Autobiography Writing Outline

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Writing Your Autobiography Introduction

Remember, an autobiography is a paper written by you that contains information about your own life. As with any paper, you need to begin with a strong introduction. Your introduction to your autobiography can be 1 or more paragraphs. However, don’t make it too long that your reader gets bored, and don’t make it too short that you’re missing important information.

What to include in your introduction:
A strong first sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and tells the reader what your paper is about—your life! (Tip: It can even be in the form of a question to make it more interesting—Ex: Have you ever wondered what life is really like for someone like me?)

Mention your name either in the first or second sentence.

Briefly mention the basic points that you plan to talk about in the body of your autobiography. For example, briefly state that you will talk about where you were born, where you grew up, where you went to school, etc., but do not give any of those details away yet. Save the details for later.

Mention you’re current age, where you live, and who you live with.

Write in first-person (use words that talk about yourself, such as I, my, and me)

Brainstorm at least three different opening lines to your autobiography below: (check them with a partner to see which one they like best)

Writing Your Autobiography Body

The body of your paper is the longest part of your autobiography, and it gives all the details of your life. It is like the “flashback” of your life. The body of an autobiography tells the events of your life, beginning with your birth until now, and even what you hope to be doing in your future. The body must include:

A logical sequence of events that happened in your life. Keeping the events of your life in order in your autobiography keeps the reader interested and prevents them from getting confused.

Each paragraph must focus on a different event:
*Your birth (place, date, how your parents felt, the names of your parents, etc.)

*Your early life (age 0-5)—Examples include: what you did, your favorite toy, first word, first memory, any challenges when you were a baby/toddler, any siblings, day care/pre-school, etc.

*Early education (age 5-10)—Examples: Your best friend, favorite subject in school, your successes and challenges, etc.

*Challenging events—Examples: being sick or in the hospital, trying to get along with others, making friends, times when you were scared, etc.
*Other memorable events—Examples: memories of family vacations, holidays, reunions, birthday parties, etc.

*Other facts about yourself not mentioned elsewhere—Examples: awards you won, sports that you play or like to watch, activities you enjoy, etc.

*What life means to you now—Questions to ask yourself: Have you learned any lessons from your life experiences? What things are important to you in life?

*Your future—Examples: college, future job, getting married, where you see yourself in 20 years, where you’ll be living, etc.

Outline for Body of Autobiography

I. Paragraph topic: Your Birth
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):

II. Paragraph topic: Your Early Life
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):

III. Paragraph topic: Your Early Education
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):
IV. Paragraph topic: Challenging Events
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):

V. Paragraph topic: Memorable Events
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):

VI. Paragraph topic: Other Facts About Yourself
A. (First sentence of paragraph):

B. (Detail):

C. (Detail):

D. (Detail):

VII. Paragraph topic: Life Meaning/Lessons Learned...
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