How To Write A Biography About A Famous Person: an A-Z Guide

How To Write A Biography About A Famous Person: an A-Z Guide

Are you puzzled about how to write a biography about a famous person? Usually, starting a biography might seem daunting at first, but you will get the drift over time. A biography is a form of writing detailing a person’s life. It is a common assignment in colleges and universities issued as a biographical essay. You must research the subject, organize what you have learned in several categories, and then craft a detailed description.

Generally, a biography narrates a person’s entire life from childhood to adulthood. When writing a biography, you must focus on the individual’s life, experiences, and personality. Ensure you categorize significant life events and formulate a thesis about these turning points and contributions to the chosen person’s glorious life.  

This article provides insightful tips to help you craft an interesting biography of a famous person.

Introduction to Biography

It is imperative to understand what a biography is and what it entails before you proceed. A biography is a detailed text that describes a person’s life story. It is usually presented in the third-person angle, making the text objective. A biography records an individual’s life story; it could be family, relationships, childhood events, accomplishments, and other major life events.

When it comes to a famous person, you must write factual information about the events. Unlike academic papers that cover different topics, a biography mainly deals with the life events of a famous person. Thus, you must research and find interesting events and accomplishments in your subject’s life. The person you are writing about could be a politician, entrepreneur, actor, renowned author, or historical figure, among others. Famous people draw interest from the public because of their influence or charismatic nature in society. Hence, many readers love to study the stories about such characters and discover what made them successful in their respective areas of interest.

Goals of Biography Writing

A biography accounts for the life and times of an individual, written by another person. The main purpose is to let other people know about the subject’s life events, achievements, and aspects that made them famous. Biographies depict details of a person’s life in a fact-based yet captivating manner.

How to Write a Good Biography Essay: Easy Algorithm to Follow

Even though a biographical essay doesn’t follow the academic structure of an introduction, main body, and conclusion, you must ensure it flows logically. The text should have a thesis statement to guide the narrative and let the reader know what to expect in the writing piece.

When crafting this biography essay, you need to concentrate on the historical facts surrounding the subject. Also, ensure your tone is objective with fluent language when describing the famous person and their life experiences.

Therefore, students who encounter this essay must compose an accurate narrative. Biographies are not works of fiction and must contain validated claims from reliable sources.

Let us explore the steps you can follow to write a biography.

Pre-Writing

Planning is a vital step in biography writing. You must prepare adequately to ensure your readers get unique information about the famous individual. If the person is famous enough, people will be interested in reading their story. Capture relevant stories and achievements that will captivate the readers. Thus, you need proper direction to craft a great biography essay.

Here are a few guidelines to follow in the planning phase:

  • Pick a subject

The first step is to pick a subject – the famous individual you want to write about. You need to choose an influential person because you will capture their life experiences and personality. Since you are writing a biographical essay, selecting a subject that already has books and articles written by scholars is advisable. Furthermore, you must identify major events that molded the individual’s life. This approach will help you when you are researching the subjects.

  • Identify the audience

Another aspect you need to consider in the preparation stage is to identify the target audience. These are people who are interested in reading about the famous person’s life, experiences, and achievements.

Usually, biography essays fall under the history and literary arts disciplines. Thus, you should research scholars and people interested in these academic subjects. Remember, the topic you pick will give you an idea of what the audience needs to know.

  • Brainstorm ideas

Finally, you need to brainstorm and prepare relevant ideas you will cover in your essay. Note down what you will write and the aspects you will ignore. Writing about the life of a famous person takes effort; you need to conduct extensive research from childhood to adulthood. This work entails identifying the important details, like life-changing events, to help generate ideas about your subject.

Structural Arrangements

After planning, the next step involves setting up the essay structure. In this phase, you need to focus on a few things to help you organize your work. Research sources you will use to support your statements about your subject and the essay outline you will use. Outlining will help you categorize your essay into different segments that you will elaborate in the text. For instance, it may be the person’s childhood experience, education, family, or professional life. In addition, you can create an annotated bibliography for guidance during the composition process.

  • Extensive Research

Researching is a critical step that involves locating relevant sources you will use in your essay. The sources can be newspaper articles, books, scholarly works, or books about your subject. Thus, you will gain insights into their critical character traits, inspirations, and major achievements that made that person famous. Relevant sources will help you support the subject’s contributions to society. Besides, it is essential to use various sources to capture different thoughts presented by other scholars. Consequently, you will craft an objective biography that will grab more readers.

  • Make Notes

During the research process, you need to take notes of what you are reading. Write down important points to help you strengthen your opinion about specific issues. In addition, taking notes allows you to pick sources you intend to incorporate to support your thesis statement. So, you can identify relatable themes to guide you during note-making. Remember that you need to be objective to craft an informative and engaging biography.

