What Are the Components of an Autobiography?
Autobiography, deriving from the Greek word "autobiografia," is the biography of a person written by that person.
There are generally four important components of any autobiography:
- The description of your life,
- what life really means to you,
- the vision of your future
- and the conclusion.
1. Life Description
Start by giving your life description.
- It is simple: Begin at the start of your life, and stop around the time you decided to write your autobiography.
- It would make sense to start from your birth, but you might want to kick it off by briefly going over your family history.
- You may also wish to leave out your early years and begin at a stage later in your life.
- Your life story should be chronological, but it does not need to be a year-by-year description.
It might be good to base it on certain central events.
Look at Dylan Thomas’ “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog,” where every chapter is simply a memory of a brief moment in time, from different periods of the poet’s life.
2. Meaning of Life
Discuss life. In the second component, you really delve into what life is to you and what it means.
Write about how you see life:
- The importance of who you are and where life is taking you.
- Discuss whether you are happy with life.
- Let people know how you occupy your time and how you motivate yourself.
Possible topics you may want to mention:
- your career
- your family
- the significance of love in your life.
This is really the time to let out how you feel, your idea of a meaningful and enjoyable life.
3. Vision of the Future
Predict the future. Third comes:
- your outlook on your upcoming life,
- how you see your future panning out,
- a prediction of where your life is going through your own eyes.
- Discuss whether you see yourself married with kids and what you think your kids will be doing.
- Determine whether you will be able to look back and see a worthwhile and fulfilling life behind you.
When writing about how you see your future, you can be vague and give some ideas of where your life is heading, or you can describe your ideal world in great detail. This is entirely up to you.
- Finish with a conclusion.
- Summarize everything you have described and discussed.
- Say a few words on why it is that you wrote this autobiography.
- Remind the reader of the book's purpose, and examine whether you have succeeded in saying what you wanted to say.
- End your autobiography on a positive note.
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