Biographical Essay Writing: How to Provide a Successful Paper?

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As a student of high school or college, you might have probably completed hundreds of essays of different types. However, when it comes to biographical essay writing, it differs a bit since it has specific writing purposes and rules of organization. Even though it may seem easy at first, in reality, one needs to be well versed in a variety of biographical writing principles. If you are a student who lacks experience in writing, you may be probably confused and challenged about the biographical essay writing, but in such cases, you are welcome to address professional essay writers for help.

Instead of merely providing ideas as in ordinary essays, in biographical essays you need to put forward specific facts. As such, one is required to provide a well-researched and properly supported paper. To deserve an excellent grade, one needs to demonstrate writing fluency and coherence of writing. Only under such circumstances will you be able to positively impress your professor. If you are wondering how to write biographical papers, you will be able to find comprehensive guidelines outlined below by professional writers.

What Is a Biographical Essay?

It is an academic type of writing that provides a thorough and concise description of a person’s life, the main key events, achievements, and aspirations. Overall, one may distinguish two main types of biographical essays:
An academic report, where one is required to describe some historical figure or a famous person, depict him/ her in detail, and specify the person’s significance. This type of writing usually has a strict structure, namely it should have a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
A biographical paper submitted for application. When you are applying for some studying program at a college or university, or if you are applying for a grant, you may be required to provide your own biography that is composed in the essay form. In this case, the structure is not as rigid as in the aforementioned type of writing. Instead of focusing on all details and experienced from your life, you are recommended to focus on the most important ones or those that are related to the position or program that you are applying for.

Biographical Essay Definition

The main difference between biographical essays and other types of academic essays is that the former is merely focused on telling a story of one’s life – either your own or of some other person, whereas the latter can be written on versatile topics. When a biographical paper is focused on depicting a life of some person, it provides a comprehensive research of the key events that happened over a specific time span. When biographical papers are written based on famous people’s lives, they intend to provide more information about them and explain what made them so outstanding.

Biographical Essay Outline

When writing a college biographical essay, it is recommended to follow a specific structure in order to ensure proper development of ideas. Therefore, to avoid problems and writer’s block within the process of writing, it would be a good idea to start your writing process with an outline. It will help you keep all things in the proper order without missing any important details.
If you do not have any specific instructions from your professor how to organize the outline, follow the outline format provided below:

  • Introduction.
  • First body paragraph.
  • Second body paragraph.
  • Third body paragraph.
  • Conclusion.

How to Write a Biographical Essay Introduction?

One of the underlying things that interest students is how to make their essay appealing to the reader, so brainstorm the most interesting biographical essay titles and choose the best one. Actually, one of the keys is to make the introduction catchy enough so that your readers want to read the paper till the very end. So, start with a hook – it can be any statement that can arouse readers’ attention: a controversial fact, some surprising statistics, a joke, a quote, a rhetorical question, etc. Apart from providing a hook, set the background on the topic and highlight its importance. Finish the introductory paragraph with a strong and clear thesis statement: if it is your own biography paper, indicate what aspects of your biography you outline and why.

The Main Body

If there are no specific requirements, follow a classic five-paragraph essay structure, which means that you will have three body paragraphs. If you wonder now, “How to structure a biographical essay?”, one of the simple ways is to devote the first paragraph to childhood years, the second to school (college) years, and the third one to the current situation you find yourself in. As a rule, such essays as biography ones do not require to conduct some research, so you should not worry about some literature reviews whatsoever.


This is also an essential element of essay writing even though many students undermine its importance. So, make sure that your concluding paragraph is memorable for your readers. Re-emphasize the main points.

Tips for Writing a Biographical Essay

Regardless of the essay type you are working on, it is essential to follow some techniques in order to ensure top quality of writing and adhere to the principles of logical structure. In a biography essay, you need to focus on the following aspects:

  • childhood years;
  • family history, background, and upbringing;
  • the most important life events;
  • important personal achievements and professional accomplishments;
  • historical importance in terms of contributions to the community or society on the whole.

How to Write a Biographical Essay? Tips on Writing an Essay on Another Person

When a person is preparing to write an essay on someone else’s life, his/ her mind may be filled with disorganized random ideas. To organize this flow of ideas into a structured way, it is essential to identify the main areas one wants to focus on and them provide a paper outline.
How to start a biographical essay? Provide an introductory paragraph where you provide overall description of a person’s life. The main information that is to be discussed and analyzed further in the body paragraphs should be briefly stated in order to provide an overview of the paper. Some facts about historical background, childhood, family, origin, education, etc. should be briefly mentioned. When developing the body paragraphs, it is essential to elaborate the ideas in a chronological order: from childhood to the current period. In a majority of cases, the biggest focus should be placed on the most relevant aspects of life. It may also be a good idea to mention some tipping points during a person’s life path: some mentors or important people encountered, some specific difficulties in life, and so on. If you are writing a paper about yourself, in the conclusive paragraph, please highlight some current significant life events. On the contrary, if you are writing about a historical person or the one that is no longer alive, emphasize on the most distinguished events or experiences.

Extra Recommendations on Writing Biography Papers

  • Even though it is obvious, prepare a plan how you will develop the paper. Present events in a chronological order since it is easier to understand the paper and follow the logical flow.
  • If it is a biography paper, do not think that you should mention virtually every event from life. Focus on the most significant and highlight the biggest achievements.
  • Be sure to emphasize on the contribution, the main accomplishments, and the overall impression a person leaves.

If you want to ensure that the paper is appealing and interesting in content, follow the given biographical essay format. To leave a lasting impression on your reader, do not merely conclude your paper with some simple justification why a specific person is important. This is solely some information that serves no in-depth meaning. Instead, shift your focus to the legacy that the person has left: specify what particular can be considered as a contribution to the society or the world at large. If you need more examples, try finding a template for writing a biographical essay.