  • Outline Creation

Before you start writing a biography essay, you must create a proper outline. As mentioned above, biographies don’t follow the typical essay structure with an introduction, main body, and conclusion. However, as long as your work is organized and flows logically, then you are on the right track. To get the right guidance, you need to structure the memoir from the subject’s early years to adulthood until their demise. Thus, your narrative should flow progressively and be categorized into sections. It would help to compose an outline that takes a similar approach to the introduction-body-conclusion format to guide your composition.

  • Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography will help you choose relevant sources for your biography essay. So, creating this document also makes the readers aware of the credible sources’ significance. In this step, you need to show your academic writing skills when crafting the annotated bibliography. Clear descriptions, concise analysis, and extensive research are some of the skills you will present. In a nutshell, you must identify, examine, and review the relevant sources with valuable information.

The Writing Process

Now that you are adequately prepared, you can proceed to this next phase. Writing your biography will be simple, with a proper outline and relevant points in order. Generally, outlining your work is a critical step in guiding your narrative in the right direction. Like in a standard essay, you must formulate a strong thesis statement to shape your arguments.

  • Draft Preparation

As a writer, your first draft is pivotal in ensuring your composition is top-notch. Ideally, the first draft is like a mock-up of the final product. So you can capture mistakes and eliminate them before presenting the polished document.

Thus, ensure the introduction is captivating to hook the readers into reading the memoir. In the body paragraphs, present factual information about your subject’s childhood, major life events, accomplishments, and societal contributions. Finally, conclude by reminding your readers about your initial intention of providing details of the life and times of the famous person and how your biography has fulfilled the objective.

  • Create Thesis Statement

Another essential aspect of biography writing is to formulate a powerful thesis statement. It allows readers to know the direction of your essay. The statement reveals how you will present your thoughts about the famous person. Will you focus on their achievements, mistakes, challenges, or significant events? In short, it shows what your essay will focus on regarding your subject’s life.

Summary of Key Points

Writing the first draft takes much work; you might make many mistakes, such as grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and improper sentence structures. Don’t panic; this section lets you polish your work and eliminate mistakes.

Below are pointers to follow before you wrap up your biography about a famous person:

  • Revisions

It is imperative to give neutral people your essay to read through if you want to revise your work thoroughly. You can give it to family members, friends, colleagues, mentors, or your professor. Doing this will help you gain genuine feedback about your composition. Does it make sense? Is it easy to read? Is it captivating enough? You will get answers that will help in improving your work. Besides, extra eyes will notice mistakes you might have overlooked, making it simple to revise the essay.

  • Editing and Proofreading

This section is vital in eliminating mistakes in your work. Carry out thorough edits and proofread your essay to pinpoint mistakes in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentences. Remember, people don’t like reading literature with unnecessary mistakes. So, let your biography stand out as a scholarly piece because of quality writing.

  • Topic Sentences

Each paragraph in the main body should start with a topic sentence. This sentence carries the main idea you outlined in the thesis statement. It makes a claim about the famous person, which you will proceed to confirm with supporting facts from reliable sources. So, ensure your essay has each topic sentence in the right place.

  • Concluding Sentences

Your biography essay should have concluding sentences in each paragraph. These sentences bring closure to the ideas presented in the paragraphs. Remember that your concluding sentence needs to capture your thoughts about the issue raised in the topic sentence. It should also transition smoothly into the next paragraph.

  • Formatting

Each essay has a specific formatting style, depending on the professor of college rules. Thus, you must confirm the right format for your biography essay – MLA, APA, Chicago, or Harvard.

  • Peer Review

Peer review is when scholars assess articles or literature meant for publication. The peers check the originality, quality, and validity of the work. Thus, you can submit your biography for peer review to ensure it adheres to the required academic standards.

Finalization of the Draft

After following the above steps in your composition, you should write the final draft. This is a polished copy of your biography, free from any error. No argument inconsistencies, irrelevant sentences, or hanging paragraphs. Ensure your final composition is an improved version of the first draft. Ideally, you should incorporate the feedback and make your work flawless.

Finally, read through the entire biography again to ensure its quality. Check the content, language, writing style, format, transitions, and organization. Make sure the text is well-written before submission.

How to Write a Biography: Essential Tips

Academic essays can be daunting, but the compositions are simple with a proper approach. Let us explore insightful tips to help you write a biography.

Mind the Environment

Before you start writing, you need to identify your target audience. Grasping your readers is critical because it will help in choosing the perfect subject and crafting an interesting biography. For instance, writing about historical figures needs an audience interested in learning about past events.

Ignore Insignificant Details

Ensure you find credible sources during research to get accurate, meaningful facts. Don’t include mediocre facts in your biography because it might compromise the quality of your work.

Focus on Contradictions

You must be careful about contradictions in your narrative. Self-contradictory statements will make your readers doubt the memoir. So, ensure your essay has accurate facts that reflect the person’s life.

Mind the Main Character

A biography is a short story about an individual’s life. So, it would help to focus on the subject to achieve the main objective of the text. Avoid adding extra characters to the story; you might deviate from the subject and make your biography about a famous person less interesting.