It is very hard and almost impossible to be objective when you write an autobiography. What is an autobiography and does it necessarily need to be objective? The best answers to these questions are waiting for you only a few lines below.
What Is an Autobiography in Simplest Terms?
“What is autobiography?” - students ask each other this question, but they don't receive any answers that are at least remotely good. No more confusion! Here is the best answer:
An autobiography is a life story, written by its main character. However, without this small prefix “auto”, the word “biography” means a life story written by an author different from its main character.
By the way, the word “memoir” has a similar meaning. If somebody asks you “what is a memoir”, feel free to give them the definition provided above.
Therefore, when you are assigned an autobiography (or a memoir), you are the author and the main character of your story at the same time. For instance, My Struggle by Adolf Hitler is one of the best-known examples of autobiographies.
What Is an Autobiography and How to Make It Perfect?
There can be several reasons for which you need to write an autobiography:
- your teacher wants you to learn this genre;
- your employer prefers an autobiography to a resume;
- you want to tell the world about your achievements.
No matter what your personal reason for writing an autobiography is, being realistic about your strengths and weaknesses can be very hard. You should consider the following recommendations to make your autobiography as objective and relevant as possible:
- Consider your main goal.
- Respect the time and interests of your audience – include only what is relevant.
- Make it sincere, but interesting. Intrigue your readers, appeal to their feelings and play with their imagination.
- Do not make it “too good to be truth.” Be sure to mention your weaknesses and negative qualities too. Do not go too far with self-criticism though, but do your best to at least create an illusion of objectivity.
- Do not cross the line of what is decent. Certainly, you should be sincere in your autobiography. Still, it would be better not to uncover the skeletons in your wardrobe unless it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, make certain you do not disclose any secrets of others.
- Do not bore your readers. This is not your personal diary after all! Do not forget that somebody is going to read your autobiography. Include rhetorical questions and add a touch of humor.
- Do not copy your resume. Use an essay format for your autobiography. Feel free to use specific details and to talk about your emotions. You should not use too many bulleted or numbered lists.
So, now you not only know what an autobiography is, but you can also start writing one, immediately after reading the last sentence of this guide. Good luck! Who knows if it is not only excellent grades, but also a career of an outstanding memoirist is waiting for you?