How to write a biography essay about someone else

By | May 23, 2021


If you have been given the opportunity to write a biography essay about someone else, you may be left wondering how to begin. You may even have said to your friends or academic experts, “I need someone to write my essay, as I don’t know where to begin!”. Fear not, as we will provide you with some tips and steps to follow to ensure that you write your biography essay correctly and get the best grade possible for it.

What is a biographical essay?

Quite often people make the mistake of thinking that a biographical essay is an essay that’s written about themselves. In fact, a biographical essay has nothing to do with writing about yourself, it’s an essay that tells the story of someone else’s life. A biography essay could be an essay about a famous musician, artist, politician, writer, historical figure e.t.c. 

The importance of research

The more you read and research about the person you are writing about, the better the picture you will create who they are, what they achieved, and what made them famous. Your research may highlight that people see the person that you are writing about in different ways and for this reason, it’s worth doing plenty of reading and using a wide variety of sources. Whilst you are doing your research, make sure you make notes of any important names, events, dates, and facts. Also, note down any strong opinions, particularly if they go against what you think. 

The outline of a biographical essay

Before you begin writing your biography essay you need to consider the structure of your essay and start by creating your outline. Your outline will help you to plan and organize your essay. The first step that you’ll need to think about is any significant facts that you want to talk about in your essay. The best way to organize your outline is to create a bullet list that highlights the main points, as well as a list of additional points using additional bullets.  

You will also need to include a thesis statement in your biography and the purpose of this statement is to sum up the main idea related to your essay.

Where to begin in with your biography essay

Before you can start writing, you need to understand what your biography essay needs to include.  The first aspect that you need to add is an introduction of the person that you are writing your biography essay about. This may include information such as their name, date of birth, and where they were born. You may also want to include some historical or cultural information related to the place that the person was born. By doing this you will enable your reader to understand more about the person you are writing about, as well as gain extra facts and knowledge related to the person.

Process of writing your biographical essay

Many people think that a biography essay consists of random ideas related to somebody’s life, however, a biography essay is a little more complex than that. Once you have completed your introduction, the next part of a biography essay relates to the person’s childhood and early life. In this part, you can include information relating to the person’s parents and perhaps the person’s education and their relationship. You can then go on to discuss their education and where the person grows up. You will also need to include information that’s important about a person’s childhood life. For instance, you could include aspects such as when they moved from one place to another or the name of the school that they attended. If you have information that’s more poignant such as health or family issues that occurred during the person’s childhood, you can also include these here as well.

The next section of your biography essay needs to discuss a person’s adult life. There are different ways that you can approach this. For instance, you could talk about the person’s college or university life and the first job that they had. It’s important to talk about these things in chronological order and begin with how the person’s career began, and end with something that highlights any skills or talents that had a huge impact on the person’s life. If applicable, you can also talk about something that helped them to become successful in their career and also look at anything of significance attributed to their success. 

The third part of your biography essay needs to look at the person’s life as it is now or their life in their later years. If the person is still living then mention what they are doing now as well as their current career plans/ future projects or important facts. If, however, the person you are writing your biography essay about has deceased, focus on the most important aspects of their life, as well as any life-changing moments they experienced. End this section with the cause of their death. 

The conclusion 

In the final section, you will need to tie together your essay and outline your conclusions. It’s important to not just restate your thesis or the points that you have discussed in the body of your essay. What you want to try and do is look beyond this and consider how their work has impacted life as we know it, you could even think about the below questions:

  • Who or what have they had a huge influence on?
  •  Is there work relevant today and if so, how is it?
  • How have they contributed to the field that they are related to?
  • What legacy have they left behind? How are they now remembered?

A successful biography paper doesn’t just look at a person’s work and life, it also includes facts and information about the person. Your biography essay needs to be more than superficial and you need to spend time when researching to ensure that you learn as much as possible about the person that you are writing about.

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