Autobiography Essay: Finding Words To Describe Yourself

The autobiography essay is a requirement one usually finds in university, college, scholarship, and grant applications. Most are open ended and allow you to choose to write about any experience you may have had with a person, place, or thing in your life. You may also start seeing similar assignments in high school, when learning how to write an autobiography essay develops first person writing skills that strengthen one’s overall ability to do well with academic papers, including PhD thesis writing. This article provides you with some great advice pieced together from some of the best skilled writers around the world.

What Is an Autobiography Essay Precisely?

An autobiography college essay essentially tells a reader something personal about yourself by way of describing your experience with something in your past. This kind of writing relies heavily on descriptive detail as it tries to bring an image to life for the reader. It’s largely self-focused and can be a challenge because you are encouraged to write honestly but need to rein creativity in a way that your writing is still high-quality and free from the common errors we find in day-to-day speech.

A Great Opportunity to Stand Out

Always consider who the intended audience is when you are writing this kind of paper. When I wrote an autobiography essay about myself for college, I imagined a group of 3 to 4 admissions officers having to read hundreds of essays per day. I knew what the common themes were and thought that I needed to make a lasting impression; this is why I decided to write on something a little “off-the-wall” in a sense. It still met all criteria but it was on a real life event – almost drowning in 2-inches of water – that could not be forgotten.

Tips on How to Write an Autobiography Essay

  1. Develop an Autobiography Essay Plan
  2. First of all, run through all of the essay topic options and select something you are really interested in discussing. Most topics will surround specific experiences that have in some way impacted your life – but they don’t all have to be entirely life-altering. You may find a topic related to a favorite book, movie, or style of music. Just select something that you are truly passionate about. Do not just copy and paste from the Internet, the consequences of plagiarism may be too heavy.

    Next, brainstorm for a while and jot down some ideas. Most of these responses are limited about 300 or so words, so you shouldn’t be afraid about having to come up with something more to write about. Chances are good that you will actually have to do some significant editing before you are done.

  3. Create an Autobiography Essay Outline
  4. One of the first things you might hear about how to end an autobiography essay is to create an outline before you start writing – this will help you arrange your thoughts in a logical order that will simplify your efforts. Your ending should also be easy to create with the use of an outline, because your ending should effectively summarize and synthesize the most important points made throughout the essay.

    Refer to your outline often and make all changes to the outline before you make the changes to your essay draft. It’s much easier to move things around at the start instead of having to move large pieces of text.

  5. Write the Rough Draft in the First Person
  6. So, how to start an autobiography essay? you ask. Just sit down and start writing. Don’t waste time searching for the perfect opening, or phrase, or word. Just write whatever comes to mind and keep going. As you gain momentum you will find the words start flowing through you. Keep everything in the first person and imagine yourself telling this story to somebody in person. It’ll be much easier.

  7. Set Your Draft Aside Before Making Revisions
  8. I knew my autobiography essay wouldn’t make such a great impression after just one focused draft. I needed to rethink the work as a whole and in its separate parts. Revisions are best made with clear mind – and this can only be achieved if you set your work aside for a few days. This is the reason why you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to start your assignment. Giving you ample time to take a break between drafts will result in higher quality writing.

  9. Edit, Proofread and Get an Outside Reader’s Opinion
  10. If you go to the school or public library and pull any of the best autobiographies from the shelf, you will find that the writing is of the highest quality. This is, of course, because the writer has gone through several rounds of painstaking editing and proofreading to ensure there are absolute no mistakes that would distract from the work.

    Your essay assignment will not be as long as a full-blown book, so you should have no excuses to make if you don’t put in a couple of hours of in-depth editing and proofreading of your own. You should also have a friend, classmate, teacher, or parent review your work to provide some type of feedback.

Places to Turn to For Autobiography Essay Examples

The best way to learn how to do this type of writing is by finding and reviewing an autobiography essay example. Most test preparation and admissions guides contain a number of examples to give you a sense of what is expected in this kind of assignment. You can also find a really good autobiography sample essay on a writing service website or posted on an online community student’s site. Be sure to read several samples to get different perspectives of what works and what does not.

Start the Process Early So that You can Take Your Time

We touched on this in Tip #4 above, where we mention the importance of starting your assignment early. Writing an autobiography essay is an easy but dedicated process that can take several days to a couple of weeks to get right. The good news is that you should have a clearer idea of what is an autobiography and can approach the assignment with more confidence and certainty that you will be able to create a compelling piece of writing.

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