Autobiographical essays are an interesting type of assignment, because they are, at the same time, both atypical, and surprisingly common.
Whilst they do tend to be assigned to students as a part of their writing classes, autobiographical essays are mostly encountered in adult life, often disguised as cover letters, motivational essays, personal statements, or statements of purpose.
As such, they are an essential form of essay, which all students need to master. Sooner or later in life, everyone will have to write something akin to an autobiographical essay, so learning the basics thoroughly is a must.
Yet, how does one tackle the challenge of writing an autobiographical essay?
Good news, no need to wonder! Read on as we dive deeper into what an autobiographical essay is and how to write the best one with ease!
What is an Autobiographical Essay?
To start with the most basic question, an autobiographical essay is an essay concerned with the life of the writer themselves. It should always be written in first person singular – “I” form – and should relate personal experiences.
Unlike the autobiography, which can be written with no formatting restrictions, and can be as long as a whole book, the autobiographical essay is contained, usually either with an assigned word count, or an assigned basic length.
An important thing to note about writing an autobiographical essay is that it should always contain accurate information, presented in an interesting and engaging manner.
Unlike other, more rhetorical essay formats, the autobiographical essay is more similar to a story in nature and should include both somewhat of a narrative structure, and self-reflexive conclusions.
At the end of the day, your main goal should be to relate some events from your personal life and elaborate on what you learned from them.
Autobiographical Essay – Elementary Preparations
Before you begin writing your autobiographical essay, it’s smart to make some basic preparations. You don’t need to do research, of course, but you should make a rough sketch of what you’re planning on writing.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that the focus of your essay should be on one single event from your life, or one aspect of your personality.
If you’re writing a personal statement as part of a university application, for instance, you’ll talk about your past education – where you studied and what you learned there.
If you’re writing the essay as part of a school exercise, you can choose to focus on your family, an interest that you have, or your relationship with a certain individual.
Have a sharp perspective and make it contained. It should have a narrative flow and a good conclusion.
Autobiographical Essay – Structure, Flow, and Tips
Speaking of a quality autobiographical essay, we need to mind the essay structure. Like all essays, the autobiographical essay, too, has an Introduction, a Main Body, and a Conclusion.
In the first segment, you need to clearly introduce yourself – the object of the essay – and the event, or part of your life that you’ll be talking about. Add all necessary information before you begin the “story”.
The main body can have as many paragraphs as needed (and as much as the word count allows).
Here, you will discuss, for example, how your first interest in a particular field was sparked, before describing how it developed through time and how it ultimately led you to apply to study that at university.
The main body should have a good flow, and function as both the story of a life and the analysis of the lessons that you learned along the way.
The conclusion should be the culmination of this task. In it, you will discuss your present self in relation to the event described previously – and show how your valuable, newly-gained wisdom was put to use. Summarize your previous thoughts and finish your essay in style.
Autobiographical Essay – Final Thoughts
Writing good autobiographical essays takes a lot of practice. You can do this by assigning yourself different topics related to different areas of your life and seeing how well they function as essays.
It’s important to maintain a clear objective throughout the writing and to only include details that are relevant to your topic. Don’t stray away. Proofread your text and check how well it sounds to potential readers.
If you still have trouble mastering the format, you can even use the help of a custom essay company, which will draft your essay for you. That way you’ll see how it should be done, and put that practice into your future projects!