The Diary of A Little Girl is one of the most phenomenal autobiographies ever written. Penned by German-born diarist and World War II Holocaust victim Anne Frank, it recounted not just the horrors of her life, but also her many hopes and dreams. Through that autobiography, she was able to touch the hearts of millions who lived after her and educate far more. Such are the effects of autobiographies and there are many short autobiography examples out there for anyone to read. Those who wish to start their own would be wise to read on and learn not just about these types of books, but also autobiography outline samples as well.
The word “autobiography” came from the Greek words: “auto” which refers to self, “bio” which signifies to life and “graphien” which means to write. Based on the etymology, we can infer that an autobiography refers to the type of self-written word document dedicated to oneself. Though it’s greatly apart from its neighboring term “biography,” many are still prone to misinterpretation. To avoid this, keep in mind that biographies are written by a different individual for another while autobiographies are composed by the subject of the work itself. The aforementioned Diary of a Little Girl is just one of countless personal autobiography examples for students and adults alike to enjoy.
Those who are asking ‘how to start an autobiography’ may first want to ask the question, ‘how to outline an autobiography.’ Take note that unlike report writing, there’s no need to follow a strict format. Downloading a sample autobiography outline from our list and you should see what we mean. Instead of focusing on hard-fast rules, focus on the indirect influence that creative outlines exude. Having said that, the following steps below should also be of immense help to you:
The first thing you must do is to acquaint your viewers of who you are. In introducing yourself to your reader, you may choose to write in either first-person or third-person perspective. Take note, however, that the latter may not seem as intimate as the former, which can be likened to journal writing works.
A more formal autobiography will involve aspects of one’s academic life and even feats that earned them a certificate of achievement or two. Yet if you really want to capture the imagine of your readers and pull them closer to you, provide anecdotes of a more tender nature. Tell stories of your childhood. Talk about family. Even better, talk about your personal struggles and defeats. After all, nothing is more relatable than failure.
What makes works like autobiographies so engaging is that they also tell stories. People can cite as many facts about themselves as they want, but that wouldn’t necessarily count as a story. Neither would telling everything from a chronological perspective. Similar to article writing, a narrative will be needed. By having a concentrated narrative, you pull the readers in and leave them wanting more from you.
One of the last things to do when learning how to write an autobiography, or at least its book outline, is how to end it properly. Unlike biographies where the subject can be deceased, there is no present end to your life’s story. This is where it pays to be more than a little creative. Take your introduction at the beginning and find a way to echo it somehow in your story’s conclusion. That way, readers will still feel like they went on a complete narrative journey even if your life has yet to come to a close.
There are multiple reasons why people write autobiographies. Some may look at the project as a commemoration of their life’s work, especially if it is particularly significant to society and holds historical value. Others see autobiographies for their commercial and entertainment value.
In this modern age, there are multiple ways to put your biography or autobiography out there. Besides the traditional methods of approaching publishing houses, there is now the alternative of self-publishing. Others may even opt out of written works completely, choosing to tell their stories through audio-books or documentaries instead.
Besides Anne Frank’s work, other famous autobiographies include “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah, and “The Story of My Life” by Helen Keller.
It was George Orwell who said, “an autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is full of defeats.” Anne Frank did just that with her diary and so have many others. Lessons like this may not be automatically spelled out in autobiography outline for kids, but it rings true all the same. Take what you’ve learned from this article and apply it to your own work as soon as you begin!