How to Write an Autobiography Outline – 10+ Examples DOC, PDF

The Diary of A Little Girl is one of the most phenomenal autobiographies ever written in history which was written by Anne Frank, a German-born diarist, and a World War II Holocaust victim. In this document, she wrote about her self, family, hopes, dreams, etc. But more than that, she left something capable enough to open the eyes and touch the hearts of the millions. Isn’t it interesting? Read through this article to learn more about autobiography and its outline.

Treat people as books. Just like fingerprints, each of them possesses its own unique story to share. Also, there is no single person that holds one genre of content on his/her whole life. Thus, people’s adventures and anecdotes are not just varied but are also spontaneously dynamic. If you want to share your own but you are not that confident to express it verbally then making an autobiography is the best option you have in the pocket. Follow through these autobiography outline samples and templates to be acquainted.

What Is an Autobiography?

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 this word’s etymology, we could practically infer that autobiography refers to the type of self-written document dedicated to oneself.

Though it’s greatly apart from its neighboring term “biography,” several people still fell into misinterpretation. Since it is also written to review the life of a certain individual, it is indeed confusing to think which is which. For you to avoid this error, keep in mind that biographies are written by a different individual for another while the autobiographies are composed by somebody to him/herself.

This is different from the diary, too. Considering that diaries are written also written by a person to tell his/her adventure on a daily basis, it could also be deceiving. In this case, you could contrast an autobiography to a diary since the former document is written to describe and review the life of a person as a whole. On the other hand, the latter composition merely narrates the experience of someone on a specific day.

Reasons for writing an autobiography.

Before even starting to draft your first autobiography, ask yourself first on why you would want to do it in the first place. Why do you want to write the story of your life? Although everyone truly has a story to tell, not everyone would consider going out of his or her way to actually let the whole world know their story.

So begin to find your drive and purpose of writing one in the first place. These guide questions from Lifetime Memories and Stories should help paint a clearer picture before considering it in the first place:

  • Am I interested in passing on my family history to future generations?
  • Am I recording my personal history?
  • Is it my work history?
  • Is it my community work?
  • Is it my personal values and philosophies?
  • Is it when I underwent a personal transformation?
  • What is it I really want to share?

Once you have found the motivation and the drive, it signifies your dedication to seeing this project completed.

For whatever your reason is, one thing is certain, and that you have something to share to the world and that you would like them to hear your story.

High School Style Autobiography

Paragraph 1 – Introduction

What is an autobiography if you cannot talk about yourself first? This is the part where you introduce to the world on who you are and what you can tell about yourself. Here is a guide of subtopics you might want to consider including in this particular paragraph:

  • Birthdate and birthplace
  • Parents and their personal information
  • Sibling information
  • Why you were given your name?
  • Place of origin and ethnicity

Paragraph 2 – Beginning Years

If the first part was just about revealing your identity to the whole world, this is the part where you tell the world who you are as a person and what your background story is. These are some of the topics to consider in making your second paragraph:

  • Where you grew up
  • First days of school
  • First memories
  • First friends
  • Funny memory or story from your childhood years
  • Early holidays

Paragraph 3 – Elementary School Years

As explained before, not a lot of people have the gift of remembering very significant things, even as kids. Back in the day, schools would often let their students write in their school diaries to help the teachers keep track of the students’ welfare psychologically and academically (in a sense). Again, only pick the best memories that has left a strong impression on you– one that you will not be able to forget so easily. Try considering some of these topics as you write about your days as an elementary student:

  • Where you went to school
  • Your favorite birthday with friends or vacations with family
  • Memories that have left a lasting impression
  • Best friends or worst enemies.
  • Favorite sports or pastimes
  • Hobbies and activities

Paragraph 4 – Middle School to High School Years

Some time has passed and the next thing you know, you became close to someone. You also managed to get a group of friends who will stick by your side and also have someone you call as an inspiration every morning when you wake out of bed. But other than that, this part of your life is supposedly the most memorable and unforgettable school years of all since you will have made a lot of close bonds with you and your friends. So, try to consider placing some of these topics in this part of your memoir:

  • Where you went to school and changes
  • The first day and new friends
  • Funny story
  • Life lessons
  • Love life (if any)
  • Favorite things to do with your friends

Paragraph 5 – Future Plans

We cannot stop the inevitability of the future, but it is still something to look forward to. Sooner or later, you will have to prepare yourself for these kinds of things. But do not think too much about it. For now, try starting it off with these:

  • College
  • Work
  • Family
  • Travel


Even before starting your autobiography, certain themes will arise as you analyze your outline structure. These themes can range from anything to family, love and even hope. One theme will always be more dominant than the rest so you are almost certainly going to have more than one threaded through your outline structure. To do that, you might consider rethinking some of the experiences that you are going to write in order to match the theme you are writing about.

