Learn how to write a biography

Biographies are big business. Whether or not in book form or Hollywood biopics, the lives of the well-known, and generally not so well-known, fascinate us.

While it’s true that most biographies are about people who find themselves in the public eye, typically the topic is less well known. Mostly though, famous or not, the one who is written about has led a life that is in some way incredible.

While your students will most likely have a primary understanding of what a biography is, it’s price taking a little time before they put pen to paper to tease out a crystal clear definition of precisely what a biography is.

Merely put, a biography is an account of somebody’s life written by someone else. While there’s a genre known as fictional biography, for essentially the most part, biographies are by definition nonfiction.

Usually speaking, biographies provide an account of the topic’s life from the earliest days of their childhood, right up to the current day or their death, if the topic is deceased.

The job of a biography is more than just to stipulate the naked info of a person’s life.

Reasonably than just listing the fundamental details of their upbringing, hobbies, schooling, work, relationships, and death, a well-written biography should also paint an image of the topic’s personality and as well as their expertise of life.

Earlier than students start writing a biography, they’ll need to have a firm grasp of the primary options of the genre. A superb way of initially determining how well they understand these essential parts of the style is by asking them to compile a checklist.

At a minimal, their checklists ought to contain the items below. You’ll want to assist them fill in any gaps earlier than moving on to the writing process.

The purpose of a biography is to provide an account of somebody’s life

Tense: Written prior to now tense (though ending could shift to the present/future tense)


● Written in the third person

● Opens with a robust hook to grab the reader’s consideration

● Normally written in chronological order

● Makes use of time connectives

● Covers: childhood, upbringing, training, influences, accomplishments, relationships, and so on – everything that helps the reader to understand the person

● Offers specific details about people, places, occasions, occasions, dates, and many others

● Displays on how occasions formed the topic

● Could include some related photographs with captions

● Concludes with what the topic is doing now or what their legacy will be.

Practical Activity:

Once your students have compiled a complete checklist of the principle options of a biography, enable them to make use of it to assess some biographies from the library utilizing the checklist.

When students have assessed a selection of biographies, take a while as a class to discuss them. You’ll be able to base the discussion around the following prompts:

● Which biographies covered all of the criteria from their checklist?

● Which biographies didn’t?

● Which biography was probably the most readable in terms of construction?

● Which biography do you think was the least well structured? How would you improve this?

Taking the time to look at how different writers have interpreted the form will assist students to internalize the necessary criteria earlier than trying to produce a biography themselves.

As soon as students have a clear understanding of the primary options of the biography, they’re ready to start work on writing a biography.

When the time does come to put pen to paper, make sure they’re armed with the next top suggestions to help ensure they’re as well prepared as possible.

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