How to Write an Autobiography: Questions, Principles, & What to Include

When you are assigned an autobiography to write, tens, and even hundreds of questions buzzing in your head. How to start your life story? What to include? How to make your memoir flow? Don’t worry about all this and use the following three simple principles and 15 easy questions for writing a life story that truly deserves a high grade.

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❗ 3 Main Principles of Writing an Autobiography

First and foremost, you should remember that an autobiography (also called a memoir) is a story about your own life. If you write the life story of another person, that is called a biography.

You will quickly write a winning autobiography if you follow these three simple principles:

  • Make it logical. Choose one main idea and express it in a thesis statement to combine all memories into a meaningful whole.
  • Do not be a bore. Reveal some personal details and tell something that nobody but you can tell.
  • Make it easy to read. Include an introduction, main body, and conclusion; do not hesitate to use a new paragraph to develop a new idea; avoid using overly complicated language and constructions.

❓ 15 Questions for Writing an Autobiography

Even when you use the 3 above-discussed principles, you might still stumble in the middle of your autobiography. Your inspiration can betray you after you start writing a memoir. But the following 15 questions won’t let you down. This list will help you generate brilliant ideas for your autobiographies whenever you need them:

  1. What famous quote can describe your life?
  2. Which 3 adjectives can be used to describe you as a person?
  3. Who influenced your personal development?
  4. What are your best and worst childhood memories?
  5. What is your family social and ethnic background?
  6. What are your relations with parents and other relatives?
  7. What are your main achievements in life?
  8. What are the weaknesses that you would like to get rid of?
  9. What are your goals for the future?
  10. What places would you like to visit and why?
  11. What skills would you like to develop and why?
  12. What was the most memorable day in your life?
  13. What was the most important lesson you have ever learned in your life?
  14. What are the most important values in life, in your opinion?
  15. Which fault would you never forgive others or yourself?

If you are a student, your life story might not be that long. However, these 15 questions will guide you in writing an autobiography that you can be proud of and the 3 simple principles discussed above will help you make your memoir flawless.

🤗 What to Include in an Autobiography?

  1. Explore your background. Try to recall how a biography of a prominent person usually starts. It always opens with their parents’ or even grandparents’ achievements or vices. Rather than beginning the autobiography with your date of birth, dedicate a paragraph to your ancestors. Providing background information will put your life into a complete picture. The following questions will help you decide which events prior to your birth are worth attention.
What kind of family do you come from? What did your parents do for a living, and how did it influence their lifestyle?
Are there any prominent achievements of your ancestors you could boast of? How did these accomplishments impact your family?
How did your parents get acquainted?
Where were you born, and what distinctive features of this region could you point out?
Were you the first, second, or third child?
  1. Pick out your childhood memories. This is the most touching paragraph of your piece of writing. Even though your childhood may seem ordinary, the following template questions will guide you in the right direction. Something in your life will always be unique for everybody else.
Where did you live when you were a child (in the country, suburbs, town, or large city)?
Did you spend a lot of time outdoors? Did you gain any skills from playing there?
How did your relatives prepare you for school?
What defines your most important choice in life?
Describe the moments that shaped your personality or made a major change in your perception of life?
Which events influenced your choice of a program for college?
  1. Research your culture. Your family traditions are unique. In the modern world, every family is free to observe or ignore some customs. Special moments are what we recall many years later. Sometimes they are formed spontaneously, but most of them are created by our family, friends, and relatives.
What was the most anticipated holiday for your family?
Who did you invite to your place for the celebration?
What was the most important and valuable gift in your life?
Does your family have any traditions that are not related to holidays?
Is there a particular food you cook and eat only on important days?
Were there any adverse events related to your family traditions?

🔗 References

Comments (27)

Susan
Susan

How many words should there be in an autobiography?

Ramakant Jagat
Ramakant Jagat

I am 77
Plan to write my autobygraphi.very useful tips and guidence .Thanks so much.

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Thank you for your feedback!

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Your essay should not be too long, it’s about 5 paragraphs, but it’s better to double check the requirements with your professor.

Aljun Cabahug
Aljun Cabahug

Thank you so much for sharing.
I highly appreciated.
Maraming Salamat Po.

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much for us!

Veola Baabereyir
Veola Baabereyir

Am very much great full to the tips provided. It has opened my mind wide on how to start and what to include in writing autobiography. Thank you.

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Thank you, Veola!

Ignatius de Silva
Ignatius de Silva

I have been wanting to write my autobiography for sometime but didn’t have a clear idea how to start and what to include. I am seventy six years old and time is running out. You have inspired me to forge ahead with this project by encouraging and sharing your ideas. This is the impetus I needed to start my life story. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

So glad to hear that! We look forward to seeing you again!

Naina
Naina

Lovely tips…thanks a lot …you made my day cuz I really wanted to explore myself

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

It’s so nice to hear that! Thank you very much for your kind words indeed.

Andrei
Andrei

Nice article I wish your team make a more useful article that can help people thanks btw 😊😊😊😊(●’◡’●)(●’◡’●)

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Thanks for your attention, Andrei. It means so much for us😊!

Jennifer Thorn
Jennifer Thorn

Hi, you have a very amazing way of making all of this understandable. Its pretty easy to understand but I was wondering what if we wanted to write an autobiography of some other thing, for instance, a book. This does not cover some of those facts. It would be a great help if you could cover those fields as well. Other than that this website is amazing

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Hi, Jennifer!
Thank you for your feedback. We will use it for future improvement!

Namrta Singh
Namrta Singh

I am a blogger. And eager to write my autobiography that how i turned to writing world. Your blog pretty much helped me to write what i want. Thanks, it was value reading your blog

Custom Writing
Custom Writing

Thanks for your kind words! We look forward to seeing you again!

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