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How to Write a Life Story Essay


A life-story essay is typically a one- to four-page manuscript that tells the facts about an individual's life. College applicants, people searching for jobs, artists, writers and professionals can all benefit from writing a life-story essay. You can also write an autobiographical essay to give to family and friends, or to keep as a record of your background and accomplishments. Life-story essays are one of the easiest pieces of writing you can do, because you've lived the story.

Start with a few sentences about your parents. Briefly mention where they grew up and discuss their interests and careers. Describe your siblings, if any.

Write about your childhood. Mention where you were born, where you grew up and your interests when you were young. If you took up an interesting or unusual hobby or had a passion for certain subjects in school, write about those as well.

Discuss any role models you had while growing up. If a science teacher encouraged you in your studies or a football coach took you under his wing, write about it. If your parents or older siblings influenced you, write about them as well. Give the reader a feel for whether you had a happy, fulfilled childhood or one in which you struggled and persevered.

Sum up your education and career history. If you went to college or trade school, write about what you studied and which subjects you were passionate about. Talk about your jobs and what kind of experience you gained, what you learned and what you excelled at in each position.

List significant accomplishments in your life or awards you've received. Perhaps you ran a marathon or were acknowledged in your career field or community. Briefly discuss any recognition you have received for your skills and talents.

Talk about important events---both fortunate and unfortunate---that have shaped you. Don't be afraid to write about the events that have been hard for you, such as the death of someone close or other tragic circumstances. These events have contributed to who you are as a person and likely have made you a stronger, braver individual.

Write about what you focus on in your life now, including where you are in your career, any community service work you might do and what you're passionate about.

Conclude by discussing your hopes, dreams and goals. If you'd like to switch careers or start a family, write about your plans. End on an upbeat note by discussing how your life experiences have prepared you for what you want to do next.

Tip
  • Show your essay to friends and family members to get feedback and revise if necessary.
About the Author

Angela Brown has been a book editor since 1997. She has written for various websites, as well as National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and more than 20 fiction anthologies. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and English from the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits
  • a magnifying glass pen writing image by davidphotos from Fotolia.com