Autobiography is more than just telling stories!
It's speaking truthfully about who you are inside while also sharing your lives with others on the outside. When deciding what kind of autobiography to write, it's important to know that not all autobiographies have the same purpose, structure, or even tone!
There are many types of autobiography, and there are also different ways one can write them.
This blog post will discuss 6 major types of autobiographies and compare them to help you decide which type best suits your needs. You can also read other types of autobiographies in literature further on.
Let’s get started!
A person's life is a story worth telling, and there are many different ways to do so. The 6 major types of autobiography that you can use to write your life story are described below:
In a full autobiography, you tell all about your life from birth to the present. Authors choose this type of autobiographical writing if their whole life is different from other people's lives.
In a full or traditional autobiography, you share information that only you know with readers and let them see who you really are.
Example: An example of a full autobiography is 'A Life' by Elia Kaza. Another one is the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
A memoir is written by someone about a specific incident or time of their life. It discusses the whole time period or incident in detail.
Memoirs are often written in the first-person point of view. The authors limit the narration to what happened to them, not other people's stories.
Example: One famous memoir is "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau, which talks about his time at Walden Pond.
A personal essay is a type of writing that tells some story about you. It has to be just the right amount of details for people to understand, or it will not be very good. You need to put your emotions, thoughts, and what you learned into it.
Example: Some examples are "A Natural History of the Senses" by Diane Ackerman and "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.
This type of autobiography is written by those who have done something bad. They want other people to learn from their mistakes, so they write about them in an autobiography.
Example: Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a good example of this type of work.
Depression and other mental illnesses can be very hard. It is helpful to write down your thoughts when you have them so that the feelings go away. In this book, people who have had depression or other mental illnesses found it therapeutic to write their thoughts down, so they feel better.
Example: The Collected Schizophrenias by Esmé Weijun Wang is a good example of how writing about these things can help people in the long run.
Some people have a hard life. They might have an accident or be kidnapped, or they might even get killed. Sharing stories can help other people, and it also makes them feel better because they can express their emotions about what happened.
Example: One example of this is The Center of the Universe by Nancy Bachrach.
In order to make your writing more interesting, you should follow the correct format for each type of autobiography. You should choose which type of autobiography to write depending on the purpose you want it for.
Different people write about their lives differently. There are six different types of autobiographies. You need to know the difference between them so you can follow the correct type in your writing.
Here is a chart that shows what is different about each type of autobiography.
|Full Autobiography||Memoir||Personal Essay||Confession||Psychological Illness||Overcoming Adversity|
|Written about the author’s own life||The memoir focuses on a specific time in someone’s life||Is about an important part or aspect of your life||Written about life decisions and mistakes||Written by people who experienced a mental trauma or illness||Written to tell how people overcame their life challenges|
|Includes facts and experiences of the author’s life||Includes facts and experiences of the specific part of your life||The major focus is not on the style and tone rather than the story||The major focus is to convey a message that people can learn from||Details about the story of the illness or the trauma||Includes details that inspire people towards a change|
|Written in the later stages of life||It can be written at any stage of life||It can be written at any stage of life||It can be written at any stage of life||It can be written at any stage of life||It can be written at any stage of life|
|Written in the first-person perspective||Written in the first-person perspective||Written in the first-person perspective||Written in the first-person perspective||Written in the first-person perspective||Written in the first-person perspective|
|Focuses on the life of a famous person mostly, but can be about an ordinary person also||It can be about any person||Can be about any person||Can be about any person||Can be about any person||Focuses on the life of a famous person mostly, but can be about an ordinary person also|
In literature, autobiographies can be divided into four broad categories. These are further explained below:
Thematic autobiographies are often not just a story of one's life but instead have an underlying theme. The author may be trying to convey certain messages or beliefs that they believe should be told through this form of storytelling.
In a thematic autobiography, there is more of a focus on what the author thinks of the subject. For example, they might not just write about facts but also how they feel about the person. The goal is to share what you think and what your opinion is.
A religious autobiography is written by someone who has or had a connection with God. The person goes through many events and experiences until they get saved by God. They also might tell about what they did before they got saved.
An example would be The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton.
Intellectual autobiography is about telling people your journey and what key experiences led you to where you are now. You think about what has shaped your thinking, and you tell them to the reader. A person who reads this is interested in what has made you who you are.
Fictional autobiography is about telling the author's truthful experience. It has some parts that are fictionalized to protect the identity of people.
In this type of autobiography, events can be exaggerated or changed for artistic purposes. Everyone has a story worth telling, but not everyone is good enough to put those into meaningful words.
For your story to be accurate, it's important not only to have details in mind but also to convey them through a specific tone, so readers will find themselves engaged from the start until the finish!
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Literature, MarketingAs a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as we