What is Autobiography? Characteristics, Parts & Examples

What is autobiography?

What is autobiography? Autobiography is a non-fiction literary genre, a fact-based story about real people and events. It also features plots, characters, settings, and more that are often found in novels.


Autobiography is a genre of non-fiction literature in which what is told is a fact, not fabricated or imagined. In it, people often talk about his life from birth to writing his biography.

The events narrated may be true, but they are distorted by memory and opinion, so they are not necessarily accurate, hence the term non-fiction literature.

A clear indication that it is a subjective text is that the story is often told in the first person singular (e.g. “I was born in Madrid on 12th July 2010”). ). or by a third party.

Another important detail is that this is a genre we can all reach for because it’s a genre we can all talk about.

When a student, child, or adolescent writes an autobiography, he or she writes about the most significant and significant events in life, from birth to the first months of her life to the present.

What are the characteristics of biography and autobiography?

Simply put, a biography is a personal life history written by another person. An autobiography is a story about a person’s life written by that person. A memoir is a collection of memories written by a person.

These functions are the grammar of the work, self-reflection, introspection, and introspection. Most autobiographies are written from the first-person point of view. This is appropriate because an autobiography is usually a story about yourself.
The text is written in the past tense, usually in chronological order, and is divided into paragraphs (usually each paragraph details an event at a different part of a person’s life. childhood, other passages about childhood, adulthood, etc.).

Characteristics of an autobiography

Autobiographies have a series of characteristics that differentiate them from other narrative genres:

Narrated in the first person

Due to the variety of authors telling about their own lives, some autobiographical authors introduce themselves in the third person or plural, but it may be more natural to speak in the singular.

Narrative text Characteristics of an autobiography

The text of the story is generic as you “look back” or “look back” on your life. An autobiography works like a regular novel or story, with a beginning, middle, end, or conclusion.


There is no limit to the length of the autobiography, from half a page to several thousand pages, depending on how detailed the author is in the text.

For example, the aforementioned Borges autobiography is about 100 pages long, while his Historia de mi Vida (1854), the autobiography of the French writer Georges Sand (1804-1876), is almost 500 pages long. I only have the first part. Mario Vargas Llosa’s autobiography (1936), Fish in the Water (1993) has 538 pages of his.


Styles vary according to the times and each person’s literary and cultural influences. However, I tend to avoid explicit adjectives and use language that is as clear and understandable as possible.

Parts of an autobiography

There is no formal structure to writing an autobiography, not even a chronological theme. Starting at the end, you can refer to the events of the first year or the years after.

In general, however, memoirs and autobiographies follow this structure:

1- Introduction and early years

This section generally deals with the reasons for deciding to write an autobiography, family background (father, mother, grandparents), and a brief history and geography of the reader.

He talks about his early memories and the events and characters that influenced him. If there are special circumstances that determine the biography, they will be discussed in this first section.

For example, Mario Vargas Llosa begins with the chapter “That man is my father” and tells how he learned that his father was not dead when he was 10 years old. you will know it

2- Studies and training Characteristics of an autobiography

Autobiography often uses academic and professional life as narrative axes, adding intimate information (family relationships, romances, travel, trips, etc.).

For example, in the first part of his autobiography, George Sand focuses the whole story on the rivalry and competition for love and loyalty between mother and father (grandmother). Focusing on this conflict, I will talk about how to live and raise children until the age of 16.

3- The body of the text. Developing

The most important or relevant facts and reflections about the author are revealed. It usually begins when you start living independently from the family center and develop your personal and professional life.

In the example of Vargas Llosa, the autobiography has two plots or events. On the one hand, a struggle with his father over his desire to become a writer. Candidacy and campaign for the 1990 Peruvian presidential election.

4- Achievements, conclusion, or outcome

Autobiography, like life itself, does not always have a clear and definite end or end. Generally, the text can be concluded by stating achievements and indicating future goals.

According to the memoirs of Georges Sand and Mario Vargas Llosa, Georges Sand and Mario Vargas Llosa struggled to balance and understand their love for both their mother and grandmother and their own mission. Find yourself as a writer struggling to find. Mario Vargas Ryosa is discovered, becomes a writer, and eventually retires from politics after being defeated by Fujimori.