Sooner or later, as you begin to write your autobiography, you may discover that the key theme will change during the writing process as you submerge yourself deeper in your own story too and rediscover events and purposes with significant meaning for you.

Autobiography Outline Example

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Autobiography Outline in PDF

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Autobiography Outline Format

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Sample Autobiography Outline

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Autobiography Project Outline

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It is important to remember that you do not need to tell your story chronologically. What’s important is that everything is organized chronologically, from your list of events, to the characters and places involved. Organizing your thoughts chronologically does give you an outline structure to work with and does act as an important “memory jogger”. Try asking yourself this: Is it your life story or an autobiography you are trying to tell or is it a memoir that concentrates on a particular theme or collection of themes or a specific time and series of events?

Just like writing a book, there is no right or wrong way on how to begin. After all, your only limit is your imagination and nothing more. The biggest issue that writers will ever occur is the writer’s block. This phenomenon is where the writers themselves go blank for a duration of time without the constant flow of ideas to help inspire them to continue writing. But here’s the thing, you do not stop, ever. Should that ever occur to you, keep writing regardless? No matter how unrelated the subject or experience is, keep going. You do not stop the train of thoughts just because it encounters a road block, instead, turn the other way and continue until you are back on track.

After which, you learn to filter out everything else and reorganize the things you have written so that you can a sensible manuscript will appear before you at the end. The placement of the parts of your story will most likely be worked out nearer the end of the writing. You certainly can benefit from an outline, but the table of contents might not be finalized until after you’ve recorded your different experiences.

Publishing your Autobiography

Congratulations! You have successfully finished writing your autobiography talking about your life. And now that you have, it is about high time to decide on how you want it to get published. These are some of the ways you can publish your autobiography:
• You can self publish – Often the most practical option
• You can look for a professional publisher – a definite if you feel you have a block buster.
• You can record an audiobook – great for letting friends and family hear you tell your story.
• Or you can work with an oral history company such as Lifetime Memories and Stories who can work with you to record and print your own custom audio CD and autobiography.

How to Write a Brief Autobiography?

An autobiography is written to have a review on your life. In most cases, this document is written to comply with an academic assignment. Seldom, some individuals write one to express their creativity and expertise in a particular field. Assuming that you are composing an autobiography as well, it is critical to remember that autobiography is not intended to hold every bit of information about your experiences. Preferably, you need to be aware that autobiographies are not made lengthy. Just follow these steps to obtain a brief but still impressive autobiography of your own.

  1. Present yourself. Considering that this document is an autobiography, the first thing you must do is to acquaint your viewers of who you are. In introducing yourself to your reader, always write in third point-of-view. For instance, state “Juvely is a literature student.” rather than “I am a literature student.” Furthermore, you can also specify some details such as year and place. To elaborate, you can mention the year you started studying for that specific course.
  2. Speak out your credentials and education. Include your academic background in your autobiography and name the educational degree/s you received. Furthermore, you can also explicitly assert the institution you enrolled in for that academic experience. You can also mention any relevant certifications and the name of any organization that involves you as a full-fledged member.
  3. Mention your remarkable accomplishments. Let’s assume that you have received numerous awards during your college and high school days. It would be very impractical to include those that are irrelevant to your central focus. Moreover, consider your audience in this process, too.
  4. Close your autobiography. In this part, you do need to be particular at being creative. The only things you should mention here are your current and upcoming projects. Consequently, update your autobiography if necessary.

Top 3 Autobiography Examples

Outlines are essential in any composition because it serves as a guide and the backbone of any writings. Taking into account that we already provided you with samples of autobiography outline, it would be absurd if we do not give you some representations of the finished outputs. In this section, we are going to present to you the top 3 epitomes of this document.

Bicultural Autobiography

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Former Journalist Autobiography

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Size: 15 KB


Romance Author Autobiography

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Size: 9 KB


To end, George Orwell quotes: “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.”

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