can do that.

How do you write a biography essay about someone else?

Our essay service has already covered how to write a personal biography essay, but in most cases, you will be tasked with writing a biography essay about a different person — usually someone famous and significant in their field. This person can be dead or alive, but they will likely have a rich biography that is relatively easy to write about.

The key to writing a solid biography essay is relying strictly on facts, not fiction. It doesn’t mean you should simply list the facts from the person’s life story without any opinions of your own. Still, those opinions and assumptions must always be based on the official statements from the person’s biography.

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Biographical Essay Example

Mahatma Gandhi, a well-known person known for peacefully doing the most difficult of tasks, came into the world on October 2nd, 1869. This happened in Porbandar, which is in India. From a normal kid in India to a significant person known worldwide, his life influences many people.

Gandhi lived in a little seaside town when he was young. His family showed him how always to tell the truth, live a simple life, and care about everyone. When he studied law in London, he kept his Indian culture alive and lived a plain life.

Gandhi’s life changed when he went to South Africa. There, because of his skin color, people mistreated him. This caused him to deeply care about fairness and treating everyone similarly. He began using calm demonstrations like the Salt March in India to prove that progress could occur without fighting. Many folks teamed up with him to fight against the British rulers.

Gandhi’s thoughts weren’t only for India – they touched people worldwide. His idea of not using violence helped other groups push for fair treatment. India became free in 1947, and Gandhi’s wish for an independent country came true.

People called Gandhi “Bapu,” which means daddy. He lived a simple life, wearing simple clothes and eating basic vegetarian food. He thought that if you want to change the world, start by changing yourself first.

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Frequently Asked Question

How to Start a Biography Essay?

Start with a hook — an attention-grabbing sentence that sets the tone for the paper. It can be a personal anecdote, a fact, or a quote from someone else describing you.

How do you write the body paragraphs of a biography essay?

Since it’s a personal essay, you probably won’t use too much research to support your claims, which will be based on your own life. However, you should carefully choose the wording to avoid exaggerating your achievements. Be as close to your life events as possible.