A biographical essay is an academic paper that tells the story of another person’s life. Don’t confuse it with an autobiography; it tells a personal story. Consequently, you should write your biography essay in the third person. A biography analysis differs from a regular biography in one key aspect: instead of focusing on telling a person’s life story, your objective is to examine that person’s life critically. The analysis can focus on one aspect, such as personality or career, or it can span a person’s entire life. A good biography analysis should consist of brief parts of the narrative and long analysis pieces. The examination itself should consist of recognizing the relationships between different parts of the person’s life and showing how these parts relate to your overall thesis. As with other essays, you need a compelling introduction, informative main body paragraphs, and an appealing conclusion. An effectively written biography will explain why this person sparks interest.
Below are helpful tips and guidelines to help you create an excellent biography essay.
How to write a biographical essay step by step:
Any academic paper requires planning before diving into the writing process. The prewriting step helps the author develop acceptable content for the essay.
Choose a topic
Select the person whose story you want to tell. It’s better to choose among popular people. Politicians, musicians, artists, writers, philosophers, and activists are some of the people you can easily get information about. We advise picking up a topic rising your interest. Think of the facts you already know about this person.
Gather information about this person
Use the resources available to gather all the information you can about this person. You can turn to books, newspapers, magazines, journals, or reliable Internet sources. It will be easier to find the information you want to discuss if you compile a list of research questions. Write down dates, events, facts, quotes, or names related to your topic. Use a large number of sources to compare available information on the subject. If there are people available, schedule dates when you can interview them. Encyclopedias can also help you with a general overview, but they lack the necessary details that are essential for a good paper. Always verify the author’s background/information when you choose books and articles. You should also collect primary sources: any diary entries, letters, articles, or even books written on your topic. Newspaper articles about the person can also provide insight into how the public perceives your figure.
Visit places (if possible/necessary) that are important to the subject of the study
If this person has had a breakthrough or encountered a life-changing event in a particular place, visit such places. In this way, you will be more connected to the event from that place. You can also identify historical events that occurred during your subject’s life. You would understand that person better if it was a war, financial crisis, or something similar. A person’s environment probably influences the decisions they make about their life.
Make a timeline of your research subject’s life
Since you will have to gather a lot of information, organize it well. List events and phenomena from the person’s childhood to their death or later years. Be careful of the dates.
Choose your focus
Select your area of research. Choose a specific aspect of the person’s life that you want to focus on (unless, of course, you are covering their entire life). Examples of focus areas could be analyzing the influence of the president’s personality on his foreign policy or the influence of the author’s childhood on his writing style.
2. Writing a biographical essay
Choose how to organize your essay
You can organize the information you gather about your subject in several ways. Choose the one that is ideal for you and will help you tell your story about that person.
This approach tells a person’s story in chronological order. It begins with birth, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, later years, or death. Using the timeline, identify the events in that person’s life.
This method is characterized by using flashbacks or telling the story in reverse order. Although you can insert new information at any point, this is a more complex approach.
Instead of writing essays in chronological order, the writer chooses topics. This method does not necessarily tell a story but ideas about the subject matter.
Formulate a thesis statement
Once you have information about your subject’s life, you are ready to write a thesis statement. It should define the person, accomplishments, and impact on others. A compelling thesis informs readers why they should be interested in this topic.
Write an introduction
Find creative ways to open your biography analysis by including an appropriate quote supporting your thesis. Remember to write the thesis statement, the most important part of the introduction. Write an introduction that will automatically interest the reader in reading the entire essay. If you find it hard to keep every relevant point in mind while writing an essay, you may ask someone to write your paper on such website like essayshark.com.
Write the main body of your paper
Write the main body of the essay. You should split each of the statements that support your thesis into separate paragraphs. Provide evidence for each reason, including expert opinions and records of the subject, and discuss how they support your thesis. This section supports your thesis by using quotes, milestones, and your subject’s experiences. Discuss any themes, behaviors, or habits that have led your subject to become the person they have become. Include dates and historical events related to this person’s life. Also, indicate what kind of lifestyle your subject led and what changes took place in it. If you come across any contradictory information about this person, indicate it in this section.
Conclude your essay by linking the person’s life to any legacy they created. You can express your opinion and reason for interest in this person in this paragraph. Make sure your conclusion fully supports the thesis statement and the information presented. Remind readers of the importance of your topic. You should also indicate whether your biography analysis sheds any new light on this person and what distinguishes it from other studies.
3. Proofread the final work
Proofread the final version of the paper. Since writing biography analysis involves many different sources, special attention should be paid to whether you cited everything correctly. Is your essay smooth, or does it have surprising gaps? Make sure you follow the correct formatting and adhere to the required style.