How to make an autobiography step by step

Just because you’re still in school doesn’t mean you can’t write your autobiography. You may think you have very little to say, but you don’t. Here are the steps to writing your autobiography:

1- Collection of information

Interview parents and relatives about family history and highlights. Create drafts with important dates and places like birthdays, dates of death, where you live, and school.

If possible, enlist the help of your parents to complete the application form with documents such as birth and baptismal certificates, enrollment in educational centers, identity cards, and registration. Participate in team sports. and arrange them in chronological order.

2- Organization and schedule

Organize the information you collect and choose the data you want to emphasize. See relevant people and data, such as date and place of birth, names and occupations of parents, and other people you consider important in your life (grandparents, friends, housemates), home, classroom, teacher).

You should also include the school you attended, the city you live in (if you have moved to), and any relevant facts.

3- Selection and start

Choose the events and characters you want to include in your autobiography, and when you want the story to begin, preferably the beginning of the story. These are his two methods, regular and informal.

“I was born in Mexico City on May 20, 2005. My parents…”.

“I will never forget the day when her mother announced without a word that she was going to Madrid. It was the beginning of an adventure today, now, and ten years from now…”

4- Eraser

Prepare a compelling first draft with simple and interesting words based on your life chronology.

Some writers say that there are two temptations to writing about yourself. Either you blame yourself or you blame someone else. Instead of ignoring achievements, we need to find a balance that doesn’t hide mistakes. Life is like having it all.

5- Points of interest

You should highlight the most important moments and the people who made a difference in your life. If it’s a teen autobiography, you can close it with future ideas and projects.

6- Review and rework

After you’ve written your first draft, take a break, preferably for a few hours, and read it back aloud (so you can correct your use of commas and periods). This way you will know if you have anything left to say.

Bring your family and friends and read this. They contribute new data and observations.

Example of an autobiography Characteristics of an autobiography

This is an example of a teenager’s autobiography. Each section is clearly labeled, but no explanation is necessary if you have to write a school autobiography.

Introduction Characteristics of an autobiography

My name is Leonardo Gonzalez Rojas, but people call me Leo. He was born on February 2nd, 2006 at his ABC hospital in Mexico City. I grew up in this wonderful city, the capital of Mexico, with my parents, Maria Rojas and Jesús Gonzalez, and his three older sisters named Mariana, Jimena, and Valeria.

Childhood studies

It took my parents several weeks to decide which school I should go to. We visited several schools and finally, the best one was Frida Kahlo where we could learn English and just 20 minutes from home She is Mexican Her Children’s School I decided that it.

Developing Characteristics of an autobiography

I was always treated like a younger brother and pampered by my sister and my parents. Sometimes I get sick (I get mumps and flu) and hate the games my classmate’s love, especially soccer. I also like music very much.

My sisters play guitar and violin and are all in the city’s youth symphony orchestra. I had to wait until the end of my freshman year because I had to learn to read and write in order to enroll.

According to the conductor, he has no musical taste and cannot play even the simplest melodies. I’m still not good at sports and can’t seem to listen to music, but I love listening to my sister playing classical and typical Mexican music.

But at least I was a good student. A big change happened in our lives when we attended high school at Gabriela Mistral Academy. My father had to change jobs and we moved to Buenos Aires and flew out of Mexico City International Airport.

We have lived in Buenos Aires ever since. Here, I studied at the Juan Montalvo Business School in the Caballito district of Buenos Aires. I had to repeat a year there and tried to relearn the instrument here but failed. He’s still playing lousy soccer, but that’s not an advantage in this country.


Do you believe me when I say that coronavirus confinement has helped me in some way? I had a lot of free time and my sister taught me how to play the guitar. autobiographical features

She would rely on the girls and the internet to practice for up to eight hours a day to keep them hooked until my hands and fingers started to understand the music, she said.

And here I am sitting among the other children, preparing for the entrance exam to music school, humming in my head the Serat songs my parents used to sing. I am/my country and the guitar I carry. “.

I will learn it.

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