How to Write an Autobiography Conclusion
Undertaking an autobiography is a decision that can easily intimidate even the most seasoned writers. Writing an autobiography requires an author to reflect on personal experiences and unflinchingly examine the value of his own beliefs. When concluding an autobiographical work, a writer typically strives to tie up loose ends, examine core beliefs and maybe urge readers to take action.
Choose to represent your life in one of two ways, either as unfinished and pliable or as finished and stable. When crafting your autobiography's conclusion, the tone of your writing should loosely parallel your current view of life. For example, if you are embarking on a new career, you may want to represent yourself as open to formative experiences. If you are an established professional, you should express your past accomplishments as foundational experiences on which your credibility rests.
Tie up loose ends. The content of a robust autobiography addresses a multitude of issues and themes. As the author of an autobiography, you introduce your readers to a diversity of people, places and ideas. The closing chapter of your autobiography is an appropriate place to answer questions or resolve lingering issues that are likely to have been raised in the minds of readers.
Evaluate your core beliefs. In the parting words of their autobiographies, writers often attempt to concisely summarize their overarching philosophies and dearest convictions. If you do not feel comfortable enough to directly state your deepest beliefs to readers of your autobiography, you may wish to discuss a thought-provoking quote by an influential thinker.
Distinguish yourself from others. By opting to write an autobiography, you are recognizing that your life is unique. Seize on this point as you conclude your autobiography, clarifying to your readers the distinct worth of your accomplishments or ideology. Acknowledge your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
Urge readers to take action. If a reader has demonstrated enough patience to read your entire autobiography, you can assume your reader is your ally. Some autobiographers use their closing chapters to issue pleas for readers to get involved in a cause.
For example, in the closing pages of her autobiography, "Beyond Innocence: An Autobiography in Letters," Dr. Jane Goodall enthusiastically advocates the worth of the youth-oriented conservation program for which she served as an overseer, Roots & Shoots, citing that it holds the power to make the world "a better place for all life, for all individuals."
Even if you are writing a simple one-page autobiography to attach to a business resume, an effective way to conclude the autobiography may be to persuade the person reviewing your resume to call you to arrange an interview.
- An autobiography can span more than one book if you so desire. Multi-volume autobiographies can be written in a chronological format, or based around themes. In the conclusion of one volume, you can even provide readers with a teaser for an upcoming volume.
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